When temperatures start to drop, you want big, thick hiking socks to protect your feet from all that cold outside your boot or shoe. Cold feet, after all, is never fun, and can even be dangerous if you prolong that exposure, or if you mix it with wet feet. One thing to remember when getting thick hiking socks, however, is that you need to fit those socks inside your boot or shoe. Which is why it’s often a good idea to get boots or shoes that are maybe one half size too big.
Thick Hiking Socks
What to look for when you're buying thick hiking socks.
Material – No matter what thickness of hiking sock you’re buying, you have to make a decision on what kind of sock you want to get. There are a few different options available, but the best for hiking is always going to be wool. It keeps your feet warm, breathes well and is a natural anti-microbial. You can ask for much more than that in a sock.
Fitted – A simple tube sock is more prone to rolling and creasing, which in turn leads to blisters, hot spots and all kinds of other foot problems. This is more likely to happen with thin hiking socks than it is with thick hiking socks, but it’s still something to consider.
Best Thick Hiking Socks
Some of the best thick hiking socks for cold temperatures.
Bridgedale Endurance Summit Socks - These are a solid pair of thick hiking socks from Bridgedale. They're a blend of wool, nylon and a few other materials. The end product is a thick, fitted sock that will keep your feet warm all the way down to -25, according to Bridgedale's testing. A good choice for cold weather.
SmartWool Expedition Trekking Socks - If you've ever bought hiking socks before you should be well aware that SmartWool makes some excellent products in this category. These particular socks are a blend of wool, nylon and spandex for a stretchy, fitted sock that will keep your feet warm. Features like a high density insole and instep to keep your feet protected from abrasion are what separate SmartWool socks from the competition.
Fox River Wick Dry Explorer Socks - One more thick hiking sock, this one made mostly of acrylic, with a bit of wool and nylon added. These are more a budget pair of thick hiking socks, though they will do the crucial job of keeping your feet warm. But if you want to ensure that your feet stay comfortable in any and all conditions you're likely better off with one of the two choices above.