Selecting the best summer hiking socks among hundreds of different models can be a daunting task, but making the right choice is essential if you want to avoid blisters, overheating or discomfort. A good pair of boots is not enough, as walking for longer than a few hours on uneven terrain without a pair of good socks will make you regret that you didn’t pick a beach destination for your holidays.

The best summer hiking socks are antibacterial, fast drying, and they keep your feet cool even in warmer climates. They are durable and can be worn for multiple days on long-distance hikes, providing high breathability and cushioning. We have chosen the ten best summer hiking socks available on the market to make sure your feet arrive safe and sound at the end of the trail.

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

hiking gift guide
Hiking Gift Guide

 

Quick Answer - The Best Summer Hiking Socks

  1. Darn Tough CoolMax Hiker
  2. Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini
  3. Darn Tough Micro Crew
  4. Injinji Liner Crew
  5. Sealskinz Super Thin Mid
  6. Smartwool Light Hiker
  7. DexShell Terrain Walking
  8. Smartwool Hike Light Margarita Crew
  9. Darn Tough Hiker
  10. DexShell Ultra Thin Crew

 

Comparison Table - Best Hiking Socks for Summer

PictureNameHeightLayersCushioningPriceRating
Darn Tough CoolMax HikerCrew1Medium$$4.9
Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light MiniAnkle1Light$$4.7
Darn Tough Micro CrewCrew1Light$$4.1
Injinji Liner CrewCrew1None$3.9
Sealskinz Super Thin MidCrew2Light$$$4.8
Smartwool Light HikerCrew1Light$$4.4
DexShell Terrain WalkingCrew3Medium$$$4.5
Smartwool Hike Light Margarita CrewCrew1Light$$$5.0
Darn Tough HikerAnkle1Medium$$4.3
DexShell Ultra Thin CrewCrew3Medium$$$4.8
PictureNameHeightLayersCushioningPriceRating

MULTI-DAY HIKING PACKING LIST

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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 in Summer

Darn Tough CoolMax Hiker


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Fabric: 40% CoolMax Polyester, 32% Nylon, 23% Acrylic, 4% Lycra, 1% Other
  • Height: Crew
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Layers: 1
Features
  • Quick-drying
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Lifetime Guarantee

BEST FOR: ALL-AROUND COMFORT

While the Darn Tough Coolmax Micro Crew Cushion Socks are specifically made for hikers, these comfortable socks are perfect for a great number of outdoor activities — from running to climbing — and even everyday use.

Built with CoolMax synthetic material that is engineered to absorb moisture away from your feet, these socks will keep your skin dry from sweat when it’s warm and protect you from cooler temperatures when you are reaching higher altitudes. The medium cushioning provides excellent bounce and the mix of fabrics has proven extremely durable. The Darn Tough Coolmax Micro Crew Cushion Socks will last a lifetime!

Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Fabric: 58% Merino Wool, 40% Nylon, 2% Elastane
  • Height: Ankle
  • Cushioning: Light
  • Layers: 1
Features
  • Reinforced Fibers For Maximum Durability
  • Two Elastics To Keep The Sock In Place
  • Ventilating Mesh For Extra Breathability

BEST FOR: ULTIMATE FRESHNESS

Available in both men’s and women’s versions, the Smartwool Phd Outdoor Light Mini Socks are ideal for hiking in warmer climates. The light cushioning provides enough support for impact on road and trail without causing overheating, and ventilating mesh zones let your feet breathe and stay fresh even after hours of walking.

These ankle-high socks are made with a mix of merino wool and synthetic fabrics, with the addition of reinforcing fibers in the areas that normally wear out faster. They also have a double elastic band that helps keep the sock firmly in place when worn, reducing the risk of blisters and injuries.

Darn Tough Micro Crew


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Fabric: 56% Nylon, 40% Merino Wool, 4% Lycra Spandex
  • Height: Crew
  • Cushioning: Light
  • Layers: 1
Features
  • Seamless Construction
  • Anti-bacterial And Anti-odor Protection
  • Compact Packing Size

BEST FOR: MINIMALIST HIKERS

The Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew are great for hikers looking for durable, quality socks that are also lightweight and occupy minimal space in your backpack. The light cushioning creates a soft protective layer under the sole without being bulky, and the micro crew style is shorter than traditional crew socks, peeking out just above standard hiking boots.

These Darn Tough socks are engineered to survive through years of outdoor adventures and, thanks to their seamless construction, they will never cease to provide comfort and breathability. Made with a blend of merino wool and synthetic fibers, these summer hiking socks are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-odor, a great characteristic for those looking to use them on long, multi-day itineraries.

Injinji Liner Crew

Specs
  • Fabric: 75% CoolMax Polyester, 21% Nylon, 4% Lycra Spandex
  • Height: Crew
  • Cushioning: None
  • Layers: 1
Features
  • Ultra-lightweight & Ultra-thin
  • Individual Toe Encasings
  • Reduced Blister Risk

BEST FOR: DAY HIKERS

While the Injinji Liner Crew Socks are designed to be worn under regular socks to protect against moisture and blisters, they are also an optimal choice for short hikes in hot weather conditions. They take up virtually no space in your backpack and are built with breathable synthetic fabrics meant to absorb sweat.

The Injinji Liner Crew Socks are knitted so that each toe has an individual encasing (like fingers in a glove). The layers of fabric between the toes help to reduce friction during activity, lessening the risk of blister formation or other foot injuries. The Injinji Liner Crew Socks have no cushioning, meaning that while they are great for short summer hikes, they might not provide enough support for longer adventures, especially if you intend to tackle rough terrain for many days in a row.

Sealskinz Super Thin Mid

Specs
  • Fabric: Outer: 94% Nylon, 6% Elastane; Membrane: Hydrophilic Membrane; Inner: 75% Bamboo Rayon, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane
  • Height: Crew
  • Cushioning: Light
  • Layers: 2
Features
  • Super Thin
  • Waterproof & Windproof
  • High Breathability

BEST FOR: WATERPROOF PERFORMANCE

The Sealskinz Super Thin Mid Socks are composed of two layers of fabric that will keep your feet dry and, at the same time, allow them to breathe. The outer membrane is 100% waterproof and windproof, perfect if you are hiking in unstable weather conditions or if you intend to cross low streams without taking your boots off.

The inner layer, on the other hand, is made of durable synthetic fibers and bamboo textile with moisture-wicking properties. The Sealskinz Super Thin Mid Socks are comfortable and versatile, plus they are extremely thin, meaning that they won’t occupy too much backpack space when not in use and they’ll definitely keep your feet cool on hot summer days.

Smartwool Light Hiker


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Fabric: 73% Merino Wool, 22% Nylon, 5% Elastic
  • Height: Crew
  • Cushioning: Light
  • Layers: 1
Features
  • Naturally Odor Resistant
  • No-Itch Wool
  • Elasticized Sole Braces (to prevent socks from slipping out of place in a shoe)

BEST FOR: CLASSIC COMFORT AND DURABILITY

Made in the U.S. using the finest merino wool from around the world, Smartwool Light Hiking Socks are a safe choice if you are looking for a pair of socks that will keep your feet happy on trails of all kinds. Merino wool is great for its ability to manage moisture in any weather conditions. Plus, it is also highly breathable and naturally odor resistant.

These classic-style summer hiking socks have been perfected over the years to provide maximum comfort. They include elasticized arch braces that help keep the socks firmly in place and flattened toe seams that you won’t even feel, plus a layer of light cushioning to prevent shock, blisters, or abrasion when walking on rough surfaces.

DexShell Terrain Walking

Specs
  • Fabric: Outer: 83% Polyester, 9% Nylon, 3% Elastane, 5% Cuff Elastics; Membrane: Porelle Polyurethane; Inner: 76% CoolMax (Polyester) Yarns, 24% Nylon
  • Height: Crew
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Layers: 3
Features
  • Waterproof Membrane
  • Anti-bacterial Inner Fabric
  • Padding From Heel To Toes

BEST FOR: THRU-HIKES IN ANY CLIMATE

Thanks to the three-layer construction of the Dexshell Terrain Walking Socks no adventure is too big or too risky. Whether you are walking in rain, mud, heat or wind, these socks will protect you from the elements while keeping your feet comfortable and fresh for extended periods of time.

The waterproof membrane found in the outer layer is water resistant, but breathable, while the elasticized middle layer provides stability and support to protect from blisters and injuries. The inner layer is anti-bacterial and moisture repellent, allowing for repeated use on multi-day itineraries. You can rely on the Dexshell Terrain Walking Socks in any climate and terrain, thanks to the medium cushioning and heavy-duty materials.

Smartwool Hike Light Margarita Crew


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Fabric: 60% Merino Wool, 38% Nylon, 2% Elastane
  • Height: Crew
  • Cushioning: Light
  • Layers: 1
Features
  • Flat-knit Toe Seams
  • Colorful And Modern Design
  • Elasticized Arch Braces (to prevent sock from slipping out of place in a shoe or boot)

BEST FOR: “STYLE-FIRST” BACKPACKERS

Available in both women’s and men’s versions, the colorful Smartwool Hike Light Margarita Crew Socks are classic hiking socks updated with a modern and playful design. Made mostly out of merino wool, these socks are soft and naturally moisture repellent, ideal for long walks in warmer climates.

The flat-knit toe seams make the fit extra comfortable, while the elasticized arch braces add extra stability and keep the sock in place during outdoor activities or every day use. The light cushioning limits the shock of impacting on hard surfaces, without being bulky once packed.

Darn Tough Hiker


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Fabric: 61% Merino Wool, 37% Nylon, 2% Spandex
  • Height: Ankle
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Layers: 1
Features
  • Undetectable Seams
  • Life-long Guarantee
  • Side Vents For Extra Breathability

BEST FOR: TRAIL RUNNERS AND FREQUENT HIKERS

The Darn Tough Hiker Quarter Cushion Socks are designed to sit just above the ankle, fitting perfectly into low-cut hiking boots or trail running shoes. The medium cushioning protects your feet from injuries that can result from impact on hard surfaces, while the blend of merino wool and synthetic fibers provide maximum breathability to fight the summer heat.

The seams are virtually invisible, making the socks wrap smoothly around your feet, and the side vents create a fresh feel you will be thankful for when the sun is hitting hard. These socks will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, naturally repelling bacteria and odors thanks to the merino wool construction. On top of all this, Darn Tough offers a guarantee for life with no strings attached. You will not be disappointed!

DexShell Ultra Thin Crew

Specs
  • Fabric: Outer: 75% Modal, 21% Nylon, 3% Elastane, 1% Cuff Elastics; Membrane: Porelle Polyurethane; Inner: 70% Viscose Made From Bamboo, 30% Nylon
  • Height: Crew
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Layers: 3
Features
  • Ultra-thin
  • Waterproof
  • Anti-odor

BEST FOR: ACTIVE ADVENTURERS

Thin and lightweight, the Dexshell Ultra Thin Crew Socks are great summer hiking socks built to fight blisters and last a lifetime. They boast a double-layer construction, where the outer fabric is breathable and waterproof, while the inner bamboo textile is soft and moisture repellent.

Thanks to the elastic fibers positioned where socks tend to stretch the most while walking, the Dexshell Ultra Thin Crew Socks will keep their shape for years and always fit tightly around your feet, ensuring a blister-free hiking experience. The socks fit well into boots, shoes, and even sandals; they can be used for multiple days in a row thanks to their anti-odor properties.

 

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING SUMMER HIKING SOCKS

STYLE

Hiking socks come in four different styles: no-show, ankle, crew, and knee-high. While knee-high socks are normally made for winter use (as they cover a larger part of the body), the other three styles are great for summer use.

Crew style socks are the most common type of hiking socks. They reach up until mid-calf and fit comfortably inside most standard hiking boots, providing protection against skin-to-boot abrasion.

Ankle or quarter height socks sit just above the ankle and are more suitable for low- and mid-cut boots or trail running shoes.

No-show socks hide inside most shoes and provide little or no protection against abrasion due to the friction between boots and skin. They should only be worn with light, low cut shoes on short trails.

 

CUSHIONING

When we talk about cushioning we refer to the thickness of the sock and its ability to protect your feet during high-impact activities such as running or backpacking. Usually, the more cushioning a sock provides the warmer it will be, therefore the best summer hiking socks do not tend to offer heavy cushioning.

Socks with no cushioning at all are thin and lightweight. They are great for short hikes in hot weather conditions because they are breathable and quick-drying, but tend to be less durable than thicker socks.

Socks with light cushioning are ideal for summer hikes, as they absorb moisture and offer protection in key points such as the heel and the ball of the foot, without causing your feet to overheat.

Medium cushioning socks provide support for intense hiking and backpacking and can be used in most climate conditions.

 

MATERIALS

Most summer hiking socks are made from blends of different fabrics to provide the right balance between comfort, durability and warmth. However, depending on what you are looking for, a predominance of a specific material may serve your needs better.

Wool is the most common material used to produce hiking socks, because of its capacity to keep feet warm when it’s cold and fresh when it’s warm. On top of regulating temperature, wool is naturally antibacterial and tends to reject odor better than other fabrics.

Synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon are often used in combination with wool to improve drying time. These types of fabrics wick moisture and are extremely durable.

Elastic materials such as spandex are occasionally employed together with other fabrics to create a sock that retains its shape even after being stretched during intense activities. Elastic fabrics are also used to keep the sock from slipping, maximizing comfort and reducing the risk of blisters.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

CREW STYLE

Traditional hiking socks that sit at mid-calf height.

QUARTER HEIGHT

A type of sock shorter than crew style that sits just above the ankle, also described as “ankle height.”

MERINO WOOL

A type of wool obtained from Merino Sheep, renowned for its breathability, softness and insulation capabilities. Merino wool also tends to be less itchy than other types of wool, another reason for its popularity among hiking socks owners.

LINER SOCKS

Extremely thin socks that can be used under standard socks to prevent blisters in hot weather conditions where minimal insulation and cushioning is sufficient.

TOE SOCKS

Socks where each toe has an individual encasing, like fingers in a glove.

 

 

READ MORE

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Waterproof Hiking Shoes | Lightweight Hiking Boots

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