For many years wool has been thought of as the really itchy clothing our dads had to wear in the military. That has all been changing the last few years with the popularity of merino wool. One of the companies leading the pack has been Icebreaker with their extensive line of outdoor clothing. They have base layers for the whole body made of New Zealand merino wool.
The one piece of Icebreaker gear that can be worn year round is their excellent line of merino wool socks. They have sport-specific models of socks so that an athlete or city dweller can have comfort right where they need it based on particular activities.
Some of the great advantages to Icebreaker merino wool socks is that they are odor resistant, repel moisture and can be machine washed. The microfibers of merino wool make the socks silky smooth on the skin. Even the microfibers of merino wool are still slightly heavier than synthetic materials, but wool can't be beat for the extra warmth it provides. Synthetics are notorious for odor buildup which is not a problem with Icebreaker merino wool socks.
Icebreaker and Merino Wool
Icebreaker is a New Zealand company started in 1994. They use merino wool for their socks. While Icebreaker has added a large number of products to their catalog since the early days, they still specialize in clothing that is worn close to the skin. The old way of thinking about wool was that one would always want a layer of protection between them and the wool. However, the fine nature of merino wool makes it much softer than the wool of yesteryear. So much softer that it is a pleasure, not torture, to wear next to the skin.
Icebreaker Merino Wool Running Socks
One of the biggest advantages of wool over man-made synthetic fibers is that wool is much more resistant to odors. No where is this more important than for those whose feet sweat more than others. While runners don't necessarily have smelly feet, there are many who do. Merino wool socks by Icebreaker are odor resistant by nature.
They have three models of running socks for both men and women. Besides the different color choices, the sizes are scaled specific to each gender. They have asymmetrical toe boxes for a better fit.
- Run Lite Micro is their below the ankle sock.
- Run Lite Mini comes up to just above the ankle.
- Run Ultralite Micro is a super lightweight below the ankle sock.
Icebreaker Merino Wool Cycling Socks
Like the running socks, the bike socks from Icebreaker are odor resistant. Cyclists can appreciate that since their feet can be in their shoes for many hours on a long ride. Icebreaker merino wool bike socks have thicker pads where bikers need them. Meanwhile they allow the feet to breathe more freely in less blister-prone spots.
The heel construction is specifically designed to prevent slipping and bunching. Toe boxes are asymmetrical to give the rider a better fit. There are three different models for both men and women.
- Bike Ultralite Micro is the below the ankle lightweight sock.
- Bike Ultralite Mini is their above the ankle lightweight model.
- Bike Lite Mini is a mid-weight ankle sock.
Icebreaker Merino Wool Hiking Socks
Depending on the length and ruggedness of a hike, Icebreaker makes merino wool socks for every possible occasion. Some hikes will demand more cushioning or warmth than other hikes. There is no need to have to carry socks that are not appropriate with the wide selection of available styles from Icebreaker.
- Hike Liner Crew is a base layer sock which will wick moisture and sweat from the feet, but thin enough to wear a thicker outer sock for warmth. This is a crew length sock.
- Hike Lite Mini is an above the ankle, lightweight sock.
- Hike Lite Crew is their lightweight crew length sock.
- Hike Mid Crew is a warmer, or heavier weight crew length sock. A good year-round sock.
- Hike Trek Crew is their warmest crew length sock.
- Mountaineer Mid Calf is the heaviest sock they offer in the hiking socks category.
The ski socks by Icebreaker are a longer sports sock providing protection where skiers need it most. There are certain hot-zones and blister points that skiers experience. Icebreaker has designed their socks to give skiers cushioning where they need it.
Like all their other sport specific models, they have socks designed for men and women. There are six models to choose from. All of them are over-the-calf length.
- Skier Liner Over the Calf is their thin liner. Ever ready for another layer to go on top.
- Skier Ultralite Over the Calf is a super lightweight sock.
- Skier Lite Over the Calf is a lightweight sock.
- Skier Mid Over the Calf is their medium weight sock. Good for cold weather hiking as well.
- Skier+ Lite Over the Calf is a combination of lightweight and ultra-lightweight fabrics to keep warm where needed, but cutting down any extra bulk.
- Skier+ Mid Over the Calf is another combination sock, this time with lightweight and medium weight zones.
Here the buyer gets much more distinction between the men's and women's lines than the previous models. These merino wool socks by Icebreaker will be the talk of the office. With office shoes typically being much less breathable than sports shoes, these socks will keep feet cooler and drier throughout the day. They repel odors just as well as the sports models.
- City Ultralite Low Cut are a lightweight, below the ankle sock. Available for both men and women.
- City Ultralite Crew are super lightweight dress socks for both men and women.
- City Lite Crew is a crew length sock with extra cushioning on the bottom for both men and women.
- City Ultralite 3/4 Crew is a women's sock that is above the ankle, but below the calf. It is a lightweight sock.
- City Ultralite Over the Calf is a women's specific over the calf sock made of super lightweight merino wool.
Icebreaker Merino Wool Socks: Never Go Back to Cotton
Icebreaker has more than 2000 retailers in over 30 countries. If a local running store does not have a pair, then Icebreaker merino wool socks are available at Amazon and many other online retailers.
Once one tries a pair of these socks, they may never go back to cotton.