If you’re a runner, then your dream summer is likely full of races, training plans, bucket list routes, or adventure runs. But let’s be honest — those plans are probably decided by your brain, and if we wanna get in the feels, maybe your heart.
What about your feet? When was the last time you asked them about their perfect summer?
Lucky for you, we asked, and the feet answered. Darn Tough’s very real, science-backed, and absolutely legitimate foot surveys showed that 100% of running feet listed Merino Wool socks as summer priority numero uno.
Wool? For summer?! We know that may sound counterintuitive, bringing to mind some very, very sweaty images. But hear us out — Merino running socks are not the same as your grandma’s hand-knit holiday sweater. The science is there, and we can speak from experience. Merino makes the perfect fabric for hot summer days, cool summer nights, and everything in between.
Why Merino for Summer Running?
And unlike cotton socks, which trap moisture (and bacteria), Merino is naturally breathable and anti-bacterial. With all the noise out there about tech-fabric advances, it may come as a surprise that the best sock technology has been around a long, long time. (At least 800 years, in fact, since the first Merino sheep grazed the hills of Spain. But that’s a story for a long winter’s night — and we’re talking summer here.)
Let’s get into the reasons why feet love summer running in Merino Wool, because this performance fiber solve a lot of problems.
Problem #1: The Floor Is Lava!
High summer temps aren’t just a bunch of hot air. From superheated asphalt, sand, and dirt, to the friction that builds up with all those hundreds and thousands of strides, our feet have to handle a lot of heat.
Feet stay cool in Merino when the temperatures rise. Like the fuzzy sheep that are Merino Wool’s namesake, the wool has a natural crimp that forms tiny air pockets — creating an airy, breathable layer that releases heat instead of trapping it near the foot. VERY cool — in our humble (and only slightly corny) opinion.
Problem #2: Your Shoes Have Become Aquatic Environments.
Might as well have flippers instead of feet, with all the water you’re lugging around in there. Without breathable footwear to help it evaporate, the sweat just… sticks around.
Sweating is a natural part of running in hot weather — but with Merino, wet feet don’t have to be. Merino Wool is an ideal running buddy for those hot and otherwise sweaty days. Its natural moisture management properties help wick and evaporate while releasing body heat — cooling and drying feet even faster.
Wool’s natural fibers can absorb up to 30% of their own weight in water before they even feel wet. We’re not sure if that means you’ll be 30% less sweaty, or maybe you won’t feel sweaty at all for 30% of your run — Hey, we’re sock experts, not math experts. Either way, we guarantee your feet will be stoked.
Problem #3: Your Feet Have So Many “Hot Spots” They Might as Well Be a Starbucks.
Ba-dum-tss. But seriously — it’s Blister City in there, population: two hot, sweaty, painful feet.
Blisters are usually caused by excess moisture, heat, and friction. Most feet have to deal with all three inside a running shoe on a hot summer day — but Merino’s cumulative benefits prevent blisters by keeping things dry, cool, and comfortable in there.
Problem #4: Your Feet Have More Blisters than Toenails — Not Cute, and Definitely Not Comfortable.
When summer running brings bountiful blisters, we’d rather stuff those sore tootsies into running shoes than show them to the world in breezy summer sandals.
While the average high-plush socks might be able to help with sore feet in cooler, dryer weather, summer heat is a different story. Cotton literally traps moisture (aka foot sweat) in all that pillowy cushioning — doing more harm than good when it comes to foot hot spots.
That’s where Merino comes in — the perfect balance of comfort and breathability. But comfort is personal, so Darn Tough makes cushioned running socks, lightweight socks, ultralight no-cush socks, and everything in between.
And Merino makes cushioning a no-brainer, keeping things soft and comfortable in all temperatures. Whatever you (and your feet) prefer, from long runs to track days, we can help you find the perfect cushioning level without extra bulk or blisters.
Problem #5: You’d Rather Do Endless Hill Sprints than Let Anyone Else Smell the Post-Run Aroma of Those Sweaty Feet.
Sweaty feet can lead to stinky feet. And stinky feet can be, well, embarrassing. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
(This one’s actually a twofer.) Technically, odor might not impact running performance — even if it impacts how many people want to run with you. But over time, the bacteria that cause foot stank can also break down fibers, shortening the life of your footwear socks. And unsustainable socks really stink.
Merino Wool naturally keeps the bacteria in foot sweat from sticking to sock fibers for less stink and a longer sock lifespan. So you can feel good about going greener with your sock choices — and with fewer odors to worry about, your running buddies won’t run (even further) for the hills when the shoes come off. Yay!
Merino Keeps Feet Happy for Summer Running
No matter what your summer running plans look like — from long days in the mountains or track meets under the lights, to treadmill miles and to jogs around the park — your feet will thank you for running in Merino. And you don’t have to speak fluent “feet” to feel their appreciation — you’ll notice it, with fewer blisters, fewer odors, and less post-run discomfort.