Comparison: 100% Merino Socks vs 80% Merino/20% Nylon Socks


Caveat Emptor Comparison Series: SOCKS

100% Merino Socks vs 80% Merino/20% Nylon Socks

By Alexander S. Kabbaz, Custom Clothier & Haberdasher
Many avoid 100% Merino socks because they believe that proper care is an issue. This is not the case. Both 100% Merino and 80% Merino/20% Nylon socks demand the same care regimen. Some erroneously believe that the nylon blend socks stay up better. In reality, a sock's ability to stay up comes from the knitting technique and not the fiber content.
Select merino yarns used by the best makers are specially prepared to offer easy care. When produced using these top quality yarns, both 100% Merino socks and  80% Wool/20% Nylon blend socks need the exact same care regimen. This simple process is to machine wash in cold water and dry without heat. Drying can be either in a machine on the 'no heat/fluff' setting or laying flat on a towel or hanging on a clothesline.  

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100% Merino
Advantages Disadvantages
  • 24 available colors
  • Pure merino has a softer hand than a blend
  • Pure merino offers more foot cushion
  • Pure merino offers greater elasticity/comfort than the blend
  • Pure merino has 20% more perspiration wicking ability
  • 3-4% less durable than the nylon blend.
  • Increases average cost-per-wearing by 4¢ 
80% Merino/ 20% Nylon Socks
Advantages Disadvantages
  • 3-4% more durable than the pure merino.
  • Decreases average cost-per-wearing by 4¢
  • Limited color range available
  • Stiffer hand than the merino fiber alone
  • Thinner nylon yarns provide reduced foot cushion
  • Size range is narrower than pure merino

Although this article was authored based upon the characteristics of two specific socks (see links below) the principles apply to all top quality merino socks. Moreover, the insertion of nylon in the body of all natural fiber socks will cause most of the same advantages and disadvantages. It is also worth noting that most "pure natural fiber" socks omit the nylon in the sock body but do contain a very small percentage (usually 4%) of nylon in the top and heel as a reinforcement.
Men's Pure Merino Over-the-Calf
   Men's 80/20 Merino Over-the-Calf
 Men's Pure Merino Mid-Calf   Men's 80/20 Merino Mid-Calf
Thank you for reading. Please don't hesitate to contact the author with questions or comments.
  Copyright © 2018 Alexander Kabbaz. All rights reserved.