The 7 Best Hiking Socks to Buy in 2018

Prevent blisters and protect your feet with these top-rated picks

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Hiking is the type of exercise ideal for those who like connecting with nature. An incline on a treadmill isn’t going to do it for you. Sure, you’re looking to sweat, maybe find a new way to drop some pounds, or keep your heart rate up, but what gets you going is knowing that you get to conquer a mountain, cover some serious ground, or forget about everything else as you concentrate on the switchbacks.

And when your focus is on these things, you don’t want that free, invigorating feeling to be knocked down by cold or overheated feet, blisters, aching, or otherwise unsupported arches in the gear you choose. That’s why, as important as it is to have a good pair of hiking shoes, you also need to consider the quality of your hiking socks.

Whether you’re on a budget, have sweaty feet, or are preparing for a trek in cold weather conditions, a good pair of hiking socks can provide the support you need so you can enjoy your hiking experience to the maximum. But how do you know which ones are right for your feet? You should consider various weather conditions, thickness, height, and more when choosing the perfect hiking socks for you. You may be surprised to find that many good quality hiking socks can be quite pricey, but that’s because they’ll certainly prove tough enough for excessive and rugged use, making them the best made-to-last socks you can find.

Below, find the best hiking socks you can buy right now.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: People Socks 71% Premium Merino Wool Crew Hiking Socks

Made of 71 percent merino wool, 21 percent nylon, 7 percent poly, and 1 percent spandex, these hiking socks by People Socks offer a great combination of durability, breathability, and moisture-wicking material. Plus, these socks have medium thickness and a reinforced toe and heel for added support. They are also incredibly budget friendly compared to some of the other brands on this list, and stand up to the others in terms of durability and longevity thanks to the merino wool and nylon blend.

Best Budget: Wigwam Merino Wool Comfort Hiker Midweight Crew Length Socks

These hiking socks by Wigwam are your go-to for a quality sock that won’t break the bank, or if you’re just looking to dip your toe in the hiking world and want something you can rely on as needed. They’re made of 67 percent merino wool, 21 percent stretch nylon, 7 percent elastic (rubber) and 5 percent acrylic. The fully cushioned socks have seamless toe closure, feature an elasticized arch and have a ventilation channel. They’re great for casual use, whether it be keeping your feet warm in the winter while you lounge, or for light hiking.

Best for Women: Women’s Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion

Darn Tough is one darn good brand for hiking socks. These Light Hiker Micro Crew socks are made of 61 percent merino wool, 36 percent nylon, and 3 percent lycra spandex. Those who are prone to blisters will appreciate the seamless construction of the sock, which prevents slipping and bunching, both of which can result in blisters. The addition of merino wool ensures a sock that is naturally antimicrobial, meaning it helps keep bacteria and odor at bay. The micro crew height means the socks are taller than an ankle sock but a few inches shorter than the average crew sock, so they sit just above the top of a standard pair of hiking boots. This height will prevent chafing and protect your feet and ankles.

Best for Men: Darn Tough Switchback Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock

This Darn Tough micro crew hiking sock is a switchback lover’s dream with its “put it on, forget it’s on” feel that will ensure your athleticism isn’t held back by slipping, bunching, and the resulting blisters that come with those issues. The fine gauge knitting makes for tons of durability, the fast action wicking keeps sweating from getting in the way of your lovely hike, and the merino wool promotes ultimate breathability. The socks are made of 55 percent nylon, 41percent merino wool, and 4 percent lycra spandex for equal parts cushioning, durability, and breathability. You’ll be able to hike hard, hike high, and never feel like your socks are a setback.

Best for Sweaty Feet: Icebreaker Men's Hike+ Lite Crew Sock

If you’re the type of person who can’t seem to keep your feet from slipping and overheating in your socks as you hike, then your sweaty feet are getting the best of you and it’s time you rethink your sock choice. In general, you should always look for a sock that features materials known to wick away sweat, since you can still enjoy comfort and warmth without material that robs you of breathability. Icebreaker features breathable mesh zones, which make for extra ventilation to keep feet cool, dry, and void of blisters. Another helpful design is the anatomical toe box. This reduces chafing and ensures more space around your foot for extreme breathability. The socks are made of 61 percent wool, 37 percent nylon, and 2 percent lycra elastane.

Best for Cold Weather: SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks

Whether you run cold even in warm weather conditions, you’re looking for something that’s going to keep your feet feeling fine all winter long, or you need something to get through those long camping trips, these SmartWool socks will do the trick. SmartWool is a well-revered brand that everyone from skiers to hikers enjoy for their incredible quality. These crew socks are made of 70 percent merino wool, which ensures absolute foot warmth, as well as incredible cushioning. The rest is made of 29 percent nylon, and 1 percent elastane. And while the high percentage of merino wool makes for warmth, it also promotes breathability while wicking any sweat off your feet and resisting stinky odors.

Best for Warm Weather: Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool Sock

If you want something that’s going to keep your feet comfortable and safe from the outdoor elements even in warmer weather, this is your best bet. These warm weather socks from Darn Tough keep your feet dry even if a little water gets in your shoes. These are ideal for hikers who are using trail runner shoes, since they’re on the lighter side. The socks feature an undetectable toe seam, have a 1/4 crew height, provide high density sole cushioning, and are made of 65 percent merino wool, 31 percent nylon, and 4 percent lycra spandex.

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