Travel Gear Review: Smartwool PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Mini Socks

The minimalist nomad’s dream travel sock – say goodbye to smelly feet

Back in London earlier this year, I took a hard look at my travel gear and decided to take my journey into minimalism a step further. My desire to backpack lighter ended up with an almost complete overhaul of my gear and the wonderful discovery of merino wool. Unlike cotton, merino wool regulates body temperature and is odor resistant. Because you can wear it longer between washes, you can effectively can carry less sets of clothing.


Smartwool quickly came up in my searches as a leading manufacturer of merino performance wear. Swayed by positive reviews, I ordered these PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Mini Socks to give them a try.



My first impression was just how light these socks are! The stitching and build quality were also excellent. My original plan was to carry just one pair of socks, but seeing how incredibly light they were I ordered another pair!



I was looking for socks that I could wear both casually or on a hike and these couldn’t have been better. I first got to test them out on Lisbon’s demanding cobbled streets, where I wore them inside my Ipari Hana barefoot shoes. They gave me just enough padding and thanks to the merino wool they stayed fresh for days. Now after a total of 3 months traveling I couldn’t be happier with these socks. I’ve walked countless miles in them and not a sign of wear or tear.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share your thoughts or experiences in the comments!

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