Swiftwick has long been a player in performance socks arena. With a strong following in trail and road running, this time their revamped Pursuit Ultralight socks are aiming to deliver Merino Wool in an ultralight and breathable package. Merino Wool remains one of my favorite materials, but summer isn’t usually my favorite time for its use. That sentiment just might have changed.

Switftwick Pursuit Ultralight Merino Wool Socks Features:

  • Ultralight Merino wool blend
  • Reinforced heel and toe for added durability
  • Warm in winter and cool in the summer
  • 48% Merino, 30% Nylon, 13% Olefin, 11% Spandex
  • Available in four lengths
  • Made in USA
  • MSRP: $16.99-$21.99
Swiftwick Pursuit Ultralight Merino Socks Review

Performance fit and classic styling.

Merino socks done right

Thick, heavy wool socks are great for fisherman, but when it comes to performance-oriented socks, wool hasn’t always been the top choice. With Merino wool, you get the softness, but durability can be lacking. So, the secret is to find the right blend of fabrics that can make that Merino wool perform better under a variety of conditions. Swiftwick has just released their version of the Goldilocks Merino sock with the all-new Pursuit Ultralight.

These new socks are available in four lengths and I’ve been testing the Four and Seven for about a month. I’m a sock snob with a heavy preference towards lightweight socks. Thick socks not only interfere with the fit of my shoes, but they quickly become hot and uncomfortable. My testing has taken these socks into a variety of conditions: mountain biking, road biking, trail running, hiking and casual use. The fabric is soft and cozy next-to-skin and the seams are absolutely imperceptible.

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Cruising down the North Jetty of the Columbia River.

For road biking, I’ve been wearing the 7″ length with the Bontrager XXX Road Shoe. As a pro-level road shoe, the fit is snug and precise. Wearing the Pursuit Ultralight socks has been absolutely comfortable with no fit issues whatsoever. Breathability is excellent and the tall height is great. Styling is a little muted, but I’ve got no problems with these classic-looking socks.

On the mountain bike, I’ve been wearing these with the Shimano S-Phyre XC9’s. These shoes are once again, pro-level shoes with a racy fit. Just like the road shoes, I’m loving these socks for their precise feel and comfort.

Swiftwick Pursuit Ultralight Merino Socks Review - 4" Length

Slipping into the Hoka Torrent 2’s for a trail run.

For trail running, I’ve been wearing these with the Hoka One One Torrent 2 trail runners. The Torrent 2’s are a little bit racier with not as much cushioning as a typical pair of Hoka’s. With that, the Swiftwick Pursuit Ultralight’s are still performing well. They do lack some cushioning that other running socks may have, but I prefer the lightweight feel they provide for trail running. I’ll add that for hiking and casual use, these have also been superb.

With a family of six, I’m unable to guarantee that any of my clothes are washed appropriately. I’m just happy if my clothes get washed and don’t disappear. I’m happy to report that you can wash these socks just like you do with everything else and they come out just fine. They don’t shrink and they are holding up just fine to both repeated use and repeated washings.

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The 4-inchers are a good height for trail running.

Speaking of repeated use… I can use these for a week or more and they still don’t stink. With dusty trail conditions, I tend to bang them out a little and wear them again. As far as durability is concerned, I’ve also been able to wear them around the house and they are holding up quite well. As further testament to their durability, my notoriously-sharp big toenails have yet to cause any damage (I’m liking that).

NOTE: My first pair of 7″ socks had a bad seam in the heel cup and pulled open with the first try-on. Swiftwick shipped out a replacement for me and will do the same for you should anything like that happen.

The Good

  • Excellent heel cup locks your foot in place
  • Breathability is superb (and they dry fast)
  • Thin design is great for a performance fit
  • Easy wash and wear fabrics
  • Durable so far
  • Available in a variety of lengths
  • Imperceptible seams

The Bad

  • Subdued styling (less flashy on the bike, but great for casual use)
  • Some may want a little more cushioning for running

The Bottom Line: Swiftwick Pursuit Ultralight Merino Socks

I may have just found my new favorite socks. Yeah, I wish they were flashier, but with classic looks and superb performance, these ultralight Merino socks are comfortable for even the warmest of days and feel great for everything I threw at them.

Buy Now: Available from Switfwick.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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