When you are looking to buy yourself a good pair of hiking socks it may not be as simple as just grabbing a random pair of socks that you see on the shelf. Hiking socks are going to be won on your feet for a prolonged period of time and carry you in your hiking shoes or hiking boots over some rough and possibly wet terrain. Socks may seem like one of the simplest pieces of clothing because there is much less of a range of sizes to choose from compared to some other pieces of clothing such as a shirt or a pair of pants.
Top Hiking Socks Comparison Chart
Although the size of a sock is relatively still important; material that the sock is made from, design as well as comfort and stitching are the most important. If you are like most people and can’t tell the difference between a poor quality sock and something that is of much higher quality, you are in luck. Below we have made a list that consists of the features that you should look for as well as a top ten list of some of the best hiking socks on the market so that you don’t have to go out and search for a pair that works for you.
Hiking Sock Buying Guide
Setting yourself a budget isn’t normally all that important when you are looking for socks thanks to their low cost to manufacture which results in a low cost to consumers. Although the price may be somewhat of a good starting point when you are looking at socks; it is important to realize that you can still find a very nice pair of socks for a very low price if you are willing to look hard enough to find them. The nice thing about socks is that they often come in large bulk packages which allows you to be able to save some money in the long run without sacrificing overall quality.
The nice thing about socks is that there isn’t a whole lot of sizes to choose from. Generally, as long as you know your shoe size it shouldn’t be too difficult to find yourself a pair of socks that fit your feet. You will notice that there are a variety of lengths to choose from and each person will likely have their own preference as far as length is concerned. Just remember that if you are going out hiking and wear a pair of ankle socks it could be quite easy for your sock to slip down and start to come off of your foot when you are walking over some rough terrain. It is important to remember that having your sock come off on a regular basis can not only cause you to have to keep pulling it up but it can also cause blistering and pain. You will find socks that go up as high as your knee and some socks that just go above your shoe. It is important to think about the climate that you are in so that you can decide how high of socks you want as well as what type of material you want your socks to be made from.
Socks can be made from all sorts of different materials and they generally range in material depending on the activity that they are meant to be used for. If you are looking for a really soft sock so that you can have long term comfort then you may want to look for a sock that is made out of a cotton material or some kind of silk, wool or bamboo. You will also find socks that are made out of nylon, acrylic and polyester which can be soft but generally aren’t quite as soft. Something such as nylon may offer water resistant coating on the sock which may be something that you may want to keep your eyes out for if you are looking for a sock that you are solely going to be using outdoors. Remember that you can find socks that come in a variety of thicknesses as well and if you are going to be doing some kind of hiking out in cold weather you may want to try and find yourself a thicker sock to keep your feet warm over the duration of your hike.
If you do one thing before buying a pair of socks it may be a good idea to make sure that you aren’t allergic to the materials that the sock is made up of. When it comes to socks the thing you want the most is a comfortable fit that is also made up from a durable design. If you buy yourself a pair of socks without checking the materials to make sure that you aren’t going to be wearing unknown materials, you may run into some major problems. Not only can allergies make you develop things like blisters but they can cause itchiness, rashes and open sores especially if you wear them for an extended period of time.
Although it is generally a good idea to look at a few brands before making your purchasing decision; socks are relatively low cost to start with and it is likely that your favorite clothing brand will offer a comfortable sock that is going to work for your situation. It is important to remember what kind of conditions you are going to be hiking through and remember that it is never a bad idea to buy more than one pair of socks in case you accidentally step into a really deep puddle and your feet get wet. Socks come in all sorts of different designs and it can be hard to narrow down which are your personal favorites. When in doubt try figuring out what the most important aspects of a sock are to you and then narrow down your options accordingly.
Color and Design
Although the color and design of a sock may not seem all that important; it can actually make a difference in the lifespan of the product. A lighter-colored sock is more prone to having visible stains on it especially when it is being used for something such as hiking. Sweat and moisture can really stain a sock over a long period of time and it likely won’t fully come out even when it has been through a wash cycle. A light-colored sock is also more vulnerable to dirt and debris that you may run into when you are walking around outside. Although socks are relatively inexpensive; they do add up if you have to continually purchase them over the long term.
Generally this isn’t a big issue when it comes to buying yourself socks largely because socks are available at such a cheap price range. If you are looking to buy yourself a really expensive multi-pack of socks warranty is never a bad thing to take a look at in case you run into a faulty package or you find that the socks rip super easily and are of a really low quality. It is a good idea to make sure that the person or company that you are buying your sock’s from offers some kind of a return policy so that you can return the product if you find any defects. Remember to read the fine print on any return policy especially when you are buying clothing because a lot of companies will not let you return something like socks after the package is opened.
Best Hiking Sock Reviews
These are some very nice socks that are available for a pretty reasonable price tag. The majority of these socks are made out of a cotton material which makes them more prone to shrinking when they go through the wash but also makes them extremely comfortable. This is a pack of two socks and the socks can come in an assortment of fancy color combinations to suit your personal tastes. The top portion of this sock has a cool mesh design that is meant to dry put your sock up to ten times as fast as a cotton sock which is great news if you are going to be trekking your way through some rough terrain.
- Ventilation design provides excellent moisture relief
- Comfortable thanks to a lot of cotton built into the design
- These socks can be used for a wide variety of activities other than hiking
- Not the thickest socks available; you may want warmer socks if you are going to be in really cold conditions
These socks are a little bit more expensive than some of the other ones that are on the market and you will only get one pair with this purchase. These socks are made from wool which offers a very comfortable fit and will keep you pretty warm in cold weather conditions. If you are looking for some socks that can offer you warmth as well as a variety of style options then these may very well be some socks that you are interested in. These socks are machine washable and even offer a weird feature that you aren’t going to find on too many socks; this sock actually has extra padding to help support your arches in your feet.
- Arch support incorporated into the design
- Wool and a variety of other fibers mix to keep you warm
- Fabric is built to help prevent rubbing and blisters
- Cushioned bottom is both comfortable to walk on and makes this sock more durable and prevent foot pain
- Fast-drying technology is incorporated into the weave which helps to keep your feet dry throughout your long hiking trips
- Expensive price for one pair of socks
If you are looking for a bulk pack of socks so that you don’t have to go sock shopping for a while and have a few pairs for back-up then this could very well be a good purchase for you. These socks incorporate four different designs so that you won’t get bored and have to wear socks that all look the same on each of your hiking trips. These socks are made out of a mix of cotton, polyester and polyurethane which does make these socks shrink a bit after a wash, but not nearly as much as a hundred percent cotton sock does. This sock uses extra padding in both the heel of the sock as well as the ball of the foot to keep you nice and comfortable over a period of long-term wear.
- Anti-slip technology is used on the bottom of the sock so that you don’t have to worry as much about falling down
- Padded heel and ball makes for long-term comfortability
- Moderate thickness keeps you warm but doesn’t make you sweat too badly in hot weather
- You may not like some of the designs or colors that are on the socks
If you have the budget for a $30+ sock and you want something specifically made for outdoor adventures, this deal is for you! These socks are made in the USA and the blend of 66% Acrylic, 21% Merino Wool, 12% Nylon, 1% Spandex make them perfect for fast drying. With these socks you get the best of both worlds; insulation for cold weather AND fast drying wicking technology to keep your foot dry. In addition, the Carhartt Merino wool socks fight odors. I’d say this is a winning deal for anyone looking for a purpose-specific sock. These socks are not the best for a casual day on the subway system or even at school with a light pair of sneakers.
Also note that they are thicker than normal socks so you’ll need to account for that when making the decision on what shoes to wear.
- Machine washable
- made specifically for outdoor adventures
- Made in the USA
- Fights odors
- May not hold their shape after extended use (AKA – they may stretch out and become a bit floppy)
If you are a man or a woman and you just want some socks that are nice and plain; you can get yourself a multi-pack of unisex socks. Not only can you share these socks with others but they use dark grey that works for both sexes and will feel comfortable regardless of the person wearing them. These socks are made largely from wool and other fabric and come in a pack of four so that you can have some spare socks lying around in case you end up stepping in a puddle and getting your feet wet. These socks are available for a pretty good price range considering that you get four pairs with your purchase.
- Four pairs should keep you from having to buy for a while
- Design is meant to appeal to both sexes
- Wool and other fabrics incorporated into the design allow for a very comfortable fit
- Medium thickness will keep you warm and cool enough to use in warmer climate temperatures as well
- Stuck wearing the same design on a regular basis
- May run into allergy issues due to the fabric
This is a good quality pair of men’s socks that are available for a pretty low price range. These socks are mainly made from wool as well as acrylic which makes these socks rather comfortable as long as you don’t have allergy issues. One nice thing about these socks is that they incorporate cushion throughout most of the sock in order to make the sock as comfortable as possible for the wearer. These socks come in five different style options and have arch support built into the design in order to provide comfort over long-term wear. The big name brand incorporates its fast drying mechanisms so that you can wear these socks during high-intensity situations and they will remain as dry as possible.
- Five different style options to choose from
- Arch support built into the design
- Under Armour fast drying technology
- Allergy issues could potentially be an issue
Although this two pack of socks may not be the lowest price on the market; they are a very nice pair of socks that will keep you comfortable throughout the duration of your hikes. These socks are tightly knitted together so that you don’t end up having marks on your feet when you remove the socks. The socks are quite stretchy and can fit the majority of body types. Another nice feature of this sock is that it uses fast drying technology in order to help you stay comfortable after stepping in a puddle or after a period of high intensity.
- Anti-slip technology can give you some peace of mind
- Medium thickness is good for cold and hot weather
- Good ventilation to keep your feet nice and dry
- Cushioning on the bottom of the foot will keep you comfortable over long-term wear
- Don’t get to choose the colors
These socks are a pretty great price considering that you get five socks in the bundle. There are actually three different bundles that are available in case you prefer certain colors over other ones. These socks incorporate a variety of fibers into its design including cotton, polyester as well as spandex. These socks are thicker than a lot of socks on the market and are definitely nice socks to wear in cold weather. The socks padded on the underside in order to support your arch and to be more comfortable over periods of long term use. The company offers a nice satisfaction money back guarantee for which you can return the product within 60 days for a full refund.
- 60-day money back guarantee
- Underneath padding to help support your foot
- Very warm and meant for cold weather use
- Top is compressed so that the sock won’t slip down
- Maybe too warm for use in cool weather
These socks are available for a very low price range considering that they come as a pack of three. The socks are available in as many as seven different design options in order to suit a variety of personality types.
They feature a combination of fabrics to the tune of 78%Combed Cotton, 19%Nylon, 3%Spandex. They have a seamless splicing design so the toe seam is almost indetectable and very comfortable. These socks are more than adequate for walking, hiking, camping, backpacking, climbing, snowboarding and a variety of winter sports. They’re good for year-round activities too since they are not overly-insulated or thick for Winter only.
- Comfortable design
- Fast drying up to eight times that of a regular cotton sock
- Unique ventilation system to help keep your feet dry
- With a thickened Terry fabric in the heel (which some would say is a PRO) they may not fit well into a shoe that is already very snug on your feet with thin socks or no socks.
Another very good price tag considering that you get three pairs of socks with this great deal. The socks are made out of mostly a mix of nylon as well as cotton; this means that they may shrink a bit in the wash which is something to be mindful of. These socks are quite thick in design and are great for use during cold times of the year. These socks have padding lined along the bottom of the sock that not only allows for long-term comfort but also incorporates some anti-slip technology so that you don’t have to worry as much about falling over.
- Anti-slip technology
- Three pack of socks gives you back-up
- Thick socks provide great warmth even in cold conditions
- Socks will stay up on your leg and not slide down thanks to elasticity
- May be too warm for use in warm weather conditions
Conclusion & Recommendations
Buying socks is definitely not quite as easy of a task as it may initially seem. You really have to think about the kinds of activities that you are going to be doing and how often you are going to be doing them before you make your decision. Luckily unlike hiking shoes, socks are fairly cheap so if you make the wrong decision you won’t have to break the bank trying to buy yourself a new pair. Always remember to have a look at the tag as well as the thickness and the quality of the stitching of the sock so that you can be sure that it is going to meet the needs of the climate that you are going to be using the socks in. If also a smart idea to keep an extra pair in your hiking pack just increase your feet get wet. Best of luck finding yourself a nice pair of hiking socks. Hope you have some awesome hikes!