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Gear Guy

What do you think of mohair socks?

What do you think of the new mohair socks on the market? Are they as warm as wool socks? Are they itchy?" Alexander Do Toronto, Ontario

A: I don't know if I would call mohair socks "new." They've been around in one form or another for some time. Mohair, of course, is the wool that comes from the fleece of the Angora goat. It has long been seen as a luxury product, used in sweaters and other outerwear. It's very warm, very soft, and quite durable. Several companies make socks from the stuff, including Texas Mohair (Texas, of all places, is a big Angora goat locale), which sells a Hunting/Outdoor sock for $16 that is a blend of mohair, regular wool, and nylon.

Generally speaking, they should work fine. Mohair is very warm, so that's not an issue, and also is reputed to keep you comfortably cool when it's warm. Durability also is not a problem -- those Angora goats were raised in tough, tough country, and won't have wimpy wool. Keep in mind, however, why merino wool socks have become so popular in recent years. It's because merino wool, along with the attributes of warmth, softness and so on, has tiny pockets in the wool fibers that absorb huge amounts of moisture. This helps keep your feet dry even when you're sweating heavily. Mohair sock makers claim similar qualities, but whether you'd gain anything is hard to say.

So give them a try! You won't be out much, and you might find you like them better than the wool socks you're wearing now.

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