This Pair of Bison Fiber Hiking Socks Will Make Your Feet so Happy

United By Blue's new bison trail socks are a reason to get excited about the cold weather.


United By Blue’s new trail socks are soft and warm and amazing. / Photograph courtesy of United By Blue

This post is part of our Hygge series, featuring activities, products, and experiences that will make you feel cozy in Philly this fall and winter. Stay tuned for more local recommendations.

When you’re a kid, the gut reaction to getting socks as a present is an eye roll and a groan.

To a young’un, they’re too utilitarian. The ones you got under the Christmas tree or as a Hanukkah gift were probably shades of white or black or grey, packaged in sets of threes so if you lost one sock in the dryer, you could easily swap in one from another pair that looked identical. As the youths used to say in my day, booooring.

My theory is that you know you’ve become an adult when you get excited about socks. Here, for instance, are all the times socks have made me, at 27, happy in the past few months: When my washing machine had eaten so many that I needed some replacement sets, and my mom sent me some, unprovoked. When I found high-quality running socks that were cut low enough that I didn’t resemble Steve Urkel. And, most recently, when I tried on a pair of United by Blue’s bison trail socks.

These babies fit all my requirements for hiking socks, which, having essentially lived in these types of socks for many years in Colorado, I have a surprisingly high number of. They’re not so tall that you can only wear them with riding boots. You don’t have to hand wash them. They don’t itch, even though they’re made partly of wool. They’re not so thick that your feet overheat. And, most important, they’re crazy soft without being fluffy.

Part of this is likely United by Blue’s signature material, the bison fiber, which is allegedly one of those miracle substances that singlehandedly regulates temperature, wicks moisture, and does a host of other things you’d typically need a composite to accomplish. United By Blue does incorporate wool, recycled polyester, spandex, and nylon into the trail socks, so perhaps their success is really due to the power of the team. In the end, I don’t really care how they work as long as they continue to make my feel feel magnificent through multiple washes (TBD, will keep you posted).

But there are more meaningful reasons why a pair of cozy socks like these triggers so much happiness in us grown-ups. We pay more attention to simple comforts, and we know that pulling on socks can make our entire bodies warmer, not just our toes. To that end, they represent an act of self-care — by putting them on, we’re finding small, seemingly silly ways to make ourselves more comfortable. And that seems like the most adult decision of all.