Hiking can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, provided you’re equipped with the right gear. Tough, versatile socks are definitely one of the most essential things to have on hand. Every prepared hiker has a spare pair of socks in their gear. Walking with wet feet is more than uncomfortable, it can actually be risky to your health and wellbeing. From perspiration to puddles, it’s easy for moisture to get into your socks, making it all the more important to choose something that wicks it away.
With so many options, it can be tricky to identify which hiking socks are going to be comfortable and durable. To help you along, we’ve curated a list of the best hiking socks around so your next excursion can be that much better.
If you want a pair of socks that are both stylish and perform well, then the Time May Tell Hiking Socks are a worthy selection. You can get them in a range of sizes and color patterns, giving the benefit of a precise fit. The socks incorporate moisture-absorbing technology so perspiration doesn’t stick around. Since they are so well-ventilated, the socks let the skin on your feet breathe easy no matter how hard you end up hiking. Coming in a four-pack, these socks are cushioned to prevent chafing and impact issues while you’re on the trails. Thin enough to fit in with any hiking shoes, yet thick enough to keep your feet insulated against the cold, these socks are a terrific way to go.
Specially designed for hiking in warm and humid environments, the benefits of Dickies Dri-Tech Crew Socks are far-reaching. The package comes with six pairs of socks, each featuring compression technology. Made out of blended cotton and polyester, the socks are durable enough to last for quite a few hikes. Cotton breathes well, while polyester is able to withstand a fair amount of wear and tear. The inclusion of spandex and nylon assists with support, keeping your arch comfortable. This is important if you are prone to podiatric issues and if you’re dealing with rocky and bumpy terrain. With a reinforced toe and heel, these socks are built to withstand the most intense hiking conditions.
When getting high-quality gear is your priority, then Mirmaru Outdoor Performance Socks are worth checking out. They are made out of tightly-woven material that consists primarily of cotton, polyester, and spandex, with the latter being used mainly to provide a stretchy hold and offer compression. Polyester is a water-resistant material that is also extremely durable. Built to offer extra support at the arches and calves, these are remarkably comfortable socks to wear on long treks. The reinforced heel and toe don’t compromise ventilation; in fact, the weave on the socks actually lets them breathe well so you don’t hold onto perspiration. Cozy and durable, these high-performance socks are great for hiking.
Looking for something that will keep your feet comfortable during your hike? Try the Innotree Cushioned Hiking Socks for their well-crafted design that is meant to prevent aches and irritation. It’s mainly due to the high nylon content in the sock’s material. Half of the fabric is cotton, working to provide airflow and keep your feet cool. The nylon, however, offers a lot of support and prevents your feet from feeling every stone in your path. Paired with lycra, the socks give a tight hold that will last throughout the hike. Thick enough to withstand a lot of friction, the dense textile lends itself to overall durability. So, if you want to prevent soreness without foregoing your hike, these socks are handy to have around.
Nothing says comfort quite like merino wool, a material that has quickly become the top industry choice when it comes to softness. The Danish Endurance Hiking Socks are crafted out of this gentle fabric which, while soft on the skin, isn’t weak against friction and naturally lends itself to better ventilation. With a reinforced toe and heel, this six-pack of socks is supportive yet forgiving. Thin enough to fit comfortably in your hiking boot, these socks keep your vascular system comfortable during the hike. You can get the set in several different sizes, letting you find the right fit and ensure lasting performance. Ideal for comfort-seeking hikers, these socks are a solid pick.
Do you prefer to wear layers of socks while you hike in order to get optimal comfort and support? When you use the Saucony Ventilating Socks in conjunction with a wool top layer, you can maximize the cushioning and support for your feet. This set comes with six ankle socks with heavily reinforced toes. Constructed to offer a high level of arch support and a lot of compression, the socks are easy to wear over long periods. Made mainly out of polyester, the socks use spandex to get the elasticity needed for a comfortable fit. The main advantage of these socks is their powerful moisture-absorbing ability so your feet stay dry throughout the trek. Great for long hikes and short walks alike, these supportive socks are worth checking out.
Why you should trust us
On top of my passion for hiking, I have five years of product review experience. Using my firsthand experience paired with my academic background in sciences, I offer objective reviews of important supplies. Featured on Narcity Media, Car Bibles, and The Drive, most of my work involves outdoor gear, survival supplies, and automotive products. With a goal of offering accurate, actionable advice, I use reputable sources to inform Task and Purpose readers about products like hiking pants, hiking poles, and camping showers.
How we chose our top picks
When it comes to hiking socks, you want them to hold steadily in place, let you move freely, and not take on perspiration. By investigating the textile science of common fabrics, we found options that are built to stay dry. Looking at the design and seams, we determined how well the shortlisted socks can hold up against constant friction. Aiming for models with arch support and moisture wicking, we identified the best hiking socks for any budget. The end result is a series of comfortable, durable socks that will get you through that next hiking adventure with ease.
Types of hiking socks
While hiking socks tend to have a lot in common, there are some criteria that set specific designs apart. There tends to be two approaches to hiking socks. One leans towards support: after all, hiking as exercise is straining, so it can help to compress the vascular system in the feet and lower legs. These socks tend to have higher amounts of spandex or nylon, though as a result they may not air out as well. Conversely, the other type of hiking sock is those which focus on reinforcing the toe and heel as well as absorbing moisture. Depending on your hiking style, you’ll benefit from different features, so it’s handy to have the choice at your fingertips as you’re preparing to trek into the wilderness.
Features of hiking socks
- Fabric: Naturally, the key to any piece of clothing lies in the material used to manufacture it. It is also a matter of how that material is woven. The most common materials found in these socks are cotton and polyester. Often, the two will be blended in order to balance thermal control features (the cotton) with durability (the polyester). To achieve the necessary elasticity, spandex or lycra are often included in pretty much every hiking sock. Depending on what you want out of the hiking sock, you’ll likely want to look for options that feature higher amounts of one of these fabrics.
- Support: Whether it’s arch support or compression technology that helps your vascular system stay comfortable, you will want a hiking sock with good support. If you are prone to flat feet or collapsed arches, then something that offers a lot of elasticity at the center of the foot is good. Conversely, if you are focused on leg comfort, then opt for something which features a high rise and lots of calf support.
- Moisture absorption: This is what keeps your feet dry despite your perspiring during the hike. This ventilation is essential to preventing irritation of the skin. Dry socks offer better grip, stop your feet from slipping, and let you hike for longer. When seeking out the best hiking socks, this is an important feature to prioritize.
Benefits of hiking socks
Choosing socks that are designed specifically for hiking is important for many reasons. For one, these socks won’t wear down as quickly; even with a set of high-quality hiking boots, you are still putting a lot of friction force on the material. Hiking socks are designed to withstand this kind of wear and tear, helping them last longer than conventional socks. Plus, since these socks are designed for strenuous activities, they also tend to work to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Tight socks keep your legs comfortable and also help to prevent issues with repetitive strain injuries. Whether you are prone to podiatric issues or not, hiking socks have a lot of advantages and long-term benefits to your health.
Hiking sock pricing
Depending on the number of hiking socks in the set and the quality of the material, prices will vary. The good news is that even higher-end socks are actually pretty affordable, especially when you factor durability into the equation. You can get a top-quality set of three for in the range of $30. If you are looking to use a smaller budget, there are some remarkably effective hiking socks that you can get for under $20. The important thing is that you have a pair of high-performance socks that keep your feet dry and comfortable during your hike, so don’t skimp on features when you’re making your assessment.
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