Merino wool is a wonder fabric when it comes to next-to-skin breathable protection from the winter cold. Thanks to the efficient way in which merino wool garments keep our skin dry and warm us up in all weather conditions, this material has rightly become essential in any hiker or runner’s winter wardrobe.
However, did you know that Merino wool can also be great to wear during summer? Thanks to the breathability and moisture wicking properties of this type of wool, it has become popular for those looking to stay dry and odor free during outdoor activities all year round. Moreover, Merino wool’s antibacterial properties help keep your skin free of irritations and heat rashes, while you still enjoy the softness that these wool fibers have become famous for.
Read on to find out why you should turn to Merino wool for summer, the advantages of this fabric in hot weather, and how to choose the best Merino wool compression socks for your summer activities.
Can you wear Merino wool in summer?
In short, yes! Merino wool is absolutely suitable for warm weather, because its thermoregulating properties don’t just help it make you warm in the winter. In fact, the thinner natural fibers that make up Merino (compared to other types of wool) help air move between your body and the external environment, wicking away moisture that would cool you down if it stuck to the skin. This not only keeps you not sweaty – it also keeps you cool.
The breathability of Merino wool has made it an excellent material for compression socks and base layers worn under ski and hiking equipment in winter. But, in the summer, the same breathability means that your socks will keep your sweaty feet dry and let your skin breathe as you run or hike under the sun. And, let’s face it: we’ll still run into puddles in the summer, too! This is when Merino wool’s quick drying properties will help your feet stay blister free.
And, while you won’t be looking to wear layers upon layers of clothes in summer, having a lightweight Merino t-shirt on is absolute bliss. The wool fibers in Merino are elastic and soft, moving freely with your body and preventing any unwanted friction or irritation. Merino wool clothing is so light you can barely feel it!
The advantages of Merino wool for summer
Just like the great benefits you’ve come to rely on in winter from this amazing material, wearing Merino fool for summer holds lots of advantages that link up with what you may know about it already. Here are the top reasons to turn to it as a summer fabric.
Merino wool is cooling in hot weather
We’ve talked about the thermoregulating properties of Merino wool before. But the Merino fibers don’t just capture your skin’s warmth to keep you cozy in winter. Similarly, they can gain and release heat, with the ultimate aim of balancing your body temperature.
Think of your skin like a micro-climate – a small bubble with its own weather. Merino wool fibers protect this micro-climate, facilitating the movement of air and moisture. Since they are capable of absorbing up to a third of their own weight in moisture, these fibers wick away your sweat (and with it, heat), allowing it to evaporate in the air. This keeps you cool – as your body releases heat through sweat and you’re not forced to retain any of it near you by your clothing!
Breathability and light weight
Merino wool fibers and lighter and thinner than other types of wool, which is why Merino wool clothing is so much softer and more comfortable than the itchy wool sweaters you’ve come to know in childhood. This makes T-shirts from Merino wool really nice to wear in hot weather, without weighing you down at all.
Additionally, because Merino wool is so good at letting your skin breathe by wicking away the moisture, it’s also brilliant for letting air travel towards the body and away from it. Merino fibers dry quickly and efficiently, allowing your skin to breathe through the material (unlike other fabrics where the sweat sticks to them, and becomes a barrier to good air flow.
Merino wool dries quickly once it becomes wet, which means that, if you do get caught in the rain or step in a puddle, you won’t be uncomfortable for long. Additionally, because Merino fibers are able to capture up to 30% of their own weight in moisture, the humid feeling will last very little time against your own skin.
For traveling, Merino wool socks and garments are great thanks to their quick drying properties. You can wash your Merino wool compression socks by hand and have them ready to wear again over night in warm climates. That’s a great way to reduce packing, too!
UV and odor resistant
To check whether Merino wool would help protect skin from UV rays, several experiments were made in the 1990s. They actually showed that wool absorbs radiation through the UV spectrum, more effectively than any other fabrics like cotton, Nylon, acrylic or silk. Merino wool specifically showed itself to be particularly good for UV protection.
Moreover, as we’ve explained that Merino wool fibers remove moisture and keep the skin dry and well ventilated, they also don’t allow bacteria to develop in the damp. This means that they are odor resistant, since most bad smells we get when we wear clothing and sweat come from the bacteria that then develop in the humid environment. So, Merino wool clothes are less likely to smell bad.
Say goodbye to itchiness
It would be normal to suspect that a wool garment will be itchy, because traditional wool sweaters usually are. This is because of the coarser fibers in that fabric, which can fray more easily and are less elastic.
Merino wool, on the other hand, has soft, flexible fibers that bend with the movement of your body and don’t cause friction or itchiness. Additionally, thin and lightweight Merino wool garments are so comfortable that they don’t cause any itches. And they are naturally antibacterial and soothing, thanks to the protein keratin which is found in wool and which is gentle and caring on your skin.
Merino wool is easy to wash and care for
The flexibility and softness of Merino fibers means that items of clothing made from this material don’t lose their shape and/or shrink so easily. Instead, they will return to the original shape and don’t need to be washed on high temperatures or cared for in a very complex way.
To keep your Merino wool clothes looking and feeling great, machine wash on low temperature or hand wash if you’re traveling. Either way, they’ll dry quickly and carry on being super comfortable.
Why choose Merino wool socks in hot weather?
With all these great benefits of Merino wool in warm weather, choosing compression socks in this material can be really good for runners, hikers, active people, or those who simply want to keep their feet dry and comfortable!
When you choose your compression socks, consider the reasons you’re looking to apply pressure to the lower limbs and how you want to feel while this is happening. While runners and other athletes choose to wear compression socks to better support their muscles and ligaments during exercise and to speed up recovery afterwards, frequent flyers or those having to be on their feet all day also welcome the gentle pressure and improved blood flow. In all these cases, hot weather can lead to sweaty feet, discomfort and a yearning for a cool breeze.
Thanks to Merino wool, you can actually benefit from dry and comfortable feet, especially during higher efforts. Compression socks made from Merino wool drain moisture quickly and effectively, so they’re great in all weather conditions. They are also long-lasting, don’t lose their shape or their compression levels, and can be extremely comfortable and refreshing.
The best Merino wool compression socks for summer
Whenever you search for compression socks for summer, consider Merino wool as a sustainable, durable and comfortable material that can be your greatest ally against sweat and irritations. Consult our wide range of Merino wool compression socks to find the style that suits you, and try out the various compression levels to see what’s best for your chosen activity of lifestyle. And say hello to dry, cool and happy feet!
Take a look at our Merino wool compression socks collection and find your favorite today!