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Wool socks!

Pair of colourful socksWool socks are a remarkable discovery. My dad had grey wool socks when memory starts for me – a holdover from Germany in the 1960s, no doubt. Soon after, everyone started to wear cotton socks: they were supposed to be healthy, and – I think – they were cheap. Manmade materials never really took off in socks (at least for my family). Wool socks weren’t even available anywhere I lived – I assume this was due to certain macroeconomic conditions in the textiles market… I think wool can’t be farmed as easily and cheaply as cotton, nor in the same geographic locations (India, China).

Lately, wool socks have been making a comeback, initially as performance wear for hikers and other sportspeople. But for those of us who got curious, dug deep into our pockets ($20-$25/pair) and bought a pair, they’re a revelation. My feet are warm without being sweaty when it’s 10 or 20 below – and my socks never seem to get as much as damp (something you can’t say about cotton).

Brands I’ve tried include Smartwool [1] and Icebreaker [2]. Both make great striped socks that are easy on the eyes.

Never thought I’d say this… but: I want socks for Christmas!