The Five Best Socks for Hiking and Keeping the Blisters at Bay

The Five Best Socks for Hiking and Keeping the Blisters at Bay

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Meta: Are you headed out for a hiking trip? Stop by and read through our best socks for hiking and keeping blisters away before you pack up and set off!

There is nothing that soothes the soul quite like conquering the great outdoors. If you want to do that, though, you’ve got to start with the very basics. Of course, we mean comfortable socks. Whether you’re hiking alone or with your family and friends, there’s nothing quite like being uncomfortable, which is why you want to make sure you’ve got the best socks for hiking. 

One of the main culprits of an uncomfortable hike is footwear that’s not doing its job. From shoes with ill-made soles to socks that don’t have it together, footwear can make or a break an otherwise picturesque vacation in the open air. 

While you don’t want your feet too hot or too cold, the real issue with feet arises when you develop painful, throbbing blisters on your feet. Blisters can make each step you take next to unbearable, and if you can press on, there’s nothing quite like the next day throbbing, pulsating pain you may be facing. 

Of course, if you’re hiking or camping, you need several necessities like a good sleeping back, protective outerwear, and great hiking boots, you also won’t get far without a great pair of hiking socks. They don’t just keep your feet warm and dry; they keep your feet protected so you can keep doing what you enjoy most, hiking!

If you’re still in the, “They’re just socks!” camp, then you haven’t done enough hiking quite yet! Okay, we’re just kidding. But, seriously. You want to consider the best sock for hiking if you’re going on more than just a quick walk in the woods. 

You can have a great pair of boots that are comfortable and reliable, but if you’ve got the wrong socks that hold in moisture, bunch up, or cause friction, you could risk losing all the comfort you were expecting. It’s essential to choose liner and hiking socks that are well-fitting, keep you dry, and reduce friction, which is the typical culprits when it comes to getting blisters. 

Frequently Asked Questions

You might think purchasing hiking socks is as simple as a quick Amazon or Google search, but the truth is, if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you could end up with some sore, unprotected, and uncomfortable feet.

What Makes a Great Hiking Sock?

Whether you’re hiking, backpacking, or just hitting the trails for a leisurely walk, you want to wear socks that feature a design equipped for hiking. Some socks feature a design best for frigid temperatures in the colder months, and mountaineering and others are made for hotter and humid climates, like those with moisture wicking features. 

It’s essential to choose a sock that fits snugly on your foot. You don’t want the sock so tight that it’s disrupting circulation, but you do want the sock to stay in place and prevent sliding, bunching or friction if at all possible. 

There are four types of hiking socks you’ll consider – mountaineering socks, mid-weight backpacking, lightweight hiking socks, and liners. You’ll wear liners between your skin and hiking socks to keep moisture off your feet and add a layer of comfort. 

Lightweight hiking socks are best for trails that are less strenuous and hotter climates and provide some cushion while remaining on the thinner side while midweight backpacking socks are best for mild to moderately cold weather with slightly more cushioning. The ball and heel of the foot will stay comfortable with the additional cushioning you’ll find in these socks. 

You can wear liners with mid-weight socks or mountaineering socks which are the most serious of hiking socks. These socks are thicker and warmer, often featuring a much taller length for warmth up the leg in colder months as well as compression for health benefits. Mountaineering socks may be too heavy or bulky for short, less strenuous hikes. 

As you know, the key to happy hiking is happy feet, so we recommend you try out several pairs over time to see which of the best socks for hiking work for you and your feet!

What Features Should You Consider When Buying Hiking Socks?

There are several important factors to consider when buying hiking socks. Flip through the features we considered in this helpful guide.

  • Wicking Ability – This feature is especially important in warm weather where moisture from sweat is often a culprit for developing blisters.
  • Comfort – This is one of the most important factors; if the socks aren’t comfortable and supportive, you could be in a world of pain later. You want a sock that doesn’t bunch up, slouch or allow your food to slide. 
  • Material – Certain materials are better known for hiking socks like merino wool, synthetic materials, and wool/synthetic hybrids. Fabrics to be avoided are silk and cotton, which don’t lend themselves well for hiking. 
  • Height of Sock – Depending on the weather and your preference, you may be interested in socks that are crew length versus socks that up to the knee or over the knee. For warmer weather and climates, we recommend short socks; for tougher hikes in colder weather or real mountaineering, you may opt for at the knee or above height socks. 

What Materials are Best for Hiking Socks?

The fabric used in creating hiking socks lends itself to the features you may be looking for when choosing the socks. You will want socks that have excellent breathability, warmth for colder climates, and moisture wicking for warmer climates.

Some people enjoy the warmth and thickness of a wool sock but find some wool to lose shape quickly, bunch up, or be itchy. An alternative to this issue is to look for a sock made at least partially of merino wool which cuts down on the cons to wool socks.

On the other hand, synthetic polymers such as polyester, acrylic, and polypropylene can be used in hiking socks to keep feet warm that may even be wet. That’s certainly a feature you’ll want should you find yourself walking in a cold, damp climate. 

Some of you may be wondering why cotton socks are frowned upon when you wear them every day without issue and with decent comfort. Cotton can be OK in hot weather, but it’s not a fabric that insulates well when wet. So, in cold weather, your feet will stay clammy and wet in cotton socks. 

Finally, several fabrics lend themselves to stretch, such as nylon, spandex, and lycra, which give a hiking sock a perfect, snug fit while allowing for the breathability. 

Where Can You Buy Hiking Socks?

You can find hiking socks online and in stores. If you’re interested in any of the excellent socks, we rounded up, follow the links for secure purchase. You can also find hiking socks at big-box retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods or REI. 

What’s the Overall Pricing of Hiking Socks?

The pricing on hiking socks ranges significantly. You can get a pair or two relatively inexpensively. Some less expensive socks can be under $20 for several pairs while some of the higher quality socks can be closer to $40 for one or two pair. Don’t get discouraged with the cost of hiking socks though. 

If you seldom go on hiking trips and aren’t an avid hiker, you can get away with some of the lower quality socks or socks that just aren’t meant to last. If you’re someone who often hikes, hikes in severe weather, or goes for strenuous and long trips, you’ll want to invest in several pairs of quality hiking socks that are built for protection and to last. 

How We Reviewed

We tested out numerous pairs of hiking socks and wanted to narrow the list down to the best of the best. After taking these socks out on light hikes, strenuous hikes, hikes in warm weather, and hikes in the frigid cold through wet and dry climates, we’ve finally rounded up enough information to present you with the top hiking socks that help prevent blisters and keep your feet comfortable. 

We tested socks for durability and comfort, ability to keep feet dry, blister free, and pain-free even after the longest of hikes through various types of terrain. The results below are the result of continuous wear through different weather and terrain. 

Top Five Hiking Socks to Prevent Blisters and Keep You Comfortable

Now that you know a little more about hiking socks, we won’t hold you up any longer. Before you make any purchases, read on to find out the best socks for hiking!

Danish Endurance Graduated Compression Hiking Socks 

These Danish Endurance hiking socks are multi-use and amazing for hiking and other physical activity. They’re adequately cushioned to help prevent blisters and have a tight fit thanks to the compression lining that helps keep them in place and lessens friction.

Key Features – Tight fit allows for the socks to stay in place as you hike, reducing friction. The moisture-wicking material keeps feet dry, and compression keeps feet and legs from feeling fatigued. 

Pros – Sweat wicking, breathable, compression fit for prevention of lactic acid build up and quicker recovery after strenuous activity, cushioned for blister prevention

Cons – Long length makes a high winter sock but can be hot in summer, hard to put on

Price – About $8 to $17 

Women’s S7 5-Pack Multi-Performance Cushion Hiking Socks 

If you’re a fan of crew socks for hiking, you’ll enjoy these multi-performance Hiking Crew Socks for women. S7 designed these socks with features such as the padding in the heels which keep your foot protected in addition to the extra arch support. 

These features are of high importance to help prevent pain from strenuous walking and blisters as well. The socks come true to size and allow for a snug fit that stays in place thanks to the compression lining in the calf area. Lastly, they come in an assortment of bright colors. 

Key Features – Compression is added to the calf area only so socks will stay in place while the heel features an easy pull-on design. These socks keep dry and have optimal cushioning and arch support. 

Pros – Year-round, compression in the calf, Y-Heel for easy slip on, additional cushioning for blister protection

Cons – Only come in assorted bright colors (if you’re not into that), size assortment only women’s 6 to 10

Price – About $23 to $25

Men’s S7 5-pack Climbing DryCool Cushion Hiking/ Performance Socks

S7 created an equally great cushioned hiking sock for men of high quality. These socks were designed with cushioned padding in the heel and ball of the foot for protection, an essential feature in blister prevention and comfort for short and long hikes.

Furthermore, these socks were made with a dry-cool material, meaning they can be set out to dry very quickly both after washing or while hiking. They were designed to wick moisture and odor away from the foot.

Key Features – These hiking crew socks for men feature both moisture and odor wicking in addition to the anti-bacterial feature to keep your feet fresh.

Pros – Ball protection in heels, additional cushioning for blister prevention, moisture wicking, anti-bacterial feature, and odor wicking

Cons – May run small due to compression, not great for high arches

Price – About $23 to $25

Darn Tough Mountaineering Sock (Men’s & Women’s)

The Darn Tough Mountaineering socks come in both men’s and women’s fit, and they’re an excellent choice for a variety of hikes. These socks combine 77% merino wool with spandex, lycra, and nylon for a comfortable, protective fit. 

These hiking socks feature past the knee-high for added warmth and comfort. You’ll enjoy the additional cushion surrounding the bottom of the foot which is reinforced both in the heel and toe. 

Key Features – These mountaineering socks come in both men’s and women’s and feature materials built to last that keep you warm for longer, colder hikes, and keep your foot adequately cushioned to reduce and prevent blisters. 

Pros – High fitting length for additional leg warms in cold climates, extra cushioning around the sole and reinforced heels and toes

Cons – May be too bulky for short hikes or warmer climates

Price – About $28 to $30

Unisex Bridgedale Ultralight Coolmax liner Sock

For those of you choosing a midweight hiking sock or thicker, you may want to try a liner or keep them handy on unfamiliar hikes. The Bridgedale Ultralight liner sock is meant to go under other, heavier socks as the base layer. 

Wearing a liner sock will give you an added layer comfort, help moisture stay away from the skin, and prevent blisters. For longer trips, you can keep several pairs of these on hand with just one pair of regular hiking socks to switch out each day, saving you space and weight in your backpack.  

Key Features – These socks are made up of an ultra-lightweight material meant to keep the foot dry and prevent blistering when worn under other, heavier-weight hiking socks. 

Pros – Soaks up moisture, preventing moisture buildup in hiking socks and shoes, great for men and women, uber lightweight

Cons – Not for use as stand-alone hiking socks, can be snug when worn as a liner if a hiker is not used to wearing liners

Price – About $19 to $35 

Comparison Table

Don’t forget to have a look at the quick facts and features of each socks in our comparison chart below!

Danish Endurance Graduated Compression Socks

Manufacturer – Danish Endurance

Sizes Available – US Women’s 5-13, US Men’s 6-12.5

Sock Material – 95% polyamide, 5% elastane

Where to Buy – Amazon

Rating – 4.5/5 stars

Women’s S7 5-Pack Multi-Performance Cushion Hiking Socks 

Manufacturer – Seoulstory7

Sizes Available – US Women’s 6-10

Sock Material – 77% Cotton, 14% Spandex, 7% Polyurethan, 2% Polyester

Where to Buy – Amazon

Rating – 4.5/5 stars

Men’s S7 5-pack Climbing DryCool Cushion Hiking/ Performance Socks

Manufacturer – Seoulstory7

Sizes Available – US Men’s 7-11

Material – 70% Cotton, 20% DryCool yarn, 7% Polyester, 2% Spandex, 1% Elastine

Where to Buy – Amazon

Rating – 4.5/5 stars

Darn Tough Mountaineering Sock (Men’s & Women’s)

Manufacturer – Darn Tough

Sizes Available – US Men’s 7-11

Material – Nylon, Spandex, Merino Wool, Lycra

Where to Buy – Amazon

Rating – 5/5 stars

Unisex Bridgedale Ultralight Coolmax Liner Sock 

Manufacturer – Bridgedale

Sizes Available – Unisex / US Men’s 6-9, US Women’s 5-7, US Junior’s 3-6

Sock Material – 57% Coolmax, 20% Nylon,19% Endurofil, 4% Lycra 

Where to Buy – Amazon

Rating – 4.5/5 stars


There are many reasons you could be in the market for hiking socks, whether it be for leisurely hikes, tough work in the outdoors, or long strenuous hikes, you need the right sock to keep your feet protected, comfortable and to prevent blisters. 

In our opinion, you should never pass up the option for additional protected, which is why we recommend picking up a pair of Bridgedale liner socks to go under your thicker, protective socks. In any case, S7’s men’s and women’s hiking crew socks are excellent for most hiking adventures!

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