Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
You can never have too many pairs of nice, wool socks. Whether you are wearing them to lounge around the house, keep your feet comfortable in your heaviest boots around the town, or keeping your feet dry on a hike, their natural warmth and water wicking abilities make them a pleasure each and every day you put them on.
While all of our lists are meant as starting-off points to introduce you to a particular range of products, this one is even less all-encompassing than the others—there are thousands of quality, wool sock brands out there, and we just hope seeing the wide array below will help you find your own perfect pair.
1) L.L. Bean: Merino Wool Rag Socks
When it comes to outdoorsy clothing, many trust L.L. Bean above all others. And while that sentiment is a bit hyperbolic, they certainly offer fine wool socks. Their Merino Wool Rag Socks are made in the USA in a 77%/21%/2% Australian merino wool/nylon/Lycra blend, which gives the natural characteristics associated with wool, mainly warmth and water wicking, with the durability and stretch of synthetic materials. Available in a range of colors and combinations, these are a great way to start a new sock obsession (or continue an ongoing one).
Available for $35 (2-pack) from L.L. Bean.
2) Kirkland Signature: Wool Crew Socks
If you find yourself in need of a lot of pairs of wool socks then there is no better option than Kirkland Signature’s Wool Crew Socks. At $20 for six pairs these 72%/27%/1% merino wool/nylon/spandex blend socks offer phenomenal bang of the buck. This is another fiber blend designed to combine wool’s natural benefits with the durability of synthetics, and even comes with reinforcements at the toes and heel. Plus, they are available in two sizes to ensure everyone will be able to get a pair that fits well.
Available for $20 (6-pack) from Costco.
3) Thunders Love: Ribbed Wool-Blend Socks
Thunders Love offers a great variety of socks, but their Ribbed Wool-Blend Socks are the real standouts. Patterned in a such a way to be reminiscent of vintage pairs, these socks are made of a 68%/25%/5%/2% wool/polyamide/other fiber/elastane that is as warm and durable as it is mysterious. They feature colored accents at the leg opening and toe, and ankle ribbing for increased comfort.
Available for $35 (1-pack) from Mr. Porter.
4) Barbour: Houghton Sock
Barbour is another brand that is nearly synonymous with outdoorsy clothing, albeit of a distinctly British style, so it should come as no surprise that they have some great wool socks as well. Their Houghton Socks are constructed from a flecked-wool yarn spun from a 47%/35%/17%/1% wool/nylon/silk/elastane blend. While they are far from the first brand to put silk in their socks, its inclusion will certainly help to make these sock as soft possible, while still offering wool’s warmth and the nylon/elastane’s durability.
Available for $25 (1-pack) from End.
5) Universal Works: Alpaca Socks
Universal Works’ Alpaca Socks are made in England from a 55%/45% alpaca wool/polyamide blend, which results in a fairly smooth texture with lots of wool hairs on top. While alpaca wool is typically warmer than standard wool, it’s hard to say if these will be any warmer than their sheep counterparts given the fiber mixes seen in all the socks on this list. That said, these are a quality pair of socks that come in a wide range of colors and are just waiting to be added to your sock rotation.
Available for £25 (1-pack) from Universal Works.
Plus One – Anonymous Ism: Cashmere Crew Socks
If you want true comfort for your feet then there is no substitute over Cashmere Crew Socks. These pairs from Anonymous Ism are made in a 57%/35%/5% wool/nylon/cashmere blend, which is less cashmere than would be ideal. However, the added softness and warmth of the cashmere, combined with the majority wool composition of the rest of the sock, will hopefully made your feet just as happy as a full cashmere sock. Made in Japan to some of the best sock specifications out there, these are a no-brainer if you’re looking for something unique for your next outfit.
Available for $35 (1-pack) from Blue Owl.