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What Are The Best Socks To Wear While Hiking

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How To Choose The Best Hiking Socks?

The word ‘Best’ has a different meaning for different people. However, here you will get some specific ways to select hiking socks that will keep you comfortable and blister-free on your trip.

Let’s start…

Purpose:

How are you going to use these socks? Will you use them for hiking or will it be multipurpose? Think hard before you zero-in on a selection.

The basic types of socks that are available are:

Hiking:

These socks are designed for comfort, warmth, and breathability. You can wear them comfortably inside your hiking boots like Vasque Men’s St. Elias Gore-Tex Backpacking Boot

They have better padding to support you in hard and rocky terrains and can be made of a variety of material. They also vary in length and weight.

For eg: Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks is a lightweight sock whereas DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks are more of a warmer variety.

What Are The Best Socks To Wear While Hiking-PIN

Mountaineering:

These socks are the tallest among the socks and stretch to below your knees. They can also be of different materials and can be very thick to thin.

For example, socks like PureAthlete High-Performance Wool Ski Socks will provide you with great warmth and comfort in key areas.

Running:

Running socks are a completely different category altogether. They are meant to provide you with comfort and breathability.

Also, typically they are of ankle length and the major focus of these socks is on the forefoot.

Like Zeropes Anti Blister No Show Running Socks are designed ergonomically and control moisture and heat for maximum comfort while running

Multipurpose:

These socks can be used for any kind of outdoor activity and are not confined to any one kind of sport.

A good example of this is MIRMARU Multi-Performance Outdoor Sports Hiking Trekking Crew Socks

Materials:

Yarn

Hiking socks are made from a variety of materials like Merino Wool, Polyester, Polypropylene, etc.

Merino Wool:

By far they are most comfortable and breathable of all the materials. They are much lighter than wools and have very good breathability and are non-itchy.

Most of the top performing socks are made from merino wool and the majority of our selections contain this material

Polyester:

They are synthetic fibers and are more durable than fibers like wool. They dry faster and will retain their shape for a longer period of time. However, they are not as warm as merino wools and will not provide much insulation in lower temperatures.

Polypropylene:

These are also synthetic material like polyester and has better durability. They also have better moisture-wicking capability and dry fast.

If you hang them to dry, socks like Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro Length retains their shape for a longer period of time.

Weight:

You will typically find three types of weight for the hiking socks:

Ultra-Light:

They are meant for hiking in warm to hot weather. They have good breathability and the material itself will be thin. Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks is a good example of Ultra-Light Socks.

Lightweight:

They are meant for warmer conditions and are very durable. They have superior moisture wicking capability and have more cushion in the sole and the forefoot. They can be used without a liner. A good example is DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks

Midweight:

Socks like DG Hill Hiking Crew Socks are meant for colder temperatures. They are usually more durable than the Lightweight socks. Also, more comfortable, warm and breathable.

Heavy:

These socks are heavier due to the usage of more material. They are not as breathable as the other type of socks and doesn’t wick moisture as well.

Hence, you may develop blisters if you have to continuously use them. To prevent that, it is best to wear them with a liner and gives you a better moisture wicking experience.

They are more suitable for cold climates and will keep your feet warm and comfortable.

Length:

Hiking socks come in a variety of lengths starting from just past the ankle to kneelength.

While choosing your socks, it’s better to know the terrain where you will be hiking. For example, if you are going for a desert trek, it’s better to wear shorter length socks. They are more breathable than the rest.

However, for terrains which can have grasses or shrubs, it’s better to wear socks which are taller. This will provide you with added protection against any kind of accidental cuts or damage to your skin.

Fit:

When choosing socks, a good fit is everything. This is the deciding factor between a happy hike and ‘when-it-will-end’ kind of experience.

Also, your socks should not be too tight. It will prevent proper blood circulation and will make you very uncomfortable.

Same goes for socks that bunch up. You will end up having blisters if you continue to wear them.

So basically select socks with a comfortable fit and that stays in place.

Drying Time:

Rule of thumb, the thinner it is, the faster it will dry. Being said that, the thinner it is, the lesser insulation it will have.

So, typically thinner socks are better for warmer conditions, whereas the thicker or the heavier ones will be better in colder conditions.

However, no matter what is the temperature, it is always better to carry multiple socks with you. I always keep two dry pairs with my sleeping bag and a couple of seperate pairs for hikes.

Insulation:

When it comes to insulation, wool will provide more warmth than the synthetic fibers. If you are hiking in colder conditions, it is wise to carry wool. However, they take a long time to dry. So, it is best to carry multiple pairs.

Also, if you use a liner along with the socks, it will give you a better moisture wicking capability and will keep you warm and dry

Guarantees:

Blends of Merino wool and spandex/lycra are more durable than any other material. So, when selecting socks, check for this blend.

Also, many socks come with a lifetime guarantee. If somehow the socks get damaged, you can get it replaced with a new pair absolutely free. But typically they are pricier than the rest of the lot.

Considering the replacement cost, this works out cheaper.

In fact, in that way Darn Tough is the best in the market. Their socks come with a lifetime guarantee.

Toe Socks:

Injinji has come up with a special type of socks called toe-socks. They don’t look like regular socks. Instead, they look like your feet but in different colors 😉

This gives your toes more breathing space and wiggle room. Also, they claim to improve stability.

I also, like that they minimize the chances of blisters.

So, if you are looking for a new pair of socks, give Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Crew Nuwool Socks a try.

At the very least, you will have a unique blister free experience.

Best Hiking Socks Of 2019:

Now that you know how to select the best hiking socks, let’s check some of the socks that I have picked for you 

Editor Rating:
(4.8)
Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Micro Crew Socks Cushion

Whether you are an amateur or a pro-hiker, this socks will serve you well.

It is designed to give you comfort, performance, and style. 

The cushioning of this socks is along the bottom of the foot and provides a perfect amount of support

These socks give you a hassle-free fit with no slipping, no bunching, and no blisters.

The fabric of this socks is fine gauge Merino wool and are naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial.

Manufactured in Vermont, USA, they are guaranteed for life

+ POSITIVES
  •   HIgh-density knit
  •   Midlevel cushion density underfoot
  •   Seamless Toe
  •   Ribbed support for no slipping, no bunching, and no blisters
  •   Lifetime guarantee
 NEGATIVES
  •   They shrink after wash
  •   Fit can be a bit tight as per some customers

Editor Rating:
(4.5)
MIRMARU Men's 5 Pairs Multi Performance Outdoor Sports Hiking Trekking Crew Socks

Made from a blend of 55% combed cotton, 40% polyester, and 2% spandex, these socks will keep your feet warm in any kind of outdoor activity.

They are Strong and durable and are reinforced with high-density fibers and pile cushioning in the underfoot area.

This gives you added comfort during any outdoor activities and protects the foot from shear and painful blisters

They are designed to give you med-compressed and elasticity and provides support to your arch, ankle, and heels.

They are non-bunching socks and comes with a 60 days full refund guarantee.

+ POSITIVES
  •   55% combed cotton, 40% polyester, 2% spandex
  •   Very comfortable
  •   No slipping, no bunching, and no blisters
  •   Made from high-density fibers and provides underfoot cushioning
  •   60 days money back guarantee
 NEGATIVES
  •   For some customers, the thickness of the socks are not as expected.
  •   Fuzziness starts to develop with prolonged wearing

Editor Rating:
(4.5)
PEOPLE SOCKS Men's Women's Merino wool crew socks 4 pairs 71% premium with Arch support Made in USA

Made from 71% Merino Wool, 21% Nylon, 7% Polyester and 1% Spandex, these socks are very durable and comfortable.

You have to cold machine wash it and leave it for air-drying.

They tend to shrink if left in the dryer for too long.

So, air-drying is your best bet and these socks dry pretty fast.

You may face minor pilling of wool which is common in this type of yarn

They fit Men’s Shoe sizes from 6-12 and are itch-free and extremely durable.

They are of calf height and shaped cushioning in the footbed gives you extra comfort without adding bulk.

+ POSITIVES
  •   Made from 71% Merino Wool, 21% Nylon, 7% Poly and 1% Spandex
  •   Very comfortable and durable
  •   1-year replacement guarantee
  •   Keeps your foot dry even in summer
 NEGATIVES
  •   For some customers, the thickness of the socks are not as expected.
  •   It is tight on the calves
Editor Rating:
(4.0)
Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks 1 pack

The socks are made from a blend of 33% Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic, 33% Polyamide, 1% Elastane

Merino wool keeps your feet fresh and cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter.

They have good sweat wicking capability and keeps your feet fresh and dry. 

They have targeted ventilation mesh zones and the padding from heel to toe minimize chaffing

Designed from the experience of Danish Adventurer and Former Navy SEAL Erik B. Jorgensen. This ensures that you get the best hiking experience.

They are naturally anti-bacterial and are suited for both outdoors and for everyday use.

Also, they come with a 100% Risk-free Guarantee..

+ POSITIVES
  •   The socks are made from a blend of 33% Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic, 33% Polyamide, 1% Elastane
  •   Very comfortable and durable
  •   Naturally anti-bacterial
  •   Keeps your foot dry in both summer and winter
 NEGATIVES
  •   Fit seems to be a bit off
  •   Some felt very warm wearing these

Conclusion

The above selection of socks are the best in the market but by no means are exhaustive.

There are still a lot of great hiking socks out there. So, if you want to select something on your own, follow the above guidelines and you will be set.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


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