The best hiking socks 2018: for comfort covering the miles

Say goodbye to blisters, sweaty feet, cold feet and everything in between with our list of the best hiking socks

TODO alt text

Hiking socks can be a complex business. With so many types out there, how do you know which are the best hiking socks for avoiding sweaty feet, or frozen toes when it’s minus three outside? Well, we’re here to give you an insight into the hiking sock market, so you can buy the best pair for your needs. 

For the most part, hiking socks are made from a fabric blend. Merino wool is usually the core material, thanks to its warm, breathable, antibacterial properties. With the added support of elastane, lycra or other synthetic fibres, merino blend hiking socks offer support, durability and cushioning. 

When you’re looking for the best hiking socks, consider the fit of them. For mid-calf hiking socks, look out for the term ‘crew’, while those after a lightweight summer pair may want to look out for ankle socks. 

The best hiking socks are also determined by the level of cushioning they offer. For thick, winter socks, it’s all about the full cushioning, although these socks may make your hiking boots too tight. Medium cushioning is a good all-rounder, while light cushioning should be reserved for summer hiking. 

Both Sockmine and Icebreaker are decent brands when it comes to hiking socks; Sockmine, favourably, because they’re made in Britain by elves (don’t believe us, visit the site), while Smartwool and Darn Tough top the list for their innovative blends and value for money; especially when you buy their products from Amazon. 

The best hiking sock

1. Smartwool Phd Medium Outdoorcrew

When the technology is called ‘Indestructawool’ you know you’re on to something

Specifications
Best for: Comfort and durability
Sizes: M,L
Material: Wool, Polyamide, Elastane
Cushioning: Medium
Height: Mid-calf
Reasons to buy
+Mesh ventilation zones+Medium cushioning

Smartwool claim that these hiking socks are their best seller and the rave reviews across both Smartwool and Amazon certainly back this up. 

Featuring a Virtually Seamless toe, mesh venting and medium cushioning, they’re comfortable and breathable, while its 4 degree Elite Fit System will help to keep the sock in place inside your hiking boot. 

Thanks to the composition of merino wool, these socks are naturally anti-bacterial, so they won’t make your hiking boots and feet smell, either. A complete winner for us.

Darn Tough Merino Hiker Cushion Socks

2. Darn Tough Merino Hiker Cushion Socks

With a brand name like ‘Darn Tough’, these socks are gonna be durable, too

Specifications
Best for: High performance
Sizes: S,M,L,XL
Material: Nylon, Merino Wool, Lycra, Spandex
Cushioning: Full
Height: Mid-calf
Reasons to buy
+Promise to keep feet blister free+Moisture wicking

With pretty much five star views across the board, this hiking sock promises to be a winner, too. Darn Tough promise no slipping, no bunching and no blisters, which are key when it comes to choosing the best hiking sock for you. 

Due to their use of merino wool, the socks are antibacterial, making them, naturally, smell free. Featuring True Seamless technology, there’s no chance of rubbing, either. If you’re worried about parting with the extra cash for a decent sock, we’re pretty sure these ones will make it worthwhile. 

Icebreaker Hike+ Lite Crew Socks

3. Icebreaker Hike+ Lite Crew Socks

Lightweight, intelligent socks for wearing all-year round

Specifications
Best for: Ventilation and all year round wear
Sizes: S,M,L,XL
Material: Merino wool, Nylon, Lycra
Cushioning: Light
Height: Mid-calf
Reasons to buy
+Temperature regulating merino wool+Breathable and durable

With a little help from some synthetic fibre, Icebreaker have pretty much stuck to their ethos about using naturally existing materials to create their clothes. 

Merino wool is the main element of their hiking socks, and thanks to its temperature regulating properties, it’ll keep your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

While they’re light in the cushioning department, they feature plenty of support across the achilles, heel and toe, and even have an instep support for stability. 

SmartWool Hiking Light Crew Sock

4. SmartWool: Hiking Light Crew Sock

A great option for moderate hiking

Specifications
Best for: Moderate hiking
Sizes: S,M
Material: Wool, Nylon, Elastane
Cushioning: Light
Height: Mid-calf
Reasons to buy
+Supportive arch brace+Flat knit toe seam for comfort

Smartwool themselves promote these socks as the best for varied terrain and road, so if you’re looking for a comfortable pair for taking the dogs out or perhaps a five mile trek, these hiking socks are ideal.

Thanks to the blend of merino wool and elastane, they are the right level of supportive, breathability and comfort, but perhaps lack the additional support that medium and full cushioning socks provide. 

Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Crew Socks

5. Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Crew Socks

For giving your toes extra dexterity when you’re covering the miles

Specifications
Best for: Foot dexterity
Sizes: S,M,L,XL
Material: NuWool, Acrylic, Nylon, Lycra
Cushioning: Medium
Height: Mid-calf
Reasons to buy
+Use your entire foot as you walk+Sweat wicking material

Toe socks may seem like a blast from the past but they were actually on to something when they invented the monster from the noughties. With a little refining (and with some major help from merino wool), they’re now a top hiking sock that offers extra dexterity, arch support, moisture management to avoid sweaty feet, and protective cushioning. 

Designed and made by a team passionate about adventuring, this sock truly is about comfort in the great outdoors. 

Icebreaker Multisport Cushion Mini Light

6. Icebreaker Multisport Cushion Mini Light

A lightweight ankle hiking sock for summer adventuring

Specifications
Best for: Summer hiking socks
Sizes: S,M,L,XL
Material: Merino Wool, Nylon, Lycra
Cushioning: Light
Height: Ankle
Reasons to buy
+Thermal regulation+Odour resistant

Lightweight, airy and breathable, these are the perfect socks for summer. Icebreaker recommend that you team them up with a pair of hiking shoes rather than boots for comfortable walking in the height of summer. 

Featuring thermal regulation and moisture wicking properties, they’ll help to keep your feet sweat-free, while their odour resistant properties mean your hiking shoes will remain fresh all summer. 

Sockmine Tread Light with Coolmax and Merino

7. Sockmine Tread Light with Coolmax and Merino

British born and bred, Sockmine offer great hiking socks at great prices

Specifications
Best for: Pub walks
Sizes: 6-7.5,8-9.5,10-11.5,12-13.5
Material: Merino Wool, Nylon, Lycra, Polyester, Elastane
Cushioning: Light
Height: Ankle
Reasons to buy
+Padding in key pressure zones+Reinforced heel and toe

We say ‘best for pub walks’ but they’re Sockmine’s words, not ours, which makes them a pretty cool brand in our eyes. Lightweight and featuring a filet mesh for breathability, these great value socks are perfect for midweight summer walking. 

Although light, they provide plenty of support with padding in key pressure zones and arch support for additional comfort.