"Point6 Hiking Socks: Regardless of the kind of hiking you are doing, you need socks that will protect your feet. That is exactly why we included Point6 on our list of the best hiking gear startups. Some may not consider them a startup, as they were founded in 2008 by the creators of SmartWool, Patty and Peter Duke. But with only 12 employees and such a high quality product, we couldn’t exclude them. Point6, which is named for 98.6 degrees F, utilizes only compact-spun Merino wool yarn -- a much tighter yarn than ring-spun yarn -- making for a much more comfortable and warmer sock. The wool is woven into a "matrix, or tic-tac-toe box," says Peter, to create a form-fitting product."