Review on FITS Merino Wool Socks

FITS Light Hiker
FITS Light Hiker

Rick Shandley

With 109 years of knowledge weaving Merino wool, FITS socks are part of the vanguard creating today’s comfortable, warm, and breathable socks for active people. As a textile mill since 1909 and located in Neota, Tennessee, the Crescent Sock Company, parent company of FITS, is the oldest hosiery mill in the USA. That’s the kind of experience building a basic product that establishes credibility in quality.

We evaluated three FITS socks most applicable to our kind of outdoor interests of hiking, camping, backpacking, and alpine living. Although FITS has a full line-up of high-quality socks from dress socks to deep winter wool socks, we looked at the FITS Light Hiker, Rugged Crew, and BIG GAME socks. We’ll discuss these three FITS sock models in the order mentioned above, and break down some qualities of each that speak to the features of the individual product. However, the stand out benefit each of these socks offers your feet is cushioned comfort, uncanny fit, natural fiber odor management, and a welcomed durability.


Before moving away from California, the FITS Light Hiker, and the Rugged Crew socks were worn on weekly alpine training hikes up around Thunder Mountain, Mt. Baldy, and sections of the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern California. On the hikes, FITS socks where worn with traditional mountaineering boots with stiff outsoles. After the hikes, these socks didn’t come off; just a shoe change and back into the late summer days that often bounced between the mid 90’s and 100-degree temperatures. This is where “bulk buy” cotton and cheap synthetic socks break down, get wet, and need to be changed out most every day, if not twice a day.

With the FITS socks, the built-in cushion didn’t fade. Even after several days of wearing them, the natural moisture and odor management of Merino wool performed consistently well. We did not experience blistering, hot spots, sock bunching, or overheated feet in hot weather with any of the FITS socks assessed over the summer and winter of 2011, to this point. The FITS socks have proven breathability and the natural characteristic of wool to wick away moisture. During the cold months so far, the hot weather problems associated with poorly designed socks where immaterial. And wearing good boots with similar qualities of inner-boot materials that allow breathability, moisture and odor management, ventilation, and cushioning all worked great with these FITS socks.

Washing FITS socks is no drama. You’d think it would be necessary to use Woolite, hand wash them, and treat them like delicate silk scarves. But all you have to do is include FITS socks in with your color laundry, use regular detergent, and hit the start button. The only deviation is rather than throw your FITS socks into the dryer, you simply let them air dry at room temperature. FITS socks dry fairly quickly and are ready to go back into service in a jiffy looo. When you need to hand wash them on a multi-day backpacking trip, it really is not a problem, and they air dry just fine hanging from a gear pocket inside a tent.

One thing each pair of FITS socks we reviewed has in common is a custom fit and multi-day comfort. When you pull on a FITS sock, your heel literally drops into a cushioned pocket as if it where tailor made for your feet. The comfort and design qualities surrounding the sides and toe area of the foot is noteworthy when you first try on FITS socks. Of course we are all individual people who value different qualities from different every day products. But I enjoyed the cushion and precise fit of each of these three FITS sock products during a three-month period.

Because these FITS socks where worn often (longer than any cotton or synthetic sock) and washed with impunity, the sock construction, consistent cushion and comfort attest to these socks reliability and quality. I would recommend FITS socks to folks who like consistent performance, comfort, and durability in any of their backcountry equipment.

Upon relocating to Northern Colorado, just in time to take cover from the first fall snow storm, the BIG GAME socks were added to the FITS sock rotation along with Sorel Conquest, Kamik Patriot, and LOWA Baikal GTX insulated winter boots. As low temperatures, snow and ice where added to the equation, warmth became a factor, and the Marino wool provided additional insulation to keep the feeling in my feet for many hours out of doors working with horses, hiking, long walks up the canyon, and chilly mornings commuting to Denver.  Go to

FITS Light Hiker in Brown
FITS Light Hiker in Brown

FITS Light Hiker (MSRP $19.99)

Colors: Coal, Navy, Brown, Stone, Black

Just like the name, the FITS Light Hiker uses 65-percent Merino wool. Cushioning is added only to the sock bottoms, and they feel good. The deep heel pocket and consistent ability to conform to the shape of the foot, stay there, and remain comfortable is evident even after several months of wearing, washing, and wearing them until you feel like you’re abusing them. The Light Hiker is a solid everyday sock for the comfort and cushion alone. During the summer, these got the most wear on multi-hour hikes, switch shoes, and wearing them the rest of the day. The Light Hiker is a crew length sock, fitting just below the calf of the leg and offers good leg coverage when wearing with light hiking boots or mountaineering boots.  FITS socks uses a double-welt on the top of the sock to eliminate sock binding or slipping.  Once these socks are on your feet, they stay in place nicely.

FITS Rugged Crew in light brown.
FITS Rugged Crew in light brown.

FITS Rugged Crew (MSRP $17.99)

Colors: Coal, Navy, Light Brown

FITS Rugged Crew uses 69-percent Merino wool and surrounds the foot with cushioning. Rugged Crew, like its name, rises to just below the calf. These are a slightly heavier-duty sock than the Light Hiker, being more conducive to multi-day backpacking, camping or hunting trips in mild to cool weather. If given the choice, my sock drawer would be full of the Rugged Crew in the range of colors FITS Sock Company offers them in. Once you experience soft, cushioned socks that hold their shape washing after washing, you kind of swear not to ever buy a six-pack of white cotton socks from Taiwan ever again. The Rugged Crew is good for wearing every day, and the 360-degree cushioning makes good boots feel great.

FITS BIG GAME in light brown.
FITS BIG GAME in light brown.


Colors: Coal, Navy, Light Brown

Using 74-percent Merino wool, the FITS BIG GAME is a workhorse sock for cold to wicked cold winter wearing. All the same fit and functionality features designed into the Light Hiker and Rugged Crew are found in this heavy-duty, boot length sock that rises to mid-calf. The deep heel pocket, form fitment, double top welt, and comfort all just ramp up a notch with the BIG GAME. With cushioning surrounding the foot, the BIG Game is a noticeably thicker sock. Used with insulated cold-weather boots, the BIG GAME held up it end for providing the warmth only wool can offer in an environment where moisture, and sometimes soggy conditions affect the foot under high activity to no activity conditions. When manufacturers of leather upper snow boots claim they are waterproof, don’t count on it after a couple years unless you apply additional water proofing like Snow Seal. Feet can get damp in the winter when you are active and operating in deep fresh snow or mid-day melting snow. These FITS BIG Game socks were subject to moisture inside the boot in high-activity (high blood circulation) conditions, and the Merino wool did its job of keeping the feet relatively warm until both the boots and the socks could be changed out to a dry boots and fresh socks. Why the BIG GAME seems to be priced below the Light Hiker and Rugged Crew, we have no idea. But these are fine cold weather winter socks, and the comfort is hard to beat. No complaints about any of the FITS socks we tried. Our only dilemma is requesting the loved ones to actually “Buy me FITS socks” for Christmas. Yes, I want more.

Editor’s Note: Another thing I appreciated about these FITS socks was the fact that the three pair we tested were not blemishes or imperfect products. It appears that many outdoor product manufacturing companies (including well known, big name brand socks) set aside imperfect products they dole out to the media thinking the media will passively say great things about their blemished “Media Sample” product, even if the product is pathetic. We come from the automotive performance industry, and if a product is excellent, we say so. If a product is substandard and blemished, we say so. These FITS socks I assessed are the same product any consumer can expect and rely on should they pluck a pair of FITS socks off the hook at their local outdoors shop. That means a ton.

2 thoughts on “Review on FITS Merino Wool Socks

  1. We have an account with Crescent Sock Co and do very well with your softest socks and many of your combed cotton. I’d like more information about your Marino wool socks. Is it spelled Marino or Merino? Do I need to call your division or can we place our orders through our account representatives at Crescent?

    Hank Roth
    for Jane Roth
    Socks and Things
    Morriston, Fl…

  2. Hi Hank,

    You can call FITS division of Crescent Sock company at: 1-855-855-6460

    We evaluated these socks as a third-party media that actually wore them. We are not connected to the company.

    Thank you for calling out the miss-spelling of Merino wool. It is Merino, not marino. My mistake.



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