Why Merino Wool?

A Natural Fiber with Extraordinary Properties

Many people wonder why Sockwell socks use merino wool. They incorrectly assume that wool is itchy and too warm for the feet. However, to dispel this misconception, we have listed four important properties of merino wool: softness, temperature regulation, moisture management, and anti-odor capabilities.

  1. The Perfect Wool for Wellness & Performance
  2. Benefit 1 - Softness
  3. Benefit 2 - Temperature Regulation
  4. Benefit 3 - Moisture Management
  5. Benefit 4 - Anti-Odor
  6. A Sustainable Choice

The Perfect Wool for Wellness & Performance

Merino wool is the essential component of our socks. We believe that there is no other fiber that offers better overall health and performance characteristics for socks than merino wool. In nature, wool helps keep sheep warm in winter and cool in summer. It is also incredibly soft, absorbent, and durable. These natural properties make it the perfect fiber for keeping your feet healthy, dry, and at the perfect temperature all year round. Additionally, it is an environmentally responsible material.

Benefit 1 - Softness

You may have come across the term Cashmerino® on our website. But what does it mean exactly? The merino wool used by Sockwell comes from Rambouillet Merino sheep, a breed known for its high-quality wool. The breed is selectively bred to maintain the finest merino wool fibers, resulting in the softest wool available on the market.

Sockwell socks use only the finest wool from the inner fleece, with a fiber thickness of just 19.5 microns. For comparison, a human hair has a diameter of about 50 microns. The wool is so fine that it is imperceptible to the skin. Most people experience itching with wool fibers thicker than 28 microns. For this reason, Sockwell has chosen to use only the finest wool from the undercoat, which is as soft as the much more expensive cashmere. That's why we call it Cashmerino® wool, combining Cashmere and merino.

By using Cashmerino wool in our socks, they will not cause itching or irritation for those with sensitive skin. This makes them ideal for our diabetes sock collection, designed specifically for people with extremely sensitive feet

Benefit 2 - Temperature Regulation

Even though merino wool is incredibly soft, you might think it feels too warm because wool is generally considered a hot material. However, that's not the case! Merino wool is a natural thermoregulating fiber. Just like a well-insulated house, merino wool keeps your feet warm in winter and cool in summer. But how does it work?

Without getting too technical, merino wool helps regulate the microclimate of the human body. The wool constantly absorbs and evaporates moisture. While synthetic fabrics like polyester can only absorb up to 1 percent of their weight in moisture, natural fibers like cotton and wool perform much better. Cotton, for example, absorbs only 24 percent, whereas wool can absorb up to 35 percent of its weight in moisture. But what happens to all the moisture that the wool fibers absorb?

Benefit 3 - Moisture Management

The secret to merino wool's excellent moisture absorption lies in its hollow fibers. Wool functions like thousands of tiny "straws" that draw moisture (sweat) away from the body and temporarily hold it. Due to body heat, the moisture evaporates naturally and much faster than synthetic fabrics or even cotton can achieve. This is why socks made of synthetic materials, and to a lesser extent cotton, make your feet sweat. They have inferior moisture management capabilities. Although socks with merino wool may feel slightly damp at the end of a long day, your feet and shoes will remain dry. And if your Sockwell socks are damp, they will dry within minutes without developing odors.

Benefit 4 - Anti-Odor

The fact that the socks won't develop odors, even after a long day of wear in shoes, is due to the natural odor-repelling properties of merino wool. It has the ability to naturally inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Not only will you not experience unpleasant foot odors, but merino wool also has the advantage of requiring less frequent washing.

How is this possible? The outer layer of the wool fibers contains a high concentration of wool fat (lanolin), which possesses antibacterial properties. This makes merino wool self-cleaning. It's important to note that sweat itself doesn't have an odor, but the well-known odor associated with sweat occurs when it sits on the skin and is attacked by bacteria. By quickly drawing sweat away from the skin and allowing it to naturally evaporate, the wool prevents bacteria growth. Additionally, the wool fat prevents bacteria from adhering to the wool fibers. In short, it becomes virtually impossible for the socks to develop unpleasant odors.

It is well-known that bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments, making our feet an ideal breeding ground. This is why merino wool is the perfect material for socks. It's also the reason why woolen garments can be worn longer and require fewer washes without developing odors. Sockwell socks can be worn multiple times without needing to be washed in between. Simply air them out overnight, and they'll be ready to wear again the next day, without any worries about odors.

Why Merino Wool

A Sustainable Choice

As if the benefits of merino wool weren't impressive enough, it's also an incredibly sustainable choice. Merino wool is not only good for our feet but also for the planet. The material is biodegradable and renewable.
Depending on your lifestyle, a sock drawer filled with five to ten pairs of well-made merino wool socks can replace a drawer with twenty or thirty pairs of cotton or synthetic alternatives. They require less frequent washing and can last for years.

Moreover, Sockwell sources Rambouillet Merino sheep from local farmers in the United States and manufactures the socks in the USA. By using American merino wool, the supply chain significantly reduces its ecological footprint. Sockwell only purchases wool from local farmers who adhere to the five freedoms of animal welfare: freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, freedom from fear and distress, and the freedom to express normal behavior.

The Rambouillet Merino sheep breed is not only known for its superfine wool but also for its "wrinkle-free bottoms" while other merino breeds have wrinkles. This natural resistance to parasites and diseases eliminates the need for mulesing. Merino wool from Rambouillet sheep is not only sustainable but also ethically responsible.

To maintain Sockwell's sustainable supply chain in the European market, the number of shipments with stock from America is kept to a minimum by importing large quantities at once. This helps reduce the environmental impact of shipping as much as possible. An additional benefit is that we can deliver everything from stock, so you won't have to wait long for your order. However, it may occasionally happen that a particular size or model is out of stock. In that case, it won't be possible to order the item, and the delivery time may extend to several weeks if it happens to be your favorite. Please consider that the socks need to come from America, and we take into account a better climate. Fortunately, there are always plenty of other model choices available.

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