I normally hate socks. Before smartwool I had only 4 pair, which I wore only when exercising. My main criteria when buying shoes (and I have gone through phases where I have bought lots of shoes), is to buy shoes that don't require socks. So if you can tolerate the thought of socks, you're already a step ahead of me.
For some reason, I like textiles more than your average 25 year old. I think that wool is an amazing material and I have read about it extensively. It is an excellent insulator, which means that it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The fibers are very strong, so it can't be flattened over time like cotton (that's why wool rugs are so popular). It has natural oils that repel dirt. It wicks away moisture and can hold up to 1/3 of its weight in water before feeling wet. It even absorbs odors.
When I heard about Smartwool socks, I wasn't excited. I had a pair of wool socks before, but they were far too itchy and thick for me. I read that these socks were used on Everest, though, and that they weren't itchy. I had to try them for myself.
Lo and behold, they are absolutely incredible. They're packed with features like arch supports, blister preventing bumps in the back, extra padding on the heel and toe, and even ventilated areas on the top. It's as if Ferrari had designed the sock. They aren't itchy at all, but rather soft and comfortable.
You know that feeling when you take off your socks, but then have to put them back on because you don't have any other pairs? The socks feel dirty, thin, and loose, right? Not with smartwools! They feel just like a fresh pair. It's astounding.
Overnight I was transformed from a sock hater into a sock aficionado. Every day I can't wait to put on my socks, and I don't take them off until I have to go to bed. I even offer them to guests at my house so that they can experience the nirvana. If you have feet, you owe it to yourself to buy some of these. I currently have 33 pairs, mostly the Adrenaline LT's pictured above.
The only problem, of course, is that they go for $10-20 per pair. Ouch! Luckily Sierra Trading Post has incredible deals on them. That's where I got mine. Don't pay too much attention to the sizes. I got mediums but people with much larger feet also found them comfortable.
Hey, which model socks are you referring to in this article? I'm thinking running? Couldya email me as I probably will forget about checking back here. acmezero(@)gmail
Would the smallest size of these socks be comfortable for a Penguin?
Katie, I'm glad you like it! You will absolutely love your new socks. I just wore a pair today and they were as lovely as ever. :)
Our original gear list has changed. We've added a few gems and have also dumped some poor performing or no longer useful stuff.
Stuff that hit the trash can.
I remember when I first heard about people living out of one bag and I thought it was completely absurd! It still surprises me but it is totally feasible especially with the advent of Merino Wool (and similar fabrics) and mobile technology. Gone are the days of khaki pants, cotton shirts, books, and large cameras. We now have Merino Wool that doesn’t smell and is very warm and breathable. And cell phones that are actually mini-computers that also make calls.
I have been able to pair it down to the bare essentials and I am always looking to eliminate items that I rarely or never use. I also aim for more expensive items because they tend to last much longer. Even though I don’t have very many possessions, I look for hip, stylish clothes.
My ‘one bag’ starts and ends with the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 backpack (steel dyneema/violet). I am a bigger guy and I prefer the extra space in it. This is hands down one of the best, if not the best manufactured backpacks that I have ever owned. It is comfortable, can handle daily abuse, and has many small and large pockets for easy organization.
Outlier Slim Dungarees - these pants are very lightweight (no denim) and comfortable yet stylish. The Outlier website describes the pants well: 'The outer face is canvas weave comprised of a healthy percentage of Cordura grade nylon, making it our strongest and most durable fabric. The inner face is completely different, a soft nylon-poly blend. The result is incredible: a rugged, ready-for-anything fabric that stays both comfortable and breathable.' They have a few other styles if you don't like the slim cut.