If you thought silk was a fiber of the past, relegated to stories of World War II and the scarcity of women’s seamed silk stockings of the time, think again! Silk is one of the most versatile, luxurious and practical fibers in use for both men’s and women’s hosiery. Even better, it’s a sustainable natural fiber, created by silkworms from the ingesting of mulberry leaves and truly a fiber for the 21st century.
Because silk imparts warmth without weight, and allows moisture to wick away from the body, its use in hosiery is a natural. Even better, silk socks are also cool in the summer. Silk is truly a fiber for all seasons. Whether you need silk liner socks for extreme outdoor winter sports, or smart and sexy dress socks for wearing with your best dress suit or tux, silk is the fiber of choice, whether 100% or in a blend with cotton, cashmere, nylon, spandex or wool. Blends tend to be more desirable, since silk is not a stretchy fiber, and won’t return to its shape easily. But when blended with other fibers it becomes a great choice, whether for heavy duty use or for black tie occasions.
Athletes especially love silk and silk blend socks, whether they’re bicycling, running, mountain climbing, hiking, or skiing. Many of the top sports companies are offering silk and silk blend socks. The Wigwam merino wool and silk blend socks for men and women pulled a very favorable review from the Backpack Gear Test site by people using them in winter conditions in the northern US. Thorlo Expedia merino wool/silk blend socks got an equally favorable review from an Alabama hiker. Other companies that have jumped on the silk and silk blend socks bandwagon are X-Socks, Teko, Fox River, Lorpen, Adidas, and Terramar. Sock liners are usually offered in 80-100% silk, while other athletic silk socks are offered in blends with cotton, merino wool, and sometimes other fibers such as lycra or spandex. Some of the outfitters, such as LL Bean, Cabela’s and Land’s End, are also offering their versions of men’s silk socks.
Dress socks for men and women come in both 100% silk and in silk blends. Winter socks come in blends with wool and cashmere, summer weight socks are offered in blends with nylon or rayon or cotton. Neutral colors are usually the order of the day in dress socks. You’ll find these black silk socks in natural shades, gray, black, taupe and brown, and often in ribbed or other textures or with textured designs. Some of the dress sock makers include Pantherella, Jos. A Bank, Falke, Nautica, and Legale.
Though there are some mens silk socks that can be machine washed and dried, in general you will get more life out of them if you either hand or machine wash in cold water and hang them to dry. Silk will eventually deteriorate if often subjected to high temperatures, and will hold up much better if you avoid the dryer. Because wool and cashmere have the same requirements, this shouldn’t be a hardship, and silk thermal socks take up the least drying space, and can be thrown over your shower rod or a towel rack in a pinch. It’s well worth the extra bit of care, since these socks feel so good on your feet, and perform so well in sporting and outdoor situations.
So, whether you’re the outdoors type who puts your footwear and hosiery through the extreme test and needs performance to the max, or you’re the black-tie and opera type who wants the ultimate in luxury fibers on your feet, silk-blend socks are a great choice for you.