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To select the best men’s hiking socks for our buying guide, we focused on the following features: weight, sock height, fabric, cushioning, the sizing, and the fit. We considered the weight or thickness of a sock and compared that against the fabric composition, the amount of cushioning, and even the available sizing for each brand in our guide. Ultimately the type of hiking sock you pick is going to depend on your activity level and the climate where you plan to wear them — as well as price and general comfort.
After taking all of the above into account, we nominated the Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks as our Top Pick. These merino wool-blend socks were designed by an expert outdoor enthusiast to provide critical features like moisture-wicking and ventilation while also providing anti-blister cushioning. Keep reading to learn more about the rest of our top picks. And, if you want more apparel or clothing suggestions, check out our review of the best clothing apparel.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: A breathable three-pack of merino wool-blend hiking socks with an intuitive comfort-focused construction, designed by an expert adventurer makes these best winter hiking socks.
If you’re a serious hiker, you know that the right or wrong pair of hiking socks can impact your activities. We selected the Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks as our Top Pick because not only is it a three-pack set of merino wool socks but that we feel they’re the best winter hiking socks in our guide. While these socks do have a lower merino wool composition (30% merino wool, 36% nylon, 33% acrylic, and 1% elastane), we do like that you get the natural moisture-wicking and breathable features that are native to merino wool.
While you’re on the trail, you’ll appreciate the flat toe seam and anti-blister cushioning that helps to keep you comfortable. There are also ventilation lanes to help efficiently channel away excess heat. And if you’re a serious outdoor enthusiast, you might be familiar with Rasmus Kragh, the famed Danish mountaineer who worked with Danish Endurance to design these socks. When not hiking, you might like to wear the best mens v necks.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A versatile set of hiking socks that are perfect for a range of activities but are light enough for a day at the office — proof that these are some of the best hiking socks.
Not everyone wants merino wool hiking socks. They can be pricey, and often must be washed by hand. The Miramaru Men’s 5 Pairs Multi Performance Hiking Socks are our Honorable Mention recommendation because of the fact that it’s an economical multi-pack but is also extremely versatile. While these are designed with the active set in mind, they’re lightweight and comfortable enough to wear around town for light activities or a day spent at the office. If you like lightweight and comfortable items, you will like our guide to the best jacket covers.
We like that these socks offer a medium level of compression with elasticity support to keep your socks from slipping down around your ankles. While these are cotton socks, we like that the full composition is 55% combed cotton, 40% polyester, and 2% spandex. And you’ll appreciate that the socks are constructed with high-density fibers and a pile cushioning for added comfort for more serious activity, that helps to prevent blisters — which is why we think this is one of the best hiking socks. Plus as is common with hiking socks, this model is designed with moisture-wicking technology and breathable fibers to help regulate temperature. Bring one of the best mens hoodies with you too.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: Machine washable wool hiking socks with the highest merino wool content in our guide means that you’ll stay itch-free, a must-have for those with sensitive skin.
For some people, only merino wool will do if they’re going to buy a pair of men’s hiking socks. And we get it, merino is naturally moisture-wicking and breathable, a must-have for serious hikers. While you want a high merino wool content, you can’t go with a pair of 100% merino wool socks since these would fall apart after a few wears. The Alvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks are the perfect solution because they contain 80% merino wool — the highest merino content of any of the wool socks in our guide.
The remaining fiber content includes 15% polyester, 4% nylon, and 1% spandex. The nylon fibers create a better texture that’s itch-free, which is so important for those with sensitive skin. We also liked that these socks had a cushioned footbed. But most importantly, these merino wool hiking socks are machine washable. That makes taking care of these socks a breeze. After hiking, wear the best mens slippers at home.
Award: BEST FOR SUMMER
WHY WE LIKE IT: A lightweight cotton blend set of hiking socks with built-in arch supports are the best hiking socks for summer.
Some people really prefer cotton when they shop for hiking socks. And this is especially true if you frequently hike in warm weather or are concerned about having your feet overheat. We think you’ll like these Yuedge Men’s 5 Pack Performance Cotton Hiking Socks because they are the best hiking socks for summer. They feature a lightweight cotton-blend construction that will keep your feet cool regardless of your activity level. The total composition includes 80% cotton, 17% polyamide, and 3% spandex.
The spandex helps the sock conform to the shape of your foot and calf while preventing it from slipping. And we liked that the heel features a thickened terry fabric to provide enhanced cushioning without being too heavy. Plus the built-in dynamic arch support helps you keep a bounce in your step as it works to reduce foot fatigue. Most importantly, the fine gauge knit construction helps to minimize the risk of blisters while also supporting key features like moisture-wicking and breathability. Also check out the best running shoes.
Award: BEST SIZE RANGE
WHY WE LIKE IT: Darn Tough hiking socks feature a high-density knit merino wool-blend composition with a seamless toe that can fit men from sizes five to 17.
If you have bigger feet, you already know that buying traditional shoes and socks can be a process. A common issue we noted in our research for this buying guide was that most sock brands only accommodate shoe sizes up to 13, with a few that support size 15. But if you’re bigger than a size 13, your options may be limited. We included the Darn Tough Hiking Socks in our guide because they’re the only hiking socks in our guide that offer socks in sizes as large as 17.
While these are an expensive option because you only get one sock (instead of the competitors that are all multi-packs in our guide), we do like that these socks feature a high density knit construction for a smooth texture and that they’re also a merino wool blend. The total composition includes 61% merino wool, 36% nylon, and 3% Lycra. You’ll appreciate the seamless toe as well as the built-in moisture-wicking and breathable functionality. Smartwool also has a great size range for their Smartwool PhD Outdoor Wool Socks, which help reduce sweaty feet, in contrast to more synthetic materials like nylon and polyester.
Award: BEST CUSHIONED COTTON
WHY WE LIKE IT: A breathable quarter length cotton-blend hiking sock with a full cushioned footbed and breathable mesh ventilation zone for a comfortable fit.
Quarter-length socks aren’t always the norm when you’re shopping for hiking socks. But we like the Feideer Multi-pack Wicking Cushioned Hiking Socks because of this, as well as the fact that it’s designed to be ultra-comfortable. These cotton-blend socks feature a composition that’s 75% cotton, 22% polyester, and 3% spandex. The spandex helps to ensure a proper fit and prevent the sock from bunching.
You’ll like that these socks have a breathable mesh ventilation zone that helps to wick away moisture and encourage breathability. The full cushioning on the toes and heels helps to prevent blisters while also absorbing shock and improving durability. Plus, this is an economical five-pack set of socks, making it a smart buy.
Award: BEST BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: An affordable three-pack set of cotton-blend hiking socks with a clean interior construction makes them the best hiking socks to prevent blisters.
Maybe you’re on a budget, or this is your first time getting into the world of men’s hiking socks. Whichever your reason, you might not be ready to plunk down a large amount of money on some of the more expensive options in our guide. The Innotree 3 Pack Men’s Full Cushioned Hiking Walking Socks are the perfect way to dip your toes (no pun intended) into the hiking socks category.
We like that these cotton-blend socks are designed with a clean interior construction with no hanging threads. And that means that your chance of developing a blister from a stray fiber rubbing your feet is now eliminated. Because of this feature, we think that these are the best hiking socks to prevent blisters. Along with being affordable, we like the content composition — 50% cotton, 45% nylon, and 5% Lycra. This means your socks will stay put. The fine gauge knit design also helps to make these socks moisture-wicking and breathable, as well as provide arch support.
Although hiking socks are clearly meant for high activity levels, some people like to wear them for a casual day around town. Whatever your reasons for buying hiking socks, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind as you go shopping. To create our guide, we prioritized the following — weight, sock height, fabric, cushioning, the sizing, and the fit.
Sizing and fit go hand in hand, but the fit is really going to depend upon how your feet feel in those socks. But the sizing is usually determined by your shoe size. In our guide, most socks only accommodate people up to size 13. But our #5 pick is great for those with bigger feet since it can fit up to size 17.
You’ll need to keep the weight in mind as the thickness of your socks are going to impact the environments where you can wear them. In our guide, we wanted to provide a range of weights. To that end, where available we highlighted whether a pick was a thinner or thicker sock.
Sock heights can vary from no-show all the way to knee-high lengths. The majority of the socks in our guide are crew socks. However, our #6 pick is the only quarter-length option which is great if you don’t like no-show socks, but don’t want a taller crew length either.
The fabric composition is important as for some buyers this will be one of the first criteria they use to begin their selection process. Specifically, you’ll note that we have three merino wool-blend socks (Top Pick, Best Quality, and #5 selections). The remainder are all cotton-blend socks. If you prefer merino wool, then our Best Quality has the highest merino wool content of the three wool socks. However, it’s common for all hiking socks (regardless of wool versus cotton) to include other fibers such as polyester, spandex, or nylon to give you a better fit.
And finally, cushioning is important. All of the hiking socks in our guide include cushioning of some kind. While some brands promote a fully cushioned footbed (#6 and #7), it’s most common to see a cushioned heel and toe bed. The version you pick is going to depend on your level of activity and the amount of cushioning that’s most comfortable for you.
In general, the best socks are those that keep your feet dry while properly venting off excess heat to help regulate your temperature. In our guide, we nominated the Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks as our Top Pick because of the fact that it was a merino wool-blend sock that is moisture-wicking and featured breathable technology to keep you comfortable.
The short answer is yes. A quality pair of hiking socks can protect your feet from blisters or hot spots, especially if you’re walking over long distances. And improved comfort means you can walk further for longer without experiencing fatigue.
It depends on how long you plan to go hiking. For short walks around town or even a quick couple of hours, cotton can be sufficient. But cotton socks aren’t as efficient at moisture wicking and breathability as a pair of wool hiking socks. Likewise, if you plan on spending a full day or more hiking, wool socks are best.