The 5 Best Socks For Hiking

Bustle/Amazon

There’s no faster way to ruin a majestic trek through the wilderness than with a crappy pair of socks. The best socks for hiking, on the other hand, wick moisture, regulate odor, and keep your feet feeling soft and cozy. But what should you look for in a good pair of hiking socks?

First, you’ll want to consider temperature. Understandably, not all hiking socks will be great for both hot and cold weather hikes. First, look for socks with fabrics like merino wool, which regulates temperature and is naturally antibacterial. From there, you'll want to decide the right thickness for the season, and look for a design that's breathable with plenty of ventilation, both to let out heat and increase airflow to your feet.

One other biggie: moisture management. Because, even when it’s really cold outside, your feet get damp when you hike. Your hiking socks should be moisture-wicking (or feature moisture-wicking properties), to keep your feet dry throughout your hike.

And, last but not least, consider what level of support and cushioning you'll need. Particularly if you’re going to be hiking long distances, you want to make sure your feet are comfortable and that you have plenty of arch support.

To help you make a decision, I’ve put together a list of the best socks for hiking to keep you dry, comfortable, and happy all trek long.

1. Best Overall, If You're Willing To Invest

With temperature-regulating merino wool, this super versatile all-season hiking sock keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The multi-purpose wool is made with a blend of nylon and lycra that provides comfort and stretchiness while offering plenty of cushioning under your feet. The seamless construction makes it less prone to chafing and the fabric is breathable and quick-drying. At $20 a pair, these socks are an investment, but fans say they're worth the money. "The best hiking socks ever!" said one excited Amazon user. "So far they have withstood miles and miles of hiking. I wear them with a liner sock and moisture is wicked away perfectly. My feet stay warm in the cold and cool in the heat. Love them!"

2. Best Deal On A Five-Pack Of Socks

If you want a quality hiking sock that won't clean out your savings account, this stellar trekking sock is a great choice. It comes in a pack of five for $18, making it less than $4 a pair, yet it's still made with premium, top-grade materials. The ventilating fabric is moisture-wicking and quick-drying with anti-microbial properties that reduce odor when you get sweaty. The low-cut design comes right to hiking-boot level and the bottom panel has plenty of arch support. "Guys, I am obsessed with these socks," said one happy reviewer. "I've recommended them to two other people, the girl ones and the guy ones, and everyone raves about the excellent quality, cheerful colors, impressive bridge support, and perfect height for summer hiking with regular hiking boots. They can handle 14ers and they don't cause sweaty feet or blisters."

3. Best For Warm Weather

This lightweight hiking sock is made with a thin fabric called "Indestructawool" that offers support and cushioning without being thick and bulky. Great for summer hikes or simply if you're someone prone to sweaty feet, the sock features mesh zones that are specially mapped to provide ventilation where it's needed most. It has a seamless toe box and ultra-soft material that will keep your feet comfy and prevent them from overheating. "Wore these on a 32 mile backpacking trip crossing the continental divide 2 times!" said one pleased Amazon customer. "Comfy, fit well, no signs of wear. Great sock!" For a similar option with slightly more cushioning, try this one.

4. Best For Cold Weather

For winter hiking and cold weather treks, it's hard to beat this awesome thermal sock. Constructed with 80 percent merino wool, the cozy footwear features 20 to 30 percent more of the soft fabric than your standard merino sock. The weave is especially fine, making it soft against your skin while the brushed fleece lining is silky and comfortable. One Amazon user says, "Between shoveling snow and playing with the kids, they've kept my feet warm and dry constantly. I've been surprised coming back into the house and feeling how my boots had gotten wet, though I never felt it in my feet."

5. Best If You Struggle With Blisters

This awesome anti-blister hiking sock is made with a genius blend of mohair and Drynamix that keeps your feet dry while preventing rubbing and chafing. It has a cleverly designed extra-high heel tab keep the sock in place, adding to its anti-blister functionality, while the seamless front area ensures it doesn't bunch up or irritate your toes. Said one Amazon customer, "Great for hiking! No blisters at all after hiking 5 National Parks in these socks."

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