Without the Correct Hiking Socks, You Can Seriously Damage Your Feet—Shop These Pro Hiker-Approved Pairs

Photo: Getty Images / coberschneider
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When it comes to hiking, socks are just as essential as (if not more than) a pair of hiking boots. Pro or not, having a good pair of hiking socks helps to cushion your feet on impact, prevent pesky blisters, and minimize funky odors, making a world of difference between a good and bad hike. The last thing you need is to ascend up thousands of feet only to develop a nasty odor or worse, a painful blister. That'll definitely make the way down really, really painful. Before making a purchase, though, there are a few things that long-time hikers want you to know about the best hiking socks.

The best hiking socks, at a glance:

What to look for in hiking socks

For starters, wet feet can be a recipe for disaster—they're the culprit that form blisters. When buying hiking socks, look for temperature-regulating fabrics like merino wool or merino wool blends, which "help to wick away moisture" and keep your feet as dry as possible, says Ashley Tepen, a Utah-based hiker who has been hiking for more than 30 years. The thickness of your sock will depend on the season you're hiking in. For example, opt for light cushioning during warmer hikes and heavier cushioning for cooler weather and more arduous hikes, recommends Peter Hoopis, a Chicago-based hiker with 28 years of experience.

Whether you're trekking up Yosemite National Park or viewing the crimson-colored rock formations at Bryce Canyon, you'll need a good pair of hiking socks to help you go the distance. We tapped four pro-hikers for their recommendations. Below, you'll find hiking socks that meet every size, budget, and hiking situation.

Best Overall

best hiking socks
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Sock — $25.00

Darn Tough’s Micro Crew socks will take you to see new heights. They’re moisture-wicking, cushioned, and anti-odor, making them the perfect all-season hiking socks. The cushioning absorbs impact during long hikes and the merino wool regulates body temperature, making them “excellent for most hiking scenarios,” says Hoopis. Plus, the sock has a compressive, performance fit to prevent bunching, slipping, and blisters.

Sizes available: S-L

Colors and patterns available: 7

Best Budget

best hiking socks
REI Co-op Merino Wool Lightweight Hiking Crew Socks — $18.00

We love a good pair of hiking socks, but an affordable hiking pair is even better. For just $18, you can score REI’s Co-op Merino Wool ones. Constructed out of a merino wool, nylon, and a spandex blend, the socks pull sweat away from your feet to lock out moisture even during the most strenuous of hikes. Lightly cushioned and reinforced around the heels and toe, the socks will provide all-day comfort and support on your next trek up Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, or Yellowstone National Park.

Sizes available: S-XL

Colors and patterns available: 4

Best Comfort

Bombas Merino Wool Hiking Calf Sock — $26.00

Bombas makes some of the best socks, and its hiking collection does not disappoint. The merino wool, nylon, and elastane-blended socks keep your feet dry and toasty during long treks in the great outdoors. What’s unique about this pair is that they’re made of repurposed yarns in collaboration with Cotopaxi to keep waste out of landfills, a win-win for you and the environment.

Sizes available: S-XL

Colors and patterns available: mixed colors

Best for Summer Hiking

Darn Tough Spring Garden Crew Light Sock — $23.00

Summer hikes call for lightweight and airy socks, and this pair should be at the top of your shopping list. The pair is crafted out of a merino wool blend to stabilize your feet’s temperatures—so they’re never too hot or too cold—and allow a breeze between your toes during hot summer strolls. What’s more, it comes in this adorable, floral print.

Sizes available: S-L

Colors and patterns available: 4

Best for Fall / Winter Hiking

best hiking socks
Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks — $25.00

Fans of Patagonia love the brand’s crew socks, including Licia Morelli, a Pennsylvania native who says the socks are her go-to during the fall and winter. “They don’t bunch or slip down in my shoes,” Morelli says. “They’re also not too thick, and they dry easily, so my feet don’t get cold.” They’re made of a wool, nylon, and spandex combination, offering breathability and stretch that ages nicely with each wear.

Sizes available: S-XL

Colors and patterns available: 5

Best for Hiking Boots

best hiking socks
Farm to Feet 3/4 Crew Socks — $24.00

What’s better than a good ol’ pair of merino wool socks? I’ll tell ya… a pair with a cute design. This Farm to Feet 3/4 Crew pair features views of the Columbia River with trees and a mountainous landscape in the backdrop. Beyond the cuteness, the socks are extremely comfortable thanks to the targeted cushion and seamless toe closure (goodbye, blisters).

“I usually opt for the 3/4 length as it reaches above my hiking boots, but isn’t too long,” says Robin Fletcher, a hiker with more than 30 years of hiking experience. Some wool can be itchy, but not this pair. It’s soft, itch-free, and has odor-fighting properties to keep funky smells at bay.

Sizes available: S-XL

Colors and patterns available: 3

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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