Merino Wool Socks vs Smartwool Socks: What’s the Difference?

wool socks
(Source: Albina Gavrilovic / Canva

Ah, socks. We’ve all worn them, and we all know how important they are for keeping our feet comfortable and warm. But when choosing the best type of socks for your needs, there is a lot to consider.

So, do you go with merino or Smartwool for wool socks? Smartwool is a brand name. They are made from merino wool from sheep bred in New Zealand.


And what exactly are the differences between these two? Let’s take a closer look at the five differences between Merino Wool and Smartwool socks so you can decide which is right for you! 

Merino Wool Socks vs. Smartwool Socks

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Merino Wool Socks

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Credit: canva

Merino wool socks are made from the hair of the merino sheep, and they offer many great benefits! They are lightweight yet insulating, making them perfect for activewear and cold-weather clothing.

Merino wool also wicks away moisture quickly and effectively, keeping your feet dry even in humid climates. Merino wool is hypoallergenic, anti-odor, wrinkle-resistant, static electricity-resistant, and fade-resistant – all perfect for a quality pair of socks!

Smartwool Socks

Smartwool is one of the most well-known and respected brands in the market. These socks are made from merino wool from sheep bred in New Zealand. New Zealand merino wool is known for being some of the softest and most luxurious.

They are known for their durability and ability to hold their shape wash after wash. They come in various styles, colors, and fabrics to suit your every need – making them perfect for outdoor adventures or everyday wear.

6 Differences between Merino Wool Socks vs. Smartwool Socks

Can Wool Socks Go In The Dryer
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There may be several differences between Smartwool socks and other brands of merino wool socks. Some potential differences include the following:

  1. Fit and sizing: Different sock brands may have different fits, sizes, and shapes, so it’s important to try on different brands to find the one that fits your foot best.
  2. Construction and durability: Different brands may use different construction methods and materials in their socks, affecting their durability and overall quality.
  3. Comfort and performance: Different brands may use different materials and design features to improve the comfort and performance of their socks, such as cushioning, arch support, and ventilation.
  4. Price: Socks can vary widely, depending on the brand and the materials used.
  5. Availability: Some brands may be more widely available than others, either online or in stores.
  6. Style: Different brands may offer different styles and colors to choose from.

Ultimately, the best socks for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs. It’s always a good idea to try on different brands and styles to find the one that works best for you.

Tips for Choosing Wool Socks

wool socks striped
Striped wool socks. Credit: canva

There are a few factors to consider when choosing wool socks:

  • Material: Look for socks made from a high-quality wool blend, such as merino wool. This wool is soft, moisture-wicking, and breathable, making it ideal for socks.
  • Fit: Make sure the socks fit well and are comfortable. They should not be too tight or loose and should have a good amount of stretch to allow for movement.
  • Thickness: Consider the thickness of the socks based on the activity or occasion. Thicker socks may be more suitable for colder weather or outdoor activities, while thinner socks may be more comfortable for everyday wear or in warmer weather.
  • Durability: Choose socks that are well-made and durable. Look for reinforced heels and toes, a good fit, and quality construction.
  • Style: Choose socks that match your style and the occasion. There are many different colors and patterns available, so you can find something that suits your preferences.


Can Smartwool socks be worn with dress shoes?

Yes, it is possible to wear Smartwool socks with dress shoes. Smartwool socks are made from a blend of merino wool and synthetic materials, which makes them comfortable and moisture-wicking.

They are also thin and can be worn under dress shoes without causing a bulky or awkward fit.

It’s important to remember that while Smartwool socks can be worn with dress shoes, choosing an appropriate style for the occasion is best.

For example, if you’re wearing a formal suit and dress shoes, you may want to opt for a more traditional, formal sock such as a black or neutral-colored dress sock. However, if you’re wearing a more casual outfit with dress shoes, a Smartwool sock may be a good choice.

Do Smartwool socks provide arch support?

Yes, they have a supportive arch brace to provide additional support. The sock’s design includes a band of elastic around the arch to give your foot added support. 

Can Smartwool socks be used for hiking and outdoor activities?

Yes, Smartwool socks can be used for hiking and outdoor activities. They are made of durable materials that can withstand outdoor wear and tear.

Additionally, they are designed to keep your feet warm and dry while you’re active so that you can stay comfortable no matter your adventure.

Will Smartwool socks shrink in the wash?

Yes, they might shrink slightly in the wash, but they’ll stretch back to their original size once you wear them. I usually air-dry mine so that they don’t shrink as much.

I love Smartwool socks! They’re some of the best socks I’ve ever worn. They keep my feet warm and dry and last a long time. I’ve had the same pair of Smartwool socks for over two years, and they’re still in great condition.

If you’re looking for a good pair of wool socks, I highly recommend Smartwool socks.

Are Smartwool socks good for people with sensitive skin?

Yes, the wool material is naturally hypoallergenic and gentle on sensitive skin.

Do Smartwool socks come in different colors and patterns?

Yes, Smartwool socks come in different colors and patterns. You can usually find various color and pattern options on the Smartwool website or the websites of their retail partners.

Some popular color and pattern combinations include solid black, gray, and navy socks; argyle socks; stripes; and Fair Isle designs.

Are Smartwool socks only for cold weather?

Although they are great for keeping your feet warm in colder temperatures, they are also suitable for year-round wear due to their breathable material and moisture-wicking abilities.

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