Socks are critical to keeping feet dry and comfortable. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or backpacking, socks perform a critical role for your overall comfort. Luckily, we’ve got you — and your feet — covered.
Comfort and fit are essential when it comes to wearing hiking socks while exploring on foot. Compared to regular cotton socks, hiking socks can help keep your feet dry and protected by wicking away moisture. “Breathability is important as it allows for air exchange to reduce warm temperatures in the feet. By allowing for air exchange, incidences of foot fungus and warts can be mitigated,” Dr. Bruce Pinker, a foot and ankle surgeon and founder of Progressive Foot Care, says. Most quality hiking socks are made with a blend of Merino wool, nylon, and spandex. Wool is a naturally odor-resistant fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin and helps prevent sores caused by unnecessary rubbing; nylon typically adds durability; and a small percentage of spandex is used to make the socks elastic so that they can stand up to hundreds of on-trail miles.
You can’t overvalue a great pair of hiking socks: They keep your feet comfortable and dry while helping to prevent blisters and hotspots. The Hiking Socks tested the full array of styles in varied conditions, and below are our picks for the best hiking socks of 2022. Most of our favorites are made with merino wool, which has become the standard-bearer in socks and performance outdoor apparel in general. It’s true that quality hiking socks are pricey—they generally run in the ballpark of $20-$25 per pair—but all of the options below are tough enough for trail duty and made to last. For more information, see our hiking sock comparison table and buying advice.
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