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Replacement for Smartwool socks?

Chris Bennett

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50yo, my everyday uniform is SS or LS button up shirt or polo, Levi’s STF, nice leather belt and Cole Haan type loafers.

For the past ten years I have worn almost exclusively Smartwool medium hiking socks, because my feet sweat and they are supremely comfortable for me. Once a year I buy a new set and I am done.

But lately I have been sitting more (when I am teaching) and crossing my legs, and these socks do not say “vaguely distinguished lecturer” more than they say “about ready to go on some unspecified trek”.

What are some other socks styles, brands, SKUs that I can try? Wearing cotton is a no for me, and thinner wool socks end up soaking the insides of my shoes. I have shoe trees at the end of the day, but the sweat takes a toll.

Thoughts?
Chris
 

paulraphael

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Back in the days of alpine kletterboots that weighted a ton and fit the foot very approximately, it wasn't uncommon for backpackers to wear two pairs of heavy ragwool socks. This habit was taught by NOLS, and persisted even after thin synthetic liner socks (under the ragwool socks) became standard.

So maybe you could try two pairs of thinner wool dress socks?

I'd recommend a less hike-y looking hiking sock if I knew of one. They might be out there.

Next time you're looking for socks for use on actual trails, try Bridgedale (Irish company). I find their socks last at least twice as long as smartwool. I've used for hiking, trail running, ice climbing, and alpine mountaineering. The medium-heavy ones (similar to the ones you show) are nice under winter boots. For other uses I wear much lighter ones.
 

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