Types of Hiking Socks

The right socks can make all the difference on a long hike. The best hiking socks help prevent blisters, wick moisture, and keep your feet comfortable on the trail. The main types of hiking socks are made from wool, nylon, and spandex. Wool is the most popular, and it’s naturally odor-resistant and wicks moisture to keep your feet dry on hot hikes. A good pair of wool hiking socks will also be soft next to your skin, and some brands use ethically-sourced wool in their socks to ensure the welfare of sheep.

Nylon is another synthetic option that insulates well, wicks moisture, and dries quickly. It’s sometimes blended with wool and/or spandex to increase durability and improve moisture wicking. Spandex is an elastic material used to improve fit, reduce bunching, and prevent wrinkling.

Merino wool is a popular hiking sock material because it’s soft, wicks moisture, and keeps your feet warm in cool conditions. It’s usually blended with other materials, such as cotton and nylon, to improve durability, wick moisture, and boost insulation.

Merino wool isn’t cheap, and hiking socks with high levels of it tend to be expensive. However, if you’re serious about comfort on the trail, the extra cost may be worth it. Some hiking sock brands offer warranties on their products, such as Darn Tough’s lifetime, unconditional guarantee on their uber-comfortable Merino Wool Hiking Socks, or REI Co-op’s one year warranty for members on their lightweight merino-blend socks. wool hiking socks

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