Monday, January 9, 2012
Good Deal Alert
Socks. They are the bane of my existence. It used to be a simple matter, buying new socks. You went to Penny's, picked out your favorite socks, bought them and they lasted a year, maybe two. They had footie socks, crew socks, over-the-calf socks, boot socks, athletic socks, tube socks - whatever you wanted. Little by little, their sock inventory dwindled. Then, even if you could find what you wanted, they were junk. Holes developed in the heels, fingers went through the tops when trying to pull them up. Arrgh!
Sir Knight is rather particular about his socks. He likes over-the-calf socks that stay in place all day long. You would think these are simple requirements. Good grief! I tell you, it is harder than it looks! First, trying to find over-the-calf socks is getting more and more difficult. And, when I do find them, they are either too expensive to afford or they are low quality, falling to Sir Knight's ankles before lunch or developing holes within weeks.
Of course, any time I do find decent socks, I buy as many as I can afford. A couple of years ago, I found some military socks (OD, Sir Knight's favorite color) that were great. They wore like iron, were cost effective and had silver running through them (an anti-fungal). Unfortunately, the supply dried up and after buying about 40 pair, we couldn't get any more. 40 pair may sound like a lot, however, we do have a teen-aged son. They can wear any socks out in a hurry!
So one day, I was wandering through the latest issue of Sportsman's Guide (HQ Military Surplus). Surplus is a weakness of mine and I always try to get my hands on the catalogs first. When I came across some used Swedish wools socks, I knew I had hit the jackpot. Yes, I did say used. But, come on, they wash them!
Sir Knight was a little unsure about buying used socks, but we went ahead and ordered some, willing to give them a try. The price was right, $24.97 for 20 pair, and they were wool, indicating a higher-than-normal quality. They came in a plastic bag with the traditional military surplus odor. The first thing we did was pair the socks (there were about two pair that were crew length, rather than over-the-calf, and there were a couple of different manufacturers), pinned them together and tossed them in the washing machine. After one washing, they still had a faint surplus odor, but after two, the smell was completely gone.
Sir Knight loves these socks (and I must admit, so do I). They are very long (reaching all the way to the knee and even having to be folded back down). The elastic is great, holding the socks in place but not binding. They are remarkably cushy and tremendously warm. They are not nearly as thick as boot socks, but thicker than athletics socks. We wore the socks for about a month (just to prove them) and then ordered 60 more pair. They are great and will be an invaluable stock up and preparedness item.
Living in a cold, northern climate, wool will be very important in the winter months. Sir Knight has to wear steel-toed boots for work and his feet are always cold in the winter. With these socks, his feet are comfortable - not hot, but comfortable. And another added benefit is that wool retains up to 95% of its insulation value when wet - cotton sure can't do that!
If you are looking for great socks at a good price, check out these Swedish surplus wool socks. You won't be sorry.