It’s become a bit of a running joke in our house: whichever of us has the coldest feet has to put them on the other person’s legs just moments after snuggling into bed. It’s all fun and games, I suppose, but for people like me who suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome or just get cold easily, chilly feet aren’t really a laughing matter. In bed is one thing; the feet eventually warm up, and of course being indoors helps. But when you’re outside working, walking, hiking or camping, cold feet can be a painful and persistent buzzkill. I was hoping the Woolx midweight merino socks would change that.
I haven’t spent much time outside for the past couple of decades, and I’ve not bothered researching how to keep warm outdoors. Reason: I just figured my feet – and the rest of me – were destined to stay cold. But when I finally decided to bite the bullet and venture more into the beauty of the Northwest, keeping my feet warm were one of the first things I decided to tackle.
The Woolx midweight merino socks seemed like a great first step (pun not intended). For most of my life I’ve used cotton socks because, well, that’s what department stores carry and what fits into my dress shoes. Ironically, that’s been a contributing reason to cold feet: wool is much better at insulation, moisture-wicking and keeping feet warm. Again, those who spend more time outdoors know this. I didn’t. But I do now.
One of the immediate things you’ll notice about the Woolx midweight merino socks is their incredible bottom cushion. Slipping these onto your feet is like putting your soles onto a thick carpet all day. They also use a very tightly knit combination of 75% merino wool, 15% nylon and 10% lycra, tight to the point that pressing your fingers against the edge and pushing against it doesn’t create any visible gaps. This is important for coverage, of course, but it also serves the practical purpose of decreasing the chance of wind or air getting through and chilling your feet.
My first test of the Woolx midweight merino socks involved walking for several hours in an urban setting in work shoes. That’s right: work shoes. I used to think wool was too thick and cumbersome to slip into a dress shoe, but these socks aren’t the bulky burden I’d thought they might be. Quite the contrary, these socks are just as practical and warm in a dress shoe as they are in a hiking shoe. Maybe it’s the tight knight, I don’t know. But whatever it is, it’s welcome. (Review continues below video)
In more recreational tests (e.g. hiking), I really noticed the thick cushion contributing to keeping my feet warm too. Heck, the cushion even acted as a creature comfort while standing in place for several hours (football game, kids’ soccer games, etc.). Put it all together, and I’d love to make these my everyday socks. Of course I’ll have to get a few more to make that happen; one pair for seven days could get a bit odoriferous.
Speaking of odoriferous, my most nervous moment with the Woolx midweight merino socks came when it was time to wash them for the first time. I’d heard for decades that washing wool shrinks it tenfold. Skeptically, I put the socks in with the rest of the dark laundry, washed them as normal in cold water, then put them into the dryer on low heat. I was heartbroken when the dryer’s buzzer sounded and the socks fell into the clean-clothes hamper about the same size as my first grader’s feet. Surely I was SOL. I told my wife “this is going to be hilarious,” figuring the Shrunken-Head-Ned socks would cover about three toes. Imagine my surprise, and my sincere relief, when the socks stretched back to their normal size as I pulled them on. It was like nothing had changed!
Only now, everything has. With the proverbial wool lifted from my eyes about, well, wool, I can’t wait to try more wool socks. While the Woolx midweight merino socks kept my feet toasty, I still felt chilled after some time in the snow. I’ve heard that socks with an even higher wool percentage may do an even better job of keeping feet warm, so I’m on a mission now to find and test some. If you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments section below.
In the meantime, I couldn’t be happier with the Woolx midweight merino socks. I didn’t take them on an extended hike, so I wasn’t able to judge whether the toe seams lead to any blistering or aggravation. But as an everyday sock, these fit the bill both for work and recreation. The mix of comfy cushion, super softness and impressive insulation seem to be a good solution for anyone who gets cold feet. With a few more pairs in my dresser, I’d probably be the one who consistently ends up having chilly toes pressed onto my legs at bedtime.
The Woolx midweight merino socks were provided for review. All opinions and words are my own.
Woolx Midweight Merino Socks
- Great cushioning on the soles
- Nice, tight knight keeps cold air in check
- Kept my feet toasty in a variety of cold conditions
- Stayed warm for a while in the snow, but didn’t kill the chill completely
- No real shrinkage, but pulling them from a dryer may cause slight panic until you put them back on