When the climate is too chilly, getting the perfect pair of hiking socks is a must. As you plan to hike around, you should keep in mind that a bulky feel will definitely keep your feet warmer.
A good pair of hiking socks will make your feet dry as well as comfortable along with preventing from hotspots and blisters.
Quick Comparison: Top Hiking Socks
- Darn Tough Hiker Boot Socks
- Falke TK2
- Smartwool Hiking Socks - Men's
- Wigwam Hiking/Outdoor Pro Length Sock – Men’s
- Darn Tough Vermont Men's 1/4 Merino Wool Cushion Hiking Socks
**Below, you'll find our expert's reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
How to Choose the Best Hiking Socks?
If you are in search for a pair of socks which will provide warmth for your feet during wet conditions, then try to use wool. This is a material which takes more time to dry, however will keep you warmer when compared to any other synthetic fibers for longer period of time.
For wet as well as frigid conditions, it is advised to wear a liner along with a mid-to-heavyweight wool socks as this may help to wick the moisture content from your skin for keeping your warm.
In order to maintain things cooler and also to lower perspiration, go with lightweight pair of socks. Even though they will be thin, those which are designed for hiking purpose will offer extra cushioning effect in the heel as well as on the ball of your foot.
If you are normally use heavier socks and is in a plan to switch to lighter ones, make sure that it fits your feet correctly. This is because, lighter ones will be taking less room and hence your foot might slide inside the shoes than you are used to. The worst part is that, in certain cases you might get blisters in a poorly fitting shoe.
Height of the Sock
Crew is one of the common models among the hiking sock height. It extends to a height of around 6 to 8 inches, which is just about the heel or at least few inches just about any pair of your hiking boots.
These socks won’t make you feel extremely hot and provide extra protection for your lower leg from the rocks and brush. Majority of the hiking pants would be thin and hence offering additional cushioning will be helpful. This is especially useful while wearing shorts.
The thinner the hiking socks are, the quicker it will dry. It is not that possible to get a sock which is fast drying without compromising for the insulation feature. For wet and warm conditions where the insulation is not an issue, try to get a pair of synthetic socks as it dries fast.
This is not at all a big deal. Normally, those socks which have a bit of nylon will wick better when compared to all other socks.
However, you will risk losing some of the insulating performance. If your pair of socks doesn’t wick to the level expected, then wear liners.
Know About the Terrain
Choosing the right kind of socks which suits your terrain will help you to stay comfortable while hiking. If you are planning to go for a trail where there will be mostly hard rocks as well as little vegetation, then prefer micro style pair of socks which does not go beyond your ankle.
Then again if you are planning to hike in the bushes, the best pair of socks would be crew models as they provide better comfort and safety.
The merino wool will be fragile, but in the case of hiking socks they can be used for a long run. Durability is really brand specific and hence get the one which has got better life than changing your pair of socks after each hike.
In effect, majority of the wool socks will face issues with the pilling in long run and this can be minimized by drying in liners.
While you want to conserve your space in your bag and lower weight, the same pair of socks which you choose for hiking during summer season will work here.
If dropping each possible ounce is your aim, then getting an ultralight micro pair will make a big difference. Plan your terrain and then choose the material accordingly.
Before, the only material of socks which you could find was polyester and cotton for your trails and now merino wool is the leader.
The merino wool will provide extreme comfort, will help to wick the moisture content, offers better breathability and even aids in regulating temperature. Also, it won’t build up stink much faster, thus allows extra days of wear while you backpack or hike.
Don’t Use Cotton
Even though cotton material is cool to wear, it will drench the feet in sweat fast. If it happens, it will take much time to dry.
It is always better to avoid using those pair of sock which comes with a label “100 percent cotton” since that combination will absorb rather than wicking away the sweat from your feet. It won’t provide any insulation and being light in weight, it will rub against the skin, thus creating blisters.
How to Maintain Your Hiking Socks?
For majority of the wool products, it is highly advised to wash under cold water and dry it in a liner. The directions for washing and cleaning will vary based on the maker and some even claim for machine dry. However, this might sometimes shortens the lifespan of your socks.
The merino wool socks for hiking are those which can be dried along with normal others in a drier. They don’t have the same durability issues like the other merino product and the warm dry will get back the socks to their original shape.
You can either machine dry or line dry. Keep in mind that you will be getting a bit more pilling as well as shrinkage while using dryer.
Those fabrics such as polypropylene and merino wool need specific care as they are more complicated when compared to normal machine wash. And hence before throwing them to the machine for drying, check the instructions for caring in order to make sure the performance and the vitality of the hiking sock.
Review of Some of the Best Hiking Socks
The Darn Tough Hiker Boot Socks comes with extra cushioning and hence provides better support and a smoothing effect with no bunching or slipping. Thus, your feet will be protected from the blisters.
The fine gauge of the knitting will make the merino wool socks extremely comfortable, fast drying as well as breathable.
These socks which are made in the Vermont will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The property of the merino wool is highly appreciable since it has a naturally antimicrobial feature and also repels bacteria as well as odors.
This is one of the main feature which you need while you get any extra days out of your socks. The height of the socks will be over the calf.
The Falke TK2 is a German product which is specially designed for using in the warmer months of the year. This will help to protect the impact areas and also to keep the air circulated, thus maintaining a cool feeling.
The sock is made out of 49 percent polyester, 39 percent polypropylene and 12 percent nylon. They are made with the Falke’s Coolmax fibre which is specially designed for protecting as well as for offering better ventilation for your feet.
The sock has its name and size printed on the bottom of the foot and the right sock has got “R” printed on it and left as “L”.
A good and right fitting pair of hiking socks will provide you with all the comfort and support which you need during hiking or trekking in mountains. They will also help to maintain dryness on your feet and makes them free from blisters throughout the outdoor adventure.
The main groundwork for the hike which is injury-free will begin once you choose your hiking socks pair. With so many wide ranges of collections available, make sure that you pick the one which suits your needs and the terrain in which you are planning to hike around.
They will offer the best defense from all the possible injuries, itchy feet, sweaty as well as frozen toes during the time of hiking and will show you a big difference in how well your shoes for hiking perform.
Image credit: amazon.com, amazon.in, decathlon.in