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Socks need to be put through their paces, and the Merino Blend Hiking Socks from Isobaa are no exception; here's our review

isobaa socks op
Best for...
Ideal for hiking, or pretty much anything else
Overall Score
A very comfortable softness quite rare among hiking socks

Isobaa have used a relatively small proportion of merino in their 'Blend' socks - only 38% in fact. Higher content merino socks are of course available, but is a small percentage a drawback?

For all the great properties of merino, it isn't particularly durable, so adding 38% acrylic, 20% polyamide and 4% elastane is a good move for something that is going to take your whole weight on a regular basis.

Isobaa have boosted the insulating properties of merino hugely by using a terry loop construction around the bottom half of the sock, which I am real fan of (the loops trap more air than most other constructions).

The low proportion may prove to limit the natural odour resistance of merino but that's fairly easily solved with a washing machine. Just bear it mind if you're planning a 3 week trek with only 2 pairs of socks.

The stand out benefit of Isobaa's construction methods is the super-softness of the knit. There is a lightness to the fabric that makes it very easy to put the socks on, and a cushioning (partly from the terry loops) that feels like walking on marshmallows. Combined with the ribbing around the ankle, the effect of this is a sock that stays in place without clinging or biting into the ankle, or restricting blood flow as some of the more aggressive socks seem to!

They're not cheap - what merino products are? - but are certainly worth an investment. Socks are such a personal choice (and highly dependant on foot shape and intangibles) that the chance to try something genuinely different should be embraced with both.... feet!

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