A good pair of hiking socks is breathable, warm in cold weather and will help you avoid blisters by preventing the boots from rubbing against your skin. To keep your feet comfortable on long hikes, you’ll learn about the different types of hiking socks, the materials they’re made of, and the role they play in that. You’ll also learn how to pick the best style and fit for your feet.
Spending a little more on hiking socks after purchasing the best hiking boots or walking shoes will pay dividends for those of you who want to be comfortable on your outdoor adventure at all times.
Hiking socks are essential to keeping your feet dry while on the trail, and the material they’re made of is a big part of the equation. Polyester, nylon, and silk are some of the most popular materials for clothing because of their insulation, moisture-wicking, and lightweight qualities. Socks for hiking are usually made of a combination of different fabrics.
Merino wool, which is breathable, antibacterial, and quick-drying, is the primary component of the best hiking socks, as you’ll see in the gallery below. Support, durability, and cushioning are all provided by merino wool mixed with other synthetic fibers such as elastane and spandex. Here are top 8 Merino Wool Socks you can choose from:
1. ICEBREAKER HIKE+ MID CREW SOCKS
When it’s hot outside, you need a sock that’s both breathable and cushioned enough to keep your feet from blistering while you’re out hiking for hours at a time. With double-up cushioning in high-impact areas like the heels and balls of your feet, the Icebreaker Hike+ Mid Crew is incredibly comfortable.
When the going gets tough, these hiking socks will keep your feet cool and comfortable thanks to the combination of merino wool and Lycra. Toe-to-toe, the seamless toe is another great feature that helps prevent blisters by eliminating unnecessary material bunching. It’s likely that you’ll give up before these socks do, no matter how far you’re walking.
- Long walk endurance
- Added cushioning
- Seamless toes
- Wear & tear between heel/toe
Where to Purchase IceBreaker Socks?
You can purchase Icebreaker Socks here on Amazon
2. SMARTWOOL HIKE FULL CUSHION CREW SOCKS
Almost everything has been upgraded since Smartwool’s wildly popular PhD socks were phased out in 2021 in favor of the Hike collection. Their high-wear regions are reinforced with ‘Indestructawool’ technology, which not only sounds very dramatic but also provides amazing durability.
As a result of the 4-degree elite fit system’s flexibility, socks stay more securely tucked into hiking boots. This pair is padded from head to toe for maximum comfort and safety (but the range includes options with lighter padding for less demanding walks and hotter climates, too).
It’s made with recycled nylon and elastane to keep its shape, and merino wool, which is naturally antibacterial, keeps your feet and hiking boots fresh all day long. Definitely one of our favorites.
- Recycled nylon
- Mesh ventilated zones
- Elongated toe section
- Shrinks when cleaned and dried
Where to Purchase Smartwool Socks?
You can purchase SmartWool Socks here on Amazon
3. 1000 MILE HEAT WALK SOCK
Designed to keep your feet snug and comfortable when the weather descends, these socks are exactly what their name implies. From the minute you set out from base camp, your feet will be warm thanks to an inner layer of Nilit Heat yarn.
Sweating isn’t a problem if you’re worried about it. In order to keep your feet dry and your temperature stable, a second layer of breathable material is added. Your socks and boots will last longer because of the inherent antibacterial qualities of the outer layer materials.
These socks will also keep your feet safe from harm. With all-over padding, the body’s core temperature is kept more secure while being protected from the effects of high impacts and abrasion.
- Keep your feet clear of frost
- Double layers offer long-haul comfort
- Blend of soft Merino wool
- They are pricey
Where to Purchase 1000 Mile Socks?
You can purchase 1000 Mile Socks here on Amazon
4. SEALSKINZ WALKING THIN ANKLE SOCKS
Wet feet are the only thing worse than having a cold pair of toes. What if you woke up with ice-cold, soggy feet? SealSkinz products are made to address both of these issues, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors for extended periods of time.
SealSkinz’s Stretch Dry technology on the outer layer and a breathable merino wool lining work together to keep water out while also keeping your feet toasty and dry. Socks stay in place thanks to elasticated ankle and instep panels.
A hand-linked toe closure prevents rubbing and blisters by creating a level seam. These socks are best paired with hiking shoes or short hiking boots because of their ankle height. Their use goes beyond trekking, however. Every outdoor enthusiast, from mountain bikers to rock climbers, is a fan of SealSkinz socks.
- Superior waterproofing technique
- Ideal for humid, warm days
- Additional assistance in vital areas
- Compromise on weatherproofing and wicking
Where to Purchase SealSkinz Socks?
You can purchase SealSkinz Socks here on Amazon
5. DARN TOUGH HIKER BOOT SOCK MIDWEIGHT
The best hiking socks are the ones you don’t even notice you’re wearing because they’re so comfortable. They’re a perfect match for your feet, your boots, and the terrain, without interfering with your experience.
The Darn Tough Hiker Boot socks are padded all over and have a ‘fit and forget’ sensation to assist reduce foot strain. These socks are also really cozy and toasty, which is why they’re probably not suitable for the hottest months of the year.
With a lifetime warranty and a performance-fitting design, the fine gauge fabric is engineered to be robust and won’t bunch or drop down into your boots—a common cause of blisters. Merino wool is quick to dry and odor resistant, while Lycra is added to ensure a comfortable fit.
- Extended guarantee
- Fully padded for comfort and warmth
- Lycra for snugness
- May be rather warm for hot days
- Relatively expensive
Where to Purchase Darn Tough Hiker Boot Socks?
You can purchase Darn Tough Hiker Boot Socks here on Amazon
6. MERINO WOOL ULTRALIGHT CREW
Lightweight and quick to dry, the Merino Wool Ultralight Crew’s ultralight design boasts breathability and short drying time. While hiking, riding, skiing and exploring we found it excelled in aerobic activities and warm temperatures. Fitted design that doesn’t deform or bunch even after many miles of wear, even when wet.
With its porous and airy fabric, it dried the fastest during our drying testing in the hot summer months. This sock was a lifesaver during a 90-degree desert trip. Both hiking boots and shoes can be worn with a mid-calf height. Great lightweight performance at a reasonable price is hard to beat.
Although this sock is airy and wicks away moisture, it does not provide much support or cushioning for the foot. As compared to the other variants, this one is notably less wind-resistant.
Since it lacks warmth, it is less of a top choice for colder weather. While trekking, this sock will keep your feet dry, even if the weather is cooler than average. If you’re looking for a low-cost, lightweight sock that performs well in warm weather, look no further.
- Very permeable
- Quickly drying
- insulating while damp
- Excellent in warm climate
- Average individual warmth
- Very little cushioning
Where to Purchase Merino Wool Ultralight Crew Socks?
You can purchase Merino Wool Ultralight Crew Socks here on Amazon
7. DANISH ENDURANCE MERINO WOOL Cushioned Hiking Socks
An excellent value, the Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock is made from a blend of merino wool and synthetic fibers. As far as comfort and performance go, this one checks all the boxes.
It’s also easy to match up with a good pair of hiking boots or shoes. For multi-day hikes, trail runs, and day walks over rough terrain, the cushioning underfoot is enough. Male and female testers found it to be comfortable in a unisex fit.
In terms of performance, the Merino Wool Ultralight Crew offers better value than this sock because of its lower price. Despite the fact that it’s a merino wool blend, it has more synthetic elements that don’t control body temperature as well as socks made with more wool do.
Additionally, the toe box isn’t well-fitted and bunches up, especially when wet, for individuals with tiny feet. It’s not easy to find a merino-synthetic blend sock at this low a price that performs well, despite these legitimate concerns.
However, even after two years of continuous use, the sock still works fine. In addition, you’ll get a lot more “new sock feel” for your money by purchasing three for about the same price as the best-performing model.
- Fantastic value
- Comfortable & cozy
- Excellent breathability
- Present in a 3-pack
- Cloth bunching in the toes
- Okayish durability
Where to Purchase Danish Endurance Socks?
You can purchase Danish Endurance Socks here on Amazon
8. DARN TOUGH LIGHT HIKER MICRO CREW
Men and women can both benefit from the Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew’s lighter and more breathable design. Wicking power and breathability are provided by the high nylon content, which has a lot of panels.
Make sure your feet are dry and comfortable by wearing these socks. Its low or mid-height hiking boots and running shoes compatibility means it can be worn for a variety of purposes. Its drying speed is exceptional, ensuring your feet remain dry even on extended treks.
Because of the high merino wool content, this sock will keep you warm while you’re moving, but won’t keep you warm while you’re standing still. Winter camping or sitting in the cold would not be our preferred mode of transportation here. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a product with a breathable and long-lasting construction, we recommend this one.
- Excellent fit
- Quickly drying
- Superb durability
- Superior breathability and moisture control
- Not much independent warmth
Where to Purchase Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Socks?
You can purchase Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Socks here on Amazon
Factors To Keep In Mind When Selecting The Best Merino Wool Hiking Socks
If you’re looking for hiking socks, fit and sock height are the most significant considerations. If you want to avoid blisters and soreness, make sure the sock is at least an inch over the top of your shoes or boots.
Our list of the finest hiking socks reveals that the most common height is mid-calf, which we refer to as “crew” style. Ankle socks are better suited to hikers looking for a lightweight summer sock, however, these are better suited to walking shoes rather than boots.
Socks that are snug, but not constrictive, are ideal. For best results, have your feet measured at an outdoor retailer near you and then purchase socks that fit. Instead of buying the same size as your hiking boots, which are typically purchased in the next size up, this is a better option
Additionally, the finest hiking socks are chosen by the amount of cushioning they provide. If you’re going on a long or arduous excursion, you’ll need something a little more cushioned than your normal walking socks.
Having a huge load on your back while walking on uneven terrain requires a lot of cushioning in order to absorb the shock. Winter hikes benefit from thicker cushioning, however keep in mind that these socks may tighten your hiking boots.
While light cushioning should be reserved for summer trekking, medium cushioning provides an all-around balance of warmth and comfort.
Hey Guys I am Michael, I am a writer & editor at Outside Origin. I love being in the outdoors and I hike quite often. I have actually hiked at Inca Trail, Samaria Gorge, and Milford to name a few. I plan on visiting more locations and hiking trails!