News about Socks

Socks are the only clothes you should give this holiday season

  • Thursday, 15 December 2016
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Socks—yes, socks—are an incredibly popular holiday gift. According to research firm NPD Group, they are the item of clothing given the most to men or women in the US for Hanukah or Christmas.

Admittedly, socks might not stir our passions the way expensive jewelry or electronics do. But maybe that’s because when we give them, we prioritize the wrong qualities. We think of them as a necessity rather than a luxury. But the real gift that socks can offer, if you buy the right ones, is amazing comfort.

Look past the fun or kitschy designs and pay attention to what they’re made of. You need to skip the cotton versions that fill most drawers and choose socks made primarily from wool or other fabrics with performance qualities that cotton doesn’t have. The difference is all in how they feel. They’re better at keeping your feet dry and comfortable over a long day, especially for anyone who stands or walks a lot. They’re a gift that will keep your friends and loved ones comfortable, one they’ll use frequently, and appreciate each time they put them on.

The catch is that wool socks, especially the fancier varieties, can be expensive, often costing more than $15—and well beyond—for a single pair. But that’s also part of what makes them a great gift. You may be reluctant to splurge on a pair of socks for yourself, but to receive a pair feels like a luxury. At the same time, they’re affordable to give, they’re something everyone uses, and they generally don’t require knowledge of the recipient’s size and style. Clothes are the most returned or exchanged holiday gift because they’re so difficult to buy for another person—except in the case of accessories such as socks.

The catch is that wool socks, especially the fancier varieties, can be expensive, often costing more than $15—and well beyond—for a single pair. But that’s also part of what makes them a great gift. You may be reluctant to splurge on a pair of socks for yourself, but to receive a pair feels like a luxury. At the same time, they’re affordable to give, they’re something everyone uses, and they generally don’t require knowledge of the recipient’s size and style. Clothes are the most returned or exchanged holiday gift because they’re so difficult to buy for another person—except in the case of accessories such as socks.

When you sweat in an average pair of cotton socks, the cotton will soak up the moisture and hold onto it, making for unpleasantly damp conditions in your shoes that can leave you cold if it’s chilly out and lead to blisters if you’re walking a lot. A low percentage of cotton can be comfortable in warm weather, since it is light and breathable, but merino generally performs better, which is why there are many impassioned testimonials about the glories of wool socks. To wear a pair of merino socks feels like wearing your most comfortable sweater on your feet.

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