Why We Chose The Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks: RWS-certified wool, classic Patagonia design, high-quality merino wool build
Whilst nylon and polyester hiking socks have their merits, when it comes down to the crunch, merino wool wins hands down.
Put simply, it’s a natural fibre that’s inherently antimicrobial, odour-resistant, and incredibly comfy. It also tends to last longer than other fibres, is both breathable and insulating, and can even stay warm when it’s wet.
They’re also incredibly lightweight.”
The downsides, unfortunately, are that merino is an animal product and there’s often instances of animal cruelty involved in its farming. Thankfully, however, Patagonia certifies its wool through the Royal Wool Standard (RWS) – as well as their own Patagonia Wool Standard (PWS) – meaning that the farms growing the wool are subject to the highest standards of animal welfare and land management in the industry.
Since less than 1% of wool used globally is RWS-certified, we’d say that’s a pretty good example for a world-renowned outdoor brand to set.
Aside from the eco credentials, Patagonia also incidentally make a pretty good sock. For our Outdoor 100 this year, we checked out their Merino Performance Crew Socks and were impressed with what we saw. Here’s a breakdown of their features, including how they got on during our outdoor tests out in the Highlands.
Who Are The Merino Crew Socks For?
These are a low-calf-height crew so they’ll work well with most low to mid height hiking shoes, including more everyday shoes and perhaps a socks-and-sandals combo too.
At 57g, they’re also incredibly lightweight so would be perfect for some multi-day summer hiking adventures, as well as more spontaneous wild camping trips throughout the year.
It’s worth noting, however, that if you’re prone to blisters and bunions then the light cushioning of this sock might not be enough. It could be worth going for something a little more specialist, say, like the Hanwag Specialist Bunion Socks for example. For most other users, however, the mesh arch brace and terry-looped footbed should do the trick.
Materials and Construction
The primary material of the Merino Performance crew sock is, unsurprisingly, merino wool. In fact, it’s made of 59% RWS-certified merino wool, meaning there’s been extra care involved concerning the protection of the animals used as well as the land they graze.
The remainder of the sock is made from 39% nylon and 2% LYCRA® elastane. All in all, this creates a comfy sock that is both breathable and stretchy, moulding to your feet as they contract and expand throughout the day.
In terms of features, you’ll find an engineered sewing pattern on the top of the foot for increased airflow, a mesh arch brace to create a snug and supportive fit, and a soft terry-looped footbed for light cushioning each step of the way. Terry looping additionally helps with cushioning and the absorption and expulsion of sweat, further increasing breathability and airflow throughout the sock.
There’s a bunch of different designs and colours to choose from including the Classic Fitz Roy: Viking Blue, Birch White, Feather Grey, and Lofoten Landscape: Sublime Green. All retain that classic ‘Patagonia look’ that we all know and love, including nice, natural colours, and timeless, retro looks. And with sizes from small to extra-large (size 2 to 14.5), there should be something for everyone.