American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wool Socks

Why can't I find a pair of wool socks that holds up to even one season of use?

I know I said I was going to write about the "box full of awesome" today but this sock issue has reared it's ugly head and I'm more than a little frustrated.

Several years ago I purchased several pairs of Wigwam wool socks. I believe they were Heavy Hikers--an extra thick sock designed for maximum comfort and durability. I wore them every day but had enough of them that no pair was being worn more than once a week. They wore out inside of a year.

Then I bought several pairs of Bass Pro Shops' wool socks in various styles and thicknesses. They wore well but also only lasted short of a year.

After complaining about it one day to Dan and Spen I was directed to the Redhead Lifetime Sock which carries a lifetime guarantee against wear and tear. I immediately ran out and purchased eight pair. If there's ever a problem of any kind with these socks you can just take them back to your local Bass Pro Shop and exchange them for a new pair. I couldn't believe the luck.

These socks are comfortable, hard-wearing, and warm. I wear them every day during the fall and winter. They do, however, wear out just like all the others.

I wear holes in the soles of the socks which open up rapidly once that first little hole is started. The spot starts just behind the ball of my foot and within a day the hole goes from 1/4" to 3" in diameter. Then the sock is relegated to oversock duty until I can get up to the shop for an exchange.

The biggest problem? Since I bought all the socks at the same time and wear them evenly they all wear out at the same time. That means I return 6-8 pairs of socks at the same time. When the hole is worn in then I'm stuck with holey socks until I can return them.

I need a tougher sock. Or maybe I just need to learn how to sew up those holes.

Anybody got a lead on especially hard-wearing wool socks?

Thanks for reading,



At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anders said...

I use "smartwool" socks and just love them!
They seem too hold up a little bit better than other woolsocks I have tried.
The best part is the number of models which let you wear the best suited model for different weather and shoes.
There website:
Hope you understand my poor english.
Best of luck with your socksearch!

Anders from Sweden

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Joe said...

All I wear are Fox River wool socks, made right here in Osage Iowa. I try to find the medium weight hikers and I wear them year round. The only time I get a hole is if I snag a nail on my hardwood floors. I always look for the ones with the most merino wool content I can find. The ones I'm wearing now are over 2 years old and get worn at least once a week.

Joe in Iowa

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second "smartwool" Even if the durability is not any better, they are worth it for their performance and comfort.

I also use the mid-weight thermals, and are my favorites. And I have tried every brand of thermals out there.


At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

+1 for the SmartWool socks. Yes they're a little pricey, but they are well made and I'm on my 4th season for some of them.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger sam_acw said...

I have had a pair of ski socks for a few years but not through daily use. Why not more pairs of cheaper socks?
Filing that :)

At 4:34 PM, Blogger backcountrybowhunter said...

+2 for the smartwools. Bar none, the best socks out there, and I have spent a lot of time in good and bad socks while in the Marines. Thorlos are a good solid second, everythig else I've ever used... a distant last place.

At 8:04 PM, Anonymous James said...

Haven't tried these personally, but they get good reviews from someone who I know hikes a lot and whose opinion I trust.

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous George Hedgepeth said...

I have a well developed Smartwool fetish. One of the true good things in life- check them out!

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a couple of the "smartwool" ones as well. The have stood up for quite a while with no problems.
Just a thought.... maybe the problem is not just with your socks. Maybe there is also a problem with the shoes/boots? If the inside of your shoe is causing friction, it might help to make the socks last longer if you put in an insole or somethiing. Remember A.B. finding a pair of socks that last forever might be possible, but how comfortable are titanium sock going to be on your feet? ;)


At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i say just do like us rednecks do in alabama and go barefoot lol ,chris

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Michael Sparks said...

How about some Army Suplus wool socks. I have a bunch of those that I still wear and some are several years old.

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Jason Klass said...

I like Point 6 socks becasue they're so well made and comfortable:

I have a few different versions. Here's their website:

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Jason Lancaster said...

I also would suggest smartwool socks. If you like thick ones, try a heavy cushioned hiker. For thinner I'd recommend the light hiker model. That's my personal favorite.


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