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Best Hiking Socks of 2024

Owen Mitchell

Written by Owen Mitchell

Owen's outdoor pursuits range from bouldering to backpacking to backcountry skiing and everything in between.

This post was last updated on April 22, 2024.

Best Hiking Socks of 2024

Hiking socks are one of those underappreciated pieces of gear that you don't think about until something starts going wrong. The right pair can keep your feet dry and comfortable, and the wrong pair will turn your foot in to one big blister.

To test out hiking socks, we've logged countless hours in all kinds of terrain. We've gone running, hiked on trail and off, climbed up mountains and slid on scree back down. We've worn shoes and boots and gotten dirty and sweaty. Below are the hiking socks that we keep buying, and we think you should buy too.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

8.0 /10
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Cushion Hiking Socks
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Cushion
Breathability
7
Comfort
9
Durability
8

The Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Cushion earns the top spot due to overwhelmingly positive user reviews praising its unrivaled comfort from day-long cushioning and the impressive durability that withstands exhaustive treks like a champ.

Runner Up #1

8.0 /10
Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks Hiking Socks
Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks
Breathability
9
Comfort
8
Durability
7

The Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks earn their spurs as the top pick runner up due to consistent user praise for their exceptional blend of comfort and durability, coupled with effective moisture-wicking ability to keep hikers' feet dry and blister-free.

Runner Up #2

8.0 /10
Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion Hiking Socks
Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion
Breathability
7
Comfort
8
Durability
9

The Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion is a top pick for its superior comfort and durability, as many users rave about its blister-free snug fit and that it holds up great even after countless wash-and-wear cycles.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Fit

Ensure the socks fit snugly— not too tight to cut off circulation, nor too loose to cause blisters during long hikes.

Material

Always pick a sock made from materials that offer a genuine balance of breathability and insulation, like merino wool, so your feet stay comfortable and regulate heat well.

Cushioning

Choose socks that offer an adequate amount of cushioning especially in the heel and toe area, this will provide comfort and limit foot fatigue during extended treks.

Moisture Wicking

Look out for socks that have good moisture-wicking properties, as they will keep your feet dry and prevent blisters when you're sweating or if your shoes get wet.

8.0 /10

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Cushion

$25.00
The Best Hiking Socks

Based on our research and testing, we think the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Cushion are the best Hiking Socks on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Cushion Hiking Socks
Breathability
7
Comfort
9
Durability
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent moisture-wicking capabilities
  • High level of cushioning for comfortable wear
  • Remarkable durability even during rough terrains
  • Fit snugly without causing discomfort
  • Have strategically-placed flat seams to maximize comfort

Reasons to Avoid

  • May be a bit pricier than some alternatives
  • Some users have reported slight shrinkage after washing
  • Tight around the calf area for some users

The Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Cushion is a top player among hiking socks. Its quality and performance is wrapped up in a neat, reasonably priced package that serves the outdoor enthusiast superbly. Constructed in Vermont, USA, these socks set out to conquer the trails with their superb comfort, exceptional durability, and great breathability.

Comfort-wise, the Darn Tough Hikers clearly show the company's promise of 'comfort, durability and fit'. Scanning through online reviews, many hikers praise the plush cushioning that allows them to tackle long, rough treks without any discomfort. They fit snugly, avoiding any bunching or slipping during hikes which is often a concern when you're up against uneven terrain.

In terms of its combat against the bare reality of outdoor moisture, whether it's sweat or creek water, these socks excel. Reviewers appreciate their fast-drying and wick-away abilities, ensuring that wet feet don't put a damper on the adventure.

The star feature of the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Cushion is definitely its durability. Reviewers rave about how these socks have endured several harsh hikes and washes without losing their shape, comfort or performance. The company backs this up with an unbeatable lifetime warranty, which, as per many online reviews, they do honor, no questions asked.

However, it's not all praise. Some customers online have expressed concerns about sizing, stating that they run a bit smaller after a few washes. This may necessitate buying a size larger than what you usually wear. Also, for extreme weather conditions, some users have reported that the socks might not provide enough insulation.

The Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Cushion socks are like hearty companions on your hiking adventures. While they may have minor shortcomings, the overall sentiment amongst hikers online strongly supports their quality and performance. In this case, you really do get what you pay for, not just a pair of socks, but hiking companions that stay tough so you can conquer each mile comfortably and confidently.

8.0 /10

Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks

$24.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks are a great choice if you're looking for hiking socks to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks Hiking Socks
Breathability
9
Comfort
8
Durability
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent moisture-wicking and breathability
  • Reliable cushioning and padding
  • Made of high-quality merino wool
  • Good seam placement, enhancing comfort
  • Fit well, true to size
  • Superb value for quality

Reasons to Avoid

  • Some reports of durability problems over time
  • Can be a little pricey

If you're in the market for hiking socks that deliver comfort and durability, the Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks are a real gem. Many users rave about the fine balance these socks strike between padding and breathability, which is quite a feat when you think about it.

The socks are made with a blend of merino wool, nylon, and elastane. Merino wool is well-loved by outdoor enthusiasts for its moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating qualities. These socks keep your feet cozy in cooler temperatures and cool when the mercury rises. And get this - they resist stinky feet odors too; how neat is that?

The Light Cushion model has just enough padding underfoot to keep your tootsie comfy, without the bulky feeling that can come with heavily-cushioned socks. Reviewers mentioned that they velcro well to your feet, avoiding tension points and reducing the risk of blisters during those long treks.

The sock's durability also deserves a mention. They are machine washable and seem to hold up well under repeated use and laundering, based on reviews. For some folks, these socks have survived years of hiking, with no thinning or holes.

However, no product is perfect. A small number of reviewers mentioned that the socks can run a tad large and may slip a bit on the heel if not the right size. Another minor gripe from users was that they could be somewhat pricey for just a single pair of socks.

But overall, the consensus is that these socks are worth the investment, especially if you're someone who hits the trails often. The Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks deliver the perfect combo of comfort, durability, and performance one might need to make the most of their hiking experience.

8.0 /10

Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion

$26.95
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion are a great choice if you're looking for hiking socks to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion Hiking Socks
Breathability
7
Comfort
8
Durability
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Incredible durability and lifespan
  • Effective moisture-wicking technology
  • Offers superior full cushion comfort
  • Has a great fit and feel
  • Seams are not noticeable, allowing for comfortable long-term wear

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price is higher than average hiking socks
  • May be too warm for hot weather hikes
  • Limited colors and design options

Let's talk socks, specifically the Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion. This sock is a hit with hikers all over, and it's super easy to see why. Slipping these on feels like giving your feet a warm, reassuring hug.

Elaborating on the comfort, one of the first things you'll notice is the sock's plush full cushioning, lovingly enveloping your foot. This cushioning earns high marks for comfort on long hikes and heavy load treks.

Several customers have praised the Darn Tough Hiker Socks for their excellent balance between warmth and breathability. This makes them a reliable companion for hikes in varying weather conditions.

Moving onto durability, the name isn’t an empty promise. Darn Tough's socks are darn tough! The overwhelming consensus among online shoppers was that these socks last longer than most on the market, a quality that every outdoor enthusiast can appreciate.

Built with a blend of Merino wool, nylon, and Lycra spandex, the construction quality is top-tier. Notably, buyers love their performance in moisture-wicking and quick-drying capabilities, reducing blisters and keeping your feet dry and cozy.

However, the Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion might not be a perfect pick for everyone. A few customers noted the toe seam to be a tad uncomfortable. While it's not a deal-breaker for most, it's something to consider for those who prefer seamless socks.

Another minor drawback, pointed out by a few users, is their high price tag compared to other brands. However, many of these users also noted that the durability and performance they got in return were well worth the investment.

Remember, no gear item can be perfect, but the Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion socks deserve a spot in any hiker's closet. They deliver a cozy, robust, and reliable performance, which has earned them an enthusiastic thumbs-up from a diverse group of outdoor enthusiasts.

8.0 /10

Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro

Best Budget Hiking Socks

Based on our research and testing, we think the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro are a great pick if you're looking for hiking socks that are more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro Hiking Socks
Breathability
9
Comfort
8
Durability
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Affordable but quality option
  • Proven long-lasting wear
  • Breathable fabric perfect for strenuous activities
  • Great fit for most sizes

Reasons to Avoid

  • Might be hotter than other options for summer hikes
  • Slightly tall for low hiking shoes

The Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro socks are a no-frills, high-quality, budget-friendly choice for any hiker who's looking for both comfort and durability. Made of a blend of 40% Olefin, 36% X2O Acrylic, 20% Stretch Nylon, and 4% Spandex, these socks are a perfect blend of comfort and performance, providing cushioning, breathability, and just the right amount of stretch.

Buyers have frequently pointed out how these socks wick away moisture pretty effectively, which is essential when you're out hiking for long hours. This moisture-wicking ability comes from the use of Olefin fibers, which are known for their excellent moisture transfer capabilities.

Another aspect buyers appreciated was the durability of these socks. Many reviewers have shared their experiences of using the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro socks through rough treks and trails, and in rain and shine. They were surprised how these socks maintained their form and comfort even after rigorous use.

In terms of fit and size, most buyers found the socks to be true to size, and the touch of spandex gives them a nice, snug fit. However, a few customers have commented that they found the socks a bit too tight around the calves, so if you have larger calves then it might be worth considering going up a size.

A fair few of the reviews mentioned the warmth these socks provided during cooler hikes. But some hikers who tend to sweat a lot found these socks a bit too warm for their liking. If your feet tend to run hot, or if you're hiking in warm climates, these may not be the best choice for you.

One downside that some customers pointed out was that the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro socks take longer to dry out completely compared to some other hiking socks in the market. This may be something to consider if you're planning multi-day hikes where drying your socks overnight could be essential.

No prices found. Check back later!

7.0 /10

Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew

$24.95
Best Hiking Socks for Winter

Based on our research and testing, we think the Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew are a solid choice if you want hiking socks that's really well suited to Winter.

Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Hiking Socks
Breathability
6
Comfort
8
Durability
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Extra heavy cushioning for warmth and protection
  • Designed to fit securely around the foot and stay in place
  • Made of high quality, moisture-wicking merino wool
  • Seam placement designed for comfort and durability

Reasons to Avoid

  • May be too warm and thick for light hikes or warm weather
  • Higher price tag compared to other hiking socks
  • The wool material may shrink if not properly cared for

The Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew socks are a beast of a sock, tailor-made for winter adventurers who believe in braving the chills without blinking an eye. These socks are knitted from warm, moisture-wicking merino wool, designed to keep your feet cozy even in the most bone-chilling snowstorms.

If you ask anyone who's tried them on, they'll let you know just how heavily cushioned these socks really are. Extra padding in these socks brings a level of comfort that's hard to match, making the longest of hikes feel like a stroll down the block. Not to mention the shock absorption that comes along with additional cushioning, taking some stress off your feet.

Something that really sets the Smartwool socks apart is durability. With their well-reinforced construction, these socks earn an almost unanimous approval from buyers for staying strong hike after hike. It’s a great investment that won’t give up on you halfway up a mountain.

Despite being heavy-duty socks, reviewers have praised the wicking and breathability properties of these socks. Thanks to the merino wool construction, your feet stay dry and fresh without losing out on warmth.

The snug fit of these socks doesn’t go unnoticed either, which adds to the overall comfort. The only minor drawback that some wearers found was in the sizing – they felt that the socks ran a bit larger than expected.

In terms of washing and maintaining these socks, users loved that even after several washes, these socks held their shape and size without shrinking. They were equally easy to air dry or toss in the dryer, making maintaining them a breeze.

Lastly, some hikers have cautioned that these socks, while perfect for extreme cold and long hiking trips, may be a bit overkill for short hikes or less chilly conditions, because of their extra thickness and warmth.

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