A little while ago Chris from Smartwool came to talk to us about their brilliant hiking and walking socks. It is always good to gain a deeper insight into the history and workings of a company; you learn that there is normally a lot more to them than meets the eye. Who knew socks could be so interesting!
Smartwool are based in Colorado, a place which has inspired their products. Known for its mountainous terrain, Colorado is a great place to walk, ski and cycle. The people who live there experience very cold temperatures in the winter and very hot temperatures in the summer, so in order to enjoy their activities they wanted to create a wearable product that was as comfortable as possible in all weathers.
Smartwool socks are only made from wool which is farmed from Merino sheep in New Zealand. These animals are the only breed of sheep which supply Merino wool for the company, chosen for its super softness among other desirable qualities.
What is so special about merino wool?
Merino wool gives fantastic temperature control; it naturally keeps the sheep warm in cold weather but it breathable and cool in the hotter months which is why it is perfect for making hiking socks. It is also naturally water resistant protecting sheep from exposure to the rain.
Smartwool believe making the socks from Merino wool is better than making them from Nylon as all of these qualities are natural, the sheep have evolved to survive the weather conditions of New Zealand and it is a natural, dependable, sustainable source. It takes 5x more energy to manufacture Nylon than it does to create Merino wool ready for knitting. The wool is also naturally odor free and microbial as it releases heat before it turns to moisture which prevents bacteria from thriving. This is great for protecting human feet in the hot and sweaty atmosphere of a hiking boot. Most hiking boots are designed to help wick away moisture and partnered with a great sock like a Smartwool sock you are giving your feet the best possible housing for walking activities. The socks are wearable for more than one day before they would require washing – it is recommended that they are worn for no longer than 3 days. Some Nylon is used in the socks to help shape the wool to the foot to prevent rubbing and give a better fit around your foot.
Click here to see our range of Smartwool socks and here visit the Smartwool website where you can find out more about the company and what they do.