Summer is the time when everyone is itching to get outside and explore, and you can’t do so without the proper socks! Choosing a sock can make or break your outdoor experience, especially in the heat. Here’s everything you need to know about the best hiking socks for summer that will keep you cool and comfortable.   

What to Consider When Choosing a Summer Hiking Sock   


When you think of hiking socks you probably think of super thick, warm, boot socks, and those don’t always work best in warmer weather. In fact, it all depends on the materials used. 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 trekking the trail. Merino wool's moisture management system also helps prevent blisters or any sagging and bagging that typically occurs in regular cotton socks. This magic fabric will keep your feet cool and dry in the summer and warm in the winter, making it perfect for any weather.


In addition to fabrics, the hiking boots you'll be wearing, the weather, the duration of your hike, and the trail conditions and terrain are all factors you should be considering when choosing a pair of hiking socks.

While hiking socks are typically anywhere from crew to boot in length, heights for hiking socks for warm weather will ultimately depend on the boots or shoes you will be wearing.    


Cushioning for hiking socks varies from ultra light to extra heavy cushioning, and while it should be based on personal preference, light cushioning is recommended for varied terrain in warmer weather. Check out what each is recommended for:

If you're used to wearing heavier cushioned socks in your hiking boots and choose to go with the recommend lightly cushioned socks for warmer weather, it's important to consider whether or not you'll have extra room in your hiking boots. This could cause your feet to slide around, which can lead to discomfort or blisters in the long run. If you prefer to stick with the heavier cushioning, make sure you choose the ones made of merino wool. Trust us, you can't go wrong.

Check out the best hiking socks for summer.  

Hiking Socks We Recommend for Summer:  

Smartwool PhD Light Mini Crew Socks (and women) - $17.95


An ankle-high powerhouse, the PhD® Outdoor Light Mini is made for mileage. Great for long summer treks, it combines support, stretch, and recovery. Featuring Indestructawool™ technology for ultimate durability and the 4 Degree® elite fit system for a dialed fit. Light cushioning offers impact protection on the road or trail, while the Virtually Seamless™ toe offers more comfort in a trail shoe.   

Smartwool Men’s Hike Ultra Light Mini Socks (and women) - $13.95


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.  

Wigwam Merino Comfort Hiker Lite Crew Sock - $13.00


The Wigwam Merino Comfort Hiker Lite Crew Socks are the lightweight version of Wigwam's ultra-popular Merino Comfort Hiker. Better suited for warmer-weather excursions that still require the comfort and moisture-management properties of Merino wool, the Merino Comfort Hiker Lite is the ideal summer and early fall backcountry sock. Still thick enough to cushion, but now a bit thinner to keep you cool, the Merino Comfort Hiker Lite will become your next summer hiker. Finally — the softness of genuine Merino wool in a reasonably priced hiking sock.

Darn Tough Men’s Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock (and women) - $20.00


This Light-Cushion sock is perfect for hikers looking for "a little less" cushioning. You know who you are. With half the wool yarn weight of cushion socks, this lightweight cushion sock delivers lightweight performance with the perfect amount of cushioning along the base of your foot. True Seamless construction provides a smooth performance fit and assures there's no slipping, no bunching, and no blisters, while 17.2 Micron Merino Wool delivers supreme comfort for warmer weather. Breathable and fast drying, this "all-weather" sock stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter plus it's naturally antimicrobial so it repels bacteria and odor—a great feature when you need to get any extra day (or two) out of your socks.     

Darn Tough Women’s Hiker ¼ Cushion Sock (and men) - $17.00

A great day of hiking starts with a great sock. Constructed to withstand the rigors of hiking and trail running, this sock has a legendary performance fit with solid cushioning along the bottom of the foot. Through-hikers logging hundreds of miles on the Appalachian Trail have long sung our quarter socks praises. 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. Also featuring medium cushioning and an undetectable toe seam for comfort.    

Thorlos Women’s Light Hiking Crew Socks (and men) - $17.99

Enjoying day hikes in warmer weather, on flat to varied terrain resulting in low to moderate stress on the feet. Specifically engineered to provide protection and comfort for women prone to blisters, foot pain, or discomfort. Featuring unique padding designed for light hiking, a low profile toe seam for comfort, and a ventilation panel for extra moisture control and breathability.

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