Hiking is a great activity for the mind, body, and soul, but sometimes, it isn’t so great on your feet. Long, vigorous hikes often put stress on your feet, especially if you aren’t wearing the right socks. Choose the wrong ones and your feet will become irritated and filled with blisters before you can even say ouch. Don’t let the miles get the best of you on your next trek and make your feet happy with a good pair of hiking socks.
No one likes wet, sweaty, smelly feet or blisters while they’re on the trails. A good pair of hiking socks made of merino wool and other moisture-wicking fibers will help manage moisture and keep unwanted odors at bay no matter how far you’re walking in your boots. We’ve rounded up the best socks for your next hiking or backpacking trip.
Hiking Sock Features
Hiking socks are typically around a crew/boot length and vary from light to extra heavy cushioning.
- Ultra light cushioning provides the absolute minimum feel between you and your shoe.
- Light cushioning is ideal for varied terrain and day trips with warmer weather.
- Medium cushioning has a medium thickness, ideal for shorter trips in cooler weather.
- Heavy cushioning is for warmth during cooler extended excursions.
- Extra heavy cushioning is the ultimate cushioning and warmth for cold and rugged conditions.
Other features you want to look for are durable, breathable fabrics and mesh zones that can help control and manage moisture and temperature, flat knit toe seams for comfort, arch braces for support, and a performance fit to prevent slipping, bunching, and blisters while you’re making the trek.
Best Hiking Socks
You know where these socks look best? Given these classic SmartWool socks are loaded with Merino and performance, the muddier, the better. Featuring merino wool to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, an elasticized arch brace for support, and a flat knit toe seam for comfort. These hiking socks are perfect for a trek on the trails.
For the day hiker, SmartWool Hiking Ultra Light Mini Crew Socks adds just a little bit of cushion. An open, mesh fabric and two types of rib offer enhanced breathability and a perfect fit for the trails. Also featuring a flat knit toe seam, an elasticized arch brace, and merino wool for comfort.
Darn Tough Women’s Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock (and men) - $20.00
Simple but perfect. Darn Tough's Light Hiker is a great go-to companion for the trail. Light Cushioning makes it a perfect sock for hikers looking for a little less cushion. True Seamless construction provides a smooth, performance fit to assure there's no slipping, no bunching, and no blisters. With half the wool yarn weight of Darn Tough cushion socks, Darn Tough's lightweight cushion socks deliver lightweight performance with the perfect amount of cushioning along the base of your foot, while 17.2 Micron Merino Wool delivers supreme comfort. Breathable and fast drying.
Thru-hikers logging hundreds of miles on the Appalachian Trail have long sung the praises of this sturdy sock. Darn Tough built it to withstand the worst conditions the great outdoors can dish out. Legendary performance fit with solid cushioning along the bottom of the foot offers comfort without the bulk. No slipping, no bunching, no blisters. Fine gauge Merino Wool makes this a fast drying and breathable "all-weather" sock that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And since Merino Wool is naturally antimicrobial this sock repels bacteria and odor, which comes in handy when you need to get an extra day (or two) out of your socks.
This Boot Sock is a true classic and a longtime favorite with serious hikers and everyday enthusiasts alike. Thru-hikers logging hundreds of miles on the Appalachian Trail revere its dependability and comfort. Legendary performance fit and solid cushioning along the bottom of the foot make for a sock that's pure bliss. No slipping, no bunching, no blisters. Fine gauge Merino Wool makes this a fast drying and breathable "all-weather" sock that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And since Merino Wool is naturally antimicrobial this sock repels bacteria and odor —a great feature when you need to get an extra day (or two) out of your socks.
The SmartWool Kid's Hiking Medium Crew Socks are a smaller version of SmartWool's classic, best-selling Medium Hiking Socks. The elastic arch brace holds the sock in place and adds additional support without bunching.
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