Hiking in the sunshine is a magical part of summertime, but you need to make sure you have the right provisions. On top of having things like a reliable backpack, proper hiking clothes, and some tasty trail snacks, you also need a solid pair of the best hiking hiking socks for summer that won’t make your feet feel like a fiery inferno.
Warm-weather excursions come with a unique set of factors to consider, and the best socks for the summer are typically different than the ones you'd wear throughout cooler months. The most obvious thing is you want them to be lighter and less insulated: This means lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics that feel airy and won’t trap sweat or cause blistering. Your feet are going to sweat — there’s no getting around that — so having material like Merino wool or a similar synthetic fabric will prevent that uncomfortable, sticky feeling.
Materials aside, you also want to thinking about things like comfort and support as you hunt for an ideal pair. They should 1) have a secure cushioned fit that won't ride down, 2) have extra padding in your key blister zones to prevent rubbing and chafing. Is it obvious to say you should like the style, too? Because you should. You won't want to wear them if you don't like how they look.
Here, find a list of the best hiking socks you'll actually want to pack in your backpack for your next summer hike. They'll give you a head start on your next adventure.
1The Overall Best Hiking Socks For Summer — And All Year Around
Summer nights can be chilly, and if you're enduring a nighttime trek, you'll want a slightly thicker pair capable of keeping you warm. Enter: Darn Tough's Vermont-made all-weather hiking socks. Their durable, insulated design offers cushioning and support without being thick and bulky, making them a great warm-to-cold crossover pair. Crafted with a synthetic blend and fine Merino wool that's quick-drying and antimicrobial, these no-bunch socks will keep you comfortable in a variety of hiking conditions. Given their nearly-five-star rating on Amazon and included lifetime guarantee, you won't regret buying these.
- Available sizes: Small-Large
2The Best Affordable Hiking Socks (That Are Still High-Quality)
Made in Europe with a breathable blend of Merino wool and stretchy synthetic fabrics, these summer hiking socks are lightweight and feature antibacterial properties that prevent odor from building up. The high-performance fabric is woven with blister-preventing Lin Toe seams and targeted mesh zones, giving them constant ventilation. Even better, these socks come with a shock-absorbent padding that protects the entire foot from soreness on bumpy terrain. You can snag a three-pack for the cost of a single pair of its pricier counterparts!
- Available sizes: U.S. Women 5-7 (U.S. Men 3.5-6), U.S. Women 8-10 (U.S. Men 6.5-8.5)
3A Pair Of Summer Hiking Socks With Extra Arch Support
Though they're not a "compression sock" per se, these U.S.-made lightweight hiking socks do feature compression through the arch, offering soft support and maximum comfort. They have intentionally mapped, full-density lining in the parts of the foot that need extra padding, while the rest — like the flat toe area — remains lighter so you don't overheat or chafe. The material is a 19.5-micron Merino wool knit that regulates temperature (i.e. cools you down when it's hot) with sweat-wicking and odor-resisting qualities.
- Available sizes: Medium-Large
3The Best No-Show Ankle Socks For Hiking
Whether you hike in sneakers or just prefer low-profile footwear, these no-show hiking socks from Feetures! are a fantastic option. They're crafted with a temperature-regulating mix of light Merino fabric and super soft rayon from bamboo, which makes them both exceptionally airy and odor-resistant in all weather conditions — even if they get wet. Besides boasting ample insulation, these socks also feature an anatomical design that conforms to the shape of your feet to rev up blister protection, as well as patented Sock Lock technology that adds a bit of compression where tired feet need it the most (the arch). Translation: They're super comfortable.
- Available sizes: Small-Extra Large
5The Best Waterproof Hiking Socks That Are Still Breathable In The Heat
It's actually hard to find good waterproof socks for the summer, because "waterproof" usually means "not breathable," aka "hot." These 100 percent waterproof hiking socks, however, are made specifically for warmer temps, thanks to a ventilating, three-layer blend of lycra, elastane, and waterproof nylon. With a stretchy hand feel, seamless construction, and comfortable fit, they're the perfect choice for rainy day hikes. Oh, and they're odor-resistant, so you don't have to worry about any damp stenches.
- Available sizes: Small-Large
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