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Alternatives to Smartwool

Discussion in 'EDC Clothing' started by Wishoot, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the heads-up! Never heard of Mast General Store before. They have some really nice stuff.
     
  2. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Wow. I didn't realize there were any alternatives, let alone so many good ones. Eight years ago, I was frequently outdoors and swore by Smartwool. They did develop holes quickly, though, sometimes even spontaneously.
     
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  3. nosuchagency

    nosuchagency Loaded Pockets

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    how are the kirkland socks holding up? i was needing a couple pairs of wool socks for my bob & ended up buying a few packages over weekend. very comfortable with my danners thus far.
     
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  4. World in Transition

    World in Transition Loaded Pockets

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    Kentwool Men's Tour Socks are by far the best socks I've ever owned - 100% Merino and, as we like to say down here on OZ, "Built like a brick :censored:house"

    Ignore the fact that they are golf socks, they are the perfect balance between elastic ankles and thick tough foot - thinner that a tough outdoor hiking socks and thicker than a dress marino sock - a comfortable middle ground perfect for everyday wear with trainers or boots.

    I rotate 5 pairs, had them over a year, and they still look virtually new - and I don't go easy on them! They're so good I've put 15 new pairs away in storage so my sock situation is sorted for the next decade.

    I got a great deal on Sierra Trading Post where I paid about $7 a pair, they go for about $25 on amazon so shop around

    Read the reviews on amazon and you'll see what I'm talking about - almost 100% 5 star:

    amazon.com/KENTWOOL-Mens-Tour-Standard-Charcoal/dp/B007W6T3H6/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411617987&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=kentwool+gol
     
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  5. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks everyone. I have a couple pair of Smarwool that have finally warn through in a couple of spots and it's time to throw them away.
     
  6. twoisone
    • In Omnia Paratus

    twoisone EDC Junkie!!!

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    I also love the Browning Big Bertha's. You can sometimes find them reduced on ebay and they are an awesome winter sock.
     
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  7. comeonbabylightmyfire

    comeonbabylightmyfire Loaded Pockets

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    My contribution's a bit late on here, but as an alternative to Smartwool you could try the Norwegian brand Ulvang which is about 70% merino. I like both brands, but find the Ulvang more durable due to the blend of elastane and merino textiles.
     
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  8. Jack_Wood

    Jack_Wood Loaded Pockets

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    I don't have time at the moment to read the rest of this thread; but I bought four different brands of merino wool socks almost a year ago, and I was going to put my impressions on them in a review thread on the anniversary.
    Basically, at least for the specific types I bought, I think you get what you pay for with Bridgedale, Darn Tough, Point 6, and Icebreakers. Unfortunately I mostly went for heavier socks anyways, but merino wool and good construction being what they are, even the heaviest were comfortable during summer (Icebreakers' heavy socks were a little warm). Of the ones I wore, Bridgedale's MerinoFusion Trekker socks are lighter and still fairly durable. Icebreakers' socks are a little tight on me, and a touch warm, but if you have a narrow foot I'd suggest their lighter socks.
     
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  9. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    FINALLY had a chance to get to a Mast General Store in Knoxville, TN. I think I could of spent an entire weekend in that place. My wife had to beg me to leave after almost two hours. Their house brand wool socks must be a big seller because they were completely out of stock in my size.
     
  10. mlp2147

    mlp2147 Loaded Pockets

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    Costco has a four pack of 100% wool socks for $20. I own several and for me they have held up better than my Smartwools.
     
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  11. willbilly

    willbilly Loaded Pockets

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    All my Smartwools are going strong after first beginning to wear them three years ago. I own about ten pairs so I rotate them frequently, machine wash cold, hang dry (sometimes I dry them just laying them on top of folded laundry because they dry so quickly). However, I just ordered some People's Socks from Amazon after finding them just doing a "merino wool" search. Reviews are solid. They are 71% merino, the remainder being acrylic which I personally do not mind and to the best of my knowledge, all my SmartWool socks are a merino blend as well. They are doing well in my Wolverine Wellington steel toes at work and my Thorogood's for the weekend. 4 pairs for the cost of two dinners.
     
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  12. quietconundrum
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    quietconundrum EDC Junkie

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    Darn Tough Vermont, Teko Evapor8, Balega Moh-rino VTech enduro... all great alternatives. Newer Smartwools have an obvious diminished build quality in my experience (wear nothing but Smartwool all day, every day). My old ones are still going, yet two pair (4 socks) of new ones have ripped apart since December. I've recently began experimenting with afore mentioned brands and find them all just as good or better and plan on replacing all of my Smartwool socks. I just don't feel as though I can rely on them anymore.
     
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  13. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    Bought some Keen socks and I really like them so far. Time will tell if they'll endure, but they're very comfy for light / medium hiking.
     
  14. Cr0wb4r

    Cr0wb4r Loaded Pockets

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    If they work for you, I would be interested in knowing how you like them. I've been looking for similar socks, bought a pair of icebreakers, but they are expensive. I wouldn't mind trying some other brands as well.
     
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  15. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    The Keen's I bought were actually a bit on the warm side of the spectrum. Very comfortable, but waaaaayy too warm for summer use. I think they'll be just fine for fall and winter use however.
     
  16. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    Got my first pair of Darn Tough socks for Christmas! Very excited to try them out.

    It's been so warm around here though that I haven't been wearing socks lately.
     
  17. Jay PS

    Jay PS Loaded Pockets

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    Darn Tough Standard Issue here. I've pretty much abandoned every other brand. They are versatile and can be used all seasons. In the bitter cold, I will use a liner, the standard issue and the thicker version on top of that.
     
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  18. Academic

    Academic Loaded Pockets

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    Darn Tough convert here from Smartwool, First Smartwool socks I ever bought lasted for years and were thin ones. Later quality appears to have drastically dropped. I had thick models develop holes in one season. Switched to Darn Tough a few years back for the warranty, no holes or thinning at all yet. However, they do shrink some even when laundering directions are followed. With thicker models this can make them difficult to don after a while.
     
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  19. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    My Darn Tough's are holding up like champs. Each pair has survived the rigors of travel, hiking, hunting, yard work and other activities. I'm absolutely a convert to Darn Tough now.

    I'll say this though. My "Vintage" Smartwool athletic socks have held up exceptionally well too. It's their thinner, more casual socks that didn't last.