Gear Test: Point6 Merino Wool Socks

September 10, 2010
Filed under Camping Gear, Footwear, Outdoor Apparel

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Stand by for some little-known facts. Maybe you already knew that Merino sheep are reputed to produce the softest and finest wool of any breed. Maybe you already knew that the breed originated in Spain. But did you know that before the 18th century, the export of Merino sheep from Spain was a crime punishable by death? Valuable stuff, those sheep.

Personally, I’m glad those days are behind us, because Merino wool is highly prized for articles of outdoor clothing. Now that it’s no longer illegal to export the sheep, market competition helps those of us who like to wear clothing made of Merino wool.
I just finished doing a road test of Point6 Merino Wool Socks. The company makes socks for several applications: Outdoor, Active, Lifestyle, Cycling, Running, Skiing, and Snowboarding. The socks I tested were the Lifestyle and Outdoor categories — Lifestyle Light Crew ($16.95), ideal for everyday wear; and from the Outdoor category I evaluated Hiking Tech Medium Crew ($18.95); and Trekking Tech Heavy Crew ($18.95). The Outdoor socks feature two-layer construction for increased cushion for serious backcountry footwork.

I started the test with the Lifestyle socks, which, by the way, were also just right for use with dress shoes, making life comfortable at the office. Next, I graduated to the Hiking Tech Medium Crew that I found to be ideal for wandering local trails on the weekends to help forget life at the office.

Finally, I slipped on the Trekking Tech Heavy Crew socks for a long week of serious hiking early this summer.

From the beginning, I knew I was going to love these socks. For one thing, they fit perfectly. Point6 socks come in both men’s and women’s sizes ranging from small through medium, large and XL; covering sizes from U.S. women’s size 4 to

U.S. men’s size 14.5.

These socks are exceptionally comfortable. Maybe that’s because of the natural fine fiber crimp and soft texture of Merino wool. Point6 takes that inherent benefit and creates an added advantage through its special yarn-spinning process that results in even softer, finer, and more compact — yet more durable — yarn. The yarn is then knitted together using fine-gauge needles that produce an extremely dense stitch-per-inch count, which helps to increase durability and softness at the same time. The result is a sock that can be machine washed and dried (on warm) without damaging the wool.

One of Merino wool’s natural characteristics is that it does not irritate the skin and cause an itchy sensation. Merino fibers feature a complex moisture-management system that wicks moisture away from the skin to keep feet comfortable, dry and blister-free.

Point6 named its company to reflect the decimal value of the human body temperature (98.6) for a reason that became easy to understand as I tested the Point6 Merino Wool Socks. In spite of the cold or rainy weather, my feet remained comfy. What more can be asked of a sock? Do I recommend these socks? Not exactly these. These are mine. Get your own. Point6: 877/949-9665; point6.com.

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