Serious hikers know that they need the right gear to provide the comfort and safety that this potentially strenuous activity requires.

That means getting shoes or boots that are appropriate for the weather conditions and terrain of the hike, but those shoes or boots aren't the total solution for foot comfort.

The right socks are the essential companion. Choosing the best hiking socks for the kind of hiking you will be doing can be part of the fun of this sport.

Comparison Table

Product FAQ

pink hiking socks

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1. What Makes the Best Hiking Socks?

Hikers face a variety of temperatures, water conditions, rugged terrain, and other challenges on the trail. The best hiking socks will help face the challenges by providing support, comfort, and temperature control to the wearer.

Blisters and sweaty, stinky feet are some of the problems the best hiking socks help to minimize.

Determining the best hiking socks depends on finding the style that fits well and comfortably, that fits your budget, and that generally appeals to you.

Styles range from neutral colors with a very rugged appearance to more light-hearted bright-colored models. 

Some people like to wear thin liners with heavier socks over them. The socks in this review are all suitable for that outer layer.

2. What Materials Are Best?

Hiking socks are knit from wool or cotton in combination with a variety of synthetic fibers that give the socks stretch and help them retain their shape.

The best wool socks are made from Merino wool; a very soft wool with excellent wicking capability.

Many excellent socks are made primarily of cotton. Whether wool or cotton is the primary material, they all need some help from synthetics like nylon, polyester, spandex and elastane.

The choice between wool and cotton may be a matter of personal preference and budget, although many of the Merino wool socks sold in multiple packages come close to the price of cotton hiking socks.

Wool can be every bit as cool as cotton in hot weather and may offer better deodorant qualities than cotton socks

man do hiking

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3. How Important Is Price?

Prices vary quite a bit from the least to the most expensive. Fans of some of the higher-priced socks appreciate the kind of backing offered by the manufacturer.

Hiking gear, like most hobby equipment, offers acceptable models of good, better, and best, usually priced accordingly. The serious hiker most likely will choose the very best hiking shoes or boots that the budget can accommodate.

Trek hiking in rugged conditions requires sturdy, comfortable shoes and the right socks to go with them. Even the most expensive socks are moderately priced, so the choice will depend on the qualities that best fit each hiker.

The socks that come in packages of three or five pairs offer a supply of quality apparel at attractive prices. Several options include a selection of different colored socks within one package.

How We Reviewed the Best Hiking Socks

To identify a selection of the best hiking socks, we looked at what the top manufacturers of sporting footwear are producing for hikers.

We studied the brands carried by the leading providers of hiking equipment and we identified what qualities hikers are looking for.

We were concerned with quality, selection, and price. Then we tried them out to see how each performed.

Overall Price Range

hiking shoes

Image via Pxhere

The hiking socks we reviewed range in price from around $5 a pair for socks sold in packages of multiple pairs to around $25 a pair for socks sold as individual pairs.

Our price ratings of $, $$, and $$$ reflect how the socks in this review compare to the others. All the socks we feature are available through Amazon.com.

The Hiking Socks We Reviewed

  • Innotree Men's Hiking Socks
  • Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Micro Crew Socks Cushion
  • SEOULSTORY7 Men's Socks
  • SmartWool Men's Hike Medium Crew
  • PEOPLE SOCKS Men's Women's Merino wool crew socks
  • Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Original Weight Crew Nuwool Socks
  • 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Thermal Warm Crew Winter Sock
  • Thorlos Men's LTH Light Hiking Thick Padded Crew Sock
  • DearMy Women's Multi Performance Cushion Outdoor Socks
  • YUEDGE Women's Wicking Cushion Cotton Hiking Socks

10 Best Hiking Socks

Innotree Men's Hiking Socks


innotree 3 Pairs Men's Hiking Socks, Wicking Cushion Thermal Crew...
  • MATERIAL: 50% Cotton, 45% nylon, 5% Lycra spandex. SIZE: L (Men < 10 US Size). Each pair socks weight 0.11lb/49g.
  • COMFORAT: Fine gauge knitting makes the hiking socks super comfortable, breathable and fast drying. Great elasticity and...
  • PERFORMANCE: Half thickness and cushioning along the bottom of the foot provide the perfect amount of support while a...

Features

The Innotree Men's Hiking Socks are 50% cotton, 45% nylon, and 5% Lycra spandex, a combination that provides comfort, durability, and a snug fit for the life of the socks.

The full thickness construction on the bottom of the sock gives good cushion and protection. The compressed top holds the sock firmly in place to help keep feet dry and warm on the hike.

These socks provide good moisture wicking and help to minimize blistering. The fine gauge knitting provides compression for arch support. 

The heels and toes are reinforced for long wear and extra protection. These socks are sold in a three-pack.

Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Micro Crew Socks


Darn Tough Vermont Men's Merino Wool Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks,...
  • 61% Merino Wool, 36% Nylon, 3% Lycra Spandex
  • Made in Vermont, USA
  • Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee

Features

Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Micro Crew Socks are made in Vermont by a family-run business that has been devoted to making quality socks for three generations.

They stand behind their products and will replace socks that wear out. The Merino Wool Crew Socks are 61% Merino wool, 36% nylon, and 3% Lycra spandex, a combination that provides comfort, good fit, and durability.

Darn Tough's signature tight knitting, with more stitches per inch, gives the socks extra durability and comfort without adding weight. Made with special Italian knitting equipment, these socks have a seamless toe for added comfort.

SEOULSTORY7 Men's Socks


SEOULSTORY7 5Pack Men's Climbing DryCool Cushion Hiking/Performance...
  • 70%Cotton, 25%Polyester, 5%Spandex
  • Medium size fits Men shoe size7-9US, Large size fits Men shoe9-11
  • Multi Purpose hiking socks. Midweight extra pile cusion padding in the heel and ball protect the foot from shear and...

Features

The SEOULSTORY7 Men's Dry Cool Crew Socks are a blend of 70% cotton, 20% DryCool yarn, 7% polyester, 2% spandex, and 1% elastane. They come five to a pack and are available in five different color assortments.

They come in medium to fit men's shoe sizes seven to nine and large to fit men's shoe sizes nine to 11.

They are designed with extra cushioned padding in the heel and ball to prevent blisters and have a Y-shaped heel tab that keeps the sock from slipping.

The DryCool yarn helps to keep your feet dry. They are anti-bacterial to minimize foot odor. These socks are made in Korea.

SmartWool Men's Hike Medium Crew


Smartwool Men's Hiking Medium Crew Sock (Medium, Gray)
  • Sock Height: Crew
  • Knit in USA of Imported Yarn: 68% Merino Wool, 31% Nylon, 1% Elastane
  • Elasticized arch brace

Features

The SmartWool Men's Medium Crew Hiking Socks are made of 66% Merino wool, 33% nylon, and 1% elastane.

They have a medium cushion that runs the length of the foot, in contrast to some other brands that cushion only specific spots. They have a flat toe seam and elasticized arch brace.

These socks are machine washable, medium weight, full length, and come in a big selection of colors and range of sizes. They are similar in quality to the Darn Tough Merino wool socks.

PEOPLE SOCKS Merino Wool Crew Socks


Sale
4pairs 71% Premium Merino Wool Crew Socks Made in USA People Socks...
  • Made in America (4 pairs of merino wool socks)
  • Large Shoe Size Mens 9.5-13; Womens 11-13; Shoe size Men Small (5-9 ) Women (8-10.5)
  • Merino Wool/Nylon blend is itch-free, anti-odor yarn maintains durability for the lifetime of the socks

Features

People Merino Wool Crew Socks have been created to provide a low-priced alternative to many Merino wool socks. These socks are 71% Merino wool, 21% nylon, 7% polyester, and 1% spandex.

These are medium heavy socks with a reinforced heel and toe. These socks come in a package of four. They are made in North Carolina.

The company stands behind their product with the promise to take care of any problems that occur.

Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Original Weight Crew Nuwool Socks


Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Original Weight Crew Nuwwol Socks, Oatmeal, Medium
  • The original performance toe sock
  • Allows for better sweat wicking
  • No skin on skin friction to prevent blistering

Features

The Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Original Weight Crew Nuwool Socks are made of 64% Nuwool, 33% nylon, and 3% Lycra. The unique feature of these socks is the individual toe pockets, which means they fit like gloves. 

This feature is great for people who tend to get blisters from toes rubbing together, since there is no skin-on-skin friction.

They are designed to provide excellent moisture-wicking and have thin cushioning. There is a one-year manufacturer's warranty on these socks.

Alvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks


Alvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Thermal Warm Crew Winter Sock for...
  • MAKE HIKING A COMFORTABLE EXPERIENCE These Merino wool hiking socks are built to provide you with total support and...
  • ITCH FREE MATERIAL These wool hiking socks come blended with nylon to promote a comfortable, itch free experience. Ultra...
  • KEEP YOUR FEET WARM DURING COLD WINTER HIKES With these hiking socks, women and men alike can enjoy the comfortable...

Features

The Alvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks are 80% Merino wool, 15% polyester, 4% nylon, and 1% spandex. The material blend has been developed to provide a comfortable, itch-free product.

These socks have a thermal effect which makes them especially good for cold weather, while they also provide excellent wicking to keep feet dry and cool in hot weather.

They are designed to be worn with boots and are long enough to work well with any style or height of boot. They have shaped cushioning in the footbed to provide comfort for long wear and harsh terrain.

Thorlos Men's Light Hiking Thick Padded Crew Sock


Sale
Thorlos Unisex LTH Light Hiking Thick Padded Crew Sock, Walnut...
  • Maximum comfort and protection for the day hikes or extended backpacking in warmer weather conditions
  • Features Thorlo legendary padding in the heel and forefoot
  • Padding is clinically shown to reduce blisters, moisture, pain, and pressure

Features

The Thorlos Light Hiking Thick Padded Crew Socks are made of a blend of synthetic fibers selected to provide wicking, cushion, and comfort. The materials are 65% Thor-Wick Cool polyester, 16% nylon, 14% Thor-Lon acrylic, and 5% elastic.

The padding is placed in specific areas of the arch and instep to provide comfort. The low profile seams minimize friction and irritation. The padding is especially suitable for cool and cold weather hiking.

DearMy Women's Multi Performance Cushion Outdoor Socks


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Features

The DearMy Women's Multi-Performance Outdoor Socks are made in Korea and come in a variety of fun, bright color assortments, as well as gray. Each package contains five pair of socks.

They are made of 78% combed cotton, with 10% spandex, 3% polyester, and 9% rubber. They are cushioned for comfort in all kinds of activity. They are moisture-wicking and don't slip. They have a money-back guarantee.

YUEDGE Women's Wicking Cushion Cotton Hiking Socks


YUEDGE Women's Breathable Cotton Cushion Crew Athletic Hiking Socks...
  • COMFORTABLE SUPPORT - YUEDGE hiking socks have pretty smooth toe area. Y-type ribbed arch with reinforced cushion in...
  • DURABLE - The lengthened double-ribbed cuff and elastic bands make the socks comfortable; and thickened terry fabric...
  • BREATHABLE - Breathable and fast drying, keeping your feet cool and dry.

Features

The Yuedge Hiking Socks come in five-packs in a selection of bright and fun color assortments. They are cotton crew socks with thickened terry fabric in high-stress areas to enhance durability.

The moisture-wicking management quality makes them fast-drying and breathable. The high density fabric helps to prevent blisters. The fabric is antibacterial and deodorizing.

The Verdict

Our review of the best hiking socks offers a great selection to meet the needs and interests of hikers from beginners and occasional hikers to the most serious, rugged hikers.

All the socks in this review are designed to be comfortable in both hot or cold temperatures by providing ventilation and moisture wicking.

Merino wool is the favorite fiber for many hikers, and we feature a selection of Merino wool socks to fit every budget. Cotton socks are preferred by other hikers, so we featured a good selection of cotton socks as well.

Unique and Colorful Options

Most of the hiking socks we compared come in neutral colors and have a sturdy appearance that goes well with heavy-duty hiking shoes and boots. But some offer vibrant color options that will appeal to the fashion-minded person.

The Injinji Nuwool Crew Socks are designed for the person who is especially susceptible to developing blisters. This sock eliminates skin-on-skin friction by functioning like a glove for toes.

This design also has a whimsical quality that might make it a suitable gift for some of the hikers on your shopping list,

Darn Tough Socks Live Up Their Name

Most of the hiking socks we compared come in neutral colors and have a sturdy appearance that goes well with heavy-duty hiking shoes and boots. But some offer vibrant color options that will appeal to the fashion-minded person.

The Injinji Nuwool Crew Socks are designed for the person who is especially susceptible to developing blisters. This sock eliminates skin-on-skin friction by functioning like a glove for toes.

This design also has a whimsical quality that might make it a suitable gift for some of the hikers on your shopping list,

Darn Tough Socks Live Up Their Name

For the serious hiker who wants to have the best, though, it is hard to beat the Darn Tough socks. This company is so dedicated to producing socks of the highest quality that they offer to replace any pair that wears out.

This assurance helps to justify the price point. The Darn Tough attention to detail and the rugged, handsome design of these socks set them apart as an obvious choice for best hiking socks.

These were by far our favorites and the socks we recommend to anyone who wants to take their hiking to the next level.

Featured Image via Pixnio

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