Good replacement for Muji recycled yarn socks?
December 6, 2020 10:15 AM   Subscribe

My spouse and I are seeking a replacement for Muji recycled yarn socks. These socks "are discontinued and will not be back in stock". My spouse writes: "I’ve worn these socks for about 15 years without finding anything similar, and my last sets (purchased around 2018) are wearing out." He really loves these - help us find a suitable replacement?

My spouse writes:
I’ve worn these socks for about 15 years without finding anything similar, and my last sets (purchased around 2018) are wearing out.

Searching the web and Etsy for “yarn socks”, the socks I see are mainly of the fuzzy-and-warm variety. These socks are neither fuzzy nor warm. They are most comfortable during hot or cool weather, and their defining feature to me is their smooth texture, where other socks feel at least somewhat rough to the touch.

According to a Muji product listing, these socks are made out of “leftover factory thread”, not yarn per se. This thread was presumably leftover from the manufacture of Muji’s regular sock line, which I have tried and don’t like. The use of recycled materials is not important to me, though it could explain why no one else makes socks like this.

I’ve more or less given up finding stockpiles of these socks. I have an eBay alert set up which hasn’t turned up anything. These socks are still listed on online stores that used to sell them, such as the MoMA Design Store, but those stores no longer have them available for purchase.

If there’s a standard term for this type of sock, I’d like to know the term so I can shop for socks like these. If not -- if Muji recycled yarn socks were a byproduct of a production line that has since been optimized -- I’d like recommendations for products that may give a similar feel.
I also saw this post saying "The fabric content is 70% polyester, 28% cotton and 2% spandex in the US. In the UK they use elastane instead of the spandex." We are in the US and always bought the socks in the US.
posted by brainwane to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Darn Tough sells socks with a lifetime warranty. Me and my partner bought a full set over the course of years, wore them all 'til they had holes in them, mailed them all back, and got store credit to replace the whole lot. So the company has incentive to make durable socks.
posted by aniola at 10:26 AM on December 6, 2020

I am also on my last few pairs! unfortunately have not found anything that hits the same bars of daily comfort and casual élan— I like the REI merino socks which last longer than expected, but they're not in the nice variegated hues.
posted by a halcyon day at 3:07 PM on December 6, 2020

Ive been searching for a replacement since Muji stopped selling them in their smallest size about 5? years ago. Personally, I have not found anything comparable.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 4:24 PM on December 6, 2020

I have two or maybe three pair of ankle versions of these. Not sure on side but I wear a women's 10.5 shoe. I don't really care for them, happy to give them to someone who wants them. Memail if interested.
posted by sulaine at 6:16 PM on December 6, 2020

These look fairly similar, but if you're looking for something where the defining feature is the smooth texture, they're not remotely that--their defining feature is more their padded cushy-ness.

Rather than trying to match the look, you might be better off trying to match the feel. It seems like poly-cotton blends, heavy on the poly, made from fine yarn would be easier to find than a visual match.
posted by box at 3:37 PM on December 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There is a bit more cotton in these... but I've fallen in love with the uniqlo socks... uniqlo socks. I used to only wear the muji ones (why does Muji always seem to discontinue popular products?!?!?) but I'm pretty much converted to these now. I also like the heattech version (and surprisingly don't find them overly warm/thick) enough that I wear them year round. If you haven't tried them, they are pretty inexpensive (free shipping right now) and might be worth a go.
posted by AnneShirley at 9:43 PM on December 7, 2020

I've really liked the smartwool investment I made last year. If money is no object, then maybe these would work?

I bought several of these:

Made in USA of Imported Yarn: 60% Merino Wool, 38% Nylon, 2% Elastane

They are soft and breathable and seamless and indestructible and my favorite sock.
posted by skrozidile at 12:29 PM on December 8, 2020

Mod note: Final update from the OP:
Uniqlo socks are the current winner! To quote my spouse a couple months ago:
For about four years now I've been low-key searching for a replacement for my beloved Muji recycled-yarn socks, and I'm happy to report a breakthrough, thanks to another Japanese retail brand, Uniqlo. Here's the extremely detailed report:

The closest match I've found to the old Muji recycled-yarn socks are now Uniqlo's "melange socks"; a mix of cotton (80%), nylon (16%), polyester (3%) and spandex (1%). They don't feel as heavy as the previous champion (Muji right angle pile short socks), and I wore them through a recent heat wave with no problem. They even look like the old Muji socks, with a gradient of yarn colors, which makes me think they're manufactured with the same process.

Uniqlo melange socks are available as short socks and the misleadingly longer half socks. They are a little larger than the old Muji versions, which is okay with me as I always thought the Muji "short socks" were a little too small for my feet. Apart from that, the only real difference is the cotton-dominant fabric mix, where the recycled-yarn socks were mostly polyester.
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 4:22 PM on October 12, 2023

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