What is Merino Wool

What is Merino Wool

Merino Wool

What is Merino wool, and why are athletes so in love with it?
Published: April 30, 2024
Published: April 30, 2024

Look at this majestic beast. Meet Ovis aries, commonly called the merino sheep. After centuries of cross-breeding, this adorable animal produces one of the most versatile and beloved materials in outdoor apparel. Let’s take a little tour of the origins of Merino wool, its unique properties, and some top picks from Decathlon that showcase this natural fiber’s incredible benefits.

Where is Merino wool from?

The Merino sheep, a breed prized for its fine and luxurious fleece, evolved in Spain during the Middle Ages. Merino sheep were closely guarded by Spanish royalty, out of reverence for the high-quality wool. This breed finally appeared in other regions, including Australia and the United States, during the early 1800s. Merino wool production quickly expanded from there, leading to worldwide popularity. Fun fact: Each merino sheep produces 14 to 18 pounds of fleece every season.

Why Merino wool is popular with athletes and hikers

Anyone familiar with sports, camping, or other outdoor activities can attest to the remarkable properties of merino wool. Here’s how Merino wool outperforms other athletic fabrics.

Softness. Unlike traditional wool, Merino wool is exceptionally soft, lightweight, and breathable, making it ideal for itch-free physical activity.

Temperature regulation. Merino wool’s natural moisture-wicking ability helps regulate body temperature, keeping you dry and comfortable in most conditions.

Odor resistance. No stinky sheep here! Merino wool is naturally odor-resistant, so you stay fresh and odor-free even after strenuous adventuring.

Versatile insulation. Merino wool is highly versatile, offering excellent insulation in cold weather and ample cooling in warm weather.

Long-lasting performance. The natural elasticity and durability of Merino wool ensure that your clothes last longer.

Top Merino wool picks from Decathlon.com

From base layers and socks to accessories and outerwear, you can dress yourself up in Merino wool favorites from Decathlon. Explore some of our top picks that provide unmatched comfort, versatility, and performance during your next outdoor adventure.

Men’s MT900 Merino wool T-shirt

Lightweight, seamless, made of ultra-soft 17.2 micron Merino wool surrounded by polyamide thread for extra durability. This is the performance shirt for multi-day hikes and backpacking trips. Stay dry, comfortable, and stink-free with this outdoors essential.

Women’s MT500 long sleeve Merino wool t-shirt

The familiar Forclaz design and quality, now available for women who want some extra year-round protection on the trail. Discover the signature breathability and luxury of ultra-fine 18.5 micron Merino wool, with the additional comfort of long sleeves. Comes in beetroot (shown) or asphalt blue.

Forclaz Trek 500 Tube Scarf

The perfect accessory for chillier conditions, designed by our own Trekker team. Versatile, soft, and itch-free, this tube scarf can double as a face mask or headband. A must-have for cold-weather adventurers.

Try it on right now

Now that you understand why Merino wool is superior (and which merino items fit your needs), it’s time to make like a real sheep, get your wool on, and explore nature. Want to browse other Merino wool items, or learn about alternative materials that might be better for your next trip? Check out Decathlon.com for more high-quality gear and apparel. Baa!

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