My love for Merino wool should be readily apparent to anyone that has even glanced at this site. It fights funk, regulates temperatures extremely well, handles moisture relatively well, and is nice and comfy. The big, hulking, monstrous downside is that it is usually incredibly expensive compared to a similar item in another material. Take, for instance, the Icebreaker Conquest Hoody that I have been wearing for the last nine days straight (don’t worry, I bathe in between wearings). It retails for $165. Oy! I didn’t pay even close to that, but it is still hard to recommend something at that price point when I expect that most people would be paying full retail.
Along comes Costco to the rescue with their four pack of Merino blend socks. I have seen them before and have read numerous glowing reviews, but I finally picked up a pack about a month ago. I have washed and worn them several times to make sure that I could give an accurate assessment. In short, they are worth every penny and are exactly the same as socks several times more expensive, and even nicer than some.
They are nice and thick, and would do well on a hike when coupled with a polypro liner sock. I wear them to work and they keep my feet warm in our freezing ass warehouse (55F today). Even with their thickness, they still handle temperatures well on hot and humid days. I wore them in 70s and low 80s weather and did not have swampy and overheated feet. Based on experience with similar socks in higher temperatures, they will probably be just fine in the 90s and 100s as well.
I have owned a few pairs of REI Merino socks (similar to those) for several years that have held up very well and have worked great in every climate in which I have used them. I compared the Costco socks to the REI socks and could find no difference in style, materials, thickness, or quality. They are both roughly 80% Merino, 20% nylon, with maybe a little Lycra thrown in for good measure. If I can get them both in one place at the same time, I’ll get some pictures up so you all can see. The only problem is that I do not think the REI socks are marked as such, so we’ll have to assume that the more pilled ones are the older ones.
Anyway, the Costco socks are great, especially at $2.50/pair. I am going to pick up another pack or two the next time I am at Costco hunting for the elusive Eneloops, since I have started wearing Merino socks every day of the year. OK, maybe I am taking the Merino thing a little too far…