• Click to join the Casa Ivar mailing List
    (separate from the forum emails). This includes new videos created on YouTube and new prodcts on the Camino Forum Store. (Click the small "X" on the top right corner to remove this message)

Search 58,412 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

Merino Wool socks VS Coolmax socks

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
For the ones who know both, and that have used both, what are the Pros and Cons for both of these two types of fabric, when used in socks?
 
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
The most selling Camino Guide is shipping November 1st. Get your today and start planning.
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean

supersullivan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
Diogo

I use both combined when hill walking in Ireland in wintertime. The coolmax socks I use are a thin liner sock worn inside my 'Bridgedale' wool-mix hiking socks. On my 1st camino I continued using the combination but found my concerns re tender feet were not realised so on my 3 longer caminos I've used just mid-weight wool/mix hiking socks. I've used light weight hiking boots on 4 of my caminos as that's what my feet are conditioned to.

The primary drawback for me with the wool-mix socks is the longer drying time needed after washing so I carry 2 spare pairs to allow for this. The coolmax socks I've seen available in Ireland are all liner socks and not suitable i.m.o. as a primary sock for walking the camino but it may well be possible that elsewhere heavier versions are available. They certainly dry far quicker than wool-mix socks and on the camino I used them as liners I brought just 2 pairs.

IF your feet are conditioned to walking on rough trails in something lighter than normal hiking boots and you could find a heavier version of coolmax socks than I have seen then they could well be a possible combination

Seamus
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

Olivares

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
Much like Dan, used both and could not tell you a difference. I did also used Injinji (trademark?) socks and never walked again in any other other type socks but Injinji, specially in the summer. Buen Camino.
 

Alyssa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2014)
Norte, Finisterre, Salvador, Primitivo (2015)
For the ones who know both, and that have used both, what are the Pros and Cons for both of these two types of fabric, when used in socks?
My feet were on fire wearing merino whereas merely "very warm" in the Coolmesh.
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
First of all, thank you all for your answers. I'm very appreciated for them :)

About the subject: I'm asking this, mainly because my Quechua Forclaz 500 socks which I used has the second lair, are all in a point that I can't use them anymore for long hikes.

So, I've found that the portuguese company BERG, it's selling 2 pairs of Merino Wool and pairs of CoolMax socks, for 14,99€ and 16,99€ (respectively).

I've bought a pack of 2 Coolmax, and they are kinda thick, not so thin has that. BERG say that they offer the best breathability of their range of hiking socks. I will try them, with some liners on the Caminho de Fatima next October.

Thank you very much once again :)
 

musicagl

Member
Past OR future Camino
Part 1 - May 2011
Part 2 - May 2012
Part 3 - June 2014
Finisterre (for mom) Fall 2016
Every person's feet are different. Mine blister with merino wool (although only on the Camino -- hiking in New England, merino and my feet do fine). Coolmax socks worked a lot better for my feet on the Camino. I had to toss the merino. Outside temperature matters as well. I walked in May when the merino failed me.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Fine art photography from the Camino Ways.
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I've worn both. I like the Merino in the cold weather and the coolmax in the hot weather.
The merino only has to be washed once a week and doesn't stink.
The coolmax does stink after a while and it won't wash out.

In the end, wear whatever is most comfortable for YOU!
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
My feet were on fire wearing merino whereas merely "very warm" in the Coolmesh.
Just curious...are your boots/hiking shoes "waterproof"; i.e. lined with goretex or similar? That tends to make footwear a lot hotter.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos

gregdedman

Active Member
I found my secret to be (and the secret I pass on to fellow pilgrims) is...
Thin, coolmax liner sock - close to the skin, wicks moisture away from the skin
Mid weight merino wool hiking sock - Still allows moisture to wick away but gives you warmth and layering

The two layers together rub against one another and not your skin, eliminating blisters.

Buy the size that snugly fits your foot, you dont want those layers baggy.
If you wear the two pairs, at least you have options for temperature control.
Have you heard of the 1,000 mile socks?
Well, theyre sold on the same principle, double layer to not rub on your skin.....however, with these, you are stuck with two layers whatever the temperature.

This pic explains coolmax a little better.
2zp2wia.gif
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
@gregdedman Yes we wear triple socks for the same reasons. inner thin wicking liner, mid weight mohair middle and cushion sole mohair outer. All the friction is on the middle pair. So far we have consistantly had to buy 2 pairs of mid weight to every pair of inner and outer socks as it is the middle ones which wear out first. When really hot we can wear inner plus to pairs of middle socks, or 2 inner and one cushion sole - lots of options. Our feet love the system.
 

MichaelSG

Retired member
Past OR future Camino
Not enough
I'm not sure if Under Armour socks are Coolmax but I think they are. I used the UA socks one day of my two caminos (60 walking days) and it was the only day I got blisters. And I got several of them. Merino wool socks with silk liner socks and a little "unguento tradicional" (from Mundicamino) around the toes on the other 59 days produced zero blisters.
 
Last edited:

audge

Member
Past OR future Camino
june 2013
I'll throw another in the mix. I LOVE my Darn Tough socks! The are light and oh so comfy. Anyone else have experience with these?
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
Much like Dan, used both and could not tell you a difference. I did also used Injinji (trademark?) socks and never walked again in any other other type socks but Injinji, specially in the summer. Buen Camino.

Yesssssss, injinji toe socks!!! For me the only way to go. LOVE THEM!!

If there is one sock that will not give you blisters, it is the toesock. I will never walk a camino in any other sock then these ones (injini lightweight). They also have thicker ones for winter and they even have wool ones, for the wooly people :). I will stick with the lightweight ones. And most are coolmax.
 
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

SkuratO

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Portugués ( Sept.2014)
For those who are looking for ANY socks- socksaddict.com
My " recipe "- toe socks+ SmartWool medium weight socks. Changing bought every 2 hours.First Camino- not a single blister!
 

CTucker

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Mar 18, 2014
I agree that every person's feet are different and you should wear whatever is comfortable for you. However as a fact, Coolmax has better breathability than any natural fiber. It draws the moisture away from the skin and makes you feel dry and cool under hot weather. Merino wool works fine as well when it's hot or cold. But it dries slower and it will wear out faster than Coolmax.
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Some, and with luck, some more.
I've found Coolmax liners with Bridgedale hiking socks to be perfect for me with boots and walking shoes.

My habit during warm or hot weather is to stop every two hours or so, take my boots and socks off, say hello and thank-you to my toes and let them take in the view for about ten minutes before setting off again.

Seems to work well for me and keeps me blister free.

Buen (good sock choice) Camino
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 101 ratings
Downloads
15,264
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,930
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,728
Updated

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top