Sock liners are your first line of defense against moisture and blisters on your feet. Used in conjunction with a thicker sock, sock liners feature optimum moisture-wicking capabilities and further protect your feet from irritation. We’ve rounded up the best liner socks so you can be comfortable no matter where you’re headed.
Sock liners are typically made of thin polyester, nylon, lightweight wool, or other natural and synthetic fibers that help wick sweat away from your feet, keeping them dry and comfortable. Wool sock liners are one of the most popular liners. They work to keep your feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter, meaning they help regulate your body temperature no matter what’s happening outside.
While most sock liners have the ability to help keep your feet warm or cool by adding an extra layer and wicking away moisture (depending on the fabric), some are more breathable and quick-drying than others. For example, polyester is quick-drying, while wool isn’t, and nylon is lightweight, strong and can absorb more water than other fibers.
The thinner, more nonabsorbent the sock liner is the better! They work much like any other base layer would, by wicking sweat away to the next outer layer of your clothing, or in this case, your outer sock. Essentially, thin liners are unbeatable when it comes to wicking sweat up to a thicker outer sock, which helps prevent blisters.
Regardless of the time of year, a great liner sock wicks well, dries fast, and has good anti-blister characteristics.
Best Liner Socks
Wigwam Coolmax Liner Crew Sock - $8.00 / $6.40
The Wigwam CoolMax Liner Crew Socks are perfect for warm weather, spring or summer hikes. Liners are designed to be worn between your feet and primary socks, creating a friction-free layer that also speeds moisture movement, thereby eliminating blisters. Liners are great for long backpacking treks when you're not sure what the weather will be like; by applying the tried-and-true concept of layering to your feet, you increase the range of comfortable temperatures. CoolMax polyester fibers also ensure that moisture is quickly removed from your foot and out to your outer, primary sock.
Smartwool Hike Liner Crew Socks - $11.95
This ultra-light, non-cushioned sock provides a close, lightweight fit that acts as your second skin to minimize friction and blisters. The flat knit toe seam guarantees comfort.
The Fox River Wick Dry Coolmax Liner Crew Socks are ultra-lightweight liners that feature Fox River's Wick Dry technology, keeping your feet dry and blister-free.
The Fox River Wick Dry Therm-A-Wick Liner Tube Socks are ultra-lightweight, heat-retaining liners that feature Fox River's Wick Dry technology, keeping your feet dry and blister-free. Thermolite is a hollow-core fiber that heats up quickly and holds in heat well, so you stay warm while retaining the characteristic ultra-thin fabric weight of a liner. Liners, which are meant to be worn between your feet and socks, serve as a friction barrier. The Thermolite liner can even be worn as a primary sock when an ultra-thin, lightweight sock is required and is a favorite of hockey players. The soft inner liner can move with your feet without bunching, which prevents those blisters that would otherwise crop up when hot spots constantly rub up against a thick sock that doesn't move. Additionally, liners help to keep your feet warm and dry on cold hikes by using the same layering principle you already apply to the rest of your body.
Fox River X-Static Liner Crew Socks - $12.00
The Fox River X-Static Liner Crew Socks are ultra-lightweight liners that feature X-STATIC fabric, which helps eliminate odor with an antimicrobial silver treatment. The silver-coated nylon also minimizes static and regulates temperature, and maintains its effectiveness even after washing. Liners, which are meant to be worn between your feet and socks, serve as a friction barrier. The X-Static liner can even be worn as a primary sock when an ultra-thin, lightweight sock is required and is a favorite of hockey players. The soft inner liner can move with your feet without bunching, which prevents those blisters that would otherwise crop up when hot spots constantly rub up against a thick sock that doesn't move. Additionally, liners help to keep your feet warm and dry on cold hikes by using the same layering principle you already apply to the rest of your body.
The X-Static Liner is also available in an over-the-calf (Knee High) cut.
Injinji CoolMax Liner Crew - $10.00
The Injinji 2.0 Toesock Liners provides an extremely thin 5 toe sleeve protective base layer to complement your favorite outer layer sock offering the best fit, feel and performance.
Injinji Liner Crew NuWool Socks - $12.00
Injinji sock liners are designed to be worn as the first line of defense against excess moisture and blisters, keeping feet dry, comfortable, and cool. Sock liners are light and breathable for excellent versatility. Use them as a light first layer paired with a thicker outer layer, or wear the Liner toe sock alone as a go-to sock for everyday adventures. The Liner Crew NuWool is made with Merino wool.