If you’re thinking about maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes running, and you live in a part of the world where winter can be cold and unforgiving, you need to take special winter precautions. Running during the winter season is nothing like a gentle spring or summer run, and your chief enemy during winter activities is cold, which is made even more dangerous by the body’s tendency to sweat when it exerts itself. For people that are serious about winter athletics, the material merino wool is often spoken of in enthusiastic, glowing terms.
So what is merino wool, and why is it so highly regarded?
Right away, the name itself should tip you off. Merino wool is a natural fiber that comes from… Merino sheep. These sheep have adapted to some of the more inhospitable parts of the world, such as the mountains of Turkey, New Zealand and South Africa. Because of that, they have evolved with an extremely breathable wool that is both lightweight and at the same time extremely effective against the cold. In other words, it’s a wonder material that naturally grows on sheep instead of having to be synthetically manufactured.
When used as a material in clothing, merino wool offers an amazing versatility. As to be expected, it’s light, and the breathability of the wool transfers over, giving it natural moisture wicking properties. There are even some natural anti-bacterial properties within Merino wool that can help to fight odor reduce chances of infections.
When used to make socks, Merino wool is a perfect fabric for winter wear. The natural insulating properties keep your feet warm, but it’s not too thick, so can comfortably fit into shoes and boots. If you’re running, the ability to wick moisture while keeping you warm is essential to preventing your sweat from making you ill during the colder months.
For comfort, warmth, moisture control and safer, healthier exertions if you do run in colder, winter conditions, Merino wool is perfect. If it’s good enough to keep sheep alive in the mountains during the winter, it’s good enough to keep your feet in prime condition.