The Best Hiking Socks this Year - How to Pick the Perfect Hiking Socks

Bear Proof Socks with Mountains

Walking a mile in one’s shoes is one thing, walking a mile in one’s socks, is quite another. It’s pretty interesting, the things that could go wrong if we pick the wrong pair of socks for outdoor exercise; blisters, the persistent itching, heavy moisture in the feet, the worst, stinking socks or maybe feet, ugh.. The list is uncomfortable.

If you’re scrolling through in hopes of finding information that will put an end to all your sock woes or prevent them, then by all means, keep scrolling, you’re at the right place. We’ve carefully tailored content on how to pick the best hiking socks for your comfort and convenience. We know the last thing you want to worry about clumsy feet as you trog along the trail with your backpack, so we’ve added some great suggestions for hiking socks, the best actually, for you to consider.

Picking the Right Socks

Bear Proof Socks on Rock

While we might have inherited the instinct to walk far distances like our hominid ancestors, we’ve turned out quite different, our feet have evolved to be such delicate things and they are only primed to walk long distances in the best conditions. Part of the ritual for choosing the best conditions is picking the right hiking socks, and there are four major factors you want to look out for in this case: the height of the socks, the fabric or material, the sock fit and the cushioning.

 The Fabric or Material: As you will come to, or already know, the best outdoor socks are rarely entirely made from one single fabric. Rather, there is a bit of a cocktail culture, standard hiking socks are made from a mix of different materials to create the best blend of sensations and features. This is probably the most important factor to consider as it affects to a great deal, how your legs feel in the socks, their durability and how they retain and dry moisture.

Most of the best socks this year and century have Merino wool as a fabric component

Merino wool is quite popular in the industry because of its trademark softness and warmth. It’s the perfect solution to an itchy situation and feels just comfortable on the skin. That’s not its only selling point, it’s antibacterial and pretty breathable, which means it helps avoid stinky and sweaty legs. Great plus!

Polyester, acrylic and nylon are synthetic options that help for faster drying of moisture and better durability. You want tough socks that won’t wrinkle and are built to last? Look out for these fabrics. They also make socks lightweight. They should be part of every standard walking sock. They’re usually blended with wool to create the best balance of features.

Most hiking socks will have some small amount of spandex and its value is in its ability to make socks retain their shape and elasticity.

A good sock will have a honest and effective blend of all these materials, although the degree of the mixtures may vary depending on the intended activity and circumstances; socks with less wool are great for hot temperatures and vice versa for cold temperatures.

Our best hiking socks have the perfect blend of material for walking the trail. There are also a handful of varied options to choose from for different weather conditions.

 Length of the Sock: This is probably the least complex factor to consider but it is every bit as important. Socks generally have four height options; knee-cut, crew-cuts, ankle-cuts and bald-cuts or no-shows.

Knee-cut options, in a self-explanatory fashion, are cut to the knee. These types of socks belong to the mountain and ice ranges and are best used for climbing and skiing. They offer protection on the shin and calves and are most compatible with big, thick boots. We have a variety of best skiing socks to choose from if you’re all about that ice.

Crew-cuts are probably the standard hiking issue, although they might not seem so practical on hot days. They’re usually cut just a few inches above the ankle bones. They work very well with boots that have high cuffs and will protect your skin against abrasion from these. No need to discriminate however, they go well with your low cut boots and hiking shoes too.

Ankle-cuts are cut at the ankle and are the perfect version for low to mid-cut boots and shoes. As you might already be guessing, they’re the practical choice for hot days.

Bald-cuts or no-shows don’t exist at the ankle but below it. They’re not very good for boots or heavy hikes. Actually, they’re most preferably runners' socks, being very compatible with running and light-weight shoes. We have an excellent gallery of the best running socks for our agile buddies who love to hop and skip off the trail.

 

The Sock Fit: This is where it gets a bit personal, you want to find socks that are specifically tailored to the desires of your feet, or put more practically, find the pair of socks that fit just right.

What would go wrong if you don’t? Added to the fact that your feet might not feel really comfortable in your shoes is the issue of possible blisters. Too big socks could cause wrinkles, which in turn could cause blisters. Too small socks will need to accommodate extra tug and pressure, and while that just doesn’t feel great, it will also cause the socks to slack.

So what to do? The very simple trick is to find a pair of hiking socks that fit your foot size, not your shoe size. So that means you have to know your correct foot size, not your shoe size. Using your shoe size might make you end up getting socks larger than your feet. The right sock shouldn’t be too tight or too lose, it should be just snug.

All our hiking socks come in different sizes so there’s a pair for everybody.

 

The Cushioning: Put quite simply, this defines the ratio of how thick or thin your socks should be. Do you want a snuggle bunny, or a feather breather? Your preference would depend on circumstances such as the intensity of your activity or the weather conditions.

Light cushioned socks are best for warm conditions. While the rest of the sock is mostly thin, cushioning is provided in vital places, such as the heel and toe areas. Emphasis is on wicking perspiration and keeping feet dry. Socks like this are best for moderate hikes on sunny days.

Semi thick socks or medium cushions have more texture and are appropriate for higher intensity hikes and moderate to cool temperatures. They provide more protection against blisters and abrasion from your boots or shoes.

Socks with heavy cushioning are of Viking stock (figuratively). They’re the warmest, thickest socks in town and belong to the hardest, ruggedly explorers that love long, rough terrains and mountain climbing. They provide more protection on the go in these cases and are perfect for cold temperatures.

So what are the best socks for hiking? We provide the best answers:

Aztec, Bearproof Apparel Socks

$18.99

Bear Proof Aztec Sock

Specifications:

Fabric: 45% Merino Wool, 25% Acrylic, 20% Nylon and 10% Spandex

Length: Mid-Calf Crew

Cushioning: Fully cushioned ring toe, Half cushioned boot and foot. Medium Weight

Super power: Tough and built to last, has a lifetime guarantee. Very sweat and bacteria proof.

Nobody likes a swampy foot, especially when you’re out in the woods and hills with your backpack, having your moment of inspiration. This is why Aztec’s Bearproof are your go-to hiking socks if you really want to avoid a squishy experience. Bearproof has Merino Fresh, a pretty awesome material that makes use of the latest and cutting-edge technology in the world of hiking socks; nanotechnology.

Merino Fresh absorbs water that is up to 35% of its own weight, this way, it absorbs water from the skin, then vaporises it into the atmosphere through its middle layers. The nanotechnology also prevents the growth of bacteria in the material through the use of nano sized particles that have been applied to the yarn.

What's more? The toe and feet cushion means you’re protected against shoe to skin abrasion. Bear Clincher arch supports and a toe and heel area reinforced with spandex means your socks would never wear out or slacken. It’s really a no brainer of a choice, a must have in the wardrobe of any hiker.

Precautions:

  • Avoid bleaching, ironing and dry cleaning.

Killington,  Bearproof Apparel Socks

$14.99

Killington BearProof Sock

Specifications:

Fabric: 40% Merino Wool, 30% Acrylic, 20% Nylon, 10% Spandex

Length: Low-cut Ankle

Cushioning: Fully cushioned ring toe, Half-cushioned boot and foot. Medium weight.

Super power: Essentially all the super powers of the Aztec. Guaranteed for life too.

The Killington is almost a twin to the Aztec. The only difference is this Bearproof Apparel comes cut at the ankle, so it’s especially great for long, sunny hikes and even runs. If you’re a long distance junkie, you can’t go wrong with the Killington.

Precautions:

  • Avoid bleaching, ironing and dry cleaning.

The Pinnacle, Bearproof Apparel Socks

$19.99

Pinnacle Sock From Bearproof

Specifications:

Fabric: 40% Merino Wool, 29% Acrylic, 20% Nylon, 10% Spandex 1% Silver

Length: Mid Calf Crew

Cushioning: Fully cushioned leg. Heavy weight.

 

Super power: Merino Fresh and nanotech equipped, extra silver material for more anti-bacteria. Lifetime guarantee.

It’s about time you start getting used to the notion that most of Bearproof’s hiking socks come with the Merino fresh and nanoparticle technology, because what could be better than that? Those awesome features will always be welcome. The Pinnacle's mid calf crew cut and heavy texture means it’s most suitable for cooler and more windy days. The extra 1% AMX silver material add an extra insurance against bacteria.

Precautions:

  • Avoid bleaching, ironing and dry cleaning.

Sportsman, Bearproof Apparel Socks

$18.99

Sportsman Bearproof Sock

Specifications:

Fabric: 55% Merino Wool, 15% Acrylic, 20% Nylon, 10% Spandex

Length: Mid-Calf Crew

Cushioning: Select cushion. Medium weight.

 

Super power: Very reinforced arch. Life time guarantee.

The Sportsman is obviously a good choice for colder outings. Probably because it is mostly wool, but it seems some extra delicate effort has been put to making the sock retain its shape. It has a Y-heel and a Y-toe and also a claw clinch arch support. The heel and toe are also reinforced with spandex. Talk about almost overkill, that sock isn’t wrinkling or shrinking any time soon.

Precautions:

  • Avoid bleaching, ironing and dry cleaning.

Tinker, Bearproof Apparel Socks

$17.99

Tinker Bearproof Sock

Specifications:

Fabric: 50% Merino Wool, 25% Acrylic, 15% Nylon, 10% Spandex

Length: Below-Calf Mini Crew

Cushioning: Fully Cushioned leg with half cushioned ankle flex, fully cushioned after-the-heel turn, fully cushioned foot. Heavy weight.

 

Super power: Lots of cushions. Life time guarantee.

Guaranteed to prevent cold feet when you’re out on the trail, the Tinker is also massively guaranteed to protect your feet from blisters and abrasion with that many cushions. It’s great for long hikes in windy and overcast conditions.

Precautions:

  • Avoid bleaching, ironing and dry cleaning.

Hot Springs, Bearproof Apparel Socks

$12.99

Hot Springs Bear Proof Sock

Specifications:

Fabric: Merino Fresh

Length: No Show

Cushioning: Full cushioning.

 

Super power: Merino fresh. Life time guarantee.

The Hot Springs pair of socks with its high splice foot bed, pure Merino fresh material and its reinforced toe and heel area with arch support is simply qualified as the best socks for hiking on a particularly hot, summer day. It’s also favourable for runners and is very compatible with low cut boots or shoes.

Precautions:

  • Avoid bleaching, ironing and dry cleaning.

Clingsman, Bearproof Apparel Socks

$21.99

Clingsman Bearproof Sock

Specifications:

Fabric: 45% Merino Wool, 25% Acrylic, 20% Nylon, 10% Spandex

Length: Mid-Calf Crew

Cushioning: Select cushioning at impact areas of the foot with full elastic welt to the toe, full cushion toe box at left and right toes. Medium weight.

 

Super power: So much toe protection. Life time guarantee.

Not much can be said about the Clingsman except for the particular toe fetish. It seems a great fit for hiking rough terrains and might well be very compatible with your old, tough boots.

Precautions:

  • Avoid bleaching, ironing and dry cleaning.

 

Inca, Bearproof Apparel Socks

 $17.99

Inka Bearproof Sock

Specifications:

Fabric: 55% Merino Wool, 15% Acrylic, 15% Nylon, 10% Spandex

Length: Mid-Calf and Elastic

Cushioning: Lightweight.

 

Super power: More anti-bacterial protection around the heels, balls of the foot and toes. Life time guarantee.

Going for a light hike on a cool day? Inca Bearproof socks would snuggle your feet best. The AMX silver material that has been reinforced at the heel, balls off the foot and toe areas serve as extra protection against bacteria.

Precautions:

  • Avoid bleaching, ironing and dry cleaning.

 

We have such a fantastic gallery of hiking socks of all varieties but we’ve only handpicked and highlighted a few. All our socks are great and are equipped with the latest technology in convenience and reliability. If you’re looking for more options, click here.

Check out our skiing and running sock too!

 

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