There’s nothing like being curled up on a chilly evening in a pair of Merino wool socks. You’ve got your tea in one hand and nachos in the other. Or, that may just be me.
Yet, you can wear Merino wool socks all year round.
And just like those beautiful nachos that I cannot stop thinking about, Merino wool socks come in all shapes, sizes, patterns, and toppings. That’s where I – the nacho-loving Merino fangirl – come in. Hopefully, I can help you find the perfect pair of Merino socks for you.
But before we get into the best Merino wool socks for women, take a look at some of the research and testing criteria we considered. This way, you can make more informed buying decisions. Because ultimately, you’re going to be the one wearing them!
- Best Overall:Darn Tough No Show Tab
- Best ‘Traditional’: Patagonia Heavyweight Crews
- Best For Hiking: Farm To Feet Cascade Crews
- Best For Running: Swiftwick Pursuit Four
- Best For Cycling: PEARL iZUMi Tall Sock
- Best For Hunting: Smartwool Classic Hunt
- Best For Skiing: Darn Tough Function 5
- Best For Winter: Carhartt Extreme Cold-Weather
- Best Patterned Socks: Farm To Feet York All-Season
- Best Sock Liners: Icebreaker Hike Liner
- Best No Show: Smartwool Everyday No Show
- Best Compression: Fox River Solar
- Best Toe Socks: Injini NuWool
- Best Value: Meriwool Hiking – 3 Pack
FTC Disclosure: To maintain genuineness and authenticity, Merino Wool Gear DOES NOT sponsor products. However, as an Affiliate member, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Buying Criteria: Women’s Merino Wool Socks
Listen, I know we are all busy people, so I’m not going to force our buying criteria down your throats. In short, we look at the fabric and design properties and the ‘true’ price of each pair of Merino wool socks.
If you want to look at each individual consideration, click to expand upon each one. I’ve always found it helpful to understand the ‘why‘ & ‘how‘ before the ‘what.’
Duh, we’re called Merino Wool Gear for a reason! All the socks that we’ll look at today have some percentage of Merino in their construction.
Yet, not all Merino wool is made equally, so we’re here.
Typically, I’ve seen that the higher the Merino wool percentage, the comfier the sock. However, this often comes at the cost of durability. So, it’s essential to understand how you will use the socks before even considering a specific pair.
In my experience, a Merino wool composition between 50-80% is standard for socks. In addtion, anything lower is typically for performance (quick-drying, lightweight, etc.). Anything above may be too delicate for daily use. Now, that’s just a general rule, so look at each pair with a fresh set of eyes.
Lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight. Seems relatively simple, right? Well, not quite. Each Merino wool sock brand classifies its fabric weights a bit differently. While we try to normalize them across the board, it’s still important to check each pair individually. Take a look below at a brief description of our fabric weight classifications.
Ultralight: Typically worn in summer or as liner socks while hiking for maximum foot-to-ground contact and breathability. Since the fabric is thin, it’s not as durable as other socks. In addition, there is minimum protection against the cold.
Lightweight: I always think of lightweight as your standard sock weight. It’s probably the thickness of half the socks in your drawer. They are good down to previous temps and excellent for high-intensity activities that may cause your feet to sweat.
Midweight: Plenty of warmth protection without being overly thick. Subsequently, great for any outdoor activities where you may experience inclement weather. Personally, it’s my go-to fabric weight for backpacking. I suggest you use either midweight or lightweight as a base level to gauge which fabric density works best for you.
Heavyweight: The warmest, thickest, and “coziest” fabric weight. If you need thick winter socks, then this is your go-to. However, note that thick Merino wool socks aren’t as “fluffy” as expected. Some of them have dense thicknesses that aren’t what you traditionally see. Also, heavyweight socks may be too cumbersome or too warm for winter sports. Therefore, hindering overall performance.
Ankle height. It’s such a trivial thing, right? However, as I think everyone reading this knows, the right height can make or break a sock. Too high, and it may bunch up on leggings or cause “tongue bunching.” Too low, and your shoes may get that weird burn on the back of your heel. Is there even a word for that? Heel burn?
Note: Since first writing this, I’ve been told the proper term for this shoe bite. Thanks, team.
When you’re checking out a lot of these Merino wool socks, you may notice that the height classification differs across brands. I’ll try and normalize it to help you compare (see image below), but still, look at each pair individually.
And finally, if you see a sock you like but want a different ankle length, just explore more on the brand’s site. Most companies make two or three height variations of popular product lines.
Even in harsh environments, Merino wool socks maintain their coziness level through cushioning. And it’s not the typical minimal cloth cushion that you may be thinking of. Instead, many sock brands use terry loops in the stitching to provide extra padding. And, for specialized socks, you may even see strategic padding placed in high-impact areas.
Although, not all sporting applications require cushioning. For example, runners perform better with minimal cushioning, increasing their foot-to-ground feeling. So, depending on how you are going to use your socks, you should understand the cushioning placement of each pair.
When Merino wool socks come to mind, you may picture your stereotypical winter sock. Perhaps a bit of knit and ankle stretch, but nothing too fancy. However, Merino wool sock brands have come a long way in the last few decades. And Merino wool socks come in various styles, patterns, and designs.
For example, take a look at these similar performance hiking socks from three brands. They may all be made for the same purpose, but all three match a different style. So, in the world of Merino socks, there is bound to be a pair that speaks to your personality.
Don’t believe me? Check out the unbelievable amount of variety in this Darn Tough collection.
I get it; Merino wool socks can be expensive. You’re talking to the girl whose hobby (and job) revolves around purchasing Merino wool socks. So, believe me when I say that the price tag does not always match the actual value of the gear.
Let me explain a bit more. You purchase one pair of Merino wool socks for $25. That sock may seem expensive initially, but it may have a lifetime guarantee. In reality, that $25 is a pair of socks – for life.
So, when giving each product’s ‘true’ price, I try to include each sock’s lifetime value. Also, since prices fluctuate so often, it’s best to look at the relative cost of each pair of socks rather than a specific dollar value.
Editor’s Note: Before getting into each product, you should know that this list is not the end-all-be-all of women’s Merino wool socks. There are plenty of viable options that I didn’t include, and I may just not have had time to test them yet. So, if you are searching for a specific pair and don’t find it, reach out to us. My goal is to help you find the right pair of socks for you through whichever means available.
Best Overall Women’s Merino Wool Socks
49% Merino, 47% Nylon, 4% Spandex | Ultralight | No-show (tab) | Light cushion | 4 colors | $$$
Pros: Ultralight, yet durable | Best all-around daily performance | Darn Tough lifetime guarantee
Cons: Height may be too short for boots | Limited colors | Some ‘shoe slippage‘ reported
You may have thought I would the stereotypical hiking sock as the top pick, didn’t you? Well, that’s not the case. Instead, I like to think the best overall women’s Merino wool sock should be one that can be worn whenever, wherever, with whichever shoes you choose. And the Darn Tough Women’s No Show Tab Ultralight fits this description nicely.
In all honesty, I put these up top because I have three pairs of them. It’s like my feet feel naked without them! The truth is that these are my go-to everyday socks because they are low-profile, comfy, and odor-proof. They make the weekly rotation and are always in my carry-on.
Anyways, you really can’t beat the quality of these no-show Merino socks (and all Darn Tough’s products, in General). Although, some people have noted that the tabs tend to slip down when your shoe height doesn’t match up. It’s not a significant disadvantage per se, but something to look out for.
Darn Tough socks tend to go quick each season, so get a pair for yourself today!
Best ‘Traditional’ Women’s Merino Wool Socks
83% Merino, 14% Nylon, 3% Spandex | Heavyweight | Crew | Rib knit | 3 colors | $$$$$
Pros: Traditional sock design | Great long-term durability | Sustainably & ethically sourced
Cons: Not suitable for warmer climates | Ribbing could be more supportive | A bit pricey
Many of you probably stumbled upon this review looking for traditional wool socks. So, I decided to add these Patagonia Merino Crews toward the top of the list (which is no particular order anyway). The double-cylinder construction creates the classic ribbed knitting look that is functional and fashionable.
However, I’m someone who likes their socks really tight to show off my calves (humble brag). And, I wish these socks were a bit more supportive. It’s not like they slide down or anything, but I like them to be like a push-up bra for my calves. And they really aren’t the best for that.
Still, I recognize Patagonia’s commitment to comfort, warmth, and utility with these heavyweight Merino wool socks. Moreover, these socks are made with sustainable and ethical materials. And, they are sewn by a family-run facility in North Carolina! It may be a small detail, but one that I absolutely love
All in all, these Patagonia heavyweight socks come with a story; they are good for the environment and good for the people who create them. If you want to continue that story – in comfort – make sure to head over to Patagonia and see for yourself!
Best Merino Wool Hiking Socks
54% Nylon, 42% Merino, 4% Spandex | Midweight | 3/4 crew | Targeted cushion | 2 colors | $$$$
Pros: Strategically engineered padding | Breathable mesh vents | 100% made in the USA
Cons: Not very versatile | Padding may feel cumbersome | Fit is tight (check sizing charts)
While Darn Tough and Smartwool are well-known players in the hiking world, I have to give the “Best Merino Wool Hiking Sock” spot to Farm to Feet. Their technicality and attention to detail in their Cascade Locks hiking socks are second to none. Let’s take a closer look.
The main feature that sets these socks apart is the padding and venting throughout. There is high-density cushioning within the high-impact areas on the heel and balls of the feet. Yet the top-of-the-foot cushioning (and venting) makes the Cascade Locks perfect for the trail.
Editor’s Note: If you’re not used to padding in your socks, these may feel cumbersome or awkward at first. However, the fit is really tight, so the cushioning is low-profile. Just give yourself some time to adjust to the new foot feel. Trust me, it’s worth it.
And as their name suggests, Farm to Feet ensures these socks are made ethically and sustainably from start to finish. All of their sourcing and manufacturing is done right here in the USA. In other words, Farm to Feet is a small business making big waves in the outdoor community with its Cascade Locks hiking socks!
Best Women’s Merino Wool Running Socks
54% Merino, 35% Nylon, 11% Spandex | Ultralight | 1/4 crew | Low cushion | 6 colors | $$$
Pros: Ultralight & breathable fabric | Half-density weave in ‘flex’ areas | Multiple heights
Cons: Not incredibly warm | Questionable longevity | Don’t feel as soft as other pairs
Okay, I get these may not be your typical-looking running socks. Still, hear me out: these Swiftwick Pursuit socks were made to help you go the extra distance. They boast a superior ultralight material that’s breathable and supportive. However, in the world of pure comfort, I’d have to rate these in the middle of the pack.
These socks are perfect for running because of the flexible design in each of your foot’s rub points. In other words, the additional room for movement improves performance and even helps to prevent blisters. Moreover, the unique heel cup provides a better fit and reduces slippage.
However, the four-inch ankle cuff may be too tall for those used to no-show running socks. I actually like the height since they are more versatile. Still, if you are looking for other sock heights, the Swiftwick Pursuits come in Zero, One, and Seven (tallest).
So, don’t be afraid to grab a pair at every height available!
Best Women’s Merino Wool Cycling Socks
Merino/Polyester blend | Midweight | Crew | Light Cushion | 4 colors | $$$
Pros: Simple yet high-performing | Trusted cycling apparel brand | Arch compression
Cons: Seasonal release differences | Don’t seem as tall as pictured | Sizing inconsistencies
f you’re a fair-weather cyclist, you may have never needed a “special” pair of cycling socks. However, you may need improved performance and insulation for those that ride – rain, sleet, or shine to keep your feet safe. And as you may know by now, that’s where Merino wool shines. And for cyclists, I can’t think of a better pair than the PEARL iZUMi Merino Wool Tall Sock.
At first glance, these socks don’t look too technical – and in reality, they aren’t! They are just a simple pair of warm, breathable Merino wool cycling socks. They boast features like enhanced arch support and targeted venting for added breathability.
However, the price tag sets these PEARL iZUMi socks apart from their competitors. You can grab a pair for about 70-80% less than many of the other pairs on this list, yet they are of similar quality. Plus, there are a few different colors and patterns if you want to make a bit of a fashion statement while you cruise the backroads.
Personally, I wear mine in late autumn & early spring while struggling through 20-mile rides around the Finger Lakes. I know, pretty pathetic, but hey, at least I’m trying! What’s your excuse!?
Best Women’s Merino Wool Hunting Socks
73% Merino, 26% Nylon, 1% Elastane | Heavyweight | Boot height | Max cushion | Taupe | $$$
Pros: Blend of comfort & performance | Enhanced durability | Ankle cuffs actually stay put
Cons: Not suitable for warmer conditions | Limited colors | Lacks versatility
Full disclosure, I’m not a hunter. My father would take me out during deer season when I was younger, but I never really got into it. However, I know that the last thing you need when hunting is cold, uncomfortable feet. That’s where the Smartwool Classic Hunt OTC socks come in.
If I could sum up these socks in one word, it would be ‘protection.’ Every feature that Smartwool has included is centered around keeping your feet protected, no matter the conditions. The extra heavy fabric is keeps your feet warm yet is surprisingly breathable. The improved ankle and arch support reduce slippage, protecting against those dreaded blisters. Moreover, these hunting socks are super -(and I mean super) comfortable. Smartwool has even deemed them their “fullest, plushest sock.”
Overall, if you’re a hunter, you need these socks in your gear bag. I’m not saying they will help you finally get that trophy buck, but hey, you never know!
Best Women’s Merino Wool Socks For Skiing
66% Merino, 32% Nylon, 2% Spandex | Midweight | Over-the-calf | Targeted padding | 2 colors | $$$$
Pros: Strategic padding design | Excellent all-around performance | Lifetime guarantee
Cons: Limited availability | Not the thickest (on purpose) | Relatively expensive
Alright, I know this is the second time Darn Tough has popped up on this list. But, sometimes, being unbiased seems biased when one brand is such a force in the industry. And when you’re spending a day on the mountain, the Darn Tough 5 is quite possibly the best women’s Merino sock on the market.
A stylish black and purple pattern with exceptional performance features. It’s literally built for Snow Princesses from a Disney movie (the newer, badass princesses, not the helpless sleeping ones). And, the midweight fabric provides enough warmth and breathability, so your royal toes don’t get frozen (unnecessary pun intended).
Darn Tough has even added cushioning in the shin to reduce irritation from ski boots. That’s some high-tech sock engineering if you ask me!
To sum up, I can’t think of a better sock to have up on the mountain. Make some space in your ski bag for a pair today! And don’t be too thrown off course by the price. With Darn Tough’s lifetime guarantee, you’re really purchasing them for life.
Best Women’s Merino Socks For Winter (DEAL)
66% Acrylic, 21% Merino, 12% Nylon, 1% Spandex | Heavyweight | Boot cut | Full cushion | 4 colors | $$
Pros: Most affordable Merino wool socks | Vents for breathability | Long-term durability
Cons: Too warm for any season outside of winter | No extra features | Ribbing may wear
Without putting out quality winter apparel, you can’t be a 130-year-old workwear brand. Carhartt has an excellent range of products for cold-weather gear – Merino wool or not. And the culmination of a century-plus of innovation has led to Carhartt’s warm, high-performing, Merino wool cold-weather boot sock.
What I love about these socks is the ‘traditional‘ design. Many Merino socks are high-performing, specialized fabrics with enhanced features. And sure, I’d love to see more added features here, but the practical construction with added venting works. Still, these Carhartt cold-weather socks are only 21% Merino, which is perhaps why they are so affordable!
Editor’s Note: I differentiate between ski socks and winter socks because they are not always designed with the same features in mind. As you read previously, ski socks tend to be lighter weight with more strategic padding. Winter socks like these Carhartt ones are heavier and bulkier.
So, if you’re looking for a solid pair of winter socks for your boots from a brand name you (and I) trust, check out what Carhartt has to offer.
Best Patterned Merino Wool Socks
55% Merino, 43% Nylon, 2% Spandex | Lightweight | Crew | Light cushion | 3 patterns | $$$
Pros: Stylish pattern design | Extremely versatile | Super comfy & high-performing
Cons: Pattern design not for everyone | Limited ankle heights | Not suitable for freezing temps
Everyone has a pair of go-to socks that just feel right. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, where you are, or who you’re with – the socks just fit into every situation. For me, that pair is the florally-clad Farm to Feet York All-Season crews. They have all the added features of hiking socks and the ‘girly’ aesthetic that I am so hopelessly drawn to, even as an adult. Although I would love to see more color/pattern options available. Yet I’m sure Farm to Feet is working on it as you’re reading this.
Anyways, while I love the look of these socks, I love the feel even more. The half-density underfoot cushioning minimizes ‘strike stress’ while the seamless toebox minimizes ‘rubbing stress.’ Plus, the 55% Merino wool construction regulates your foot’s microclimate, which reduces ‘temperature stress.’ Now, if Farm to Feet can figure out how to eliminate my ‘work stress,’ I will wear these socks forever!
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, Farm to Feet typically flies under the radar in the Merino world. Still, they are genuinely a top-quality brand worth exploring. So, if you want to add a little ‘spice’ to your outfit, consider a pair of York Crew socks.
Best Women’s Merino Wool Sock Liners
55% Merino, 43% Polyamide, 2% Elastane | Ultralight | Crew | Ultralight cushion | Black | $$$
Pros: Created for blister protection | Supportive ultralight material | Extremely breathable
Cons: Not intended for standalone warmth | Limited colors | Sizing discrepancies
To be honest, Icebreaker doesn’t get much love in the Merino Sock World. However, I genuinely believe they have one of the most comfortable, highest-performing pairs of liner socks on the market. Not only are these Hike Liner Crews ultralight and comfy, but they are surprisingly durable for such a thin fabric.
So, before I get into some details, it’s important to note why you should be wearing Merino wool liner socks. And the answer is simple: blister prevention. The less rubbing between your bare skin and your shoes, the more distance you can cover on the trail.
Still, liner socks aren’t just for the outdoors. My pair of Icebreaker Merino wool liner socks act as a solid pair of dress socks, basketball socks, and even if I need a little warmth around the house. Yet if you plan on experiencing freezing temperatures (where you won’t be trekking all-day long), I’d suggest a pair of heavyweight Merino wool socks instead.
Overall, Icebreaker has crafted a solid, versatile pair of Merino wool liner socks with the Hike Crews. For now, they only come in black. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion that Icebreaker will release some seasonal colors in the future.
Best Merino Wool No Show Socks
60% Merino, 38% Nylon, 2% Elastane | Ultralight | No-show | Ultralight cushion | 7 colors | $$
Pros: Versatile, wide cut | Minimal shoe slippage | Excellent comfort & quality
Cons: Different from original design | Relatively expensive | May not fit all foot shapes
Flats, mocassins, open-face shoes, oh my! I’m sure Dorothy would have loved a pair of Smartwool Everyday No Show socks for her ruby red slippers. Especially since when I wear mine, my feet feel like they’re at home.
Dumb jokes aside, the best part about Smartwool socks (in general) is their commitment to innovation. Each new iteration of their socks is meant to improve upon the last. For example, the latest version of their No Show socks have a more updated fit specifically for women. The slimmer, narrower heel allows for a more comfortable feel and reduces shoe slippage.
Also, these aren’t just any pair of no-show Merino socks. Smartwool has gone the extra mile by incorporating their trademarked Shred Shield™ technology to minimize toe wear. So, not only will you get extra comfort, but you’ll have peace of mind with added durability.
Overall, I honestly have never tried a better pair of No Shows, Merino wool or not. They are soft, comfortable, and versatile. It’s time for you to add a pair of these Smartwool No-Show socks to your wardrobe.
Best Women’s Merino Wool Compression Socks
35% Nylon, 21% Merino, 21% Acrylic, 18% Polyester, 5% Spandex | Ultralight | Over-the-calf | Minimal cushion | 4 colors | $$$
Pros: 15-20 mmHg compression | Fantastic price-to-quality ratio | Fox River guarantee
Cons: Not medical-grade compression | Lacks Versatility | Wish there was more wool
I love to travel yet hate long flights. But not for the reason you may think. It’s not that I’m trapped in an aluminum cylinder hurtling through the air. It’s because I always, always get kankles. My feet swell up, and sometimes, I can barely get my shoes off! Well, over years of experience, I’ve learned the best way to combat this swelling is compression socks.
And although Merino wool compression socks are hard to come by, the Solar Compressions from Fox River is the best of the group. The 15-20 mmHg of pressure is enough to reduce swelling and aid in recovery, but it’s not medical-grade. So, I suggest you get a non-Merino pair that applies more pressure to alleviate diabetes symptoms or other ailments.
Outside the compressive aspect, these over-the-calf socks are super lightweight. Plus, they even have a classy polka-dot pattern if you’re looking for a little extra style. And as a Merino-loving, kankle-getting traveler, you’ll always see me wearing a pair of Fox Rivers on the airplane.
Best Women’s Merino Wool Toe Socks
41% NuWool, 51% nylon, 5% Spandex | Ultralight | Crew | No cushion | Gray | $$
Pros: Best for blister prevention | ‘Foot Glove’ design | Darn Tough lifetime guarantee
Cons: Not the softest fabric | Questionable long-term durability | Limited colors
You should know that I’m not a big toe sock gal. It just doesn’t suit my style. However, I 100% understand why people love them; minimal irritation equals fewer blisters and more comfort. I get it! And even though I don’t wear ‘foot gloves’ regularly, I have one pair in my drawer for special occasions. That lone pair is none other than the Injinji NuWool Liner Crew socks.
Personally, I like to wear them whenever I get a new pair of running sneakers. This is because I never know how my feet will react to a foreign shoe. So, I need an extra layer of protection, just in case. Also, I sometimes wear them as a base layer under heavier socks on super cold mornings while walking the dogs.
Some users have reported durability issues with these Injinji Merino toe socks. I don’t wear them enough to see much wear, so I can’t give you an honest opinion on that subject. However, it’s something to note if you’re interested. The only downside I’ve seen is struggling to get my toes in the right spot the first time!
Anyway, if toe socks are your thing, then the Injini NuWool crews are your best bet. But be careful; it’s a slippery slope. Next thing you know, you’ll be wearing toe shoes! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course (wink!).
Best Value Merino Wool Socks For Women
75% Merino, 15% Nylon, 10% Spandex | Midweight | Crew | Full cushion | 10 colors | $
Pros: Best price-to-quality ratio | Excellent comfort & performance | Surprisingly breathable
Cons: Not the best for summer conditions | May wear down over time | Limited seasonal availability
I’m sure you’ve realized that many of these Merino wool socks are expensive. In my expert opinion, they are worth their price thrice over. However, if you’re not willing to shell out $20+ for one pair of socks, there are alternate options on the market. Enter the three-pack of Meriwool hiking socks. For ~$8 per pair, I couldn’t tell you a better deal on the market!
And I get it; you may think that ‘value’ means ‘cheap.’ But that’s not the case, in all honesty. Meriwool is a sound, solid Merino wool brand that makes quality, affordable products. And these hiking socks are a testament to their craftsmanship.
While you may not get all the extra padding and unique features, I still vouch for their level of performance. They are super snug and comfy, comprised of three-quarters Merino and full terry-loop cushioning. Moreover, they won’t put a dent in your bank account.
So, if you want an introduction to the Merino wool sock world or are just looking for a great deal, the Meriwool 3-pack hiking socks should be your top choice. Besides, if you don’t trust me, why not trust the 4,000+ five-star reviews from your fellow users? In fact, I’m going to order another three pairs right now!
Final Note: Best Women’s Merino Wool Socks
Odor resistant. Exceptionally comfortable. Occasionally stylish. In my not-so-expert opinion, those are by far the 14 best women’s Merino wool socks of 2022. From the heavy hikers to the lazy loungers, I hope you can find a sock – or at least a Merino wool sock brand – that best fits your needs.
If you didn’t find a pair of Merino socks that works for you, don’t worry. We know Merino wool can be pricey, and we’re here to ensure that your investment is worth it. Reach out to us on Twitter, Instagram, or any other socials, and we’ll try to help out with any recommendations.
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