What makes a hiking sock good for hiking? If you’ve ever wondered why hiking socks have certain features, good news! We’re about to break down the elements and materials that go into creating the perfect hiking sock.
Many of our brands offer unique technologies in their hiking socks for comfort and functionality.
Flat knit seamless toe closure offers a smooth feel with ultimate in-shoe comfort.
Smartwool’s 4 Degree® elite fit system is bi-elastic to help keep the sock in place and prevent slipping and bunching.
Smartwool’s new Indestructawool™ offers the utmost durability without sacrificing any comfort.
Unique mesh zones increase breathability, controlling temperature.
Elasticized arch braces add additional support.
Performance fit cushioning along the bottom of the foot adds extra comfort and helps prevent slipping, bunching, and blisters
Ultralight 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.
Merino wool is the most common material we see in many of our brands, especially in hiking socks. Merino wool is an exceptionally soft, durable, and antimicrobial natural fiber that repels bacteria and odors and works to keep the body at an even temperature by insulating instead of trapping heat. Merino wool also keeps you cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather, perfect for hikes in any season. Superior breathability and wicking properties prevent clamminess, and the natural elasticity of wool fibers allow garments to stretch and then return to their original shape, preventing sagging and bagging. Merino wool is also super absorbent so it dries slowly but retains heat, even when wet, keeping your feet warm and comfortable through your adventure.
Nylon is another material we see in many of our brands, especially in hiking socks. Nylon (or Polyamide) is an extremely strong fabric that absorbs more water than other synthetics, not to mention it’s also lightweight and easy to clean. Who doesn’t want a hiking sock that is easy to clean AND wicks away any sweat and moisture during your trek?
Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is quick drying, strong when wet or dry, wrinkle resistant, and easy to clean, making it perfect for hiking! It is also more breathable and absorbent than nylon.
Acrylic is a synthetic fabric that has excellent wicking properties. It’s lightweight, soft, warm and quick-drying. An acrylic/wool blend is good for outdoor activities in cold weather, so get out there!
Remember, there’s more than just fabric content and technologies that go into creating the perfect hiking sock. Other elements to consider are sock height and level of cushioning. Most hiking socks are typically around a crew/boot length and vary from light to full cushioning, so choose wisely!
Now that you’re hiking sock educated, next time you’re picking out a pair of hiking socks, make sure to read up on the technologies and fabrics and choose according to your outdoor lifestyle!
Hike on, socks addicts!