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Wool vs Cotton Socks

by Pivotal Digital 03 Feb 2023
Wool vs Cotton Socks

Chaussettes. Socken. Calzini. Skarpety. It doesn’t matter the language you use, what your feet are probably thinking about today… is socks. Ok, obviously feet don’t think. But let’s face it, with a world of worries to concern yourself over, it’s too easy to overlook your hard-working feet.

Since those unsung heroes take you from A to B, holding the brunt of your weight from dawn to dusk, we suggest one simple thing: spare the care of some thought to the socks you choose each morning.

And with the autumn chill waiting around the corner, what should you be putting on your feet as the season turns?

Well, we thought we’d take this opportunity to discuss the humble sock and the differences between fan-favourites cotton and wool.


Mismatched socks, wool socks and cotton socks

Cotton socks, the basics

For many, the cotton sock is the weapon of choice. It has been at the very fibre of sock creation since the seventeenth century (pun absolutely intended). It’s breathable, soft and the superior choice if you have sensitive feet.

With the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century, hand knitting workers were replaced by circular looms. This sent production rates soaring, and the cotton sock became an everyday necessity for comfort and hygiene.

Cotton seems to be quite clearly an obvious frontrunner as our summer companion, although like most, you are probably wearing them all year round. It’s convenient to do so, but are we perhaps missing the secret of the “seasonal sock”?

Sadly, when wet, our cotton comrades lose all their insulating properties. You may even feel like it wasn’t worth bothering to wear them at all. If that soggy squelch isn’t a result of a torrid river or a hole in your walking boots, it’s likely because your feet have perspired. How delightful.


Wool socks, the basics

As your winter warmers find their way out from storage and back into your wardrobe, perhaps you should consider pairing them with the often-understated woollen sock? We think that sounds positively cosy.

Our sheep-sheared saviours are a fantastic insulator (and at SocksFox, it is something we definitely bleet on about!). Because of the nature of its composition, wool has some surprising qualities that make it far more versatile than most people realise.

Wool fibres have naturally anti-bacterial properties which make them odour resistant. They maintain their insulating properties even when wet, and can also absorb a high amount of moisture.

It won’t matter if you’re trudging through mud and snow, or simply padding about on cold stone floors in your cottage or a ski lodge, you’ll feel as warm on the inside as your happy feet!


Fighting Fast Fashion

It sounds as if we are sock connoisseurs… and we are.  But we are only just getting started.

Whilst retailers sell multipacks of a polyblend mix for next to nothing, we’re seeing a welcome shift in perceptions; a rise in people who care about quality over quantity. Perhaps you’re one of them? (If you’re here, we’re guessing you are!).

The debate surrounding fast fashion has everyone more conscious about their clothes – their lifespan, what they’re made from. The game really is afoot, and we’re here to play our part in helping you understand what makes the best choice for your feet.


different socks on table with warm lighting behind

One Size Fits All?

On the surface, wool sounds like the ultimate gold standard for socks, however, there are some downsides to consider.

  • Woollen socks require more dutiful care on your part (handwashing and drying while laid out flat, for instance).
  • If you wear wool socks for too long while walking on carpet, you’ll reduce their lifespan courtesy of built-up friction.
  • Find yourself with a pair of socks made from low-grade wool and you’ll soon be struggling to resist the itch.

All that setting aside the fact that you’ll hardly want such a thick layer on your feet during the warmer months!


Cotton vs Wool, in the eyes of the environment

By now, we’re hoping you’ve got a strong idea that both cotton and wool socks have their rightful place in your drawers and on your toes.

But how do they step up environmentally? What if you’re concerned with more than how your socks look and feel?

The Environmental Justice Foundation reported that cotton production globally contributes 220 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. Cotton is quite thirsty too (so are sheep, but bear with us), so the water footprint is roughly recorded at 233 billion cubic metres a year. For perspective, that is equivalent to 238 bathtubs per person every year.

Compared to conventional cotton, organic cotton requires 85% less water because of the natural crop treatments. And although more expensive than wool, it is far more readily available.

So, what spin does wool take on the environmental tale?

Wool is a 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre that uses 70% less water than cotton in its production. Being a hard-wearing fibre, it is also likely to last longer than its cotton counterpart. So, if it goes further and costs less to make… does that make wool our winner?


The Best of Both Worlds?

Sure, you could stand by cotton or wool devoutly, we're not going to stop you. But why settle when you don't have to?

Plenty of socks offer a regal blend of both materials to bring you the best from each side. This innovative combo comprising an outer layer of premium wool and the softest skin-friendly cotton on the inside is, understandably, one of the most popular socks we've ever stocked here at SocksFox. 

We'd be remiss not to mention the fabulous Falke brand at this point, who we consider genuine sock artisans. They've absolutely perfected the art of blending cotton and wool to bring you unmatched comfort and temperature regulation in one unbeatable business sock.


In Conclusion

Like an outfit, socks should match every occasion and mood. Just as important though, is considering which fibre suits your wallet, your lifestyle and your ecological conscience. Trust us, there is a sock for every season and for everyone.

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Terms & Conditions

Welcome to SocksFox is owned and operated by Zapzero Ltd (referred to in these terms as SocksFox). We provide access to the website ('website') and sell our products to you subject to the following terms and conditions. The following terms and conditions of sale constitute a binding agreement between SocksFox and its customers, which applies to all purchases made on the website, by telephone or email.

  You agree to review these terms and conditions prior to placing future orders to ensure you are aware of the current terms and conditions in place at that time. You agree not to change these terms of sale from the form presented by us. All other terms and conditions including those in any order submitted by you are expressly excluded and shall have no effect.

1. Your Account

When you use the website, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password. You should contact us immediately if you have any reason to believe that your password is being, or is likely to be, used in an unauthorised manner.

Please ensure that the details you provide us with are full and correct. Let us know immediately if any changes need to be made to correct the information you provided on registering.

SocksFox reserves the right to refuse access to the website, terminate an account, remove or edit content, or cancel an order at our discretion. If we cancel an order, any payment made will be returned to you.

2. Privacy & Security

We take the security of our customers and website very seriously. We will only collect information about you that you have specifically and knowingly provided, for example your contact details and card information. This information will be used to deliver your ordered products to you, process your payments and communicate with you about your orders.

Zapzero Ltd, utilises a to offer secure communications by encrypting all data to and from our site. The padlock helps you know that you are on an authenticated legitimate website and that your transactions will be secured.

Your payment details and credit card numbers will only be shared with our payment providers Braintree or PayPal for the purpose of processing your orders. When you place an order via our website SocksFox will not be privy to your credit and debit card information. If you place your order by telephone as soon as your payment has been inputted your card details will be securely destroyed and disposed of. SocksFox does not store any credit or debit card information.

We will only send you our offers and product news by email if you have chosen to opt in. You can remove yourself from our mailing list at any time.

View our Privacy information page for more information.


3. Order Process and Contract

All orders submitted by you on the website (or our customer services team by telephone or email) represent an offer for contract. You are seeking to enter into a contract with SocksFox when you place an order. We reserve the right to refuse your offer for any reason.

SocksFox will send you an order confirmation email confirming receipt and details of your order. Your order represents an offer to SocksFox to purchase a product which is accepted by us when we dispatch that product to you.

Only when we dispatch the goods together with a dispatch note will a binding contract be entered. Any products on the same order which have not been dispatched as yet do not form part of that contract.

You can review the details of the orders you have placed and their current status by logging into Your Account. If you choose to shop as a guest you will not be able to review the details of your current or previous orders. 


4. Discount Codes, Special Offers & Gift Cards

Our email newsletter (usually sent fortnightly) and occasionally the website offer promotions, which may require the use of a discount code. Our policy is that only one discount code to be allowed per order.

All discount codes and product special offers unless stated otherwise, will end at 12 noon GMT or BST (whichever is applicable) on the date specified. For all discount codes and offers the end time is always based on GMT or BST. 

The United Kingdom is the governing jurisdiction for SocksFox.

A SocksFox e-gift card discount code can be used across the site, on one occasion only and is valid for six months from the date of e-gift card dispatch.


5. 60 Day No Quibble Returns

You may return any items purchased from us for whatever reason, even if you just change your mind, as long as you send them back within 60 days of receiving them. Products must be returned in their original condition, unworn with tags attached and the packaging undamaged and complete.

To ensure you order the correct size and colour of an item we would advise the following. As different Countries and Brands have their own size systems, before placing an order we advise that you check the size guide provided for each item in the Size Guide tab to ensure you are ordering the correct size. Colour swatch samples and photographs are provided as a guide only. The colour you see on your screen may not be an accurate representation of the item's actual colour due to inconsistencies in how display screens reproduce colours. Ordering the wrong size or a colour not being to your liking does not mean that the item is classed as being faulty.

The cost of return postage for damaged, faulty items or if we have made an error will be refunded to you. Return postage for items you choose to return will not be refunded.

When returning products we advise you use Royal Mail First or Second Class and obtain proof of postage. If you are returning items from overseas we advise you use the equivalent Airmail service provided by your countries postal service and obtain proof of postage. If you choose to return items by a tracked service or courier you need to gain approval from SocksFox, otherwise we will only refund the amount it would have cost to return the items by Royal Mail First or Second Class or the equivalent Airmail service.

For Customs duties on Returned items please also refer to section 8 Customs of our Terms and Conditions.

Gift cards are non-returnable & cannot be refunded.

For more information on our Returns and Cancellation policy please see here.


6. Prices and VAT

All prices quoted are for new products. All prices are based on the Great British Pound (GBP / £) but, for your convenience, can be displayed in the Euro or US Dollar equivalents at ruling exchange rates on the website.

All payments are processed securely through either Braintree or PayPal. Your order payment will be based on the Great British Pound (GBP) amount. When processing your payment you can choose to pay in an alternative currency, to GBP. In this case the amount to be paid may vary slightly as Braintree and PayPal will apply their own exchange rate.

The prices on our website are the same whether you purchase from within the United Kingdom (UK) or from outside of the UK. Within the UK all prices include VAT. For purchases made outside of the UK prices do not have VAT included; the item price you see is the price you will pay.  

All purchases must be paid in full before dispatch. SocksFox will continue to own, and reserve the right to repossess any goods sold from the website until payment has been received and cleared in full.

Whilst we endeavour to ensure all pricing is accurate and correct very occasionally errors may happen. On processing an order if it is realised that the correct price is lower than that stated on the website we will adjust your payment to the lower amount and dispatch your order. If the product's correct price is higher than that stated on the website, we will contact you for instructions before dispatch.


7. Dispatch and Delivery

SocksFox aims to dispatch items the same or next working day. If demand exceeds our stock holding dispatch may be delayed by around 7 working days. If this applies to your order or there is an availability issue we will be in touch by email. At SocksFox, offering an extensive range of styles, colours and sizes at competitive prices to customers in both the UK and Worldwide is what sets us apart from many other retailers. To be able to do this we are unable to hold in stock all items all of the time and in our experience most customers are happy to wait. If immediate dispatch is a priority for you please contact us for current availability.

The postal service selected to deliver your order will be the best one to ensure a successful delivery and a signature may be required as part of that service. All packages are sent using a tracked service. Information on how your package is progressing can be obtained by contacting the SocksFox Customer Service Team.

Estimated Delivery Times: UK Standard Delivery: 2-3 working days; Europe Standard Delivery: 5-7 working days; Rest of the World Delivery: 8-13 working days.

For packages being sent to Europe and the Rest of the World once a package arrives in the destination country for many orders the national postal service will complete the final delivery. If your order has not been delivered by 10 working days from the date of dispatch, 15 working days for Europe & Rest of the World, please contact us and we will look into what has happened to your package.

Whilst most International deliveries are made successfully within the above timeframes unfortunately this is not always the case due to circumstances outside of our control. Sometimes delivery may take up to 6 weeks and for this reason a package is not deemed to be lost until 6 weeks from dispatch have passed.

Non delivery of a package (UK or International) cannot be investigated after 10 weeks from the dispatch date due to carrier tracking limitations. SocksFox will not provide a replacement package or refund if first contact has not been until after 10 weeks from dispatch. 

Any delivery dates are given in good faith. Zapzero Ltd accepts no liability for delays resulting from occurrences outside its control. These include, but are not limited to acts of God, strikes, lockouts and delays by suppliers. Your products will be dispatched to the shipping address as stated in your order confirmation email. It is your responsibility to ensure the shipping address for this order is correct.

It is the customer's responsibility to inform us of any change of delivery address immediately. Unless instructed otherwise your order will be dispatched to the shipping address as shown in the order confirmation email you will have been sent.  SocksFox accepts no liability for dispatch made to the wrong address. Please note that if you request delivery of your order to a designated place (for example in the porch, by the green bin, over the hedge) for if you are out when delivery is attempted and subsequently the order goes missing SocksFox does not accept responsibility for non-receipt.

If delivery of an order is not achieved due to refusal at the delivery destination as nominated by the customer, when the shipment is returned to us a charge will be deducted from your refund to cover any return costs incurred by us.

Please note that due to U.S. Trademark Restrictions we are unable to sell any Burlington items to customers with a U.S. shipping address.

8. Customs

For items ordered for delivery overseas you as the recipient are deemed the importer and you may be liable for local customs, import duties or taxes ('duty'). The amount of duty depends on the type and value of goods and some items can be imported without paying any duty.

For all packages destined for delivery outside of the United Kingdom it is a legal requirement that SocksFox declares the full value of the goods (not including delivery costs).

Each country's customs policies are different and you should contact your local customs office for more information. Any additional costs for clearing customs must be paid by you. Unfortunately we have no control over these costs and cannot predict what they may be.

SocksFox will not be responsible for any local customs, import duties or taxes that may be levied when the goods enter the country of destination.

When returning any goods from overseas, please clearly mark the package on the outside with 'RETURNED GOODS' Unfortunately if any incoming customs charges are incurred as a result of this message not being added a charge will be deducted from your refund to cover the costs incurred by us.

If delivery of a shipment is not possible due to import duties not being paid, when the shipment is returned to us a charge will be deducted from your refund to cover any return costs incurred by us.


9. Your Statutory Rights

Your statutory rights are not affected by these terms.


10. Zapzero Ltd  

Please do not send any returns to the address below, see here for the SocksFox returns address.

Registered Office Address:
1-4 London Road
PE11 2TA
United Kingdom

Registered in England and Wales: 4805063

VAT Registration: 843357028

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