Author Topic: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?  (Read 17917 times)

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Offline icentropy

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Well I started off with cabelas lifetime socks....then sometime in the early 2000s they went down the drain and got thin so i found BassPro's lifetime wool socks. Those things were super beefy, felt like i was walking on carpet. I got two pair and loved them....problem is that was years ago. I moved out of state (no basspro's around here) and have been buying cheaper $5/pair browning wool socks that they have seasonally on sale at our local North40 (previously BigR) store. I think 10 pairs only lasted me a year or so rotating them. and for the last few months i've been reluctant to buy more as I'm looking for the ultimate cold weather wool boot sock. Thicker/warmer the better and has to have a major percentage of wool (not those 20% wool blend....i don't even see the point for those). Any suggestions? Going quality over quantity.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2015, 12:29:37 PM »
You could try the wool socks Filson makes.  They are pretty thick and you can get them that come up to just below the knee.  Mine are about ten years old now but I only wear them a few times a year.  I use Cabela's wool socks quite a lot.  They are thinner socks but I tend to use them over liners so they are pretty good for active cold wear use.  They last as long as any other socks I use. 

Socks don't last forever and anything over a couple of years is the norm for most of them.  The Filson brand are the heavy duty ones and they are well made.  I just went to Filson's site and see that the model I have are no longer offered.  The have a heavy weight crew sock and that is what mine look like but they are longer.  They are $32 a pair these days.  :P
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Offline icentropy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2015, 01:50:35 PM »
You could try the wool socks Filson makes.  They are pretty thick and you can get them that come up to just below the knee.  Mine are about ten years old now but I only wear them a few times a year.  I use Cabela's wool socks quite a lot.  They are thinner socks but I tend to use them over liners so they are pretty good for active cold wear use.  They last as long as any other socks I use. 

Socks don't last forever and anything over a couple of years is the norm for most of them.  The Filson brand are the heavy duty ones and they are well made.  I just went to Filson's site and see that the model I have are no longer offered.  The have a heavy weight crew sock and that is what mine look like but they are longer.  They are $32 a pair these days.  :P

Sure i understand that no socks last forever but I would like to start building up a good pile of really heavy weight long lasting socks as i've noticed in winter camping the first thing to go cold are my feet and hands. I've basically taken care of the rest of my clothing with good baselayers and outerwear but haven't solved the feet and hands thing yet to my liking.  I plan on starting to invest in the socks thing but would hate spending $15-$30 on a pair just to see they're thinner than what i'm already getting for $5. Also since i haven't bought Basspro's socks for years i was curious is anyone has purchased them recently and if they're still as ridiculously thick as they used to be?
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2015, 02:43:07 PM »
Maybe you could coerce Hushnel into spinning up some long-fibered wool and knitting you a pair.......you ought to see the sweater he knitted a few years ago.  Unbelievable!

He's got a lot of irons in the fire, though, so I doubt that is really a viable option.  Now, I don't know about their socks, but I have a pair of boiled wool Dachstein mittens that are made in Austria that are the best I've ever seen.  I've had them for about 20 years and wear them as chopper-liners and by themselves.  Just about water & wind proof with no cover at all.   Here's the info on the socks.....

http://www.sweatersintl.com/norsocks.html

« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 02:57:01 PM by wolfy »
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Offline Icepick15

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2015, 09:33:29 PM »
Years ago, I bought three or four pair of Norwegian Army wool socks at a gun show.  That's all the guy had, and they appeared to be unused.  Never had cold feet wearing them.  Like the OP, my hands and feet are the first to go cold.  Hands first....feet shortly after.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2015, 09:39:42 PM »
While we are on the subject of thick socks it is worth mentioning that sometimes they don't work well in your boots unless your boots are "too big".  I wear a 10.5 Medium width and, like some of you, get cold feet easily.  When I started buying size 11 boots with boxy toes it sure helped.  I can wear thick socks over liners and still have good circulation.
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Offline icentropy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2015, 09:46:27 PM »
While we are on the subject of thick socks it is worth mentioning that sometimes they don't work well in your boots unless your boots are "too big".  I wear a 10.5 Medium width and, like some of you, get cold feet easily.  When I started buying size 11 boots with boxy toes it sure helped.  I can wear thick socks over liners and still have good circulation.

A very good point, that's something I have to keep in mind as well, insulation is useless if you compress it.
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Offline vallehombre

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2015, 09:06:09 AM »
Carhartt makes several weights in (mostly) wool that work well for me. Not too pricey if you can find them.

Good luck.

Offline xj35s

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2015, 01:40:18 PM »
I bought 6 pair for $20 at our regional market. They are 80% merino wool and 20% spandex. Very thick and spongy. Can't vouch for longevity I just got them.

Anyone know what a merino is?
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2015, 01:50:36 PM »
An ancient breed of sheep. 

What is a Spandex?  A kind of pants that should not be worn by some women.
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Offline icentropy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2015, 02:19:05 PM »
What is a Spandex?  A kind of pants that should not be worn by some women.

Stretchy pants.....it's for fun.
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2015, 03:40:50 PM »
Don't worry... I won't tell nobody. Lol


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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2015, 07:37:19 AM »
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2015, 08:40:59 AM »
Darn tough socks, see post here.  http://bladesandbushlore.com/index.php?topic=5316.new#new

Here's their heavy's at amozon. http://www.amazon.com/Darn-Tough-Vermont-Mountaineering-Cushion/dp/B003O696GG/ref=pd_sim_sg_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=0VBN4B08EQ13NZ5MQ35D
I'd forgotten, but I bought a couple of pair of their lighter socks for my brother a year ago this last Christmas and he wears them daily all winter long.   Thanks for the reccomendation, Spyder! :thumbsup:    I don't have any yet, but I have several pair of lesser wool socks that I have been rotating......I think I may get one more season out of them before I have to buy more.  Maybe I'll get some for Christmas next year. O:-)
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Offline Justin Pierce

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2015, 03:56:47 PM »
Grandma had been knitting me wool socks since I was a kid, but a few years ago she said she would patch the holes in the one I had one last time, but she couldn't make them any more.
Most of mine have holes in them again now, and for the first time in my life I will have to buy socks, instead of yarn.
I might have to try those Darn Tough ones.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2015, 05:34:38 PM »
Grandma had been knitting me wool socks since I was a kid, but a few years ago she said she would patch the holes in the one I had one last time, but she couldn't make them any more.
Most of mine have holes in them again now, and for the first time in my life I will have to buy socks, instead of yarn.
I might have to try those Darn Tough ones.
Why don't you ask your Grandma to teach you how to knit your own socks.....I would if I still had one!  :(
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Offline Justin Pierce

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2015, 06:28:46 PM »
Grandma had been knitting me wool socks since I was a kid, but a few years ago she said she would patch the holes in the one I had one last time, but she couldn't make them any more.
Most of mine have holes in them again now, and for the first time in my life I will have to buy socks, instead of yarn.
I might have to try those Darn Tough ones.
Why don't you ask your Grandma to teach you how to knit your own socks.....I would if I still had one!  :(
I wish I would've wolfy, but it's to late now.
I was young and foolish. I learned so much from grandpa, but at that age I didn't think I wanted to know the skills grandma could've taught me. But now I regret thinking that.
She did teach me a lot, but there was so much more if I would've taken advantage of the opportunity.

Offline arson51

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2015, 11:49:44 PM »
I have a pair of boiled wool Dachstein mittens that are made in Austria that are the best I've ever seen.  I've had them for about 20 years and wear them as chopper-liners and by themselves.  Just about water & wind proof with no cover at all.   Here's the info on the socks.....

http://www.sweatersintl.com/norsocks.html

Glad to hear some one else knows about Dachstein wool! I got 2 pair of the knee socks, and a pair of the mittens. They are excellent. The expedition and mountaineering socks that some other sock companies have are no where near as well fitting and thick as these.

This last fall a group of my friends and I were out on a glacier. I wore those socks, and I dunno if it was the socks or just luck but I was the only one that stayed warm the entire time.

Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2015, 10:22:39 AM »
While we are on the subject of thick socks it is worth mentioning that sometimes they don't work well in your boots unless your boots are "too big".  I wear a 10.5 Medium width and, like some of you, get cold feet easily.  When I started buying size 11 boots with boxy toes it sure helped.  I can wear thick socks over liners and still have good circulation.

A very good point, that's something I have to keep in mind as well, insulation is useless if you compress it.

Wool doesn't compress much, what causes cold feet is stuffing feet and socks into boots that are not big enough to allow good circulation.
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline vallehombre

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2015, 10:52:28 AM »
Good question. My 2 centavos - Feet and hands get cold easily these days, and after wearing mocs for many years (as a cure for back, knee and leg pain it beats anything else I know) boots and shoes are too heavy, restrictive and uncomfortable . The best combination for me has been Carhartt arctic weight wool socks and felt pac boot liners. Feet stay toasty warm down in the low double and single digit temps, moisture is not problem with light snow and frost (heavy snow seems to be a thing of the past in most of the SW I travel) and I'm currently on the third season of consistently warm feet for less than 40 bucks. Might not work at the office or on the job site but those are not issues.

Offline icentropy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2015, 12:27:17 PM »
Good question. My 2 centavos - Feet and hands get cold easily these days, and after wearing mocs for many years (as a cure for back, knee and leg pain it beats anything else I know) boots and shoes are too heavy, restrictive and uncomfortable . The best combination for me has been Carhartt arctic weight wool socks and felt pac boot liners. Feet stay toasty warm down in the low double and single digit temps, moisture is not problem with light snow and frost (heavy snow seems to be a thing of the past in most of the SW I travel) and I'm currently on the third season of consistently warm feet for less than 40 bucks. Might not work at the office or on the job site but those are not issues.

so so waterproofing layer at all? I'm in the PNW (east side of cascades though) and we're at 1-3 feet of snow in the winter. what about wear on the felt?
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2015, 04:43:32 PM »
Does anyone remember when you could buy lace up felt boots with leather soles and heels?  You could wear heavy wool socks in them and plain old 4-buckle overshoes for waterproofing.  With the new Tingley neoprene pull on overshoes they could be a heckuva warm & light weight outfit.
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2015, 05:01:35 PM »
Does anyone remember when you could buy lace up felt boots with leather soles and heels?  You could wear heavy wool socks in them and plain old 4-buckle overshoes for waterproofing.  With the new Tingley neoprene pull on overshoes they could be a heckuva warm & light weight outfit.

I don't know if you can buy them but you can certainly  make a pair of felted boots with leather soles and heels.

At least you can if you are my wife



This was her project last week at the John Campbell Folk Art School

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline icentropy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2015, 05:35:57 PM »
Well based on all the great info i just ordered a pair of Darn Tough Mountaineering Extra Cushion Socks. $25 shipped, If they're all folks say they are, they'll be my first of many pairs. Thanks for the advice and experience guys. I'm really digging that felt boot idea, but i love my Arctic Pro Muck boots for winter, just needed a little something better to put inside them. Went ice fishing for the 2nd time ever last weekend and just about froze my fingers and toes off...:D
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Offline zammer

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2015, 06:31:44 PM »
The wifey has some skills beast.. :cheers:
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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2015, 07:38:27 PM »
Does anyone remember when you could buy lace up felt boots with leather soles and heels?  You could wear heavy wool socks in them and plain old 4-buckle overshoes for waterproofing.  With the new Tingley neoprene pull on overshoes they could be a heckuva warm & light weight outfit.

I don't know if you can buy them but you can certainly  make a pair of felted boots with leather soles and heels.

At least you can if you are my wife



This was her project last week at the John Campbell Folk Art School

Dang Beast those are nice, think I could talk your better half in making another pair?
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2015, 07:41:21 PM »
Yes, they are.........sounds like the birth of another cottage industry, 'beast!
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2015, 07:54:20 PM »

Dang Beast those are nice, think I could talk your better half in making another pair?

Sorry Graylan, she spent a week doing these for herself and is not ready to make another pair anytime soon.

Yes, they are.........sounds like the birth of another cottage industry, 'beast!
Craig,

The reason you can't find boots like these for sale anywhere is they are just too darn labor intensive.  By the time you add up the time and materials they would be priced too high to sell.

There is almost a full week of work involved in the dying, felting, layering and assembly to get to the finished product.

This was a labor of love for her.

But thank you for the compliments, I'll pass them along to her.
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2015, 08:13:06 PM »
I can understand  :(  all our crafts or at least mine, take way more time than what they are worth in most cases.
well if she ever gets the urge I'd like to commission a pair, size 11.
And please tell her she does awlsome work  :thumbsup:
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Offline vallehombre

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2015, 08:31:37 AM »
Does anyone remember when you could buy lace up felt boots with leather soles and heels?  You could wear heavy wool socks in them and plain old 4-buckle overshoes for waterproofing.  With the new Tingley neoprene pull on overshoes they could be a heckuva warm & light weight outfit.

I don't know if you can buy them but you can certainly  make a pair of felted boots with leather soles and heels.

At least you can if you are my wife



This was her project last week at the John Campbell Folk Art School

Something like that would be very easily market. even if (maybe especially if?) it was pricey.

Offline vallehombre

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2015, 08:32:54 AM »
I can understand  :(  all our crafts or at least mine, take way more time than what they are worth in most cases.
well if she ever gets the urge I'd like to commission a pair, size 11.
And please tell her she does awlsome work  :thumbsup:

Size 11 for me too.

Offline vallehombre

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2015, 08:33:43 AM »
Good question. My 2 centavos - Feet and hands get cold easily these days, and after wearing mocs for many years (as a cure for back, knee and leg pain it beats anything else I know) boots and shoes are too heavy, restrictive and uncomfortable . The best combination for me has been Carhartt arctic weight wool socks and felt pac boot liners. Feet stay toasty warm down in the low double and single digit temps, moisture is not problem with light snow and frost (heavy snow seems to be a thing of the past in most of the SW I travel) and I'm currently on the third season of consistently warm feet for less than 40 bucks. Might not work at the office or on the job site but those are not issues.

so so waterproofing layer at all? I'm in the PNW (east side of cascades though) and we're at 1-3 feet of snow in the winter. what about wear on the felt?

Offline vallehombre

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2015, 08:37:49 AM »
Good question. My 2 centavos - Feet and hands get cold easily these days, and after wearing mocs for many years (as a cure for back, knee and leg pain it beats anything else I know) boots and shoes are too heavy, restrictive and uncomfortable . The best combination for me has been Carhartt arctic weight wool socks and felt pac boot liners. Feet stay toasty warm down in the low double and single digit temps, moisture is not problem with light snow and frost (heavy snow seems to be a thing of the past in most of the SW I travel) and I'm currently on the third season of consistently warm feet for less than 40 bucks. Might not work at the office or on the job site but those are not issues.

so so waterproofing layer at all? I'm in the PNW (east side of cascades though) and we're at 1-3 feet of snow in the winter. what about wear on the felt?

Only wear the felt things off road and they hold up fine, can be washed if necessary and are good for allowing the feet to work like feet. East of the cascades moisture might not be a big problem unless plastic bags have been banned (joke).

Offline icentropy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2015, 09:31:48 AM »
I can understand  :(  all our crafts or at least mine, take way more time than what they are worth in most cases.
well if she ever gets the urge I'd like to commission a pair, size 11.
And please tell her she does awlsome work  :thumbsup:

Size 11 for me too.

Size 11 for me as well :D
Leather, wood, steel, wool, waxed canvas, beer, coffee, venison, a hunk of sharp aged cheddar and a bowl of good pipe tobacco. Everyday is a blessing.

Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2015, 09:42:08 AM »
Thanks again for all the compliments. 

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline Orbean

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2015, 08:18:23 AM »
I am a big fan of fox river wool socks, wear the boot size ones for work year around. I wear the thinner ones for hiking. They wear well, don't think I have ever had a bad a bad pair in the ten or so years I have been wearing them.
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Offline Yeoman

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2015, 03:48:11 PM »
Late Sep to end May I mostly wear the Canadian Forces issued sock liner and temperate sock combination. Occasionally, I'll wear the cold weather socks and the liner socks but mostly they are too warm. I tried all three and no boots ala Mors Kochanski, and  darned it it doesn't work.
"Learning: a continuation of the failure process"

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2015, 05:56:35 PM »
Late Sep to end May I mostly wear the Canadian Forces issued sock liner and temperate sock combination. Occasionally, I'll wear the cold weather socks and the liner socks but mostly they are too warm. I tried all three and no boots ala Mors Kochanski, and  darned it it doesn't work.


Yeoman, refresh my memory on how Mors dressed his feet.  I can't pull it from the memory bank.
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2015, 05:59:44 PM »
Late Sep to end May I mostly wear the Canadian Forces issued sock liner and temperate sock combination. Occasionally, I'll wear the cold weather socks and the liner socks but mostly they are too warm. I tried all three and no boots ala Mors Kochanski, and  darned it it doesn't work.


Yeoman, refresh my memory on how Mors dressed his feet.  I can't pull it from the memory bank.


I'm not Yeoman, but I am pretty sure this is what he was talking about:



Can be found , along with a lot of other good ones at:
https://www.youtube.com/user/KaramatWW/videos


Just trying to be helpful.
 :D
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #40 on: March 06, 2015, 06:31:19 PM »
Thanks JB, that's it, I knew it was two socks, but forgot the water part.
And of course your helpful as always. Thanks Buddy  :) :thumbsup:
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
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Offline Yeoman

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2015, 07:40:54 PM »
That's one of the references, thanks. He mentions it in some of the booklets too.
Oh, and I have not tried the water test yet. Something about it makes me want to take him at his word. 😱
"Learning: a continuation of the failure process"

Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2015, 11:32:53 AM »
I have 7 pairs...one pair is a thin, knee-high SmartWool for summer use (I got this for free from the local EMS store), 3 pairs of midweight LL Bean, 2 pairs of midweight SmartWool, and one pair from LL Bean which is really beefy and thick. In the matter of felted booties, I do have a  pair that go with my vintage Sorel Kaufman Champions, which are 70% wool and 30% synthetic.  8)
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Offline icentropy

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Re: Cold Weather Wool Socks! Which are your favorite or not so favorite?
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2015, 08:21:28 AM »
Look what i found. http://glerupsusa.com/collections/glerups-boots

need some modifications but maybe they'd be interested in producing a new bushcraft mode?!
Leather, wood, steel, wool, waxed canvas, beer, coffee, venison, a hunk of sharp aged cheddar and a bowl of good pipe tobacco. Everyday is a blessing.