When Point6 offered some of their Merino socks for review, they may not have known what a sock snob I was. But I did my homework, and realized they hit all the key points. Made in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, they’re technical socks with a lifetime warranty. Family-owned, they get their wool from one of the best sources on the planet – New Zealand. Plus, they offer plenty of comfort. Yeah, I’d be an idiot not to give them a try. So I had them send their 37.5 hiking mixed stripe light cushion mini crew, and their 37.5 hiking peak medium cushion crew socks.
Not just size options, but cushion options. Point6 has them all, and their website makes it really easy to select the ones you want. Choose from ultra light, extra light, light, medium, heavy, or extra heavy. Whatever your preference, they have a weight for you. Plus length options. With each option comes different blends. So my light mini crew socks are 59% wool, 36% nylon, and 5% Spandex. While the medium crew are 69% wool, 25% nylon, and 6% Spandex. Clearly, there is some logic behind these formulas. After 6+ years of evaluating technical socks, I’m confident they got it right too.
About those ingredients
Since not everyone is familiar with merino wool, and why they use nylon and Spandex as well, I’ll offer a sock primer. If you’re a know-it-all, you can skip this section. Merino wool is not that scratchy stuff from decades ago. It’s soft, feels good against the skin, and is found in $4,000 Italian suits. Except these socks are machine-washable. Take that, rich guy who has to have his suit dry-cleaned! And it’s a little magical too. Naturally anti-microbial (fights the stink), it also self-regulates temperature. So it helps stay warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. 37.5 is Point6’s own performance nylon. It increases the durability of wool. But it also helps the wool wick moisture even more, to keep your feet dry. Finally, Spandex adds a little stretch. Because no two feet are exactly alike. Not even your own.
The sum of all these parts
Take those raw ingredients, mix them up just right, and knit some socks. A proper sock is shaped a bit like a boomerang. It shouldn’t have a seam at the toe or the heel. Across the body of the sock, you’ll find that the thickness varies. Padding at the heel and toes, thinner across the arch and top of the foot. In my opinion, the very best knitting machines come from Italy. If Point6 isn’t using Italian knitting machines (and they’ll probably let me know after reading this), they have found a higher-quality alternative. Again, I’m a sock snob. And these socks exhibit some outstanding knitting. Yes, their MSRP varies from $19.95 to $25.95 for the ones I’m reviewing. But you shouldn’t put a price on comfort. Plus, there’s that unconditional lifetime warranty. They’ll take care of you, and turn your used socks into blankets for the homeless.
Enough of that, how do they feel?
Luxurious. Seriously. Yes, I’ve referred to them as technical socks more than once. But they are also luxury socks. I’ll wear flip-flops to the office all summer long. And when I have to wear shoes, I’m fussy about my socks. The lightweight mini socks go with skate shoes and low hiking boots. For taller boots, I really like the crew length. The extra cushion also makes a difference when I’m on my feet all day. It’s not an obsession, it’s comfort and obsession. When I put on the Point6 socks, my feet feel great. And at the end of a long day of lugging a camera or three around Utah’s mountains, they still feel good, and dry. These are the socks I want to wear. That says a lot, when there’s another 20 or so pairs in my sock drawer. Check them out at Point6.com.
A special thanks to Point6 for sending out some socks for this review. Despite seeing them at Outdoor Retailer for many years, this was my first time wearing them. And I feel like I missed out by not trying them sooner.