Since the spring we’ve been testing various hiking apparel from the Czech brand Lasting. Lasting specializes in base layers and socks, and most of their products are made of Merino wool. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they also sent us Merino socks for trial. Both me and my girlfriend received a pair of their WLS Hiking Merino socks which are relatively thin socks, designed for moderate and warm temperatures. I started wearing the Lasting WLS Merino socks in late spring, and in summer I thoroughly tested them on our hiking holidays in Norway. Below is what I learned about them.
The Lasting WLS Hiking Merino Socks are suitable for:
- Everyday use
The Lasting WLS Hiking Merino socks are made of Merino wool (75%), polypropylene (10%), nylon (10%) and elastane (5%). Merino wool ensures that the socks are breathable, moisture-wicking and odor-resistant while the synthetic fibers increase the durability and add stretch to the garment. Note that Merino socks are never made of 100% Merino wool, as pure Merino wool fabric doesn’t provide sufficient durability for such a heavy-duty garment. When I unwrapped the Lasting socks, I was a bit surprised over how thin they are. I’ve never had so thin Merino socks. Nevertheless, that was to be expected as the WLS socks are intended for warm conditions – unlike other Merino socks I have tried. I also immediately noticed that the fabric feels somewhat synthetic and less soft to the touch than other Merino socks I have, but not in an uncomfortable way. The “synthetic” feel must be due to the thinness of the fabric as the percentage of Merino wool is higher than in any other socks I have tested (e.g. Falke TK2 = 60 %, CimAlp = 64 %).
So, when I test hiking socks I focus on breathability, drying time, durability, comfort, odor control and moisture-wicking performance. These are in my opinion the most important qualities when it comes to socks for hiking. I started wearing the socks on trails in May and on colder days I also wore them for running. Due to the thin fabric, the socks provide excellent breathability and dry extremely fast. They don’t provide much insulation, which makes them perfect for hiking in warm conditions and running in moderate temperatures. I found them slightly too warm for running in summer as running is a more intensive activity than hiking. The socks also nicely pull moisture from the feet and transfer it to the lining of your footwear. I never had a feeling that my feet would be excessively moist.
Now, I was a bit worried about the durability because the WLS socks are thin and thin fabrics tear faster than thick fabrics. Nevertheless, my worries proved unnecessary. After half of a year the socks look almost the same as they did when I got them. The synthetic fibers in the socks indeed do their job and prevent the socks from tearing. As the socks have a high percentage of Merino fibers, they also don’t become stinky. I often wore them for multiple activities without washing them in-between wears and they never became smelly.
Comfort, fit, sizing and functionality
The Lasting WLS Hiking Merino socks provide good comfort for their thinness, but do keep in mind that they don’t provide much cushioning. So, if you have super robust hiking boots, I do recommend going for thicker socks that provide more cushioning. Nevertheless, the socks are perfect for trekking shoes and lightweight hiking boots. I wore them both with my Lowa hiking shoes and my Salewa hiking boots and I didn’t encounter any problems or discomfort. The only thing I wished for was a bit more cushioning in the heel area. The socks also have very minimalistic flatlock seams which are barely visible. I would be very surprised if these seams would cause discomfort to anyone.
I’m also very satisfied with the fit of the Lasting socks. They are quite stretchy and thus they nicely adjust to the silhouette of the feet. The elastics in the cuffs are also not too tight or too lose and fit nicely around the ankles. I got the socks in size L which corresponds to US Men size 9-11.5 and EU size 42-45. My footwear is usually size 43 or 44 and thus it seems that the socks are true to size.
Washing and drying
The Lasting WLS socks are machine washable at 30° C without softener, bleach or other additives. As with other sportswear, you shouldn’t tumble-dry them. That’s not a big problem as the socks anyway dry extremely fast, and since they are made of Merino wool, you also don’t have to wash them as frequently as synthetic socks. Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial. Learn more about Merino wool in our article Why you should wear Merino wool.
The Lasting WLS Hiking Merino socks are a great option for hiking, mountaineering and trekking in summer weather. They are also not too thick for running in moderate conditions. What I like about these socks is that they are breathable, quick-drying, moisture-wicking and odor-resistant. Despite that they are made of relatively thin fabric, they provide good durability. The stretchy fabric ensures good fit and flatlock seams prevent chafing and discomfort. So, if you are looking for good hiking socks for summer and warmer temperatures, I do sincerely recommend these socks.
If you have any questions about this product, drop me a line in the comments below.