Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Mountaineering
Manufacturer Smartwool
Page By Spud
Page Type Sep 16, 2002 / Sep 16, 2002
Object ID 472
Hits 4753
High-performance socks designed for maximum comfort, protection and warmth over extended periods

Extra-thick 3 x 1 knit with over-the calf design provides extra protection and a snug fit

Natural Merino wool features long, silky fibers for extra warmth and comfort without wool's itchiness

High-density sole padding cushions against shock, blisters and abrasions; high-density padded insteps and shins protects against lace pressure

Lycra® spandex arch braces for increased support and comfort

Ribbed welt top and Lycra® spandex braces above the ankle help keep socks up for a wrinkle-free fit and less chance of blisters

Flat-knit side panels add breathability and ventilation to keep feet comfortable

Made of 90% Merino wool for itch-free, natural comfort and 10% stretch nylon for fit and shape retention


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Spud - Sep 16, 2002 2:09 pm - Voted 5/5

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This socks may be pricey, but they are worth every penny when you've been slogging up or down a mountain with 70 pounds plus on your back.

I took these up for 2 days on Adams and 5 days on Rainier and they kept my feet in prisitine condition. Nice and toasty, soft to reduce impacts and they dry out amazingly quick.

marcminish - Sep 27, 2002 12:50 pm - Voted 5/5

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Don't bother with regular wool or other purely natural fiber. These will keep you warm and dry out quickly after you take your boots off. They will also hold up much better despite many miles and washings.

Alan Ellis - Nov 30, 2004 3:57 pm - Voted 5/5

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I started with the SW Hiking, then the Expedition Trekking, and now the Mountaineering. That's all I use any more. They are expensive, but worth it. I've never had a blister since switching to the Mountaineering socks.

Martin Cash - Dec 4, 2002 2:39 pm - Voted 5/5

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Excellent heavy wool socks. They provide lots of insulation and dry reasonably quickly. The one thing I've noticed about these socks is that they give you blisters if you don't wear liner socks underneath them. I doubt they were designed or intended to be used without liners, so I guess I had to learn the hard way. I'm allergic to regular wool, so I'm glad these are made out of Merino.

Brian Jenkins - Dec 7, 2002 3:39 pm - Voted 5/5

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These are my "go-to" socks. Unless I am doing a really short hike, I use these exclusively (with liner socks). They dry quickly, are very comfortable and help me to reduce blisters (which with my narrow heels, long toes and flat feet are a problem). They are kinda pricey but hold up well so I think they are worth it.

StephaneFitch - May 8, 2003 5:00 pm - Voted 5/5

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Who would have thought that a humble pair of socks would inspire such warm feelings? I adore these.

Best story comes from my first mountaineering trip in 2000. Glacier Peak: Sitkum route. I'd worn my new leather boots only once. As we stood there at the trailhead, preparing for our huge approach hike, my vastly more experienced pals looked down at my feet, up at me, back down at my feet and just shook their heads. "Hope you brought moleskin," was all they could say.

Over the next two days, I experienced just about every problem you could imagine a total beginner might have, but blisters or foot soreness weren't one of them. I'm absolutely convinced it was the socks. Haven't spent a single day in the mountains without them since. And I've never had a blister. Barely even a hot spot. Not that I've got anything against liners, but I've never used them. Just don't seem to need them.

Yeah, $18 for a pair of socks seems like a lot. That is, until I consider that I own two pairs and they're still in great shape after seven big trips. Wash them inside out, dry them pretty much any way I want. They never shrink, never seem to lose their loft, and hang right in there.

Bryan W - Jun 7, 2003 3:38 pm - Voted 5/5

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These are great socks. They are super warm and have a lot of cushion to them. With a pair of these on, there is no need for a thicker insole for cushion in your boot. They are comfortable enough to wear by them selves around the camp site. They dry fast and even faster in the bottom of your sleeping bag.

grandwazoo - Dec 16, 2003 10:42 pm - Voted 4/5

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I've had a couple pair and both have lasted for a reasonable amount of time. They do dry out fast, but either with or without liners I have had problems with heel blisters.

miztflip - Nov 30, 2004 4:21 pm - Voted 3/5

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I found these socks to be too thick and found them often times bunching up in my boots. Not ever having problems with cold feet I much prefer the thinner hikers. - Jan 23, 2005 6:14 pm - Voted 5/5

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I love these thick and warm socks and I use them both with and without a liner. If I am going to take a longer walk I use a liner because to me a liner sock just feel a lot nicer closest to the skin instead of a heavy sock like this with big loops on the inside!

All in all a wonderful sock and even if it's a bit expensive it's money well invested!

The Defiant One - Mar 28, 2005 10:34 pm - Voted 5/5

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These are as great as a pair of mountaineering socks could be. My go-to for anything but warm weather climbing. So warm and comfortable. It seems odd to spend $20 on a pair of socks, but I'd gladly spend more for these.

IceMonkey - Aug 2, 2005 9:14 am - Voted 5/5

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This sock is brilliant, and Sooo warm, and when combined with a liner, you couldn't get more comfy. They are worth every penny

Matt K - Aug 30, 2005 7:26 pm - Voted 5/5

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LOVE these socks. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I have 2 pairs that have lasted 2 years so far, with no visible concerns. I probably wore them 15 times each per year, and will surely get at least one more year out of them.

Dow Williams - Sep 1, 2005 11:11 am - Voted 5/5

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Only sock I wear. However, I am a minimalist with socks and boots. Mostly because I can be (my feet stay naturally warm). So I won't wear the mountaineering version. The main reason I am writing this review is that I have been buying Smartwool running and hiking socks on line at a deep discount for years at Order 6 pairs, no shipping, and of course no sales tax. Their expedition trekking sock is $13 vs $18 retail. I wear the Smartwool Adrenaline crew for climbing, which is lighter, but cost more at $15. I find it to be a more technical wicking sock.

Alan Arnette - Sep 8, 2005 6:18 pm - Voted 5/5

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Have tried lots of socks over the years and like the Smartwool Mountaineering sock a lot. The fit is good and it wears well. Have used with and without the liner

I have a list of all my gear plus comment on my site at

EudoraMan - Feb 1, 2006 11:47 pm - Voted 5/5

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These are the only socks that I hike with! I can't count how many pairs of Smartwool Mountaineering socks i have!!! With numerous hikes in Colorado and New Mexico, they hold up great!! The elastic band on top holds them up and don't fall down like other socks!

rasgoat - Jan 28, 2007 5:01 am - Voted 5/5

great cold weather sock!

Woodie Hopper - Feb 6, 2007 5:23 pm - Voted 5/5

Worth the $
Expensive but warm. Personally I haven't had trouble with blisters. I managed to get them wet once but my feet didn't get cold. I was pretty impressed.

2skinners - Jun 28, 2007 4:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Great Socks!!
I use these socks whether doing a short or a long climb and they work great!! Smartwool is wonderful.

AltitudeSickness - Jan 3, 2008 7:07 pm - Voted 5/5

Cold Feet
I own three pair of these socks. I have found them to be very durable and warm. Use them with a liner instead of using two pair when in extreme conditions. I tried the two pair method when in 35 below zero conditions and they were too tight in my boot so my feet got cold.

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