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Gear Review: Icebreaker Socks

Reviewed by Will Cook

Outdoorsmen the world over understand that wearing the right socks can be a difference maker on any given adventure. Uncomfortable feet make for a miserable experience in the wild. So when I received a pair of Icebreaker Merino Wool Hiking Socks I was eager to try them out and see how they stacked up. 

Warm – If keeping your toes toasty is high on your list then look no further. These socks, even though labeled as “Lite Weight,” kept my feet much warmer than my everyday footwear, but that’s not necessary a fair comparison. A fairer matchup would be comparing them to another famous, pricey brand of wool socks to remain unnamed (though they claim to be the “smartest” wool socks available). Yes, even compared to my other go-to warm socks the Icebreakers came out on top. 

Dry – The warmth, however, did not come at the expense of dryness. Even while delivering warmth my feet stayed dry. This was expected due to my experience with other merino wool socks. So I was glad to see that my new pair of Icebreakers passed this test rather than let me down. Still, it must be noted that living in the southern parts of Georgia, with all its glorious humidity, can often make for some rather drenched (and smelly) tootsies. Not so with this pair. 

Stink Free – As mentioned, my feet were free of the normal “foot smell” that typically (and admittedly) accompanies the chore of removing my boots at the end of the day. This was the one thing I was most looking forward too. Thankfully, Icebreaker came through yet again. True to their word, my feet stayed warm, dry, and non-smelly from wearing my new wool hiking socks. 

Comfort – Shape, support, and the seam placement make these socks super comfortable. The top-toe seam is designed to reduce blisters. Even when I wore these socks under my narrow-toed cowboy boots the tops of my toes were friction free thanks to the well placed seams. The additional arch support woven into the socks made for a snug, secure fit that also enhanced the comfort. Finally, never did I feel as though these socks were scratchy or irritating. 

Drawback – The only drawback I could find was the sock fit. I typically wear a shoe size 9, but I needed to wear the large size socks (fitting men’s U.S. size 11.5). They just did not seem to be true to size. This is perhaps due to the fact that I don’t like socks to be overly tight on my feet, or it may just be that Icebreaker sizes run small. Either way, they have you covered with their 30 Day Guarantee. 

Conclusion – With all the above factors taken in consideration, and especially the 30 Day Guarantee, I rate these Icebreakers a solid “A.” Had the socks been true to size they would have definitely gotten an “A+” from me. Overall I believe you’ll be hard pressed to find a better sock on the market for the price you’ll pay for these bad boys.