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Your feet go through a lot when you hike: blisters, rocky terrain, wet stream crossings, soreness after pounding out mile after mile. We’ve rounded up the best hiking socks for women so that you can keep your toes in top shape on the trail, whether you’ll be spending a few hours or a few days on your feet.

Don’t throw any old cotton socks on your feet – they are, after all, what carry you from your trailhead to your destination, and everyday socks aren’t going to cut it. Check out the options below to find your favorite pair with the features you need in the height you prefer to pair with your hiking boots on any trail.

For more of our top hiking apparel recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Socks

 

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Socks for Women

  1. Darn Tough CoolMax Micro Crew
  2. Smartwool Hiking
  3. WRIGHTSOCK Double Layer Silver Escape
  4. Darn Tough Hiker Quarter Cushion
  5. Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew
  6. REI Co-op CoolMax Midweight
  7. Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew
  8. Farm to Feet Damascus
  9. Smartwool Light
  10. Darn Tough Gatewood Boot

 

Comparison Table - The Best Women's Hiking Socks

PictureNameHeightCushioningPriceRating
Darn Tough CoolMax Micro CrewCrewMedium$$4.7
Smartwool HikingCrewMedium$$4.8
WRIGHTSOCK Double Layer Silver EscapeCrewLight$$$4.7
Darn Tough Hiker Quarter CushionQuarterMedium$$4.9
Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light CrewAnkle / Quarter / Mid Crew / CrewLight$$$4.7
REI Co-op CoolMax MidweightQuarterMedium$4.4
Darn Tough Hiker Micro CrewQuarterMedium$$$4.8
Farm to Feet DamascusAnkle / Quarter / CrewMedium$$$4.6
Smartwool LightCrewLight$$4.7
Darn Tough Gatewood BootCrewHeavy$$$4.8
PictureNameHeightCushioningPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - Best Hiking Socks for Women

Darn Tough CoolMax Micro Crew

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: 60% CoolMax Polyester/35% Nylon/5% Lycra Spandex
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Quick Drying
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Fine Gauge Knitting (for extra durability)
  • Antimicrobial

BEST FOR: HOT SUMMER HIKING

Warm in the winter, but cool in the summer – no matter the season, these socks will keep your feet cozy and dry. The performance fit is designed to prevent slipping, bunching, and blisters while wicking moisture from your skin and drying fast when your feet are sweating.

These socks are naturally antimicrobial, repelling odor and bacteria so your feet won’t send everyone scurrying when you take your boots off at camp. The “micro crew” height comes to just over the top of a standard hiking boot, and the socks are truly seamless, so you won’t feel uncomfortable seams bunching up at your toes while you’re on the trail. Add in the mid-level cushioning, and the Coolmax Micro Crew socks will keep your feet comfortable in all kinds of conditions.

Smartwool Hiking

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: 70% Merino Wool/28% Nylon/2% Elastic
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Non-Itch
  • Machine Washable and Dryable

BEST FOR: AVOIDING SMELLY FEET

These Smartwool socks come with all the benefits of merino wool – odor-repelling, moisture-wicking – without the negatives often associated with wool products; they won’t itch, and you can even throw them in the dryer without worrying about shrinking.

With a moderate amount of cushioning to absorb impact on the trail, these socks are great for long miles over rough terrain. You’ll love them for years as they maintain their shape and softness – the nylon and elastic blend will ensure durability and a great fit.

WRIGHTSOCK Double Layer Silver Escape

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Dri-WRIGHT ll Polyester/Nylon/Silver/Lycra Spandex
  • Cushioning: Light
Features
  • Top Mesh Panels (for ventilation)
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Quick Drying
  • Antimicrobial

BEST FOR: LONG-LASTING COMFORT

The key feature of these WRIGHTSOCK socks is their patented double layer that reduces friction while hiking, thus minimizing hot spots and blisters. The silver woven throughout these socks’ inner layer provides natural antimicrobial protection, keeping your feet smelling fresh.

On the trail, lightly cushioned footbeds absorb shock, while the mesh paneling on top of the socks ventilate your feet. If you struggle with blisters and odor after a long day of hiking, these socks may be the answer.

Darn Tough Hiker Quarter Cushion

Specs
  • Height: Quarter
  • Material: 60% Merino Wool/38% Nylon/2% Spandex
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Side Vents
  • Fine Gauge Knitting (for extra durability)
  • Undetectable Seam (for ultimate comfort)

BEST FOR: MAINTAINING THE PERFECT FIT

For fast and light hikes, the Darn Tough Hiker Quarter Socks are your best bet. Vents on the side of the socks offer extra breathability, while a performance-enhancing fit is designed to prevent bunching, slipping, and blisters. The quarter height sits just above the ankle, ideal for low-cut hiking boots and hiking shoes.

A medium level of cushion combined with a smooth seam you can’t feel mean ultimate comfort when you slip these socks on. They’ll keep your feet warm for a winter hike or cool for a summer one thanks to the versatility of the merino wool, which also repels bacteria and odors. Take these socks for a spin, and you’ll forget you even have them on.

Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew

Specs
  • Height: Ankle / Quarter / Mid Crew / Crew
  • Material: 58% Merino Wool/39% Nylon/3% Elastane
  • Cushioning: Light
Features
  • Women-Specific Fit
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Mesh Ventilation Zones (for breathability)

BEST FOR: YEARS OF DURABILITY

Smartwool calls the patent-pending technology making up this sock “Indestructawool,” and it’s a fitting name. The construction combines merino wool and reinforcing fibers in the optimal spots to increase durability and comfort, meaning you can rely on these socks from hiking trip to hiking trip.

In terms of comfort, ventilating mesh zones help manage moisture and allow your feet to breathe. These socks have a fit system with two elastics, which offer more stretch and recovery to keep the socks in place as you hike. They’re tailored to women, with a slimmer fit and narrower heel to conform more to women’s feet. Finally, a virtually seamless toe rounds out the extreme comfort these socks provide from town to trail.

REI Co-op CoolMax Midweight

Specs
  • Height: Quarter
  • Material: 61% CoolMax Polyester/23% Acrylic/15% Nylon/15% Lycra Spandex
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Quick Drying
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Seamless Toe (for optimal comfort)

BEST FOR: COOL-WEATHER HIKING

On cool, fall days or early spring before your hikes get hot, REI’s CoolMax midweight hiking socks will keep your toes toasty. The breathable polyester blends with stretchy nylon for added durability, and flexible spandex ensures the optimal fit. The toe closure is seamless, so no concerns about bunching necessary.

The padded heel and toe are thick enough for great support, but not too thick. Throw these socks on for rugged terrain of all kinds, as they avoid slipping and sliding that can lead to blisters. At such a great price, you can pick up a few pairs to treat your feet.

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew

Specs
  • Height: Quarter
  • Material: 59% Merino Wool/39% Nylon/2% Lycra Spandex
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Fast Drying
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Antimicrobial
  • Machine Washable and Dryable

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY

Moisture-wicking and breathable merino wool cradles your feet when you put these socks on, increasing comfort and offering optimal durability for all of your peak bagging. The micro crew height is perfect for those who prefer a shorter sock, but still want it to reach the top of their hiking boots.

Enough cushioning to protect your feet from rugged trails also features reinforced heels and toes, as well as elastic support around the arches. The toe seams are hidden and comfortable, while the performance fit ensures no bunching, slipping, or blisters. You can rely on Darn Tough’s Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks for a variety of terrain, whether you’re out for a day hike or a week in the backcountry.

Farm to Feet Damascus

Specs
  • Height: Ankle / Quarter / Crew
  • Material: 58% Merino Wool/39% Nylon/3% Lycra Spandex
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Multiple Ventilation Channels
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Targeted Heel and Toe Cushioning

BEST FOR: BACKPACKING TRIPS

Named for Damascus, Virginia, also known as “Trail Town, USA,” these socks will keep your feet comfortable whether or not you’re hiking the Appalachian Trail through their namesake town. Targeted cushion zones optimize comfort and shock absorbency, while air can flow through multiple vents on top of and around the foot.

Farm to Feet’s soft merino wool comes from U.S. sheep and helps manage moisture even on the sweatiest of hiking days. It will also resist odors and bacteria while keeping your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Lycra spandex fibers provide compression to minimize foot fatigue, so your feet will feel fresh even after logging plenty of miles. Finally, a hexagonal reinforcement pattern in the heel and toe add durability to important impact areas, so these socks are truly in it for the long haul.

Smartwool Light

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: 72% Merino Wool/26% Nylon/1% Spandex/1% Polyester
  • Cushioning: Light
Features
  • Machine Washable and Dryable
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Flat Knit Toe Seam (for added comfort)

BEST FOR: ULTIMATE TRAIL SUPPORT

Smartwool guarantees an itch-free experience, and the merino wool and nylon in these socks will absorb and wick moisture away from your skin no matter the season. The Lycra spandex in the upper ribbing helps keep the sock in place as you move, while the Lycra in the arch brace adds support and comfort.

When you get home, throw these socks in the washer and dryer without fear of them shrinking. The lightly-cushioned terry-loop padding provides comfort without too much bulk. The Smartwool Light Hiker Socks will stay soft and odor-resistant for seasons to come, making them a surefire staple for your hiking kit.

Darn Tough Gatewood Boot

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: 67% Merino Wool/30% Nylon/3% Spandex
  • Cushioning: Heavy
Features
  • Fine Gauge Knitting (for extra durability)
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Antimicrobial
  • Seamless Toe (for comfort)

BEST FOR: PROTECTING YOUR FEET

With the highest level of cushioning on this list, the Darn Tough Gatewood Boot Socks are a great option for hikers who prefer extra padding on their feet. Full cushion throughout the entire sock provides plenty of comfort, while the height hits at mid-calf for additional protection and warmth. A high density of merino wool wicks moisture away from your feet and dries quickly whether it’s hot or cool out.

In addition to a performance fit that minimizes the slipping and bunching that leads to blisters, an undetectable seam means this sock is ultra smooth and comfortable no matter how many miles you’ve put in on the trail. A fully cushioned option that naturally repels bacteria and odors, these socks won’t let you or your feet down.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING HIKING SOCKS

HEIGHT

Hiking sock height is typically a matter of preference, though higher socks can add protection against the elements and warmth. Lower socks, on the other hand, mean less material and can help keep more of your foot cool. The heights available on this list range from ankle (super short) to crew (calf-height). Make sure to consider where you’ll be hiking and how high you usually like your socks before deciding which sock and height to purchase from the list above.

 

CUSHIONING

Depending on how many miles and the kind of terrain you tend to hike, you may want higher or lower density cushioning in your socks. Extra padding can help your foot absorb shock over rough terrain, but lots of cushion can also create bulk.

 

MATERIAL

Hiking socks are often distinguished by the materials that make them up, with different blends offering various features from antimicrobial to fast drying fibers. Many socks incorporate merino wool, for example, due to its natural moisture-wicking nature and odor resistance.

 

PRICE

At this point in the research process, you might be thinking, “$20 plus for a pair of socks??” It’s all in the materials – if you want hiking socks that will keep your feet happy through long miles with a heavy pack on your back, it may be worth it to spring for a more expensive pair. Keep in mind that investing in a more expensive pair of quality hiking socks also means that they’ll last for years of wear and tear on and off the trail. However, if you see yourself sticking to short day hikes, socks on the less expensive side can still do the trick.

 

VENTILATION

Especially if you often hike in hotter climates, sock ventilation can be the difference between sweaty feet and comfort while hiking. Look for features like mesh paneling and good airflow to keep your feet dry and happy.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

MERINO WOOL

Merino wool is a naturally odor-resistant and moisture wicking fiber, which is why it’s so prevalent in many hiking socks. It’s a durable material that will stay soft even after many uses – look for pre-shrunk wool that you can run through the dryer without the socks shrinking.

CREW HEIGHT

Crew socks generally hit around your mid calf, providing additional warmth and protection below the knee.

ANKLE HEIGHT

Ankle socks typically rest just above the ankle, cut for lower boots and shoes.

ANTIMICROBIAL

Socks infused with natural or synthetic antimicrobial fibers are bacteria-resistant, so they’ll fend off odors and prevent your feet from getting swampy even if they sweat.

READ MORE

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