Stuff I Don’t Like – Arc’teryx Merino Socks

I was intrigued when Arc’teryx introduced socks to their Fall/Winter 21 line. Traditionally, Arc’teryx has avoided adding products unless they can offer a major improvement over what is on the market. There are exceptions to this rule, in the accessories category, where they offer logo ball caps and t-shirts using industry standard blanks. They seem to have followed suit in their selection of socks. While they are made of Merino and featured the “dead bird” logo, they lack both fit and cushion.

I purchased a pair of each of the different versions (Lowcut, 1/4 and 3/4). They are made from varying blends of about half Merino Wool along with Nylon and Elastane. I bought Large socks for my size 9 feet. The fit wasn’t great, length-wise in the foot as well as in the toe box. I bought an additional pair in size Medium thinking that was the problem. Once again, the fit on the foot wasn’t great. They don’t conform well to the foot and bunch up in areas, particularly in the toe box, along the seam. Granted, they are a lightweight sock, but there’s little nap. Fine for running, but not quite what I’d like for hiking.

I washed and wore them several times. They held up to washing fine with little pilling, but a few snags inside.

I’ve informed the team at LEAF that I didn’t like the socks, but it’s not their offering. It is an outdoor product. I feel like someone looked for gaps in their line and selected something they could slap their logo on.

While I’ve been vocally critical in the past over the BAC Cap sold by Arc’teryx in both their LEAF and outdoor categories (because it’s not up to Arcteryx quality), this is the first time I’ve actively told people to avoid an Arc’teryx product. The bottom line is that there are a lot of Merino socks on the market and for me, these don’t measure up.

The rest of their offerings? I’m still quite pleased and I’ll be telling you soon about an addition to the ATOM line that I really like.

If others have had a better experience with Arc’teryx Merino socks, I’d love to hear about it.

14 Responses to “Stuff I Don’t Like – Arc’teryx Merino Socks”

  1. Nicco says:

    A lot of Arc’teryx’s wool lineup (it’s just accessories for now) in my opinion falls behind that of other companies in the outdoor field. They have also been caught advertising their wool blends as 100% Merino wool. As far as I am aware they’ve since corrected those listings and they certainly aren’t the first company or the last company to do the same, but it’s still disappointing. Regardless, I do think would be tremendous value to proper Arc’teryx wool garments and hope that they expand the line past gloves, socks and hats.

  2. iggy says:

    I’d argue a lot of their recreational stuff is behind the curve. Their shoes are horrible, climbing packs very average, baselayers outdated. Their gloves were once way ahead but now pretty average, same with their harnesses. The clothing is nice stuff and the LEAF gear is some of the best of it, as are the LEAF dry packs, but for anything else it’s just brand.
    If you’re after socks and baselayers Oldo is a look into the future.

    • Paul says:

      Those are the breaks when a company is bought out by a multinational conglomerate. I’ve noticed their branding has taken a noticeable pivot to more of an urban feel, which saddens me.

    • J says:

      I have to disagree with you. The Norvan LD 1 &2 are both tremendous. Solid grip on wet surfaces, fairly light weight, solid bonding of the materials at seams, and the inside material is chafe resistent. These shoes simply feel GOOD on my feet. I was initially hesitant to try them since i’ve never been impressed with the Solomon boots we’re issued, and I was concerned that they’d have input on Arctery’x shoes, but that was quickly put to rest. I put 600 miles of hard trails through the first pair and my second pair are still going strong at 750 miles(according to my strava account, anyway). The trail focused Norvan VT 2s were also performing well for one of my team mates, who is a nationally rated athlete who I trust has an informed opinion on the matter. Since you’ve had a different experience with them, maybe you can specify which product you’re referring to, since it most certainly isn’t their entire lineup.

      • Iggy says:

        Fair point. Maybe the trail shoes are better, I’ve only worn their approach shoes and boots and both seemed to have fundamental issues with being rigid in the wrong places then too soft in others so they crimped the foot, heels that impinged on the Achilles and a sort of tacky feel. Then there’s that stupid sock liner concept that reinvents the fifth wheel. The Acrux climbing boots are some sort of mutation that make what should be simple into a complex mess of pointlessness parading as high tech.
        I don’t think it has anything to do with being a consortium, just misguided designs built on a cult following. Like their packs, for serious use they are not contenders against dedicated companies, its just the brand selling.
        I cant argue against you getting 1000km on a pair, thats pretty good, but for anything for mountain use they’re trading on name not function.

  3. Manu says:

    I really appreciate that someone posts about stuff to avoid.
    Nowadays theres not a single review that isn’t positive.
    For socks, Smartwool is a pretty good choice btw

  4. Ipkiss says:

    It’s toesocks or no socks for me. But avoid the Injinji Nüwool, they wear out terribly fast.

  5. Brian says:

    I’ve used Smartwool, Costco, Darn Tough and Farm to feet. So far Farm to feet are my favorite. Smartwool just don’t last. The Darn Tough are tough but I’ve got some horrible blisters in those.

  6. AbnMedOps says:

    Smartwool is still high in my rotation, but I’ve recently been impressed with fit and function of “Omni-Wool medium weight utility boot socks”, from AAFES Clothing Sales. So far, these have not had the problem of toe wear-hole which I experienced while testing a few years ago.

    • Attack7 says:

      YES – Omni-Wool Medium Weight Untility Boot Sock is what was issued. Our S4 got them through DLA for the Bn’s!

  7. Ray Forest says:

    Second the Costco Merino. I grabbed a pack on a whim and that’s all I’ve worn since it got too cold for flip flops.

  8. Vic Toree says:

    I’ve had good luck with Covert Threads socks over the years, good support and they stay put, I’ve been buying them as Christmas presents for family members that spend time outdoors and everyone seems to be enjoying them.