So, I get a text from my friend: "Hey!!! I'm gonna hike while I'm on vaca in Arizona in June. What kind of socks do I need??"
And when I reply with my answer (wool), I of course get an incredulous: "What?! Are you trying to kill me!!! That'll be way too warm."
But really, that's not the case!!
How Wool Socks Can Keep You Cool
Wool isn't praised as a great sock material for hiking just because it can keep you warm. Rather, it's a great material for socks because they are great insulators and because of how it stores moisture!!
Wool being a good insulator means it can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It's all about regulation, no matter what temperature you're in, and wool socks of different thicknesses depending on the conditions can help you set that up.
As far as moisture goes, wool (specifically merino wool) does a really great job of not feeling wet when it absorbs moisture, which is something cotton just can't do!! So you won't feel like your feet are sweaty, even if they are. Eventually, they will get damp, but it will take a long time. It also dries quickly once it's wet. Depending on fabric weight and other factors, it can even match the quick-drying performance of certain synthetic fabrics, or come close!