Just ask a sheep... or llama or alpaca... I'm betting she will agree...
WOOL IS AWESOME!
It goes without saying that cotton is a wonderful natural fibre and has many uses. My favourite T-shirts are soft cotton and summer wouldn't be the same without my cotton hiking shorts. Lots of people have a drawer full of cotton socks and many of them believe that they are doing their feet a favour by wearing them. Cotton breathes, so it must be the best, right? Maybe it's time to rethink that long-held belief when venturing outside to explore with your little one.
Take a moment and close your eyes and think about wearing your favourite T-shirt on a hot summer day. Now run around a bit after your kids. Are you sweaty yet? Notice that when you sweat the shirt gets wet, stays wet and sticks like fly-paper to your body. Sure, in the summer that damp shirt might help cool you down and that might be a good thing (no one likes heat stroke!). However, imagine those sticky wet T-shirts being stuck to your toes. Not so comfortable, right? This is why wearing cotton socks in our boots (or any boot) is not ideal.
A much better option is to put wool socks on before venturing out and here's why:
- Wool is a natural fibre with some pretty amazing and unique properties. First, it is hydrophobic, meaning that wool naturally repels water. So, if your boots get wet inside for any reason, the outer layers of the wool fibres in your socks repel the water to help keep your socks and feet dry.
- Wool is also hydrophilic, which means it can also absorb water. The inner part of the wool fibres can absorb up to 35% of their own weight in water before your skin starts to feel the dampness. Pretty cool if you ask me. Not only do they repel water, but they wick it away from your feet so sweat doesn't stay on your skin. That means, if your feet are overheating, the wool will slurp up that sweat and make sure it doesn't stay on your skin and make your feet cold. It also means that your wool socks can hold a lot of sweat or water before your feet start to actually feel the wool being wet. So, when you are outside on a warmer day and wearing our liners and boots (or just the boots and socks) if your feet are overheating they will actually start to feel cold if you are wearing cotton socks but will still stay temperature regulated (not too cold and not too hot) if wearing wool socks.
- The dual nature of wool (being both hydrophobic and hydrophilic) means that it can gain and release heat depending on the external and internal environment. This allows wool to buffer you against changes in the environment (ie. if you are out in the cold but then it warms up, you won't overheat).
- Wool is insulating because it has built-in air pockets in and between its fibres that don't absorb water due to its natural oils. Those air pockets keep your feet warm, even if the wool is wet. When cotton socks get wet they lose all insulating properties- it's as if you're not wearing anything on your feet at all. So, again, wool wins and wool sock are generally the best choice for colder weather.
- Wool often dries faster than cotton and most other synthetic fibres.
- Wool is naturally fire resistant so cuddling up to a fire in wool socks is not
- Wool is naturally antimicrobial, meaning that it inhibits the growth and even (kaboom!) kills bacteria. Who needs bacteria-infested toes? EEWWWW! Added bonus? Because of its antimicrobial properties, it is odour-resistant. I'm not promising that your feet will smell like roses, but wearing wool helps keep smelly feet at bay and you won't have as much laundry because they don't need to be washed every single time you wear them. (Meaning less chance one will be eaten by the infamous dryer sock-devourer!!)
Now, it's true that wool socks can cost more than cotton socks. It's also true that they can be a little more high-maintenance since it is best to hand wash them and lay them flat to dry. However, our merino wool blend socks from Wigwam hold up better in the wash. The added elastic, stretch nylon and spandex makes them more durable and helps them dry even faster.
We're parents too,so we know how important it is to have gear that lasts but doesn't take up too much of your precious time to care for.
Oh yeah, one more thing if I've still got your attention (and I hope that I do!)- Wigwam provides a two-year guarantee on its products. Yup. You read that correctly. TWO YEARS!
So, have I convinced you yet? If you haven't already, try a pair of cozy wool socks on your little one's feet the next time you venture outside!
If I am outside, I am happy. Hiking, running, skiing, camping or collecting shells at the beach- all of these give me joy. With two boys and a husband in tow the journey has a few more bumps, but it's way more exciting. Explore On!