In 1994, vermont ski instructors Patty and Peter Duke started a little sock company you may have heard of: SmartWool. Eleven years later, the couple sold that empire to Timberland and returned to their startup roots with another fleece-footed endeavor: Point6, which specializes in socks for outdoor adventures—skiing, snowboarding, running, biking, and hiking. This fall, the Steamboat Springs company launched a line of feet warmers that do more than just look good. They help heal, too. We break down the technology—yes, technology—behind Point6’s Celliant collection.

Down Under
Although Point6 socks are manufactured in the United States, the merino wool they’re made of comes from sheep in New Zealand and Australia because flocks Down Under sport softer fleece.

Smart(er) Wool
The Dukes rely on compact spinning, a new(ish) method that creates a tighter knit with fewer strands poking out than traditional ring-spun wool, making it less likely to pill. Translation: socks that are more comfortable and more durable.

What’s In A Name?
Point6 gets its name from the 0.6 in 98.6—the optimal temperature for your body and, therefore, your feet.

Foot Doctor
The socks are treated with Celliant, a blend of 85 ground-up minerals that increases oxygen and blood flow by helping to dilate blood vessels. No, it’s not (just) a marketing ploy: Celliant was originally developed for use in the medical community. The textile has since been used in mattresses, golf shirts, and other outdoor gear, but Point6 is the first producer to put it in a merino sock.

Main Squeeze
Beginning at the ankle, the Celliant line features a compression knit that gradually lessens as it goes up the leg, so it reduces swelling caused by poor circulation and blood pooling in the feet (like during a long flight).

Support Network
Point6 reinforces areas that get a lot of wear—ball of the foot, heel, and toes—with nylon to help prevent the wool from breaking down.

Aired Out
Merino wool is naturally moisture-wicking, heat-regulating, and blister preventing (and odor resistant!); ventilation panels at the base of the toes and ankle also aid with breathability.

Celliant collection socks have no detectable toe seam, so there are no ridges or bumps to irritate your tootsies while you’re hiking up Berthoud Pass.