Last Update: 15.Mar.2020
Merino wool wicks away moisture and breathes
Not recommended for use at low temperatures.
Virtually seamless toes offer extraordinary comfort
Slow to dry
Compatible with hiking
Merino wool delivers incredible moisture management and next-to-skin comfort
Hiking socks may not be the number one priority for hiking, but they can help prevent blisters and provide a pain-free hiking experience. Having a pair of good socks for hiking ensures that your feet are cushioned enough for walking on long and rocky paths. With best socks for hiking, your feet remain dry yet warm during hiking. Here are the main benefits of getting the best socks for hiking.
Hiking socks provide more cushioning to your feet than the ordinary ones do. They are specially designed to cover and cushion the front and heel of the foot. They are more durable, sturdy, and warm to use. Now, you may be thinking that you don’t need extra cushioning on your feet, but think again. Try a ten-mile hike over a rocky hill or terrain. You will see how every bit of cushion to your feet helps to prevent throbbing at the end of a long hike.
When hiking on long tracks, you never want your feet to become wet. Wet feet not only make your shoes wet but can be painful and stinky too. Wet feet are more susceptible to infections as well as blisters. Hiking socks take away the perspiration from your feet and retain it in the fabric, keeping your feet dry and safe from blistering.
While it is necessary to keep your feet dry, they should not turn too dry and cold as well. When your feet become very dry, excessive dead skin on and in between your toes can cause a build-up of infectious bacteria and fungi. Your heels will be all cracked up with very dry feet.
To prevent feet from becoming too dry, it is important for them to stay warm. Warm feet prevent infections and other foot diseases. Warm feet remain soft. Warm socks remove the heat and perspiration away from the feet. This is why you should wear warm socks in not only colder areas, but hotter regions as well.
Wet foot strain on the foot, long walking time, allergies, and production of excessive oil in the skin – these are all the causes of blisters. Any of these can cause blisters while hiking. You do not want to get blisters on your feet that spoil your trip. Make sure your feet are well protected from any chances of getting blisters by wearing good quality and comfortable hiking socks.
Good quality hiking socks keep your feet well-cushioned and at the right temperature. They are soft and have a nice feel against your feet. Walking on long trails can be exhausting, especially when you have rocky and rough paths to walk through. To make sure that your feet do not get tired soon, you have to pick a comfortable pair of socks.
Polyester. Polyester is the cheapest material for hiking socks. If you do not have to hike on hilly or rocky areas and to look for a short and smooth hike, polyester may be good for you. Polyester give longer life than cotton and wool. However, it is not the first choice of material for the best hiking socks. Look at the pros and cons of polyester socks to see if they can fit your requirements or not.
Cotton. Many people consider cotton socks the best for city walking and short hikes. Cotton remains one of the most commonly used materials.
Silk. Not many people prefer silk fabric for hiking as they are not very durable and may give a slippery feel to the feet. However, silk makes good lining socks and it is always used in combination with a mix of materials. Silk is also a natural heat insulator, which is good for keeping feet warm in the hot climate without feeling too hot.
Wool. Wool is usually considered as the best material for hiking. Wool socks are ideal for all types of walking. They are fit for strenuous hiking and walking in colder regions.
Merino Wool. Merino wool socks are an upgrade to regular wool socks to give better durability, moisture-free, stink prevention, and comfort. Best selling and premium quality footwear is usually made of merino wool. Merino wool is a preferred material for its good moisture managing properties.
Hiking socks are not the most technical product you need to buy for your hiking or camping trip. So, there are not many things to consider when buying. However, here is a list of a few things that do matter.
Hiking socks are normally available in three different varieties for thickness, lightweight, medium weight, and heavyweight. Some manufacturers have upgraded the latter and introduced a new type called the ‘trekking style,’ which is extra thick. Here are some tips for choosing the thickness of the socks on the basis of weather and insulation.
Socks made from merino wool are the most comfortable. They provide the right cushioning to your entire foot. However, if a woolen and thick pair makes your feet hotter, you should consider other materials, such as cotton or polyester.
You can also get woolen socks with cooling technology that allow air to circulate and keep your feet cool and dry.
Hiking socks are generally thicker, sturdier, and more durable than regular socks. Socks that are not too durable can tear during your trip, which is not only uncomfortable but can even cause injury or blisters.
Wicking capability allows for your feet to remain dry even after long hours of walking. Therefore, you should consider options with wicking qualities. This means that they have a good drying speed and are quick enough to remove moisture from your feet. This helps prevent the chances of your feet developing blisters in the foot.
If you naturally sweat a lot or you are going in a warmer area, then socks with better wicking capability should be your number one choice.
For women, the criteria for selecting hiking socks are not that different. The socks should be above the ankle length to prevent blisters. It is better not to get cotton socks as they do not absorb moisture very well.
Now that we have told you why you need hiking socks and how to look for the best ones, we feel compelled to suggest some of the best hiking socks. Here are six best hiking socks for different hiking needs. We hope to help you choose the right ones for your upcoming adventure.
Best Lightweight Hiking Socks
Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Light. Darn Tough is one of the top hiking socks manufacturers. When you compare the durability and cushioning of these socks with other heavy and thick ones from the same manufacturer, you will obviously notice the difference because of the lightweight. These ultra-lightweight socks have better durability and comfort than other lightweight socks. The moisture-managing is great and does not get smelly at all.
Best Cold Weather Socks
1000 Mile Heat Walk Sock. Where Darn Tough is one of the best manufacturers of woolen socks, we decided to check out other hiking socks for cold weather that have more or less the same quality but lesser price.
As the name suggests, these socks are perfect for keeping your feet warm when hiking in cold areas.
1000 Mile Heat Walker keep your feet warmer more than all the others in this list. You do not have to worry about sweating as the socks are very breathable and do not let your feet stay sweaty and stinky. If you are buying these, make sure you use, keep them only for hiking in colder areas. They are too hot to use in the summer or spring season.
Best Summer Hiking Socks
Smartwool PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Mini. For warm weather, we picked the PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Socks by Smartwool. They come at a great price, which is only $17. The socks have a good fit, superb breathability, and are very comfortable. They do not have the best durability in the list but are a very good option for lightweight summer socks when you do not need enough cushioning.
These socks are lightweight and great for backpacking, but the material is thinner in critical areas like heel, where you may need more cushioning. If your hiking trip lasts longer than usual, this pair of socks is not suitable for you.
Best Wool Hiking Socks
DG Hill Thermal 80% Merino Wool. If you are looking for the best woolen hiking socks, check out DG Hill Thermal Socks. Unlike most woolen socks, these are made up of 80% merino wool rather than 50-60% wool. Whether you are heading to a cold region for hiking or just want to give your feet woolen comfort, DG Hill Thermal Socks can be your pick.
The weaving is tight, making it very durable. There is also extra material in the toe and underfoot, providing proper cushioning.
However, as with all woolen socks, you can only wear them in the winter season and so are not fit for other seasons, as it will cause a lot of sweating and discomfort.
Best Waterproof Hiking Boots
SealSkinz Trekking ThickMid. SealSkinz Trekking Thick Mid is our top pick for best waterproof hiking socks. Other than the great waterproof feature, this pair has other appreciable features. It is durable, has the right thickness, and can easily fit into boots. In addition to wet conditions, you can use them for mountaineering and trekking as well.
The socks are thick, sturdy, and very efficient for waterproofing. However, the comfort level is slightly less than thicker woolen socks from Smartwool and Darn Tough, and feel stiff at the back of the feet.
When you plan a hiking trip, make sure you wear good quality hiking socks. Hiking socks are very important to protect your feet from blisters, infections, sprain, or any other problem. Hiking trips has a durable construction than the normal socks which have wicking mechanism and cushions your feet on all the critical areas. Here we have talked about how you can choose the best hiking socks for yourself.
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