Hiking socks are a critical part of your outdoor apparel and should be chosen with the same level of care dedicated to other gear like base layers or a rain shell.
The best hiking socks offer enough support and comfort for long days on the trail, keep you warm when temperatures drop, and are built for durability
The Darn Tough Merino Wool Hiker Boot Socks are our top choice because they’re comfortable the first time you slip them on and tough enough to last for hundreds of miles of trekking.
When I was sixteen years old, I spent three weeks trekking across much of northern Spain. It was a formative experience that cemented a lifelong love for hiking and the outdoors. Among the wisdom I gained during that long-ago journey was a gem I keep with me today: Don’t be cheap when it comes to buying hiking socks.
Within the first few days of my trek, my feet had multiple blisters caused by the abrasion of my roots rubbing through thin socks. Within a week, my feet were covered in open sores and every step was agonizing — it was difficult to push on. It was then that I learned (the absolute hardest way) of the immense benefit of a reliable hiking sock.
In the nearly two decades since that trek, I’ve logged hundreds of miles over mountains, across trails, on roadsides, and elsewhere — and I’ve bought and tested many pairs of hiking socks. Finding the right pair of hiking socks not only means choosing a pair that fits properly and is comfortable. You’ll also want to consider the materials, construction, and conditions beyond your feet.
Here are a few general notes about materials to keep in mind while shopping. First, avoid 100% cotton socks whenever possible. Stick to blended options containing some combination of wool or acrylic. I also recommend avoiding socks made of any one single material. Though people swear by wool or acrylic, blends were created for a reason.
In cold weather, wool helps keep you warm. In wetter conditions, a good percentage of acrylic keeps you drier and many artificial fibers, such as PrimaLoft, keep you warm even when wet. In any condition, you want something with stretch material to keep the sock fitting snugly.
To help narrow down which pair of hiking socks is right for you, we’ve compiled the following list of our favorites currently available from brands like Darn Tough, Columbia Sportswear, and Bombas.
Here are the best hiking socks you can buy:
Best hiking socks overall: Darn Tough Merino Wool Hiker Boot Socks
Best hiking socks for cold weather: Fox River Cold Weather Explorer Socks
Best stylish hiking socks: Bombas Hiking Socks
Best hiking socks for warm weather: Smartwool’s PhD Outdoor Light Hiking Crew Socks
Best odor-blocking hiking sock: ScentLok Elite Sport Crew Sock
SEE ALSO: The best men’s hiking boots you can buy
The best hiking socks overall
Source:: Business Insider