The 4 Best Wool Hiking Socks
If you've been burnt in the past by thin, flimsy hiking socks, you know: Hiking in the wrong socks can ruin even the best day on the trail. In turn, the best wool hiking socks, particularly those made from Merino wool, are breathable, naturally moisture-wicking, and can protect your feet against everything from odor to painful blisters.
When searching for a great pair of hiking socks, keep a few things in mind. Make sure, first and foremost, that the hiking socks you get fit properly and have enough spandex or stretchable material to cling to your shins and ankles without sliding down. After all, no one wants to have to stop at every trail post to tug at slipping socks or massage blisters.
Unsurprisingly, the weather will also impact your decision. Because even though, yes, wool socks are great for cold weather, there are lighter wool socks suitable for that warm-weather hike you have planned, as well. Hard and fast rule: the higher the percentage of wool in the sock, the warmer it will be.
One last thing you should look out for is moisture management. While many wool socks designed for hiking will advertise powerful moisture-wicking properties, do your due diligence. And, if that sounds like too much work (I don't blame you), opt for a pair made of Merino wool, which naturally wicks moisture. But, without further ado, here is a list of the best wool hiking socks to kickstart your outdoor adventures.
1. The Best Overall, But At A Price
While these socks range from $19 to $21 for a single pair, there's a good reason they cost a little extra: They are genuinely the best wool hiking socks for the money. Not only are they hugely popular (over 600 Amazon reviews and a 4.8-star rating speak for themselves), they're ultra-durable and made with high-density knitting for extra comfort without the extra bulk. They also come with a lifetime guarantee, so no matter what hike you have in store, you can feel confident they'll stand up to it (and if they won't, you can get a fresh pair for free). And when it comes to the material, this pair is made of antimicrobial Merino wool that dries fast and reduces odor. Bottom line? This is a pair of socks you want if you're serious about hiking.
2. The Best For Warm Weather (Or Sweaty Feet)
For warmer-weather hikes and a less budget-breaking price point, these lightweight hiking socks are made with a blend of Merino wool mixed with elastane, and polyamide, for greater breathability. That means not only will they keep your feet cool in warmer climates, they also won't add bulk to your hiking boots if you already have a snug fit. The impressive blend of materials in the fabric pulls moisture from the interior of the sock, transporting it to the outside of the material where it can dry more quickly. In addition, the wool is naturally anti-bacterial with targeted mesh zones for premium ventilation.
3. The Best For Cold Weather
During outdoor treks in the winter months or cold weather, these wool hiking socks provide extra warmth, and come at a more budget-friendly price than our overall best, all-season pair of socks. While most thermal socks are built with roughly 50- to 60-percent Merino wool, these ones feature an 80-percent blend, making them even warmer than other socks on this list. They're also constructed with an ultra-fine weave that feels silky and soft and a brushed fleece lining that will help keep your toes warm during a long hike through the snow. "They are very warm and toasty," said one pleased reviewer. "Just what this cold, cold winter needed to make all the outdoor activities comfortable."
4. Honorable Mention: An Ankle Sock That Protects Against Blisters
If you prefer hiking in ankle-style socks, these no-show wool running socks are one of the best options you can find. That being said, they're pricier than the previous packs of socks on this list, which is why they almost didn't make this list. But here's what you get for your extra dollars:
- Ventilation. They feature a blend of polypropylene, spandex, and Merino wool that offers great cooling regardless of the outside temperature.
- Cushioning. The wool is medium-thickness, which will absorb against shock and cushion your feet without being too thick.
- Stretch. They have extra spandex that helps them stay in place so you don't end up pausing to tug at your ankles every five minutes, or coming home at the end of the day covered in blisters.
"Great fit," said one Amazon user. "I have been wearing these on long hikes and helps keep feet blister free."
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