My favorite golf socks are made of wool. Even in the summer.
Wool isn't just built for cold weather. It can help keep feet dry in any climate and offer luxurious padding that helps a walking golfer feel comfortable from the opening tee shot to the last putt.
Golfers have some choices when it comes to wool performance socks, and the first thing to decide is how thick the socks should be. Some golfers prefer thicker socks for more padding and warmth, while some golfers want something thinner for a little more breathability.
Swiftwick offers wool performance socks that cover most bases for golfers, and their new Pursuit Zero Ultralights are a new option that's meant to cover all seasons. They sent me a pair to try for review.
The Pursuit Zero Ultralights are made predominantly from Merino wool, which is the wool of choice. It's softer, so it feels great on your feet. It has odor-resisting properties, so they won't stink when your feet sweat into them. It's durable, and it holds up well to the demands of playing golf.
With these socks, though, the big feature is how light they are. They're designed specifically to work with specialty shoes, like golf shoes, that can be built to be lighter. For golf, perhaps that's a spikeless shoe, which is often designed to be lighter and more comfortable than a spiked shoe.
The padding in the footbed isn't as thick as you might see in other performance wool socks, and that's by design to give the golfer a feeling like the socks are barely there. The socks achieve that goal. They feel like they're barely wrapping your feet, which is a good feeling in warmer weather, as well in shoes that might have a tighter fit. Sometimes the thicker socks I tend to like don't feel great in some shoes.
The upper of the sock has channels for ventilation to keep air flowing and moisture off the foot. I wore these socks in the heat of the mid-Atlantic and in South Carolina, where it can be pretty brutal to walk in summer. My feet kept dry and comfortable throughout my rounds.
The Pursuit Zero Ultralights fit well and move well with my foot through the round. Previous generations of Swiftwicks felt rigid at times and strained, particularly in the heel and ankle sections. I would feel like I had to stretch them out before putting them on. These don't make me feel that at all, despite some mild compressing by the socks. At times, the Swiftwick socks have felt almost too mobile, like my feet move too much in my shoe when I swing. With these, I didn't feel that during my swings.
The heel and toe support that's part of these socks means the socks are less prone to wear and tear. Older pairs of Swiftwicks that I have are still in good shape 3 years from when I first got them, but the improved design should be commended. There's no toe seam, which isn't something you really appreciate until you put on a sock that has them. The hidden tab on the heel of the sock can prevent fraying around the top of the foot in putting on and taking off the socks, as well makes it easy to do a quick adjustment when needed.
These socks are not meant to be a cold-weather sock. You'll need a wool sock with more padding. However, for the spring, summer and fall months when conditions can change quickly and temperatures can fluctuate, the Pursuit Zero Ultralights are a solid option. They're $16 per pair, and they're available in two colors and a few different sock heights.