sock review
Farm to Feet Cedar Falls Wader (right), Fits Ultra Heavy Big Game Rugged Boot Sock, Icebreaker Men's Ski+ OTC, and Smartwool Hunt Extra Heavy OTC.. Ralph Smith


Our team tested four pairs of merino wool socks to discover which can handle cold weather best.

1. BEST OF THE TEST: Farm to Feet Cedar Falls Wader ★ ★ ★ ★ ★Specs • Seamless toe • Outer nylon plaiting • Instep cushioning loop • 79% U.S. merino wool, 20% ­nylon, 1% spandex  ‘These socks are heavy duty. My feet stayed warm and dry for hours in 20-degree temperatures.’ —Hurlburt  ‘Great fit and good padding throughout. I appreciated the comfort compression throughout the whole sock.’ —Sofianek  ‘Incredibly warm and comfortable. These are now my go-to hunting socks.’ —Lundgren  ‘Plush feel. They were a good fit around the arch and ankle. But with rubber boots, I found the socks would slide down my leg.’ —Jervis Amazon

2. Fits Ultra Heavy Big Game ­Rugged Boot Sock ★ ★ ★ ★Specs • Nylon-reinforced exterior • Double-welted top • Color-coded seam on toe • 74% merino wool, 13% nylon, 8% acrylic, 3% polyester, 2% Lycra spandex  ‘Looks odd because of the pointed toe but fits like a glove.’ —Jervis  ‘They are constructed with high-quality, durable materials but didn’t fit my feet very well.’ —Lundgren  ‘Not the warmest, and a bit difficult to get on and off. Once on, though, very ­comfortable.’ —Sofianek  ‘A good three-season sock. Kept me cool early and warm late.’ —Hurlburt Editor’s Note: This sock is now called the Heavy Expedition. Amazon

3. Icebreaker Men’s Ski+ OTC ★ ★ ★ ★Specs • Ankle and heel support zones • Breathable forefoot zone • Seamless toe • 77% merino wool, 21% nylon, 2% Lycra spandex  ‘Anatomic design means one sock is for the left foot; the other is for the right. The result? Great fit.’ —Jervis  ‘The loft and cushion are inadequate for cold-weather hunting. They’re also thinner than the others, so I wonder about long-term ­durability.’ —Lundgren  ‘Very well made and easy to get on and off. Solid all-around hunting sock.’ —Sofianek  ‘Surprisingly warm for a thinner sock—even on the coldest fall mornings. Padding is weird, but it’s in all the right spots.’ —Hurlburt Amazon

4. Smartwool Hunt Extra Heavy OTC ★ ★ ★ ★Specs • Heavy full-cushion leg and foot • Flat-knit toe seam • Ankle and arch braces • 76% merino wool, 23% nylon, 1% elastane  ‘Longer than a standard sock, which makes them ideal for cold-weather situations. There is also enough cushion to allow for heavy and extended use without causing fatigue.’ —Lundgren  ‘I like the extra elastic ribbing at the top of the sock. Helps them stay up. I also like the construction and believe they will hold up for years.’ —Sofianek  ‘Warm, but too tight on my calf. Big boys won’t like the fit.’ —Hurlburt  ‘Well made and warm, but the fit was too loose for me.’ —Jervis Amazon


Joel Hurlburt ➞ Age: 44 ➞ Home Hunting Area: New York ➞ Days Hunted Per Year: 35

Kriston Jervis ➞ Age: 30 ➞ Home Hunting Area: Kentucky ➞ Days Hunted Per Year: 30

Jeff Lundgren ➞ Age: 34 ➞ Home Hunting Area: Minnesota ➞ Days Hunted Per Year: 25

Joel Sofianek ➞ Age: 50 ➞ Home Hunting Area: Montana ➞ Days Hunted Per Year: 30