A Day Hikers Guide to Choosing the Right Hiking Socks

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We’ve talked before about choosing the right hiking boots, but just as important to any hiker is choosing the right hiking socks.  Although socks are often overlooked, especially by beginners, choosing the wrong socks can lead to blisters and fungal infections.

Trust me when I tell you…  The right hiking sock is just as important as choosing the right hiking boot.

When choosing a pair of socks for hiking cotton socks should be avoided at all costs.  I know, I know…  Cotton socks are comfortable and easy to find but cotton keeps moisture in, which leads to blisters and fungal infections…  Neither of which are very fun on the trail.  So do yourself a favor and stick to synthetic fibers such as acrylic and polyester.  These types of fibers help keep feet dry and free from painful blisters by allowing your feet to breath while still providing the insulation that you will need while hiking.

In terms of fit you’re going to want to be sure that the fit is snug, but not too snug.  If your socks are too tight they will be uncomfortable and binding.  They should be a decent weight, not too thick as to be bulky but not too thin as you want them to help cushion your feet and keep them warm.  If you’re not sure of the thickness it’s always better to err on the side of thinner as you can double up later and wear two pair.

Speaking of that it’s always a good idea to bring a spare pair of fresh, clean, dry hiking socks with you on every hike, this way you can change them if your feet get wet.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again!  You’d be surprised at just how amazing a pair of fresh, clean, dry socks feel half way through a hike!

Choosing the right hiking socks can mean the difference between a fantastic hike and a wet, cold, miserable one that ends in blistered itchy feet.  So follow the tips above, put as much thought and care into choosing your socks as you do in choosing the rest of your hiking gear, and above all include an extra pair of hiking socks in your ten essentials! If you’re worried about cost , like me you can Get The Outdoor Gear You Need At Up To 70% Below Retail At The Clymb.com

How do you choose your hiking socks?  Do you have a favorite style or brand?  Let me know, leave a comment below!

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11 thoughts on “A Day Hikers Guide to Choosing the Right Hiking Socks

  1. I always wear a thicker wool or wool blend and then a thin liner. I have not had any luck with the synthetics. Like boots each person has their own fit. I would suggest to any hiker wanting to try both to do so. It will only help them figure out what suits them best.

  2. It’s funny. I have had the exact opposite experience. I find wool socks to be hot, sweaty and itchy which is never a good combo on the trail. When worn with a liner they become bulky as well 😦 besides, aren’t most liners made from a synthetic blend? If that’s the case why not just start with a synthetic sock?

    But you are right! To each his own, and I do encourage everyone to try all options and use what suits you best! 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by Adam, and for offering your input! It is always appreciated 🙂

    • Your welcome. You are correct in saying that most sock liners are synthetic but I find that my feet are normally sweaty and by having the liner and the wool sock combo they tend to wick away the sweat into the wool allowing the liner to dry and the wool sock taking a little longer to dry while in the boot. This helps with less hot spots and my feet do not look like they came from a water filled trench when I get done.

  3. All good points! And points that I’m sure will be addressed in the great sock off! I’m really excited for the results! I can’t wait to see which fiber comes out on top, wool vs. synthetic. May the best sock win 😉

  4. Pingback: Let the Sock-off Begin | hikingthetrail.com

  5. Pingback: Gratitude 89: Warm Socks on a Cold Night « Perpetual Gratitude: A Photographic Diary

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