Best Hiking Socks Reviewed & Rated
Your hiking trip is planned and you’ve packed all the things you need: camping gear, proper hiking clothes, water, food, a compass and a map and hiking boots. But this list is missing something very important – some high-quality hiking socks. Although you might be tempted to just pack your regular white gym socks, it’s important to know that they are not proper hiking gear, and wearing them on a long hike will have you cussing the whole way. You need something that will keep your feet dry and blister free, which is where a good pair of hiking socks comes in to save the day.
- Rockay Accelerate
- Excellent for All Seasons
- Moisture Resistant
- Darn Tough Vermont
- Performance fit
- Lifetime guarantee
- SeoulStory7 Low
- Y-heel tab
- Extra Padding
But what makes hiking socks different than regular ones? At first, you may find shopping for this small item of clothing intimidating, but once you know what you should look for, it becomes pretty easy.
First and foremost, you need socks that are 100% wool or wool blend. Why wool? Because it can regulate temperature unlike cotton or fully synthetic socks. So in cold weather, your socks will be able to retain heat, and if it’s hot outside, they’ll cool your feet down. Wool isn’t as breathable as cotton, but the most important thing about hiking socks is to keep your feet dry at all times.
Second, you want to make sure that you pick the proper material weight. You have to consider the temperature and general conditions where you’re planning your hiking trips. The warmer the weather, the lighter the sock material should be. There are four categories of hiking socks:
- Ultra-lightweight for hot to warm weather
- Lightweight for warm weather
- Midweight for warm to cold weather and finally
- Heavyweight for cold weather
Finally, you want to choose socks which are made with quality in mind, ensuring that you get plenty of use out of them. The list below will show you the 10 highest rated hiking socks available for purchase online, helping you make the best possible choice when it comes to this essential piece of hiking gear.
10 Best Hiking Socks
1. Rockay Accelerate
Merino Wool is amazing when it comes to helping you keep your feet at a comfortable temperature. Whether in hot or cold temperatures these socks will help you maintain optimal comfort. With superior moisture wicking capability, you won't have to worry about uncomfortable, sweaty feet. Additionally, with reduced sweat comes reduced odor which everyone can appreciate.
Compression Fit + Heel Tab
When you are on a serious run the last thing you want to worry about is a slipping sock. Slipping socks will lead to blisters and raw, painful areas on your feet. The compression fit hugs your feet and helps them stay in place. When you add the heel tab you know you don't have to worry about blisters. It contours to the heel and helps ensure your socks stay in place.
Cost and Value
When it comes to cost the Rockay Accelerate socks fall toward the top of the pack. They are full of features to keep you comfortable and cool during your longest hikes whether you are in warm or cold climates. Also, they will fit your feet in all the ways necessary to keep your feet in top running condition. These features help to increase the overall value and are reasons we love this choice by Rockay.
2. Darn Tough Vermont
The most important thing about hiking socks is the material they’re made of. Each Darn Tough Vermont sock in constructed with 64% Merino wool, 33% nylon and 3% Lycra spandex, which means that the only natural fiber in the sock in the wool. This could be a good thing if you want your socks to dry out faster than with just merino wool. Also, with the lycra spandex, you’re sure to not feel squeezed after an hour or two, like some socks can do. Because of the merino wool, these socks are antimicrobial and moisture-wicking, so you don’t have to worry about unpleasant odors when you take your hiking shoes/boots off after a long day outdoors. These hiking socks also come in many colorways, to please everyone in the family!
These socks are seamless, meaning that the seam at the tip of the toes that can twist during the trip and make your feet uncomfortable will never happen with these socks. This also means performance, no slipping, no bunching and no blisters!
Cost and Value
The price is on the higher scale of the price range, but honestly, for everything that these socks have to offer, these are close to a bargain. If you have a little wiggle room in your budget for a good pair of socks, then these are highly suggested.
Buttons and Pleats really thought about this one, because these hiking socks cover your ankle and calf, your lower leg is shielded from obstructions and your feet can stay warm. Crew socks are one of the most protective types of socks for hiking and are highly recommended in tall, grassy areas.
Toe and Heel
These socks are reinforced at the heel and toe, extending the lifespan of the socks. So don’t be concerned about having to buy a pair every few months or so, these socks are made to last you years (as long as you take care of them, obviously).
Cost and Value
Considering the fact that these are merino wool blend socks, the pack of 3 comes at a great price for a product that offers this level of quality. Although it will set you back more than a regular pair of cotton socks, you are definitely making the right choice with this item that’s sure to last you a long time.
- Midweight to heavy weight
- Calf shielding against debris
- Reinforced toe and heel
- Machine washable
- Smooth fit
- Heel area less durable
- Run slightly large
4. Kirkland Signature Trail
Hiking for prolonged periods of time can build up quite a sweat, which, ultimately, can mean some serious foot odor. With natural materials such as wool, it’s much harder to get rid of it, which is why Kirkland made these socks to be odor free - giving you a fresh feel with every wear.
These merino wool blend socks are perfect, and it’s no reason they’re in our top 3. These are midweight hiking socks and are mainly worn in colder weather, but some reviewers noticed that even if they wore them while hiking mounts on warmer weather, their feet remained comfortable and without any blisters.
Cost and Value
With so much positive reviews, the cost of these socks is a definite bargain and we can definitely recommend them as a top choice for hiking socks. Don’t be afraid of having to replace these too often, seeing many reviewers have had them for years.
- Wool blend material
- Odor resistant
- Reinforced heel and toe
- Fun colorful designs
- Machine washable
- Heavy toe seams
- Could be taller
5. Wigwam Comfort Hiker
Wigwam’s high standards of only using the best materials are why the brand is so acclaimed and highly recommended. Blending natural and synthetic fibers, they've created the perfect combination of fabrics to ensure warmth, comfort and dry socks for every dedicated hiker. Also, sticking with the durable merino wool, you can expect these socks to be reliable at all times of the year.
If you want to feel like your feet are walking on clouds without having your socks be too bulky in your shoes, then this is the perfect sock for you. The midweight cushion of the socks provides support and comfort throughout the entire fit without ever feeling too heavy. Hiking boots can be stiff around the ankles and cause blisters which is why it's recommended for hikers to wear thicker socks like these.
Cost and Value
Ranging of an average price compared to similar hiking socks, you'll really feel like you're getting your full value with this pair. Not getting too specific in features but providing all the necessary support needed for hiking, you really can't go wrong when buying these socks.
- Lifetime guarantee
- Midweight cushioning
- Crew cut
- Custom blend of materials
- Retains heat well
- Tight fitting
- Run small
6. Danish Endurance Merino Wool
These socks are made with a wool blend, with 33% merino wool, 33% acrylic, 33% polyamide and 1% elastane. The merino wool will keep your feet at a regulated temperature, no matter the weather, while the polyamide has the highest resistance of all the raw textile materials. This means that they will not wear out quickly and will follow you on your trips for years to come. The acrylic is also a strong and warm fabric, that is often used for sweaters and tracksuits. So, you really don’t have to worry about the quality and durability of these socks!
Ventilation and Padding
These socks have a targeted ventilation system that allows your feet to remain cool or warm no matter the weather, with a constant airflow going to them. As with so many socks made for hiking, it’s important that they offer proper cushioning for your heel and toes. These socks do, which means that they reduce the impact on your feet with every landing.
Cost and Value
The price is comparable to many of these socks on the list. They come in various colors, as well as a pack of 3 or just single items. This ensures you can make the choice that works for you.
- Wool blend
- Ventilation system
- Padding for heels and toes
- Anti-bacterial features
- Run big
- Run narrow
7. Thorlo KX Thick Cushion Crew
Do your feet tire easily during a hike? Thick, cushioned socks may be a good solution. The padding built into the heel and ball area of the foot helps to reduce impact and friction, which tend to be the main cause of blisters. Your feet support you so it's important to wear socks that support your feet.
Custom Thorlon Fabric
Thorlo has done heavy research on what fabrics are the best for moisture wicking, support, durability, and comfort. When they couldn't find a specific material that accomplished all these features, they decided to create their own. Now used in all their socks, the Thorlon fibers are what make the sock of such high quality and long-lasting comfort.
Cost and Value
These socks are priced very fairly for the level of comfort they provide. They aren't too expensive compared to other hiking socks and will also provide the user with long-term reliability.
- Moisture wicking
- Crew length
- Thick cushioning
- Prevents blisters
- Impact protection
- Padding too thick for some
- Sizes run small
8. SeoulStory7 Low
These socks do not have any wool or wool blend in them. Instead, they have 77% cotton, 14% Spandex, 2% polyester and 7% elastane. This means that these anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking socks are ideal for outdoor sports such as hiking, snowboarding, camping, and trekking. Don’t worry about stinky or blistery feet at the end of the day and just enjoy nature around you! With so much elasticity in the sock (elastane and Spandex), the compression feeling holds the sock firmly around your ankle.
Length and Padding
The added cushioning on the heel, toes, and ball protect your feet from the impact every time they land on the ground, and guards them also from painful blisters. These socks would be considered midweight, as they can be used in cooler and warmer weather without any discomfort. It would seem someone also thought about the agonizing sock-slipping problem, where you have to stop every 5 minutes to un-bunch them or to raise them back up. SeoulStory7 came out with a solution: The Y-heel tab. In addition to that, the tab helps with slipping your socks on and off.
Cost and Value
For the number of socks that you can get in their packs, these socks are the cheapest on the list. If you’re on a tighter budget or just don’t feel like spending a lot on socks, but want quality and comfortability, then you might want to consider these socks.
- Y-heel tab
- Cotton blend material
- Extra elasticity
- Moisture-wicking feature
- Anti-bacterial feature
- Arch-support elasticity
- Thick heel stitching
9. Injinji 2.0 Midweight Crew
This style may seem strange at first but it is actually beneficial. The socks form around the toes, creating the perfect sock fit that doesn't slide or move around in your shoes. This form-fitting style creates a barefoot feel but with added support and comfortable materials.
These socks come with built-in ribbed lining in both the top of the sock and in a band around the arch. The ribbing helps to secure the sock in place and forms around the foot. The material is flexible and can stretch to fit every individual. If you're tired of pulling up your socks, this is a must-have feature.
Cost and Value
These socks are pretty costly per pair. The price is more expensive than other hiking socks but gives you a pair of socks equipped with a more innovative style and support. If you can get past looks and are truly looking for a functional sock, you won't have to look any further.
- Breathable panels
- Crew cut
- Fits around toes
- Ribbed material
- Midweight cushioning
- Ill fit with tight shoes
- Lack in durability
10. YuEdge Antiskid Wicking
These YuEdge’s socks are made of 80% cotton, 17% chinlon and 3% Spandex. While cotton is known for its breathability feature and Spandex is known for its elasticity, chinlon is a little less known. Chinlon is the reason why this pair of socks is at the bottom of our list. It’s a mix of China and nylon, and yes, it is a finer and smoother fabric, but its durability is less compared to other textiles. Still, these socks are seamless and have a Y heel design which reduces pressure on the foot.
Cotton is a breathable fabric. YuEdge added to the breathability by putting a bottom vent design to regulate body temperature and keep you cool, while these socks provide record drying time. In addition, the foot side portion of the sock is made with a breathable mesh to keep your feet from perspiring.
Cost and Value
These socks are at the bottom of the list because of the chinlon that was used, reducing the durability of the sock. But if you’re just looking to purchase a pair of socks for one or two hiking trips, or if you’re just starting out and don’t want to spend too much before knowing if you’ll like this sport or not, then these socks offer a fair value.
- Elastic cuffs
- Breathable mesh
- Bottom vent design
- Y-heel design
- Will shrink
There you have it, the 10 best hiking socks available for purchase online. By considering what you prefer and following your budget, you are sure to find the one pair of socks that will work best for you. Keep in mind that the most important things to look out for are the materials, the weight (what’s the temperature where you’ll be hiking?), the length, the sock fit and the comfort, the wicking ability, as well the insulation and drying speed. If you’re not sure about a pair of sock, make sure that they are refundable before buying or you’ll be stuck with them. For even more information on how to shop for hiking socks, read the Criteria for Evaluation and Frequently Asked Questions sections which provide plenty of tips and tricks for a great purchase.
Material Types And Weights
As mentioned above, there are a variety of features you’ll want to look for when choosing the proper hiking socks. While many features are optional and based on personal preference, there are also many key ones that help to make a reliable, long-lasting sock.
One very important aspect for hiking socks is the type of material that they’re created with. You probably already know by now, that merino wool is one of the best options on the market and cotton is a material you’ll want to stay away from. What you may not know is that there are a variety of other materials that wick moisture and also provide warmth and comfort. Some of these materials are silk, spandex, polyester, and nylon.
You won’t find most socks made with only one material, nowadays they’re usually created using a combination of multiple fabrics. Most importantly, keep in mind that synthetic materials are usually more durable than natural materials.
Going hand in hand with material types is the weight or thickness of the materials. Again, this can be related to what you prefer, but the weight of the sock can also change the features and physical feel. Thin socks are good for warm weather and allow for more space in your shoes. While they don’t provide as much protection, they still can work well for lower hiking shoes. Thick socks are better for keeping for feet warm, providing cushion, support and protecting your skin from rubbing against your shoes.
Overall, the types of thickness and materials best for hiking socks, are chosen for their compatibility with the types of weather and climate of your environment. No matter what kind of climate you’re in, we will always recommend wearing socks created with materials that will help keep your feet dry.
The length of your socks needs to be compatible with the type of your shoes. Most hiking socks are going to rise above the ankle. Hiking boots tend to be made of tough materials and thick ankle cushions, and while these features are great for adding durability, they can also be tough on the skin so it’s important to have protective socks that cover the area of contact.
While lower cut socks cover just the bare minimum, if you really want to avoid getting blisters and feel comfortable, you’ll want crew cut length socks or higher. These socks will provide you with the highest level of protection against friction and irritation. Longer socks are good for layering and can be worn with hiking boots that cover the ankle.
Another good reason to wear crew cut or longer socks is to protect your legs from the environment you’re hiking in. Whether it’s itchy grass, ticks, poisonous plants or a variety of other biting pests, longer socks will protect your skin from being harmed by your surroundings. Sometimes we’re moving too fast to see the hazards or the pests biting you are too small to notice at first glance like a mosquito. Overall, it’s better to over prepare than to under prepare.
Knee high socks are another length that can be worn for hiking. These types of socks are better suited for colder, icy weather. These high socks can fully protect your calves and shins from any raw, outside contact. Usually coming with a flexible ribbed top material, the socks not only stay up better, but they can also work as lower grade compression socks. Compression socks should only be worn during physical activities and can help increase proper blood flow to the heart.
All in all, when choosing the length of your hiking socks, remember to consider these key elements: what kind of shoes will I be wearing? What is the climate like where I’m hiking? And, what kind of protective measures am I looking to take?
When choosing the best hiking socks for the job, considering the location and weather is very important. First, you don’t want to be thrown off by unsuspected climates in the middle of the hike. Second, you’re going to want to find a sock that will perform better to your specific needs.
Icy, windy weather is extremely different from warm tropical temperatures and they each require different types of footwear. It’s obvious you’ll need warmer socks for cold weather and thinner socks for warmer weather, but there are many features that provide these options and you’ll want to make sure to choose the right ones.
As we’ve mentioned before, merino wool is a top choice for cold weather as they keep your feet warm but also provide moisture wicking technology to keep your feet cool and dry. Thick, longer socks are also better because you can layer with them and they provide more of a full coverage against the harsh cold.
Of course, those features won’t do any good in hotter climates. You need a thinner material that can adapt to moderate to hot temperatures and still provide a moisture wicking feature. Choosing thinner wool socks, with some synthetic materials added for more moisture wicking and lightweight feel, they are your best bed during the hot months.
No matter where you choose to hike, you can always find a sock that fits the climate and your personal needs. Warm, cool, thin, thick; it’s all here. Now the only thing you need to do is figure out where you’re going and you’ll be sure to find the perfect companion hiking sock.
Support and Comfort
While most people think about support and comfort having to do mainly with the shoe, there’s ultimately no point in paying a high price for a quality shoe if you’re going to pair them with thin cotton socks that have holes in them. The type of sock you choose to wear is just as important as the shoe and aids in the ultimate comfort of your hike.
Comfort can be found in various forms in the sock. The first, most obvious one would be the material. Cotton is too thin and will make your feet cold and sweaty, while regular wool may be too hot or itchy. We’ve mentioned above what types of materials are best for moisture control, warm/cold weather and air circulation. There are always going to be a variety of fabric options to meet the specific needs of others.
Another important aspect of comfort is alleviating pressure in the areas of the foot that support the most weight. Many hiking socks, but more specifically thick hiking socks, are built with extra padding or cushion around the ball and heel areas of the sock. The less friction and pressure against your feet will allow them to feel better and perform for longer periods of time.
Along with comfort, comes support. Your favorite pair of socks may feel comfortable but they probably don’t have enough support to label them as proper hiking socks. Support can be found in the extra cushioning provided in various socks, but it is also disguised as an elastic ribbed brand located across the arch of the foot. This is a great feature for those who need extra arch support but is also good for providing a form-fitting, flexible fit.
Lastly, support and comfort can both be found in the thickness of the sock. Thick socks can prevent friction and your shoes from rubbing against your ankles. With a variety of ways to create a relaxing, beneficial feel, you’ll be able to find the perfect hiking socks for your individual tastes.
This is a feature that no matter where you go or what type of socks you choose to wear, is a must have for long-term reliability. Socks need to be replaced as soon as they begin to show damage, so when spending a decent amount of money on hiking socks, you’re definitely going to want to make sure that they will hold up to the task.
Durability is found in all aspects of the sock, from fabric to stitching. A good quality sock should last you at least 3 months. It is calculated that on average it takes about 2000 steps to walk 1 mile. If you’re a true hiker and are looking to make some real distance, you’re going to need a sock that provides long-lasting durability.
Padding and cushion in the pressure areas of the sock can also add to durability. The heel and ball of your foot are constantly coming in contact with your shoes and because of this, it is an area that tends to wear easily. Extra cushioning in these areas allows the material to last longer avoid wear or tears.
To build their reputation and prove their quality, some brands will offer a money-back or lifetime guarantee on their hiking socks. If you’ve never purchased hiking socks before this is a great feature to take advantage of. Not only does it make the brand more trustworthy, but it also allows the user to find the perfect sock without continuously investing money in socks that don’t work for the hike.
Durability is one of the most important features in any sock, but especially a hiking sock. Hiking is a rough, strenuous activity that can put a heavy amount of pressure on your feet, so having durable and reliable socks is of high importance. A durable sock can also be better for your health too. The better your feet can stay protected, the less chance you have of getting an exercise-related injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What kind of features make the best hiking socks?
A: There are many features and combinations that truly make a good hiking sock. These include material, cushion and support and of course preference for comfort – while some prefer thin, short and cool, others may feel better wearing thick and warm socks that go over the calf.
Q: Are long socks better for hiking
A: The length of your socks is usually just a preference, however, there are some added benefits of wearing long socks. For hikers who like to wear thicker boots, the potential for blisters and your shoes rubbing against your ankles becomes much higher. Wearing long socks can protect your skin from any friction. For those who like to hike in areas that have tall grass and lots of wildlife, long socks can also be a good choice to help protect your legs from ticks and poisonous plants. Overall, when it comes to hiking in nature, the more protection is better for your health.
Q: How can I prevent getting blisters in my hiking boots?
A: Blisters can occur from vulnerable, moist feet and friction or repeated rubbing against the skin. It’s important to look at the styles of shoes you’re wearing and how they come in contact with your skin. If you’re wearing low sneakers or thick boots, the back of the shoe may rub against your heels during movement. Wearing longer socks can help to prevent this blister-causing friction. For soft, vulnerable feet, you’ll want to find socks with moisture wicking features to help keep your feet dry and more resilient. No matter what type of shoes you’re wearing, make sure you find a companion sock that can protect your skin and you’ll never have to worry about blisters again.
Q: Can everyday socks be worn as hiking socks?
A: This is not recommended. Everyday socks are usually made from a thin cotton material which isn’t strong enough to protect your feet or help keep them dry. Hiking socks need to be protective and supportive to compensate for all types of movements and terrain. Uphill climbs, rocky roads, and muddy trails will turn your regular socks into a sweaty uncomfortable mess. We recommend treating your feet to the ultimate padding and comfort they deserve for helping you go to all the places that make your life feel complete.
Q: Should I wear different types of hiking socks for Winter and Summer?
A: You can choose to wear any type of hiking sock you like as long as they’re protecting your feet, however certain features work better for certain seasons. For example, during the summertime heat, you may not want to wear thick cushioning wool socks that will create extra warmth; those types of socks are usually better during the wintertime. For warmer weather, you’ll most likely want to wear shorter, lightweight socks made of moisture-wicking materials to help keep your feet dry and cool. Ultimately it’s your personal preference on what socks to wear, but we personally recommend trying to match the materials to the type of weather.
Q: What type of cushioning is best for year-round hiking?
A: Since temperatures and weather conditions can be drastically different during summer and winter, it’s important to have a sock that isn’t too thick in cushioning but still provides enough stability and support. We recommend light-medium cushioning, that provides enough padding in the areas of support (like the ball and heel area of the foot).
Q: How often should I replace my hiking socks?
A: Hiking socks, and any socks in general, should be replaced as soon as you start to notice wear or damage. People may not think much of it, but damaged socks can also be damaging to your health. Socks are made to be a barrier to protect your feet against your shoes, so if there’s holes or tears, your sock can’t provide you with the full coverage that you need. Worn out materials don’t repel moisture as well and exposed skin can lead to blisters, irritation and other bacterial issues. Overall, it’s recommended to wear socks only if they’re completely intact and showing no signs of damage.