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People's Merino Wool Review

This unisex merino-wool ankle high sock is highly affordable and best for warm to cool hiking temperatures.
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Price:  $37 List | $29.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, breathable, ankle-cut
Cons:  Does not excel in any category, average performance overall
Manufacturer:   People Socks
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 13, 2017
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 11
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Wicking and Breathability - 25% 8
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Drying Speed - 10% 8

The Skinny

The People's Merino Wool Hiking Sock is a perfect option for both men and women on a shoestring budget. With a 71% merino wool blend (the highest concentration of wool in this review!) this super cozy ankle-length sock provides average performance with excellent breathability and drying ability. The cut offers superior airflow on hot days, and many of our testers loved to use it during the summer months while hiking and running because of this performance features. The best part? The price works out to roughly just $9 per sock - one of the most affordable options in this review.

While it's not as comfortable and cozy as the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew or the Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock, this is the best affordable option for those in search of a quality ankle-length hiking sock. The Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock works out to about the same price and scores higher overall, but has a boot-length cut that is more conducive to colder weather. We also notice that the People's sock is a touch more durable (and comfortable), providing a bit of a better fit than the Danish Wool Sock. If you're in the market for a super breathable, warm, and affordable hiking sock with a nice fit the People's Merino Wool Sock is a great option for both men and women!


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The People's Wool Sock is a 71% merino-wool sock blend with an ankle-length cut and excellent performance. It's a great option for those on a tight budget because it cashes in for the low price of roughly $9 per sock!

Performance Comparison


The Merino Sock is comfortable and perfect hiking in warm weather. We especially love its high value that works out to roughly $9 per sock!
The Merino Sock is comfortable and perfect hiking in warm weather. We especially love its high value that works out to roughly $9 per sock!

Comfort


The People's Wool Sock provides a decent level of comfort. The 71% wool blend is mid-weight and provides underfoot cushioning that left our testers' feet feeling happy after miles of hiking trails. While this sock doesn't offer the same level of compression paneling as seen with other merino sock blends, the fit is tight, and the sock doesn't bunch in the toe or around the ankle. Stretch materials (like spandex) are concentrated around the arch and heel of the foot that doesn't allow slipping or stretching over time. Its unisex fit made both our female and male testers happy. The cut just above the ankle makes it a great sock to pair with Hiking Shoes but not a great option to wear with hiking boots.

A comparative look at the fit and length of the different top picks for those on a shoe-string budget.
A comparative look at the fit and length of the different top picks for those on a shoe-string budget.

If you're in the market for an even more comfortable and cozy sock, take a look at the SmartWool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Sock, a notable mention for comfort and versatility. This sock is super fitted with lots of excellent compression fitting both male and female testers well. Or take a gander at Editor's Choice winner, the Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion. If you prefer a sock with a lower cut, be sure to look at the Darn Tough Light Hiker for men and the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew for women.

Warmth


While this sock is smaller and high value, it sure is warm!!! Featuring a 71% merino wool blend, our testers are surprised to learn how warm this sock is in both wet and cold conditions. While it's not the warmest sock out there, like our Editors' Choice winner Darn Tough Full Cushion (for men) or the Smartwool Hike Medium Crew (for women), it can keep toes warm in temperatures just above freezing.

In our wet tests, we found that it insulated pretty well, keeping our feet warm while standing and moving. In comparison, this sock provided a similar level of warmth as the Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock, but not as warm as the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew. Because of its ankle-height design, it doesn't keep as much heat in as boot-length hikers, though it's more breathable for warm weather. As a result, we'd recommend this sock for three seasons of use - Spring, Fall, and Summer, but we'd trade it in for a warmer contender like our Editors' Choice winners on the coldest of days.

The soft interior fabric provides decent warmth in the cold  but not as warm as the other boot length socks tested in this review.
The soft interior fabric provides decent warmth in the cold, but not as warm as the other boot length socks tested in this review.

Wicking and Breathability


Utilizing 21% nylon in its merino wool blend, this product did an excellent job at wicking away moisture. The sock itself has a looser fabric that also allows moisture to diffuse through the material easily. Its ankle-length design also makes it a much better option to wear on warm days because there is more airflow to the legs. Of all the contenders tested, this is one of the most breathable, with mighty wicking power.

The interior fabric is porous with longer threads that does a good job at breathing and wicking away moisture. The low cut design also keeps legs cooler on warm days.
The interior fabric is porous with longer threads that does a good job at breathing and wicking away moisture. The low cut design also keeps legs cooler on warm days.

Durability


After wearing this sock for roughly 60 miles of hiking, biking, and running we are happy to report that this sock is quite durable. The fabric composition (71% Merino Wool, 21% Nylon, 7% Polyamide, 1% Spandex) showed litter wear and tear after the testing period. It didn't stretch or shrink during the testing period. We noticed some pilling after the first wash throughout the body of the sock and some of the stitching exhibited fly-aways. As a result, it's not the best-crafted sock in this review and earns an average durability score.

A look at some minor pilling after just a few washes.
A look at some minor pilling after just a few washes.

If you're in the market for the most durable model tested, be sure to check out the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro. This synthetic sock showed little to no wear after 60 miles of use. If you're more interested in a sock that comes with a lifetime guarantee that is super well constructed, be sure to look at the ultra-burly Darn Tough sock options. All showcases their durability during our testing periods, and we are happy to say that Darn Tough makes some of the most durable hiking socks out there.

Socks with a lifetime guarantee like Darn Tough can be traded in anytime during your lifetime for a brand new pair.

Drying Speed


This sock is quick to dry on the line and while wearing on the trail. In our dryer tests, it only took 110 minutes before completely drying out. While it hosts a high concentration of wool, the shorter cut (ankle-length) and the integrates nylon allowing it to dry faster than most of the socks tested in this review. It also wicks well and doesn't absorb a lot of water like the Darn Tough Full Cushion sock.

A look at the socks participating in our drying tests.
A look at the socks participating in our drying tests.

Best Application


Our favorite use for the People's Wool Sock is as a day hiker for warm to cool days. We would recommend it for day hiking, backpacking, running, and other high activities that are both low and high intensity. Given its great performance, we'd also recommend it for any condition that doesn't get below freezing. Enjoy it out on the trail!

Here we hang out 1000 feet off the deck while taking in the sweeping views of untravelled canyons and mountains that we hope to soon explore.
Here we hang out 1000 feet off the deck while taking in the sweeping views of untravelled canyons and mountains that we hope to soon explore.

Value


As one of our best options for those on a tight budget, we are blown away by the great performance of this super affordable hiking sock. Coming in a package of four (with different colors), this unisex sock cashes in around $9 per sock ($37 for the pack). This is one of the cheapest Merino wool options out there aside from the Danish Unisex Wool Sock that has a similar price ($9 per sock).

Hiking in Canyonlands is a perfect place for the People's sock!
Hiking in Canyonlands is a perfect place for the People's sock!

Conclusion


The People's Merino Wool Sock is a highly-affordable ankle-high merino wool-blend sock that performs well in warm to cool weather in a plethora of conditions. Take it with you on your next hike or backpacking trip.


Amber King