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The Best Hiking Socks to Wear with Your Boots

a man in hiking socks and hiking boots stands on a rock in nature

While everyone knows that a sturdy pair of hiking boots or sneakers are must-haves for hiking and camping trips, hiking socks are nearly as important an investment. While hiking shoes protect your feet from outside elements, hiking socks help to protect them from the inside. They keep your feet from rubbing against your boots and forming blisters and calluses as you walk. They can also add another layer to help keep your feet dry and warm or cool, depending on the time of year. Take a look at some hiking socks we recommend.

What Should You Consider in Hiking Socks?

There are a few things you’ll want to think about before buying hiking socks:

  • Fabric: Consider the material the socks are made of and how they’ll correspond to your needs—whether you want to keep your feet cool or warm. You’ll want to spring for a thicker material, like wool, for warmth, and something thinner for breathability. Make sure the material is comfortable too, as the socks will be resting directly against your skin as you hike. Some are even made from waterproof fabrics for added protection.
  • Length: The length of the socks can be an important factor for comfort on the trail too. If you having hiking boots and are going on a rougher trail, you’ll probably want to spring for a taller pair of socks to help protect your legs as well as your feet. If you’re going on a more casual hike and wearing sneakers, something shorter like ankle socks might be preferable.
  • Style: Hiking socks can come in a variety of colors and patterns, so don’t be afraid to buy pairs that are fun and fit your style while being practical.

Top Choice: DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks

three pairs of gray wool hiking socks

These are unisex hiking socks that come recommended by expert hiker Rasmus Kragh who climbed Mount Everest. They’re made of Merino wool, which naturally contains both heating and cooling properties; they’ll keep your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer, so you won’t have to worry about buying different pairs of socks for different seasons. The ventilation mesh lanes around the ankle and top of the foot also contribute to breathability and help to keep your feet from sweating. The socks are also cushioned and padded for your comfort over long hikes and prevent blisters.

Top Choice

DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks, Crew Length, Thermal & Moisture Wicking Hiking Socks, 3 Pair Pack for Men & Women

Unisex Merino wool hiking socks developed with and endorsed by a Danish hiker who scaled Mount Everest.

Best Value: Dickies Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks

12 black and gray hiking socks

These machine-washable socks are reinforced at the heel and toe for extra protection and durability. They’re also equipped with arch compression stability and support, so your feet won’t ache as much on long or all-day hikes. The fibers of the socks are both soft and breathable, with ventilation channels along the soles offer additional airflow. They’re longer to protect your ankles from rubbing against the edge of your boots, and they’re available in packs of 6, 12, or 18, so you can pick based on your needs and get the most bang for your buck.

Best Value

Dickies Men's Big and Tall Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks Multipack, Black (12 Pairs), Shoe Size: 12-15

Extra breathable and machine-washable hiking socks that come in packs of 6, 12, or 18.

Best Design: Time May Tell Hiking Athletic Socks

three different hiking socks with colorful designs on them
Time May Tell

Try these fun and colorful hiking socks that come in three different colors and patterns. While designed as hiking socks, they go equally well with hiking, athletic, and casual shoes of all kinds. The cotton and polyester blend is soft treated for extra comfort, to reduce friction and help prevent blisters from forming. The material also offers flexibility, so the socks better conform to fit your feet. The arch supports on the instep gives you extra stability, preventing your foot from becoming displaced inside your hiking boots or shoes.

Best Design

Time May Tell Men&Womens Hiking Socks Moisture Wicking Cushion Crew Socks for Terkking,Outdoor Sports,Performance 3 pack (Black,Brown,Blue 6”-9”)

Hiking socks that provide some fun and color and double as casual socks, while still providing support and comfort on hikes.

Best Ankle Socks: Smartwool PhD Outdoor Mini Socks

a pair of wool ankle socks

Smartwool is a known staple among hiking aficionados, and for good reason. Socks made of Smartwool are known for their padded comfort, durability, and insulation. These ankle socks have a light cushion at the bottom to give you support and absorb shock without weighing down your feet. The mesh zones at the top of the feet offer extra breathability without hindering the Smartwool’s ability to keep your feet warm. Since they’re ankle socks, they’re great with shorter hiking boots or with everyday sneakers.

Best Ankle Socks

Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini Socks (Black) Medium

Made of durable and supportive Smartwool, these ankle socks will keep your feet comfortable on even the longest hikes.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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