Pure Pleasure For Your Feet – Best Hiking Socks of 2016

best hiking socks

With every step we take, we wear down what are arguably two of the most important instruments on our bodies – our feet. Our feet take us from place to place; without them, most of us would be relatively stationary. Hikers especially experience severe wear on their feet as they trek over rocks, branches, and other obstacles in nature.

Your feet are destined to suffer some problems eventually; however, you can minimize the risk of this with a great pair of socks. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to some of the top rated hiking socks for women and men that are currently available.

Best Hiking Socks for Women

1. Thorlo Women's Thick Cushion

Thorlo Women's Thick Cushion

If you like thick, cushiony socks, Thorlo’s hiking socks for women are a perfect choice. Made up of a mixture of acrylic, nylon, and spandex, these socks are super thick and will make sure your feet stay warm during the cold weather. The thickness adds to the comfort, and your foot will be padded on all sides when you wear a hiking boot. They have a very tight heel pocket, so in a way, they are form fitting.

I personally despise socks that shift around too much, giving me the sensation that my feet are simply wrapped in cloth. These will not give you that problem, as they fit like socks should.

2. SmartWool Margarita

SmartWool Margarita

If wool socks are more of your style, SmartWool’s Margarita socks for women do the material justice. These socks are made for bold personalities with their wide range of playful striped colors. There are almost twenty different color variations to choose from, so if you are a woman who loves options, you won’t be disappointed here.

These are very thin socks that still feature great padding in all the right places. Your feet will stay at just the right temperature while still providing you with the comfort you need to get you through long walks. And, while they’re great for hiking, they’re just as suited for everyday use as well. You are sure to get your money’s worth.

3. Smartwool Women's Hiking Light Crew

Smartwool Women's Hiking Light Crew

SmartWool also makes a wool sock which features extra cushioning with its padded sole. As compared to their Margarita socks, their cushioned socks for hiking will provide extra support for your feet on those all day hikes. The extra cushioning means they have a little bit of thickness to them without being overly thick.

Additionally, this means they are a little warm as compared to the alternatives. On the plus side, the extra thickness helps to absorb moisture to keep your feet dry and odorless. They come in five different two-tone colors, and in my opinion, are for someone looking for a more serious look. If you were one to choose comfort over style, I would definitely recommend these.

4. Darn Tough Vermont Women's Stripe Micro Crew Cushion

Darn Tough Vermont Women's Stripe Micro Crew Cushion

Another popular pair of wool socks is Darn Tough’s crew socks for women. My favorite thing about these socks is that they are guaranteed for life. This is a true testament to their durability and the faith Darn Tough has in their products; they will last you a long time. The brand name does not lie! Also, these socks are antimicrobial and repel bacteria and odors.

Say goodbye to stinky socks, as these will help to cut down on any foul smells. The material is also designed to function in both hot and cold climates; you will stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. These are some of the best socks for hiking and come in a small variety of colors and patterns.

5. Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool 1/4 Cushion

Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool 1/4 Cushion

If you appreciate Darn Tough’s products but do not want the crew cut socks, they also offer their Merino quarter cut socks. Let’s face it - everyone has their own preference when it comes to sock length. If you hike predominantly in shorts, crew socks are great since they will give your legs some extra protection.

However, if you often hike in pants, you might not need crew length socks, and that is where these come in. As with all their socks, Darn Tough offers an unconditional lifetime guarantee on these, so they will last you forever. They are made of quality wool, are fairly thin, and don’t get too hot or cold. Overall, they are great socks all around.

Best Hiking Socks for Men

1. Darn Tough Vermont Men's Merino Wool Boot Full Cushion

Darn Tough Vermont Men's Merino Wool Boot Full Cushion

Certain socks just do not work very well with certain kinds of shoes. One problem I have had in the past is finding socks that allow my feet to fit comfortably in my shoes; sometimes my socks are just too thick. Darn Tough makes a pair of socks wool that are designed for men who love to wear boots.

Their boot socks are fully cushioned at the bottom of the foot and very thin on the legs. For this reason, you will not feel cramped inside your high-rise boots. As with the other Darn Tough socks, you get a lifetime guarantee on them. It is hard to pass these up if you’re a boot wearer.

2. Darn Tough Vermont Men's Merino Wool Micro Crew Cushion

Darn Tough Vermont Men's Merino Wool Micro Crew Cushion

If you don’t need extreme thickness to keep you warm, Darn Tough’s Merino wool socks for men are a winner. As premium socks, they are excellent quality and fit very snug. You will not have to worry about them shifting around in your shoes because they are form fitted. Their thinness also means you will want to use these for cool weather situations. And, if you’re not a fan of wool, there is no need to worry.

They are made of a special blend of wool that provides softness, durability, and moisture management. These are some of the best pairs socks made for performance out there on the market right now.

3. Men's Hike Medium Crew

Men's Hike Medium Crew

It is no surprise that SmartWool’s wool crew hiking socks for men won Backpacker Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award; they are top notch. These socks are of medium heft and designed for hiking in three different seasons. They will keep you moderately warm and comforted with their arch braces that help the socks stay in place.

Overall, this is just a good, standard pair of socks for many occasions. The SmartWool brand name carries a certain level of prestige and has proven themselves worthy time and time again over the years. What you get with these is premium quality at an affordable price.

4. Men's Hiking/Outdoor Pro Length

Men's Hiking/Outdoor Pro Length

Wigwam makes some of the top hiking socks for men. They have a pair of crew length socks which are made out of one hundred percent spandex, giving them a unique feel as compared to other brands. They are very thin on the bottom with a little thickness around the calf for added support when you wear boots. One problem a lot of cheaper socks have is that their bottom cushioning wears out easily; these are reported to last a very long time.

And, I personally love spandex, as it feels very light on my feet. If you are like me, you’ll love hiking in these during the cool spring or fall weather.

5. Men's Cool-Lite Mid Hiker Pro Quarter Length

Men's Cool-Lite Mid Hiker Pro Quarter Length

Wigwam also makes a quarter length pair of socks for men. Unlike their crew length socks which are made of spandex, these are made of one hundred percent acrylic. For hikes where you will be in cool weather with low-rise shoes, I would recommend these. It might be the rare occasion that you get the chance to go out hiking, so having a pair of socks sitting in your drawer that you only wear a few times a year might not be that practical for you.

I wear tennis shoes the majority of the time in my daily life, so it is nice to be able to throw these on even while I’m off the trails. If you need a pair of socks that provides you with tons of versatility, I would choose these.


There are lots of brands to choose from depending on what your taste in socks is. Whether you wear boots or tennis shoes, travel in cool or warm weather, or like wool or spandex, the right pair for you is out there. The fact is that premium socks are worth it when it comes to hiking and other activities that require a lot of work from your feet. There are lots of socks to choose from, but you’ll feel more at ease by choosing the best socks for hiking.

Remember, your feet are too valuable to ignore and deserve some extra special attention if you decide to put them through the ringer. They will thank you, and you will thank yourself for it later.

Product images sourced from Amazon.com
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