While boots may be the foundation for any great hike, socks are an equally important, but often overlooked gear item. Selecting the best hiking socks will provide an essential element of protection for your feet against excess moisture, preventing blisters, and a layer of cushioning for getting you from the trailhead to the summit (and back).

Here at The Adventure Junkies, we always prefer to knock your socks off with our extensive knowledge of all things gear related. However, in this case, we would prefer to simply help you choose the best hiking socks for your feet to comfortably take you on your next adventure.

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Socks for Women.

hiking gift guide
Hiking Gift Guide

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Socks

  1. Point6 37.5
  2. Darn Tough Hiker
  3. Smartwool PhD Pro Approach
  4. Cotopaxi Libre
  5. Icebreaker Hike +
  6. Farm to Feet Damascus
  7. Injinji Liner + Hiker
  8. Wigwam Arbor NXT
  9. FITS Light Hiker
  10. REI Co-op Lightweight

 

Comparison Table - Best Hiking Socks

PictureNameHeightMaterialCushioningPriceRating
Point6 37.5CrewWool/ Nylon/SpandexLight$$$4.9
Darn Tough HikerCrewMerino Wool/ Nylon/ Lycra SpandexMedium$$4.8
Smartwool PhD Pro ApproachCrewMerino Wool/ Nylon/ ElastaneLight$$$4.8
Cotopaxi LibreCrewStretch Nylon / Llama Fiber / SpandexMedium$$4.7
Icebreaker Hike +CrewMerino Wool / Nylon / LycraMedium$$4.8
Farm to Feet DamascusCrewMerino Wool / Nylon / Lycra SpandexLight$$4.8
Injinji Liner + HikerCrewWool / Acrylic / Nylon / LycraMedium$$$4.9
Wigwam Arbor NXTQuarterStretch Nylon / Merino Wool / SpandexLight$4.6
FITS Light HikerCrewMerino Wool / Nylon / Polyester/ LycraMedium$$4.6
REI Co-op LightweightCrewMerino Wool / Nylon / Lycra SpandexMedium$4.6
PictureNameHeightMaterialCushioningPriceRating

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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 - The Best Socks for Hiking

Point6 37.5

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Wool/ Nylon/Spandex
  • Cushioning: Light
Features
  • Highly Breathable
  • Environmental Friendly Textile Construction
  • Moisture Wicking

BEST FOR: TRAIL, TRAVEL & TOWN

Point6 derives its name from the optimal 98.6-degree Fahrenheit temperature that’s optimal for normal functionality. The brand utilizes Merino wool for its natural thermal regulating and moisture wicking properties. Additionally, Point6 has partnered with 37.5 Technology which is scientifically proven to make the fibers within the socks more breathable and quicker to dry, thus allowing the wearer to maintain an ideal temperature.

The technology used to make these socks is environmentally friendly and results in 100% less chemicals being released into the environment, as the fibers are cleaned using only air and electricity. Due to its use of compact spinning of the wool, the brand claims this makes their product 25% more durable than products created using traditional ring spinning.

Darn Tough Hiker

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Merino Wool/ Nylon/ Lycra Spandex
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Quick Drying
  • Naturally Antimicrobial

BEST FOR: ALL-WEATHER ACTIVITIES

The name says it all. Not only are these award winning socks, they are also guaranteed for life by Darn Tough. One of the many brands utilizing the amazing properties of Merino wool, the Vermont based company uses only sustainably sourced materials for its American based operation. The family owned company has been making socks in its Green Mountain mill for over 40 years. In addition to fine-gauge knitting, the socks feature undetectable seams which reduce chafing and hotspots. The performance fit also ensures that the socks will stay put on your foot, thus reducing bunching and blisters.

Smartwool PhD Pro Approach

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Merino Wool/ Nylon/ Elastane
  • Cushioning: Light
Features
  • Performance-Oriented Fit
  • Mesh Zones For Breathability
  • Seamless Toes

BEST FOR: MULTISPORT

Smartwool literally burst onto the scene 25 years ago when they first began making socks. Since then, the brand, unlike many of the others in this group, have expanded their offerings to include apparel and accessories that also utilizes the same Merino wool used in their socks.

The brand uses a proprietary technology that they’ve aptly named “Indestructawool” for enhanced durability along with its 4 Degree elite fit system for performance-oriented fit including flex zones in the ankle region. Other features include body-mapped mesh zones to increase breathability, enhanced comfort via virtually seamless toes, and extra protection in the Achilles region.

Cotopaxi Libre

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Stretch Nylon / Llama Fiber / Spandex
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Utilizes Llama Fiber
  • Naturally Hypoallergenic
  • Moisture Wicking

BEST FOR: COMFORT IN ANY ENVIRONMENT

This is the only sock in our round-up that features llama fiber. Cotopaxi teamed up with heritage sock-maker, Wigwam, to create this one-of-a-kind sock. The brand takes its inspiration and namesake from an active volcano in Ecuador. Utilizing a proprietary llama-fiber/nylon blend, the socks are naturally breathable and hypoallergenic as well as moisture wicking. The nylon portion of the sock ensures durability.

Icebreaker Hike +

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Merino Wool / Nylon / Lycra
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Anatomically Sculptured Fit
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Thermal Regulation (to keep your feet cool or warm, depending on the external temperature)
  • Odor Resistant

BEST FOR: ADVENTURE

Icebreaker was founded in New Zealand by a young adventurer seeking to produce sustainable products in a time when synthetic was king. The company touts its early efforts to ensure animal welfare and sustainability.

The socks feature an anatomically sculptured fit and wearers benefit from the naturally odor resistant, moisture wicking, and thermal regulating qualities of Merino wool. All Icebreaker socks come with a no questions asked lifetime guarantee. The anatomical toe box creates a unique fit for each foot. Additional features include Achilles support, reinforced heel and toe, ankle support, and seamless toe closure.

Farm to Feet Damascus

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Merino Wool / Nylon / Lycra Spandex
  • Cushioning: Light
Features
  • 100% U.S. Materials and Construction
  • Seamless Toe Closure
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Lifetime Guarantee

BEST FOR: THRU HIKERS

Farm to Feet may very well be the only brand in the list that is made from 100% U.S. materials. Founded in 2013 as a division of Nester Hosiery, a leading manufacturer of quality Merino wool socks, this company makes all their products right at home in their North Carolina factory. Farm to Feet represents the trend in creating unique products made entirely within the United States.

The socks are created using Merino wool derived from American based farms. Drawing on its history of creating quality socks long before 2013, the socks utilize advanced construction that sandwiches stretchy nylon yarns between two layers of body yarn (from a sheep) creating a smooth exterior and low profile fit which is ideal for technical and sport socks.

Injinji Liner + Hiker

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Wool / Acrylic / Nylon / Lycra
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • 2-for-1 Package (Liner + Sock)
  • Increased Blister Protection
  • Moisture Wicking

BEST FOR: BLISTER-FREE HIKING

While this sock is one of the pricier options on the list, it can easily be justified by the fact that you are literally getting two pairs of socks for the price of one. The package comes with both the socks themselves, as well as a separate inner liner for maximum comfort. The socks are like gloves for your feet. Each toe is encased in its own cocoon of protection. The benefit of this feature is that skin-on-skin friction is completely eliminated, thereby protecting your feet from spots where blisters are prone to appear first.

Wigwam Arbor NXT

Specs
  • Height: Quarter
  • Material: Stretch Nylon / Merino Wool / Spandex
  • Cushioning: Light
Features
  • Elasticized Arch
  • Heritage Sock Maker
  • Reinforced Heel And Toe

BEST FOR: ALL-DAY COMFORT

For over 110 years, this family owned, heritage brand has been creating socks for generations of consumers. Based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the company continues to set the bar in production and sustainability while seeking to reduce its carbon footprint.

This sock features the brand’s patented knit-in lining that actively moves moisture away from the inside of the sock to the outside where it can evaporate more quickly. Other notable features are reinforced heel and toe, breathable mesh instep, and seamless underside toe closure.

FITS Light Hiker

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Merino Wool / Nylon / Polyester/ Lycra
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Extra Cushioning In The Heel, Toe and Arch
  • Blister Prevention

BEST FOR: ALL-DAY HIKING

FITS was born out of the collaboration of third and fourth generation textile manufacturers with a singular desire to create the best fitting socks in the industry. The brand utilizes the best raw materials and technology available to create socks that not only fit but perform well for both work and play.

FITS patented Full Contact Fit hugs the varying contours of the foot and stays secured in place. The popular Teton pattern draws its inspiration from perhaps one of the most rugged mountain ranges in North America. The high composition of Merino wool ensures superior moisture wicking for all day comfort on and off the trail.

REI Co-op Lightweight

Specs
  • Height: Crew
  • Material: Merino Wool / Nylon / Lycra Spandex
  • Cushioning: Medium
Features
  • Reinforced Padding In The Heel And Toe
  • Seamless Toe Prevents Chafing
  • Moisture Wicking

BEST FOR: BUDGET CONSCIOUS HIKER

REI has a history of providing quality gear from numerous manufacturers at their retail locations and online. In addition to providing this resource, the Co-op also produces its own line of gear and apparel. While REI specific items are generally lower in cost than similar items from other manufacturers, extensive research and design goes into every product that bears the REI name.

Notable features in this sock include a seamless toe, a stretch arch band for support, and a reinforced ankle which aids in reducing shoe friction. Additional reinforced padding in the heel and toes increase comfort and durability.

 

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING HIKING SOCKS

SOCK HEIGHT

The height of your sock should generally reflect the height of the hiking shoe. The rule of thumb when selecting sock height is that the sock should at least be visible above the cuff of the shoe. For example, if wearing boots, a crew sock is the better option over a low-cut or quarter cut sock as the sock will not be able to protect the leg if the shoe is coming into direct contact with the shoe or boot.

 

CUSHIONING

The amount of cushioning is based on the thickness of the sock. When selecting the right cushioning for socks, consider your destination and the weather expected. Lighter cushioning is typically ideal for warmer climates while heavy cushioning will provide maximum warmth.

 

PRICE

Money is typically a factor when selecting gear. It’s important to know that even if you buy premium boots or shoes for hitting the trail, it’s still advisable to not shortchange yourself in the sock department. All of the socks in this list are from respected manufacturers and it comes down to personal preference and what you can afford.

 

MATERIAL COMPOSITION

Avoid cotton at all cost. Almost all socks in the outdoor marketplace now have some wool in their DNA. The natural properties of the fiber make wool ideal for moisture wicking, warmth, breathability, and antimicrobial benefits. Most hiking socks contain some percentage of synthetic fiber which helps to increase the durability of the socks. A smaller percentage of Lycra or similar material provides the stretch factor needed for maintaining the sock’s shape.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

MERINO WOOL

Wool has long been used for it natural properties that have made it ideal for outdoor and lifestyle endeavors. In recent years, Merino wool has emerged as the defacto material due to its softer feel, moisture wicking and thermal regulating properties, and its natural antimicrobial benefits.

ANTIMICROBIAL

Whether natural or synthetically enhanced, the antimicrobial properties of a fiber help resist odor causing bacteria. The benefit will come from the ability to wear fabrics longer without washing. This is advantageous when spending days and weeks on the trail.

SOCK HEIGHTS

There are numerous options when it some to sock height:

  • Ankle socks typically cover the ankle bone and are ideal for lower cut shoes and boots.
  • Quarter socks are a height between ankle and crew, so they sit just above your ankle and are usually a good option to pair with low-cut boots on warm summer hikes.
  • Crew socks are the standard for hiking as they work with lower cut shoes as well as for higher boots. They generally hit around the mid-calf region of the leg.

 

 

READ MORE

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 

Hiking Socks for Women | Hiking Hats

Trail Running Shoes for Hiking | Convertible Hiking Pants

Waterproof Hiking Shoes | Lightweight Hiking Boots

Hiking Shorts

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