These moisture-wicking men’s hiking socks are well-ventilated through a mesh design. They are made of mostly cotton with some polyester and spandex. This pack includes five pairs of socks and is great for outdoors, walking, hiking, and more.
These socks tend to run small, so you may want to order a larger size than usual.
These excellent work socks are 80% cotton and perfect for hiking and walking. They are moisture-wicking, come in a variety of colors, are very comfortable, and feature a seamless splicing design. Great for outdoor activities.
There were some complaints about these socks being too small.
Merino wool blend keeps feet comfortable and dry. Designed with ventilation mesh lanes that wick moisture. Extra cushioning and padding to reduce blisters and aching. Ethical manufacturing and material sourcing.
Some report that these seem to be sized a bit larger than average.
These no-show ankle socks made for hiking are a great buy. They have many five-star reviews backing them, are moisture-wicking, resist smells, and are thermo-regulating. The comfortable merino wool makes these a customer favorite.
Appears to be only one pair of socks included in the purchase, so they are a bit expensive.
Warm and durable yet lightweight. The socks keep feet dry and have exclusive antibacterial wool construction that also helps prevent blisters. 61% merino wool.
Some owners, especially those with smaller feet, say these socks run somewhat large.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Socks have been used to protect, warm, and cushion feet and ankles since ancient Egyptian times, and Roman soldiers often wore socks in cold climates. Yet, sock technology has only recently progressed from basic sewn or knit pieces of cloth to purpose-built technical gear designed specifically for performance outdoors. Hiking socks are at the forefront of this change, and for good reason: a well-designed sock is not only comfortable but it can also save your feet from injury and even help save your life.
If that sounds like hyperbole, it isn’t. The right hiking sock can keep your feet warm and dry in cold conditions, helping to prevent hypothermia – which can torpedo a hiking trip in a hurry. The wrong hiking sock can break down quickly on the trail. On a short hike of just four miles, a hiker takes more than 9,000 steps, not including detours around impassable features like boulders or the wear and tear of clambering up and over smaller obstacles. Beginning hikers averaging eight miles a day on a clear trail take around 18,000 steps. A basic sock, made for business wear or casual sports, won’t hold up long under those conditions.
The amount of cushioning determines the weight of hiking socks.
As with sport socks, hiking socks come in different lengths.
The material used to weave the hiking socks is the biggest determinant of the socks’ performance when it comes to wicking away moisture and retaining warmth.
Knowing the features of hiking socks, why not just head to the discount store and buy the first pair you see? A bargain-basement sock might be just fine for a day hike of a couple miles in good weather, but longer hikes, rough terrain, hiking with a heavy pack, and hiking in colder weather can quickly take their toll on socks not designed for the task – and hurt your feet in the process.
Unreinforced toes and heels can wear through in hours, exposing your skin to rubbing against your leather boots.
Some socks that contain cotton retain water and sweat, becoming soggy and slippery. Wet socks won’t keep your feet warm in cold temperatures.
The wrong sock can contribute to and aggravate blisters, hot spots, bunions, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, and plantar fasciitis.
A sock material that doesn’t breathe can exacerbate athlete’s foot.
Most stores won’t let you try on hiking socks before buying them, but you can inspect the socks.
Check the label. Identify the fabrics used in the socks’ construction. Make certain that cotton is not part of the blend.
Look at the toe and heel of each sock. Look for some cushioning (it varies depending on weight) and a strong, reinforcing fabric.
Turn the socks inside out to look at the seams. The seams should lie flat against the fabric or they’ll rub against your feet. The toe section should be one continuous piece, with no seam in the front. The seam should attach the toe section to the sock just before reaching the ball of the foot.
Note the size of the fabric loops. Dense, tightly woven loops indicate a more durable sock that will cushion your foot and absorb water.
Tug lightly on the sock at different points. It should have some, but not too much, elasticity, just enough to retain its shape after you let go. Too much or too little elasticity and the sock may not stay in place on your foot.
Once you’ve determined the fabric and overall quality, choose the sock size that most closely matches your shoe size. In the U.S., socks are labeled with size ranges and differentiated by gender, such as Women’s 4 to 7, Men’s 10 to 13, and so on.
Labels sometimes include the most closely corresponding EU and UK sizes. For example, a Women’s 5 to 10 has an EU size of 36 to 41 and a UK size of 3 to 8. Note that women who have larger feet might be more comfortable wearing men’s hiking socks. In this case, using the unisex EU sizing guide can help you choose a more accurate size.
Once home, try on your hiking socks right away. Wear them the way you plan to wear them on the trail.
Make sure your feet are clean.
If you use thin sock liners, put those on first.
Note how easy or hard it is to put on the hiking socks.
Note where the heel of the sock sits in relation to your heel.
Note how comfortable the socks feel (or not).
If the socks are comfortable and fit well, try on your hiking shoes or boots.
If the socks aren’t comfortable or don’t fit well, exchange them for a different size or brand. Don’t assume the socks will somehow be more comfortable on the trail.
Hiking sock material is the main factor in price. Expect to pay between $5 and $37 for hiking socks.
Silk hiking socks range in price from $6 to $20.
Polyester-nylon blend hiking socks range in price from $10 to $25.
Merino wool hiking socks range in price from $5 to $35.
Nylon hiking socks range in price from $9 to $37.
Q. I’m interested in protecting the environment from synthetic materials and plastics. What hiking socks can I choose that help the environment?
A. There is an effort in the industry to offer hiking socks that are “ethically sourced” and have less of an environmental impact in their manufacture. Look for companies that create environmentally friendly socks using recycled synthetics, fair-trade wool, or locally produced wool.
Q. I have long and wide feet, and most women’s socks are tight and uncomfortable. What are my options?
A. Head over to the men’s department! Women’s socks are usually sized smaller and have a different heel-width-to-ball-of-foot ratio than men’s socks. There is no rule that you can only wear women’s socks. (It would be nice if the industry acknowledged that many taller women with larger feet would like to buy the prettier hiking sock designs, too.)
Q. How many pairs of socks should I take on a multi-day hiking trip?
A. That depends on the length of the trip, miles hiked per day, and where you’re hiking. In a hot, dry climate you may only need to take two or three pairs, switching them out daily and letting them dry completely. In a wet, chilly climate, you might need more pairs. If you’re going on a guided trip, check with the company ahead of time for recommendations. Many websites for outdoors enthusiasts have packing guides based on season and region. Also, don’t assume that just because you’re hiking on a popular trail or near settled areas you can skimp on socks. For example, New Hampshire’s Presidential Range has notoriously fickle and dangerous weather year-round, and veterans of the Pacific Crest Trail have plenty of tales about sudden summer blizzards.