I have to give a round of applause for these GRIP6 Merino wool socks. They are a solid, affordable pair of everyday/outdoor socks that rival well-established Merino brands.
|Pros:||Soft & Luxurious feel, Excellent breathability, Supportive fit|
|Cons:||Lower Merino Wool Composition, Initial Pilling Observed|
|Suggested Uses:||Adventure | Camping | Casual |Hiking | Lifestyle | Travel | Training|
Disclosure: To maintain genuineness and authenticity, Merino Wool Gear DOES NOT sponsor products. However, as an Amazon Associate, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
GRIP6 Merino Wool Socks: Specs & Features
GRIP6 Company Overview
“We started with a belt.”
GRIP6 founder BJ Minson is a visionary. He noticed a glaring problem in the apparel industry: nothing lasts forever. But, he thought to himself (and I’m paraphrasing), “why can’t it?” Why can’t high-quality clothing and accessories last forever? I mean, we can put a vehicle on Mars but can’t get a belt to last a lifetime?
That’s when GRIP6 was born. BJ started out by himself, crafting over 10,000 belts, and kept all aspects of the supply chain based within the USA. From the materials to the manufacturing, the GRIP6 team did everything they could to improve every step of production.
“At GRIP6 our mission is to create high quality products that last decades and to strengthen domestic manufacturing.”
The Utah-based company quickly grew in popularity, and they began crafting more styles of belts. Then came the wallets. And eventually, they created what I am reviewing today: Merino wool socks.
Overall, Grip6 stands behind their products so much that they offer a lifetime “guarandamntee.” They create high-quality belts, wallets, and socks, all sourced and manufactured right here in the USA.
Genuinely, I’m excited about what they may create next!
GRIP6 Merino Wool Socks: Initial Impressions
Seriously, I was excited to receive these socks in the mail. I tore open the package, and much to my surprise, the socks were lighter than I expected. It’s not they aren’t thick, but more of a light, airy feeling. Initially, I could tell these socks would be perfect for the transition seasons but may be too hot or cold for summers and winters.
I ripped open both the packages and immediately slipped each sock on my feet. Of course, I wanted to experience and soak in that inaugural sock feeling. And let me tell you, it was terrific. But honestly, enough about my feelings, you probably just want to know some more about these socks.
The level of stretchiness for these GRIP6 Merino wool socks is right in the middle of the sock spectrum. They aren’t as form-fitting as, say, Darn Tough socks, but they also aren’t as stretchy as your typical athletic sock. I actually like this feature because the minimal compression improves overall versatility.
As for the exact fit, the ankle socks rose nicely above my La Sportiva trail running shoes while protecting my ankle. The more extended crew height pair were compressive enough to stay put on my calf as I walked around the block with my dogs. But, I’ll need to have more wear time to see if there is any bunching or slippage.
As these are crafted from 100% Helle Rambouillet Merino wool, I had initial doubts about the durability. Yet, GRIP6 has incorporated reinforced knitting within the heel and toe box, so I believe these will last a long time. Well, as long as the knitting holds up.
That’s all I have for my initial thoughts on these Merino wool socks, so it’s time to put them through the wringer with two experiments: the three-day wear test and the wash test.
Note: I only tested the ankle socks because it’s summer, and wearing shorts with crew socks is not the most stylish look.
GRIP6 Merino Wool Socks: Three Day Wear Test
You may think I’m crazy, but yes, I wore these socks for three days straight.
I walked in them, slept in them, and did everything but bathe in them. I wanted to see how these may perform if you’re out on the trail trenching through mud and sweating all day long. Basically, I wanted to take GRIP6’s extensive claims and put them to the test.
- Wear these socks for three straight days, except while showering
- If wet, allow for one hour of dry time
- Pair with two different types of shoes in various activities
- Measure the comfort, feel, and durability
GRIP6 Claim: Stay Fresh & Dry
Even though I’ve been testing Merino wool products for a few years, I’m still wary of the “no-stink” claim. I’ve written extensively on the science behind Merino wool’s odor-free abilities, but for some reason, I’m still wary.
However, through three days of work, 42,000 steps, a three-mile run, and a pick-up basketball game, these socks stayed fresh. Seriously, fresh.
And that’s saying something. Not to be too graphic, but I’m the type of guy who can sometimes smell my feet through my shoes. Disgusting, I know. But, these GRIP6 Merino wool socks did not pick up a single whiff of my foul foot odor. So, they passed the smell test.
GRIP6 Claim: High-Grade Material
Merino wool tends to be lumped into a broad category, but there are several different types. GRIP6 sources their wool from a cousin of the Merino sheep: the American Helle Rambouillet. This grade of wool is often not as soft as the Merino, but you honestly could not tell with these socks.
For three days straight, they felt super soft in my shoes. Plus, they have a little bit of cushioning and reinforcements that help to reduce strike impact on the heel.
However, after Day two, I started to notice a bit of pilling on the outside. Most people may freak out when they see this, but it’s not something to excessively worry about. Since Merino wool is natural (and not created in a lab), it’s challenging to get exact fiber lengths. Therefore, some of the fibers migrate to the surface and form little balls.
It’s definitely something to note for the long-term durability of these socks. But, when cared for correctly, the pills come out in the wash. And, it actually makes the material much more robust.
Verdict: UP IN THE AIR
GRIP6 Claim: The Perfect Ankle Socks
Alright, nothing is perfect – except maybe Keanu Reeves. But these socks are pretty close to it. I mean, they look good in almost any pair of shoes, they feel amazing, and they don’t stink. Well, maybe they are more like Keanu Reeves than I thought.
However, I just can’t give them the title of “Perfect Ankle Socks.” There are tons of options out there, and I just can’t crown them the champion (yet). And yes, I know it’s just a marketing phrase, but I don’t want to mislead you.
In short, these aren’t perfect, but they are getting there. I’m sure with GRIP6’s strive for innovation, the next iteration of these socks will be better. And the next one’s better than that.
Still, if I had to put them in a category, for now, I’d say they are business class. These GRIP6 Merino wool socks haven’t made it up to first-class quite yet, but they are getting there.
Verdict: (ALMOST) TRUE
GRIP6 Merino Wool Socks: Washer & Dryer Test
Merino wool is known to be a delicate fabric by itself. Improper care of Merino wool tends to lead to pinholes and reduced durability. Therefore, I have to put these GRIP6 Merino wool socks through the laundry to better gauge their lifespan.
Note: I never put my Merino wool apparel in the dryer. Typically, I hang dry or flat dry them to maintain shape and minimize damage. However, I will be tumble drying these socks on low to test if you “forget” to separate them.
Parameters: Gentle washer cycle with other clothes. Plant-based detergent. Tumble dry on low
Honestly, I was nervous putting these socks in the laundry. I liked them so much but didn’t want them to fall apart after one wash. Luckily, they held up nicely.
As you can see from the picture, some loose threads were removed, but some of the fuzzies still remained. It’s natural, so I’m not going to dock them points. In other words, the washer and dryer got the pilling under control.
Another factor I was worried about was shrinkage and stretch. When Merino wool gets too wet or too hot, its shape sometimes deforms. However, these socks maintained their shape nicely even after tumble drying.
In summary, all wool products can be a bit of a hassle when it comes to laundry. Luckily, you have nothing to worry about with these GRIP6 as they clearly passed the wash test.
Analysis & Overall Grade
Based on my initial impressions and rag-tag testing, I’ve concluded that these GRIP6 Merino wool socks are the real deal. Here are some of the factors that I like and some areas I would like to see improved upon.
What I Like
Performance: These socks performed well in hot, humid conditions even though they are probably best for spring and autumn. For winter conditions, you may want a heavier pair.
Odor-Proof: No stink out of the package. No stink after three days of wear. It is abundantly clear that these socks, even with only <40% wool, are entirely odor-resistant.
Versatility: Many Merino wool socks are made for specific uses. So even though these GRIP6 socks are labeled ‘hiking,’ I think they are also an excellent pair for daily use.
Company Expertise: GRIP6 socks (and all of their products) have some of the best technical features in the industry. Their innovative ideas and expertise definitely shined through.
Lifetime Guarantee: It’s crazy to think you can buy one pair of these socks and have them for life! It just goes to show that GRIP6 genuinely believes in their craft, and I do too!
Made In USA: Invented, sourced, and manufactured right here in the USA. I don’t see this a lot with other Merino wool socks and products, so it’s an important feature to highlight.
Areas To Improve
Merino Wool Percentage: I’m a diehard Merino wool fanboy (as you probably could already tell). It would be nice if GRIP6 could incorporate more wool while maintaining current performance.
Pilling & Durability: I’m still slightly hesitant about long-term durability despite the pilling removal in the wash test. However, GRIP6’s lifetime guarantee eases my mind a bit.
Color Options: Each sock comes in three colors, but they are mostly all gray. It would be nice to see opaque colors (green, tan, etc.), especially for the crew socks.
Overall Grade: B+
Affordable. Comfortable. Versatile. Odor-Free. Those are the four factors that I liked the most about these GRIP6 Merino wool socks. Of course, as with everything, they have pros and cons, but I think the former outweighs the ladder.
If you are interested in checking out the GRIP6 ankle socks or even the crew hiking socks, you can always check them out on the GRIP6 website or Amazon.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns, or gear that you want us to review, please feel free to reach out. Thanks again for reading!