I love ragg socks this time of year. The term ragg refers to an old process whereby waste fibers – usually wool, although sometimes also cotton – were recycled and made into new yarns. Those yarns were then turned into sweaters, mittens, and socks, typically in designs suited for camping, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits.
Today, ragg mostly refers to a look – a kind of marled, sometimes slubby cotton or wool knit with a bit of heft and weight to it (designed to imitate the originals). As socks, they go great with boots, moccasins, and almost any other kind of footwear you might be wearing in the fall and winter months.
Most of my ragg socks are from Anonymous Ism, a niche Japanese producer that does a lot of private label work for other brands (Anonymous Ism is their house label). Recently, however, I picked up a pair of Wigwam’s Cypress socks and love them. They’re sized to fit, made in Wisconsin, and produced by an old heritage company that’s been around for over a hundred years. Most of all, I love how they come in a billion colors (I favor orange) and have this wonderful, slubby quality. There are thick bits here and there throughout the white yarns, giving the socks a nice flecked appearance (kind of like Donegal tweed).
They’re not perfect. I wish they were an inch longer and, although they’re sized, their “adult medium” is just a touch short on my 9D feet (maybe I should try a size large). That said, they run about eleven or thirteen bucks on Amazon, which is half of what I pay for fancy Japanese socks (and a sixth of what some companies charge). For quality, provenance, and a bit of fun accessorizing, it’d be hard to beat a pair Wigwam’s colorful socks in your camp boots this fall.