Finding the Best Hiking Socks – Buyer’s Guide

Hiking is one of the most soul winning experience, but hiking is not without challenges. On any given day, you will find yourself scrambling over rocks, trekking through deadly snowpack and days of heat. This means your hiking gear must be capable of handling these conditions without fail. As such, a quality hiking sock is something you can build an entire wardrobe. If you haven't checked our previous article check it out here:

However, the best hiking sock must be capable of handling extreme weather conditions, cushion your sole, wick moisture away, support your foot, prevent blisters while giving your skin enough stretch for breathability. However, it is not going to be a walk in the park to get a sock that can do all this, yet we have sampled the 5 best hiking socks around

Best Hiking Socks in 2018 - TOP PICKS

Darn Tough Men's Micro Crew

  • moisture wicking and breathable
  • this package packs comfort and performance all in one pair

Darn Tough Men's Merino

  • Excellent support and comfort
  • no unnecessary weight
  • full cushioning throughout the entire socks
  • naturally antimicrobial

Wigwam Men's Cool-Lite

  • manufactured in the US with a unique moisture control system
  • lightweight instep mesh for breathability

super-wool Hiker GX Merino

  • The arch support is elastic and strategically placed
  • they are antimicrobial, so they inhibit the growth of bacteria

SmartWool Men's Hike Medium 

  • best for backpacking and day hiking
  • adds extra support keeping you comfortable

Best 5 Hiking Socks 

Darn Tough Men's Merino Wool Hiker Boot Sock - best hiking socks

Hiking is going to be more fan Darn Tough Men’s Merino Wool Full Cushion Socks. If you are a serious hiker, these hiking socks is a true classic. The advantage of these socks is that it provides full cushioning throughout the entire socks and this means that these socks give excellent support and comfort, no unnecessary weight.

If your feet sweats a lot, you may love the merino wool construction which is naturally antimicrobial and dries quickly preventing slipping and bunching. The fine gauge merino wool also breathes well during any season keeping your feet fresh and dry all the day long. These socks are made to last and what’s is more they are machine washable. However, if you have a wide foot you may find them uncomfortable as they are socks are so narrow, so you need to factor out this before making the purchase.

Darn Tough Men's Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks

Hike without any worry, from day-hikes to Denali you this Darn Tough Men Crew Sock is your hiking partner. If you are looking for comfort during hiking adventures, this package packs comfort and performance all in one pair. They cushion your feet along the bottom providing the perfect amount of support. When it comes to performance, it keeps your foot in place ensuring no slipping and no bunching, what a great remedy for blisters?

The fine gauge construction is supremely comfortable, moisture wicking and breathable. So your foot will remain cool during summer and warm during winter. What’s is more with these socks is the antimicrobial strength integrated into these socks. Bacteria and stinking odor have no home in these socks, so you can comfortably get an extra day out your socks. Previous customers have complained about the sizes, but this should not worry you, just order your size.

Wigwam Men's Cool-Lite Mid Hiker Pro Quarter Length Best Hiking Sock

If you are a serious hiker and you need footwear that cushions your feet, you may want to try this to go sock. It is fully cushioned to offer the right amount of comfort and performance. The seamless toe seam and mid-weight construction make this a perfect footwear for all outdoor activities. Unlike other socks, these ones come with elasticized arch panels which make them fit without hampering circulation.

It is manufactured in the US with a unique moisture control system to keep your feet dry and without blisters. In addition, it features a lightweight instep mesh for breathability. Quality has been factored it is manufacture, and this includes the tensile strength; so no worry about them tearing while removing. The only complaint so far is about the level of compression. These are somewhat too tight which is common with hiking socks. Just order the right size for your foot, and you will hike like a pro.

super-wool Hiker GX Merino Wool Hiking Socks

This is an all season sock designed for all exterior escapades right from backpacking, hiking to camping. The arch support is elastic and strategically placed to create a grip for superior fit and performance. More so, they are affordable and packs many benefits, nearly everything you could expect from hiking socks.

Like most high-end hiking footwear’s, they are antimicrobial, so they inhibit the growth of bacteria. Additionally, they provide full cushioning to impact support zones to keep you comfortable and protected. The quality wool construction wicks away sweat, keeps your feet warm and also eliminate odor during summers. One of the negative side with these socks is that they snug a little after washing, so if you have a larger foot you need to order a larger size.

SmartWool Men's Hike Medium Crew

These medium crew men’s socks are best for backpacking and day hiking. The design is of these socks is awesome, Merino wool is combined with WOW technology to make a moisture wicking, comfortable and durable footwear. If your feet sweats a lot, you are going to have a hiking experience of its kind wearing these socks from Smartwool. They feature an elasticized arch brace that holds the socks in place for a secure fit. It also adds extra support keeping you comfortable.

Finally, the wool on wool technology keeps your foot warm during winter and cool during summer. But since nothing is without its cons, some customers have complained that the quality of material used has deteriorated over time. But if you order directly from the manufacturer quality is still super.

Best Hiking Socks Buying criterion

Today the stock market looks like a dumpsite of all types of socks. With this phenomenon, finding the best hiking socks can create a hell on earth for you. This is where a buying guide can be your ultimate savior. To give you a blissful time when making the purchase decision, we have prepared this guide just for you. Always keep these points in perspective;

Consider these suggestions to make your decision easier;

  • Protection: Your hiking socks provide the first line of defense against blisters and other foot disorders that can wreck your hike. As you hike, friction creates between your boots, your socks, and your foot. If this friction is too high, it can cause blisters. If you are likely to develop blisters, having a liner sock at the base can reduce this friction. In addition to this, you may also want to look a sock with extra cushioning where you need it most.
  • Hiking terrain: Knowing the hiking terrain is very important since different terrains demand unique features. For instance, if you are going to hike up a mountain, then your sock must have more cushioning around the toes and heel to lessen the impact on your foot as you hike up and down.
  • Weather: Weather changes from time to time, so you need to consider seasonal variations when selecting the right hiking gears. Summer seasons, demand lightweight sock that is lower to help keep your feet cooler. They provide more cushioning than liners alone. On the other hand winter season, demand heavy weight sock that is higher to protect your feet from the elements. And if you are going to hike in wet conditions, breathable and quick drying sock will help keep your feet dry.
  • Length of hike: Factor out the number of hours you will be out on the trail. If the hike is going to take a couple of days, you need to bring up a quick drying and odor free sock. In addition, the sock need to have extra cushioning and arch support.
  • Material:Hiking socks are available in a wide range of materials, such as wool, silk, synthetic insulating materials, synthetic wicking materials and cotton. Each material has its own benefits and pain points; so spend your money wisely. Wool provides enough cushioning but doesn't last long and take long to dry.
  • Sizing: Hiking socks come in a wide range of sizes. Your foot needs a space to breathe through and for liners. Overly thick socks might dig into your calves. Also, your foot might swell while hiking, this means your sock must be able to accommodate your swollen foot. It is, therefore, important to consider the size of your foot before purchasing. Hiking socks are usually done in ranges let say, 11-14 so if you are not at one end of the range, you need to go up or down to the next size to ensure a better fit.

TOP TIP: Try before buying

Most of the reliable socks stores have all the most popular sock style to ensure you get the firsthand experience on the level of comfort and cushioning you can expect from each model. The manufacturer’s instruction may be overly deceptive, and nothing can spell the reality other than trying. Trying each sock to find the ideal fit for you gives you the idea of how much compression you can expect, the level of underfoot compression, how snugly the end sits on your toes and how well the socks sits on the calf.

Bottom Line

Hiking is a demanding experience. The best hiking socks must provide the best defense against blisters, itchy feet, and frozen toes. To achieve this, you need to put various things into perspective, and these are, hiking conditions, sock material, sizing, the length of hike time protection, and hiking terrain. It is our belief that you found this Best 5 Hiking Socks and Buying Guide helpful. However, this guide is not exclusive, but we are sure that our picks are among the best when it comes to hiking. Grab your pair today and ace the next hiking adventure like a pro.

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