Backpacker - - NEWS -

OUR TAKE Merino gets all the at­ten­tion, but it’s not the only wool around. Kora uses yak wool as well, which is plusher than the sheep-grown va­ri­ety, to cre­ate the com­fi­est sock we tested. The up­dside-down con­struc­tion bol­stered fit and feel by min­i­miz­ing cush­ion­ing in the sole in fa­vor of thicker pile on top. This places warmth where you need it most, since your win­ter boots likely have plenty of midsole in­su­la­tion. This de­sign kept us cozy on frigid out­ings and re­duced slip­page in tech­ni­cal boots dur­ing win­ter as­cents. (The blend is 27 per­cent yak wool, 25 per­cent merino, and the rest a mix of poly/ny­lon/elas­tane.) Trade­off: A toe seam on the ball of the foot took some get­ting used to, but no testers re­ported get­ting any hot spots or blis­ters be­cause of it. TRAIL CRED “The Up­side Downs kept my feet from freez­ing when a snow­shoe overnight went a lit­tle longer than planned,” said a tester after a trip in Olympic National Park. $22; 2 oz. (M); XS-XL; kora.net

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