You might be thinking, “Wait a second: Merino wool, the same material that keeps me warm and comfortable in the dead of winter, will help keep me cool in the popsicle-melting heat of summer? Wool summer socks?” That’s correct, and Smartwool tells us why:
1: Cooling Effect
You may know that merino helps regulate your body temperature when it’s cold, but did you know it can do the same in warm weather? Think desert nomads- they’ve had this concept dialed for a pretty long time. They wear wool for summer clothes and winter layers. Merino has the ability to store moisture within the structure of the fiber. As your body heats up, the moisture stored within the fiber will begin to evaporate, cooling the air between your skin and the fabric. The warmer you get, the more evaporation takes place and the larger the cooling effect.
When you consider summer clothes, breathability is key. Breathability is the ability of a fabric or fiber to transport moisture in the vapor state from an area of higher humidity to an area of lower humidity. In other words, the more breathable a product is, the better it is at removing or wicking moisture from the space between your skin and the garment (AKA the microclimate). As your body heats up, the moisture vapors will be absorbed by the wool fiber and released to the drier environment outside of the fabric, releasing heat. And that means you can stay drier and more comfortable.
3: No Stink
Wool is naturally antimicrobial. That means bacteria can’t find a place to thrive and your favorite summer hiking clothes or socks don’t stink even after days on the trail. And in the heat of August, that’s a very good thing.