Whether you’re setting out on a long hike or taking a quick stroll around the block, a high-quality walking sock will make the journey all the more enjoyable. Made from sweat-wicking materials, the best walking socks have features like cushioning, compression, and seamless construction to keep feet comfortable with every step.
What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Walking Socks
The best athletic socks for walking are made from moisture-wicking materials like nylon or polyester, and some are blended with natural, breathable fabrics like cotton or merino wool. Keep in mind that merino wool can be a bit pricey, but it has the advantage of being naturally odor-resistant, insulating, and temperature-regulating — that means it’s ideal for both cold and warm weather.
Comfort is key on long treks, so look for knit-in arch support, cushioning along the soles to soften impact, and seamless toes to prevent uncomfortable rubbing. If you’re heading out on a particularly long trek or are prone to foot swelling, it might be worth investing in socks with light compression. The gentle “hug” that compression socks provide boosts blood circulation and may even support muscle recovery.
If you plan on wearing hiking boots — or walking on a trail with low-growing brush — you should go for a crew-length sock that hits your lower calf. However, if you’re going to be wearing socks with sneakers on paved terrain, you can get a pair with a low-profile cut that covers just your ankles. With all that in mind, here are the best walking socks, all available for purchase on Amazon.
Shop The Best Walking Socks
In a hurry? These are the best socks for walking:
- The Best Everyday Socks For Walking: Under Armour Resistor No-Show Socks
- The Best Splurge Socks: Darn Tough Micro Crew Socks
- The Best Socks For Hiking & Walking: MERIWOOL Merino Wool Hiking Socks
- The Best Compression Socks: PAPLUS Ankle Compression Socks
- The Best Waterproof Socks: Randy Sun Waterproof Socks
1. The Best Everyday Socks For Walking
- Low-cut design is nearly invisible under sneakers
- Simple and lightweight for everyday use
- Highly rated by reviewers
With a 4.7-star overall rating after 21,000 reviews, these low-profile ankle socks are a great choice if you’re looking for a simple and discreet option to pair with your sneakers. With a high percentage of polyester, they wick moisture to keep feet dry — but note that the lower percentage of spandex means they don’t offer compression. They have built-in arch support, a half-cushion design, and seamless toes to support your feet without causing any irritation.
According to a reviewer: “These fit well. Took them out for a walk around the lake today and no complaints. They sit lower than similar pairs that I bought a few years ago, which is actually nice. Keeps my ankles cool.”
Available sizes: 3 | Available color combos: 2 | Fabric breakdown: 98% polyester, 2% spandex
2. The Best High-End Socks
- Naturally temperature-regulating
- Micro-crew length ideal for sneakers and boots alike
- Highly rated by reviewers
Boasting a 4.8-star overall rating after 2,300 reviews these mid-weight socks are a worthy splurge from a brand that’s earned impressive customer loyalty. Darn Tough constructed these socks with seamless technology to give them a smooth feel that’s “undetectable” on feet. Knit with a generous amount of wool, the breathable socks help keep feet warm in winter and cool in summer, while wicking away sweat — but note that the lower percentage of Lycra spandex means they’re a little less stretchy than other options on the list.
These socks have cushioned soles, and the just-above-the-ankle length pairs well with both sneakers and low-cut boots. While they’re a bit pricier than some of the other options, they may be worth it for frequent hikers or walkers — and the brand will replace them for free if they develop holes or other imperfections.
According to a reviewer: “They are darn tough socks, everyone especially hikers love these. Price is high, but your feet are worth it. Love these! I truly believe these saved me from blisters and kept my feet warm at night and dry while hiking.”
Available sizes: 3 | Available colors: 4 | Fabric breakdown: 60% merino wool, 38% nylon, 2% Lycra
3. The Best Socks For Both Hiking & Walking
- High merino wool content provides superior insulation and temperature-regulation
- Tall height is ideal for hiking boots
- Thick cushioning for all-day comfort
If you’re looking for a pair that does equally well on the trail as it does on the sidewalk, these hiking socks are a great pick with a mid-calf length. With a high merino wool content, they’re cozy enough for winter but can be used as summer hiking socks too, as the material is naturally temperature-regulating. The socks also feature light compression throughout, with extra support at the arches. Thick cushioning on the soles and smooth-knit toe seams prevent uncomfortable rubbing while the elastic cuffs keeps the socks from bunching.
According to a reviewer: “I was on a trip that would involve a lot of walking in cold weather mid 30's to low 40's, sometimes with a backpack. I bought a meriwool 3 pack and they were great! Comfortable, warm, excellent socks that handled many miles of city walking.”
Available sizes: 3 | Available color combos: 10 | Fabric breakdown: 75% merino wool, 15% nylon, 10% elastane
4. The Best Compression Socks
- Light compression (8 to 15 mmHg) supports feet and facilitates muscle recovery
- Raised ankle tabs prevent heel friction
- Wallet-friendly price
If you’re looking for socks that offer more support, this multipack of compression ankle socks is your pick. The gentle pressure promotes circulation to help prevent discomfort and speed up post-walking muscle recovery. Importantly — reviewers have noted that they provide low to moderate compression, so it won’t feel like they’re squeezing your feet uncomfortably.
Along with targeted arch compression to help stabilize feet, the ankle-height socks have raised heel tabs and seamless toes to fend off friction. The fabric breakdown isn’t listed, but mesh panels enhance breathability.
According to a reviewer: “I buy compression socks because I walk 4 miles or more every day. Having plantar fasciitis it really makes a difference with the compression. I will never go back to regular socks.”
Available sizes: 2 | Available color combos: 3 | Fabric breakdown: Not listed
5. The Best Waterproof Socks
- 3-layer waterproof fabric that keeps all moisture out
- Tall length ideal for wading through creeks and streams
- Provides insulation in cold weather
If you plan on hiking somewhere near water (think: creeks, rivers, and streams), it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of waterproof socks. The socks consist of a waterproof outer layer and an interior liner made with Coolmax cooling fibers to keep feet comfortable. The cuffed hems help keep moisture from seeping into your shoe — helpful if you’re simply walking in rainy or snowy weather.
Seamless construction prevents rubbing and cushioning impacts every step, but keep in mind that this pair is on the thick side and may not be compatible with your standard tennis shoes. Also note that because the socks feature a nylon-polyester blend outer layer, they’re not very breathable — so you’ll find that they’re better suited to colder weather rather than hot.
According to a reviewer: “100% waterproof! I walk 10-15 miles a day for work in rain, snow, sleet, or sun and these are a life saver. First week I had these I used them almost all week as it was a particularly rainy week. Dry feet, soaked shoes. Very happy customer.”
Available sizes: 5 | Available color combos: 26 | Fabric breakdown: Outer lining: 61% waterproof nylon, 32% polyester, 7% elastane, inner lining: 66% Coolmax fiber, 30% polyester, 4% elastane