ClickCease
Not sure where to start when it comes to hiking gear? Socks are a very good place to begin. Here's our breakdown of the best hiking socks for 2021 adventures.

Read in:

16

mins

download article

Steph C

Scroll down to get to the full reviews for the best hiking socks

Hiking socks are that one bit of kit that’s often overlooked and taken for granted. Okay, they may not be a particularly exciting purchase when compared with other outdoor gear but you can’t just throw on any old pair. The right pair of hiking socks can keep your feet comfy and dry for hours or even days, letting you walk for miles blister free without even giving them a thought.

The wrong pair can cause hours of blistered misery and could even call a complete halt to your trip. You need to give some serious thought on the best hiking socks for your next outdoor trip. With so much choice though, how do you know which pair will be the ideal fit for your adventure?  

We’ve done the work for you and shared our favourite brands plus a pick of the best hiking socks out there. So – let’s talk about socks, baby!

In a hurry? Here's the best hiking socks according to us:

  1. Best for keeping odour at bay - Stance Oscilate Feel360
  2. Best all-rounder - Danish Endurance
  3. Best for tough mountain hikes - Bridgedale Men's Fusion
  4. Best for ultra-runners and fast packers  - Smartwool Women' Light Hike Margarita Crew
  5. Best for multi-sports - Finisterre Last Long Original
  6. Best for multi-day trails - Falke TK1 Women's Trekking Socks
  7. Best for those who want to try something different - Injini Outdoor Midweight Nu Wool Socks
  8. Best for blister sufferers - 1000 Mile Men's Fusion Double Layer Walking Socks
  9. Best for backpacking - Darn Tough Vermont Women's Micro Crew
  10. Best for summer trails - Bridgedale Hike Ultralight T2 Hiking Socks
  11. Best for extreme wet weather and boggy terrain - Sealskinz Extreme Cold Trekking Socks
  12. Best for travelling light - Rohan Women’s Active Summit Socks
  13. Best for lower budgets - Storm Bloc Women's Hiking Socks
  14. Best for long distance hikes - Smartwool Men’s PHD Outdoor Heavy Crew
  15. Best for walking or trail shoes - Falke TK5 Men's No-Show Hiking Sock
  16. Best for those who prefer a less cushioned hiking sock - Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew
  17. Best for preventing bites and stings - Craghoppers Women's Nosilife Adventure Sock

Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Hiking Socks

Material

Wool

Some of the best hiking socks nowadays contain differing percentages of merino wool, which comes from a certain type of sheep that thrives in harsh mountain climates. Merino wool has excellent thermal regulation, wicks away water and sweat and has great anti-bacterial properties. However a high percentage of merino wool is not necessarily better; it all depends on the weave. Also some people are allergic to wool and find their skin can react badly to merino-heavy socks.

Merino wool is an animal product and as such is open to cruel practices such as mulesing (painfully removing strips of skin from around the sheep’s tail to avoid future flystrike infections). Many of the best hiking socks manufacturers pledge to ensure that their wool comes from humane sources.

Synthetics

Many hiking socks also contain polyester (a type of material made from plastic fibres) and nylon. Synthetic materials are very hard wearing so they help give socks their durability. They also tend to dry quicker than merino wool, although they don’t have the same antibacterial properties, so be prepared for whiffy socks if they contain more synthetics than wool.

Cotton

Cotton-based socks tend to be cheaper than those made from wool and are usually comfy. However, cotton can collect and retain moisture, which can soften the skin and put you at risk of blisters. Combining cotton with synthetic materials can help wick moisture away.

Elastane/ Lycra

Most socks contain these to provide some elasticity, which helps to keeps socks in place and not slide down into your boot, and to give a nice snug fit. They also help socks spring back into shape after washing.

Length

Most hiking socks are boot or crew length, typically around mid-calf. This provides some protection against mud and can help stop debris getting into boots. If you are hiking in summer, using walking shoes or running in trail shoes you’d be better off with either ankle length socks, which just cover the ankle, or ‘no shows’ which end at the ankle.

For winter walking you might prefer a knee length sock which forms an extra layer of warmth for the lower legs.

Cushioning

As a rule of thumb, for summer walking and easier trails, you’ll need less cushioning and for tougher mountain environments and cold weather you’ll need more. It’s not always that simple though. If you’re wearing trail or walking shoes, too much cushioning could make the shoes too tight.

If you’re walking long distances with a heavy pack, you’ll appreciate some extra cushioning on your feet even if the terrain’s not particularly rugged.

Male or Female Fit?

Many sock manufacturers sell men and women specific socks. There’s not a great deal of difference to be honest, although women’s socks tend to be offered in different colours and are usually smaller and narrower. Don't get too hung up about this though - just choose the best hiking socks for your feet.

Sustainability

Most of the manufacturers listed here are committed to using sustainable products and pledge to ensure safe working practices in factories. They are also committed to being equal opportunity employers.

The best hiking socks for you are largely a matter of personal preference and what you’ll be using them for. Do your intended adventures involve plenty of rugged mountain walking or scrambling? If so, you’ll need durable, well cushioned socks like the Darn Tough Hiker Merino Crew. Expecting plenty of snow and ice? You’ll need socks that will keep your feet toasty, such as Bridgedale’s WoolFusion.

So, what's the verdict? Do you have naturally hot feet? You might find some of the warmer socks just too warm, especially in the summer months, so the best hiking socks for you might be the Bridgedale HIKE Ultralight or Darn Tough’s Light Hikers. And if you’re planning on some easier hikes and maybe mixing it up with a little cycling, you’d be better with a multi-activity pair such as Finisterre Last Long Originals.

Like boots, the best hiking socks will vary from person to person. Socks your mate swears by might leave you with a foot full of blisters. Be prepared to test different options before committing to a pair.

Inspired to take your new hiking socks on an adventure? Read our Ultimate Guide to Wild Camping.


FAQs

Why should I use specialist hiking socks?

Okay, you could just pull any pair on and go for a hike but you won’t have a good time of it. Thin cotton socks just don’t cut it – cotton won’t wick sweat away and soaks up water like a sponge. They’ll constantly rub against your feet and cause blisters. The best hiking socks contain materials designed to keep your feet dry and are thick enough to stop your boots from rubbing.

Do I need to wear two pairs of socks when hiking?

Some people find wearing a thinner hiking sock under a thicker one allows them move against each other rather than against the skin. Others find it makes blisters more likely so it’s down to personal preference. Most modern hiking socks are designed to be worn without a liner sock, although the 1,000 Mile range are constructed to mimic wearing one.

How long will my hiking socks last?

It depends on how well they’re made and how often you wear them. Die hard trail addicts will blow through a pair much faster than a weekend warrior. Smartwool reckon that their socks should last around a year if worn once a week, Bridgedale guarantee theirs for three years and Darn Tough has a lifetime guarantee!

How do I take care of my hiking socks?

Socks don’t come cheap so if you take proper care of them you’ll get more mileage from them. Hiking socks containing wool should be washed on a gentle, cool cycle – heat can shrink wool. Don’t use fabric softener as this can coat the fibres and destroy their wicking and heat regulating properties. Liquid soap or similar is ideal.

ourComparison

Craghoppers Women’s Nosilife Sock

Breathable and light, these socks will also keep the bugs at bay, what's not to love?

Darn Tough Men’s Light Hiker Socks

This is a pretty indestructible sock for warmer weather

Falke Men’s TK5 No Show Hiking Sock

The most comfortable socks for trail shoes, backpackers will love these

Smartwool Men’s PHD Outdoor Crew

A high-performance sock for long days on the trail

Storm Bloc Women’s Hiking Socks

Great if you want a no-frills, cheap hiking sock for summer trails or you plan on mixing it up with some cycling

Rohan Women’s Active Summit Socks

Comfortable good quality socks that will last for days on the trail

Sealskinz Extreme Cold Socks

These are some of the most technical socks we've come across

Bridgedale Ultralightweight Women’s Socks

A lightweight yet comfy sock that won't rub when it's warm

Darn Tough Vermont Women’s Sock

These just may be the toughest socks you'll ever own

1000 Mile Double Layer Sock

If these work for you, look forward to blister-free hiking forever!

Injinji Outdoor Nu Wool Socks

Innovative design that just might be the best thing your feet have ever worn

Falke TK1 Women’s Trekking Socks

Hardy socks for mountain adventures and rougher trails

Finisterre Last Long Original

Super comfy and practical, jump out of your boots and straight onto your bike

Smartwool Women's Margarita Crew

Stylish socks that keep things light for speedier adventures

Bridgedale Men's Wool Fusion

Tough enough to cope with whatever you throw at them

Stance Oscilate Feel360

A funky pair of socks that keeps smells at bay

Danish Endurance

A reliable three-season sock which will keep you cool

final score

89

%

final score

78

%

final score

85

%

final score

83

%

final score

69

%

final score

84

%

final score

76

%

final score

84

%

final score

89

%

final score

73

%

final score

73

%

final score

88

%

final score

74

%

final score

70

%

final score

89

%

final score

75

%

final score

85

%

The Good

  • These socks contain synthetic fibres rather than wool so would be a good choice for vegan hikers
  • Ergonomically designed to deliver cushioned support to heel, toe, sole and calf for comfort
  • Incorporate Craghoppers’ NosiLife anti-insect treatment – could these be the best hiking socks for Scottish hiking?
  • Elasticated ankle and over foot support for the best fit
  • Vents over the foot allow sweaty feet to breath
  • Natural antibacterial properties help keep smells at bay
  • Lightweight – each pair of socks weighs just 45g

The Good

  • True Seamless construction helps reduce friction and bunching, keeping your feet blister free
  • Breathable and fast drying, designed to stay cool in summer and warm in winter
  • Naturally antimicrobial – repels bacteria and odours, great when you need to get another day or two out of them
  • Darn Tough’s fine gauge knitting gives these socks the brand’s legendary durability and their ‘put it on, forget it’s on’ feel
  • Smooth ribbing on the upper mould the sock to your leg to keep it in place
  • An extended padding over the Achilles area is a useful new feature
  • Mesh panels on top of the foot help keep feet ventilated

The Good

  • Additional silicone fibres on the inside of the socks prevent them from slipping, which can be more of a problem with low-cut socks
  • An extra heel bar helps reduce friction, reducing the chance of blisters
  • Designed for quick moisture wicking to keep sweaty feet at bay
  • Anatomical fit with right and left toe box for great comfort
  • Designed for warmer, gentler hikes although the wool mix offers better warmth than other socks of this type

The Good

  • Smartwool’s signature Virtually Seamless toe means no uncomfortable rubbing and extra comfort for those toes
  • Smartwool’s Indestructawool technology gives ultimate durability in the usual high wear areas
  • Their 2 Degree fit system includes elasticated arch and ankle support to keep the socks firmly in place
  • 4-degree Elite Fit system gives a performance-orientated fit with extra flex at the ankle joint
  • Mesh vents give good breathability and help dispel moisture
  • Extra-heavy cushioning keeps feet warm when ice climbing, mountaineering or backpacking

The Good

  • Socks contain an arch support to help prevent tired feet
  • Blueguard anti-abrasion technology is knitted into high-wearing areas for better durability
  • Reinforced toe seam helps protect against blisters
  • The wool content helps wicks away moisture

The Good

  • Coolmax technology uses effective wicking properties to dispel moisture evenly
  • Quick drying, so will be ready for action again the next day
  • Full loop construction at the back and toe gives extra cushioning and warmth
  • Elastane on the arch and ankle offers support and a great fit

The Good

  • Each sock is hand-tested for waterproofness; Sealskinz claim they have the highest sustained waterproof durability of any other sock out there.
  • The merino wool used comes from ethical sources
  • The Extreme Cold Weather Sock will keep you comfy and dry in the coldest of temperatures
  • Three-layer construction with a unique hydrophilic waterproof membrane moves moisture from the skin using osmosis techniques
  • Foot bed padding provides shock absorption, reducing stress on joints
  • Feels much more like a normal sock than other waterproof socks available – traditionally they can be rather stiff, rubbery and uncomfortable
  • Socks come with a lifetime waterproof promise

The Good


  • The sock is kept in place with an engineered women’s specific fit
  • Zonal padding system gives extra cushioning for support and comfort for those long days out on the hill
  • Flat toe seam means there is no bulky stitching that could irritate the toes and cause blisters
  • Stretched ribbed cuff provides a looser, less restricted fit around the calf whilst still keeping the socks in place
  • Merino Comfort Fusion Technology creates a soft, comfortable fast-drying sock that gives a close fit around your foot
  • A structure of Lycra means that the sock will return to its original shape and size after every wash


The Good

  • Darn Tough by name and darn tough by nature, these are the only socks we have reviewed that come with a no strings attached lifetime guarantee
  • It’s the fine gauge knitting techniques that give the socks their toughness – you’ll have to try hard to wear out these bad boys
  • Darn Tough’s True Seamless undetectable seam fusion gives an ultra-smooth feel for ‘put them on and forget about them’ comfort
  • Designed for thru-hikers and mountain walkers but would be equally at home on easier trails thanks to their breathability

The Good

  • Merino wool outer layer and Tactel inner layer help maintain a comfortable foot temperature
  • Tactel is a speciality fibre that is soft, breathable and lightweight. It has good wicking properties and is quick drying
  • HeelPower grips the heel to keep the sock in place and prevents slipping
  • Arch bracing gives additional support
  • Fully padded heel for protection of the Achilles Tendon – extra handy if you suffer from Achilles problems
  • Additional padding around the toe, ball of foot and heel areas for comfort over rough terrain
  • Flat toe seam means that there is nothing to irritate toes and rub blisters

The bad

  • The effectiveness of the anti-insect treatment is likely to reduce the more the socks are washed
  • Can be on the tight side


The bad

  • Sizes tend to be on the smaller size so you may need to order a size up
  • Not as generously cut as other socks so could feel constricting if your feet are on the wider size

The bad

  • Too low to be worn with boots
  • Not as durable as thicker socks

The bad

The Bad:

  • A little more on the pricey side

The bad

  • Not as durable as some brands, but this is reflected in the price
  • Some people have reported shrinkage after washing

The bad

  • Not as warm as the Bridgedale Men’s Fusion or the Darn Tough hiker sock

The bad

  • Can make feet feel very hot
  • They are bulkier than most other socks and some people still find them too stiff to be comfortable

The bad

  • Not as padded as other socks
  • You’ll need warmer socks for winter hikes

The bad

  • Some people have reported shrinkage when washing
  • May be too tight around the ankles for plus size hikers

The bad

  • The double layer doesn’t suit everyone – some people have reported worse blisters than usual when wearing them

Comfort

90

%

Performance

85

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

95

%

Comfort

80

%

Performance

85

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

65

%

Comfort

85

%

Performance

90

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

80

%

Comfort

90

%

Peformance

85

%

Durability

90

%

Eco score

65

%

Comfort

75

%

Performance

75

%

Durability

70

%

Eco score

55

%

Comfort

85

%

Performance

80

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

85

%

Comfort

70

%

Performance

95

%

Durability

75

%

Eco score

65

%

Comfort

85

%

Performance

85

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

85

%

Comfort

90

%

Performance

95

%

Durability

90

%

Eco score

80

%

Comfort

80

%

Performance

85

%

Durability

60

%

Eco score

65

%

Height

Medium crew

Material

67% cotton, 19% polyester, 12% polyamide, 2% elastane

Colours available

Navy, parka green, soft grey marl, soft moss

Height

Medium crew

Material

54% nylon, 43% merino wool, 3% Lycra spandex

Colours available

Denim, Black, Blue

Height

Ankle

Material

40% polypropylene, 35% virgin wool, 25% polyamide

Colours available

Beige, Black, Grey, Light Grey, Blue

Height

Medium crew

Materials

68% Merino Wool, 30% Nylon, 2% Elastane

Colours available

Alpine blue, Black, Deep Navy, Taupe, Forest

Height

Medium crew

Material

40% polyamide, 20% wool, 17% polyester, 10% cotton, 8% polypropylene, 3% acrylic, 1% elastane, 1% viscose

Colours available

Pink, grey, blue, lilac

Height

Medium crew

Material

40% polyester, 30% merino wool, 29% polyamide, 1% elastane

Colours available

Damson, shale blue marl, slate marl

Height

Medium crew

Material

41% merino wool, 41% acrylic, 14% polyester, 2% elastane, 2% polyamide

Colours available

Pattern

Height

Medium crew

Material

56% merino wool, 41% nylon/ polyamide, 3% Lycra/ elastase

Colours available

Grey/ raspberry, multi blue, purple

Height

Medium crew

Material

59% merino wool, 39% nylon, 2% Lycra

Colours available

Denim, moss heather, slate, plum heather, black

Height

Medium crew

Material

Inner layer: 40% merino wool, 29% nylon, 23% polyester, 6% cotton, 2% Lycra. Outer layer: 100% Tactel

Colours available

Charcoal, navy

Craghoppers Women’s Nosilife Sock

Best for preventing bites and stings

Why we like it

Breathable and light, these socks will also keep the bugs at bay, what's not to love?

The Good

  • These socks contain synthetic fibres rather than wool so would be a good choice for vegan hikers
  • Ergonomically designed to deliver cushioned support to heel, toe, sole and calf for comfort
  • Incorporate Craghoppers’ NosiLife anti-insect treatment – could these be the best hiking socks for Scottish hiking?
  • Elasticated ankle and over foot support for the best fit
  • Vents over the foot allow sweaty feet to breath
  • Natural antibacterial properties help keep smells at bay
  • Lightweight – each pair of socks weighs just 45g

the bad

  • The effectiveness of the anti-insect treatment is likely to reduce the more the socks are washed
  • Can be on the tight side


Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Navy, parka green, soft grey marl, soft moss

Material

67% cotton, 19% polyester, 12% polyamide, 2% elastane

Craghoppers came into existence in 1965 when their two founders set out to produce gear for the harshest of outdoor adventures. They decided to test it on the ultimate expedition – an ascent of Mount Everest. As signatories to the UNFCCC Fashion for Global Climate Action, Craghoppers are committed to net zero emissions by 2050. Recycled products are used in their packaging and they are active members of the Ethical Trade Initiative.

Comfort

90

%

Performance

85

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

95

%

No items found.

final score

89

%

Craghoppers Women’s Nosilife Sock

Check latest price

Darn Tough Men’s Light Hiker Socks

Best for those who prefer a less cushioned sock

Why we like it

This is a pretty indestructible sock for warmer weather

The Good

  • True Seamless construction helps reduce friction and bunching, keeping your feet blister free
  • Breathable and fast drying, designed to stay cool in summer and warm in winter
  • Naturally antimicrobial – repels bacteria and odours, great when you need to get another day or two out of them
  • Darn Tough’s fine gauge knitting gives these socks the brand’s legendary durability and their ‘put it on, forget it’s on’ feel
  • Smooth ribbing on the upper mould the sock to your leg to keep it in place
  • An extended padding over the Achilles area is a useful new feature
  • Mesh panels on top of the foot help keep feet ventilated

the bad

  • Sizes tend to be on the smaller size so you may need to order a size up
  • Not as generously cut as other socks so could feel constricting if your feet are on the wider size

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Denim, Black, Blue

Material

54% nylon, 43% merino wool, 3% Lycra spandex

The Darn Tough light hiker cushioned sock is ideal for hikers who require a little less cushioning. With half the wool weight of their cushioned socks, these offer a lighter weight performance whilst still delivering the quality you would expect from this brand. And of course, don't forget their life-time guarantee!

Comfort

80

%

Performance

85

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

65

%

No items found.

final score

78

%

Darn Tough Men’s Light Hiker Socks

Check latest price

Falke Men’s TK5 No Show Hiking Sock

Best for summer hikes with walking or trail shoes

Why we like it

The most comfortable socks for trail shoes, backpackers will love these

The Good

  • Additional silicone fibres on the inside of the socks prevent them from slipping, which can be more of a problem with low-cut socks
  • An extra heel bar helps reduce friction, reducing the chance of blisters
  • Designed for quick moisture wicking to keep sweaty feet at bay
  • Anatomical fit with right and left toe box for great comfort
  • Designed for warmer, gentler hikes although the wool mix offers better warmth than other socks of this type

the bad

  • Too low to be worn with boots
  • Not as durable as thicker socks

Height

Ankle

Colours available

Beige, Black, Grey, Light Grey, Blue

Material

40% polypropylene, 35% virgin wool, 25% polyamide

From the highly respected Falke range, these lightly padded socks are designed to be worn with walking shoes, trail shoes and sandals rather than hiking boots.

Comfort

85

%

Performance

90

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

80

%

No items found.

final score

85

%

Falke Men’s TK5 No Show Hiking Sock

Check latest price

Smartwool Men’s PHD Outdoor Crew

Best for long-distance hikes

Why we like it

A high-performance sock for long days on the trail

The Good

  • Smartwool’s signature Virtually Seamless toe means no uncomfortable rubbing and extra comfort for those toes
  • Smartwool’s Indestructawool technology gives ultimate durability in the usual high wear areas
  • Their 2 Degree fit system includes elasticated arch and ankle support to keep the socks firmly in place
  • 4-degree Elite Fit system gives a performance-orientated fit with extra flex at the ankle joint
  • Mesh vents give good breathability and help dispel moisture
  • Extra-heavy cushioning keeps feet warm when ice climbing, mountaineering or backpacking

the bad

The Bad:

  • A little more on the pricey side

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Alpine blue, Black, Deep Navy, Taupe, Forest

Materials

68% Merino Wool, 30% Nylon, 2% Elastane

Another offering from Smartwool, this is a tougher sock for gnarlier adventures and extended treks.

Comfort

90

%

Peformance

85

%

Durability

90

%

Eco score

65

%

No items found.

final score

83

%

Smartwool Men’s PHD Outdoor Crew

Check latest price

Storm Bloc Women’s Hiking Socks

Best for those on a budget

Why we like it

Great if you want a no-frills, cheap hiking sock for summer trails or you plan on mixing it up with some cycling

The Good

  • Socks contain an arch support to help prevent tired feet
  • Blueguard anti-abrasion technology is knitted into high-wearing areas for better durability
  • Reinforced toe seam helps protect against blisters
  • The wool content helps wicks away moisture

the bad

  • Not as durable as some brands, but this is reflected in the price
  • Some people have reported shrinkage after washing

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Pink, grey, blue, lilac

Material

40% polyamide, 20% wool, 17% polyester, 10% cotton, 8% polypropylene, 3% acrylic, 1% elastane, 1% viscose

Storm Bloc produce a range of functional, technical low-cost socks. These are the cheapest we’ve seen that still contain wool. They're not the best hiking socks out there but a good option if funds are limited.

Comfort

75

%

Performance

75

%

Durability

70

%

Eco score

55

%

No items found.

final score

69

%

Storm Bloc Women’s Hiking Socks

Check latest price

Rohan Women’s Active Summit Socks

Best for travelling light

Why we like it

Comfortable good quality socks that will last for days on the trail

The Good

  • Coolmax technology uses effective wicking properties to dispel moisture evenly
  • Quick drying, so will be ready for action again the next day
  • Full loop construction at the back and toe gives extra cushioning and warmth
  • Elastane on the arch and ankle offers support and a great fit

the bad

  • Not as warm as the Bridgedale Men’s Fusion or the Darn Tough hiker sock

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Damson, shale blue marl, slate marl

Material

40% polyester, 30% merino wool, 29% polyamide, 1% elastane

Rohan was founded by a husband and wife team in Yorkshire way back in 1972. They have been creating world class hiking gear for over 45 years and pride themselves on following the five principles of effortless travel; protective, lightweight, packable, easy-care and versatile.
Rohan’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Mission is driven by their strong commitment to human rights, promotion of animal welfare and striving to always understand their environmental impact. Rohan’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Mission is driven by their strong commitment to human rights, promotion of animal welfare and striving to always understand their environmental impact.

Comfort

85

%

Performance

80

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

85

%

No items found.

final score

84

%

Rohan Women’s Active Summit Socks

Check latest price

Sealskinz Extreme Cold Socks

Best for extreme wet weather and boggy terrain

Why we like it

These are some of the most technical socks we've come across

The Good

  • Each sock is hand-tested for waterproofness; Sealskinz claim they have the highest sustained waterproof durability of any other sock out there.
  • The merino wool used comes from ethical sources
  • The Extreme Cold Weather Sock will keep you comfy and dry in the coldest of temperatures
  • Three-layer construction with a unique hydrophilic waterproof membrane moves moisture from the skin using osmosis techniques
  • Foot bed padding provides shock absorption, reducing stress on joints
  • Feels much more like a normal sock than other waterproof socks available – traditionally they can be rather stiff, rubbery and uncomfortable
  • Socks come with a lifetime waterproof promise

the bad

  • Can make feet feel very hot
  • They are bulkier than most other socks and some people still find them too stiff to be comfortable

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Pattern

Material

41% merino wool, 41% acrylic, 14% polyester, 2% elastane, 2% polyamide

Sealskinz have been making extreme weather gear for over 25 years. Their attention to detail, rigorous testing and use of premium materials allows adventures to happen whatever the weather. Sealskinz are the go-to socks when the weather closes in and things get epic.

Comfort

70

%

Performance

95

%

Durability

75

%

Eco score

65

%

No items found.

final score

76

%

Sealskinz Extreme Cold Socks

Check latest price

Bridgedale Ultralightweight Women’s Socks

Best for summer treks and light trails

Why we like it

A lightweight yet comfy sock that won't rub when it's warm

The Good


  • The sock is kept in place with an engineered women’s specific fit
  • Zonal padding system gives extra cushioning for support and comfort for those long days out on the hill
  • Flat toe seam means there is no bulky stitching that could irritate the toes and cause blisters
  • Stretched ribbed cuff provides a looser, less restricted fit around the calf whilst still keeping the socks in place
  • Merino Comfort Fusion Technology creates a soft, comfortable fast-drying sock that gives a close fit around your foot
  • A structure of Lycra means that the sock will return to its original shape and size after every wash


the bad

  • Not as padded as other socks
  • You’ll need warmer socks for winter hikes

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Grey/ raspberry, multi blue, purple

Material

56% merino wool, 41% nylon/ polyamide, 3% Lycra/ elastase

Another one from the Bridgedale stable, the Bridgedale HIKE are designed as a lightweight sock for day walks.

Comfort

85

%

Performance

85

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

85

%

No items found.

final score

84

%

Bridgedale Ultralightweight Women’s Socks

Check latest price

Darn Tough Vermont Women’s Sock

Best for backpacking, mountain trails and scrambling, these would be a great choice for our Scrambling and Hiking Snowdonia trip

Why we like it

These just may be the toughest socks you'll ever own

The Good

  • Darn Tough by name and darn tough by nature, these are the only socks we have reviewed that come with a no strings attached lifetime guarantee
  • It’s the fine gauge knitting techniques that give the socks their toughness – you’ll have to try hard to wear out these bad boys
  • Darn Tough’s True Seamless undetectable seam fusion gives an ultra-smooth feel for ‘put them on and forget about them’ comfort
  • Designed for thru-hikers and mountain walkers but would be equally at home on easier trails thanks to their breathability

the bad

  • Some people have reported shrinkage when washing
  • May be too tight around the ankles for plus size hikers

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Denim, moss heather, slate, plum heather, black

Material

59% merino wool, 39% nylon, 2% Lycra

Darn Tough is a family owned American business that prides itself on their values, prioritising families and celebrating differences. They are committed to being equal opportunities employers, addressing social and racial injustices.

Comfort

90

%

Performance

95

%

Durability

90

%

Eco score

80

%

No items found.

final score

89

%

Darn Tough Vermont Women’s Sock

Check latest price

1000 Mile Double Layer Sock

Best for blister sufferers or those who usually use a lining sock

Why we like it

If these work for you, look forward to blister-free hiking forever!

The Good

  • Merino wool outer layer and Tactel inner layer help maintain a comfortable foot temperature
  • Tactel is a speciality fibre that is soft, breathable and lightweight. It has good wicking properties and is quick drying
  • HeelPower grips the heel to keep the sock in place and prevents slipping
  • Arch bracing gives additional support
  • Fully padded heel for protection of the Achilles Tendon – extra handy if you suffer from Achilles problems
  • Additional padding around the toe, ball of foot and heel areas for comfort over rough terrain
  • Flat toe seam means that there is nothing to irritate toes and rub blisters

the bad

  • The double layer doesn’t suit everyone – some people have reported worse blisters than usual when wearing them

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Charcoal, navy

Material

Inner layer: 40% merino wool, 29% nylon, 23% polyester, 6% cotton, 2% Lycra. Outer layer: 100% Tactel

1000 Mile have been producing performance and technical socks for over twenty years. The 1000 Mile socks are described as a ‘sock within a sock’. They are based on a double layering technique; an inner layer that wicks away moisture while moving with the foot, and an outer layer that moves with the boot. The two layers are designed to reduce the friction against the skin that causes blisters.

Comfort

80

%

Performance

85

%

Durability

60

%

Eco score

65

%

No items found.

final score

73

%

1000 Mile Double Layer Sock

Check latest price

Injinji Outdoor Nu Wool Socks

Best for people who have problems with traditional socks and want to try something different

Why we like it

Innovative design that just might be the best thing your feet have ever worn

The Good

  • Cushioning provides extra padding under the foot for great comfort and protection
  • A blend of merino wool offers great wicking properties to keep your feet dry when out on the trail
  • Midweight sock which is designed to fit comfortably into anything - trail shoe, running shoe or boot
  • Specially designed arch support gives a secure and stable fit while the dual welt band holds the socks into place – nothing worse than having to keep stopping to pull socks up
  • Mesh top offers breathability and helps keep your feet cool on warmer days
  • Each toe is individually encased in sweat-wicking material so your feet will stay drier

the bad

  • Not the best hiking socks for everyone – try them first before committing to a hike
  • They tend to spread your toes more than traditional socks, so if you have wider feet you might find wearing them with boots too constricting
  • Not as durable as some of the other brands

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Charcoal, black

Material

43% NuWool, 43% acrylic, 12% nylon, 2% Lycra

Injinji are a California based company who describe themselves as innovators, adventurers and lovers of all things active. They claim that their unique design properly aligns the toes which helps promote proper balance and posture. Injinji socks may take some getting used to but we have known people who will not now use any other brand. If you’ve not worn Injinji toe socks before, fit each toe into their sleeve before pulling on the remainder of the sock. Be patient and allow your feet time to adjust.

Comfort

85

%

Performance

80

%

Durability

65

%

Eco score

60

%

No items found.

final score

73

%

Injinji Outdoor Nu Wool Socks

Check latest price

Falke TK1 Women’s Trekking Socks

Best for mountain hikes and multi-day trails

Why we like it

Hardy socks for mountain adventures and rougher trails

The Good

  • With extra-strength cushioning and merino wool mix, these socks are designed for tough mountain adventures
  • Left and right cushioning, along with a specially cushioned toe box, ensure a great fit with good protection against hot spots and blisters
  • Triple-layered structure allows for a good regulation of temperature with effective wicking properties to help keep feet dry, warm in cold conditions and cool when it’s warm
  • Reinforced stress zones give a long-lasting performance plus they’ll keep their shape wash after wash
  • Each detail is checked and tested by athletes for temperature regulation, reduction of sheer stress and blister prevention

the bad

  • May be too thick and warm for summer or light trails. Take a look at the Falke TK2 and TK5 models for a lighter weight sock

Height

Medium crew

Colours available

Nature, black mix, asphalt, marine

Material

42% polypropylene, 25% acrylic, 20% wool, 12% polyamide, 1% elastane

Falke is a well-established German company with a reputation for quality outdoor gear. Blending luxury with functionality, Falke are committed to sourcing the finest materials whilst respecting the ancient traditions of the people who hand-make them.

Comfort

90

%

Performance

95

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

80

%

No items found.

final score

88

%

Falke TK1 Women’s Trekking Socks

Check latest price

Finisterre Last Long Original

Best for multi-sports activities

Why we like it

Super comfy and practical, jump out of your boots and straight onto your bike

The Good

  • Finisterre’s products are created from fabrics which have the least environmental impact
  • Super soft and warm, these socks will keep you comfy all day
  • Ribbed stretch top keeps them securely in place
  • A good multi-purpose sock for runners, hikers, cyclists and surfers
  • the bad

    • Not as robust as other socks so may not stand up to tougher hikes
    • Not as cushioned as some

    Height

    Medium crew

    Colours available

    Yellow, grey, navy, striped multi

    Material

    65% yarn, 33% wool, 2% nylon/elastane

    Finisterre’s story started in 2003 from a need for warm surfing gear for hardy surfers braving the cold British coast, and they didn't want to compromise the environment. Finisterre are now a certified B-Corporation, meaning they technically do more good than harm.

    Comfort

    80

    %

    Performance

    70

    %

    Durability

    65

    %

    Eco score

    80

    %

    No items found.

    final score

    74

    %

    Finisterre Last Long Original

    Check latest price

    Smartwool Women's Margarita Crew

    Best for ultra-runners and fast packers

    Why we like it

    Stylish socks that keep things light for speedier adventures

    The Good

    • Another merino wool-based sock, this is ideal for summer adventures on the road or trail
    • Flat toe seam reduces friction which helps prevent blisters developing
    • Elasticised arch brace helps the socks fit more securely without slipping down into your boots
    • The light cushioning makes them ideal for hiking, running, cycling or skiing or on and off road
    • A good choice for ultra-runners and fast packers, these are great looking socks that will help you add a dash of style when out on the trail

    the bad

    • Not as cushioned as some, you’ll need something more robust for backpacking through mountainous terrain or for colder weather
    • The bold pattern may not be to everyone’s taste

    Height

    Crew

    Colours available

    Black/multi, light grey/moonbeam

    Material

    62% merino wool, 36% nylon, 2% elastane

    Smartwool have been developing socks since 1994, when their founders simply wanted to be able to ski for longer without getting cold tootsies. They claim to be the first company to produce performance merino wool ski socks, forever changing what outdoor enthusiasts put on their feet.

    Comfort

    75

    %

    Performance

    75

    %

    Durability

    70

    %

    Eco score

    60

    %

    No items found.

    final score

    70

    %

    Smartwool Women's Margarita Crew

    Check latest price

    Bridgedale Men's Wool Fusion

    Best for winter mountain hikes

    Why we like it

    Tough enough to cope with whatever you throw at them

    The Good

    • Bridgedale’s WoolFusion technology blends Enduro wool with technical fibres to give you great wicking properties, durability and balanced insulation
    • Such is Bridgedale’s confidence in them they come with a three-year guarantee
    • Bridgedale technology ensures a high performance, long-lasting and comfortable sock which will keep your feet toasty and dry
    • Each sock is cushioned specifically for its intended use and fitted mesh panels help with ventilation
    • The blend of wool and synthetic fibres helps the socks dry out faster – vital if you get soaked on day one of your expedition
    • Bridgedale make good use of Lycra in the under arch, heel and cuff areas to prevent the sock slipping and to ensure a good fit over time. Who else hates baggy socks!

    the bad

    • Although they’re breathable, you might find these socks a little too warm and thick in the summer
    • They’re knee length so you’ll probably want a shorter sock for warmer weather

    Height

    Knee

    Colours available

    Black

    Material

    51% new wool, 29% nylon polyamide, 19% endurofil/ polypropylene, 1% Lycra/elastane

    If you’ve ever bought a pair of hiking socks, you’ll have heard of Bridgedale. They produce some of the best hiking socks for every outdoor activity you can think of (and a few you can’t), and they’re governed by three main principles – Fit, FusionTech and Guarantee. FusionTech is the unique blend of yarn and knitting technology that Bridgdale say sets them apart from their competitors. All of their suppliers are committed to the highest practices of animal welfare and follow the IWTO guidelines.

    Comfort

    85

    %

    Performance

    95

    %

    Durability

    90

    %

    Eco score

    85

    %

    No items found.

    final score

    89

    %

    Bridgedale Men's Wool Fusion

    Check latest price

    Stance Oscilate Feel360

    Best for keeping odour at bay

    Why we like it

    A funky pair of socks that keeps smells at bay

    The Good

    • Feel360 technology is designed to keep you on the mountain or the trail for longer, whatever the weather. The yarns are twisted to increase resilience to wear and tear, and the socks contain reactive fibres that promote effective wicking and help regulate temperature
    • These socks have left/ right engineered arch support for greater comfort
    • Stance’s trademark Toe Box Oven is a unique feature designed to keep those toes toasty no matter what the weather throws at you
    • Silver ions help reduce most of the odour-causing bacteria so they won’t force you out of the tent after a few days’ wear.

    the bad

    • If you suffer from hot feet, you may find the Toe Box Oven does its job too well in warmer weather

    Height

    Medium crew

    Colours available

    Pattern

    Material

    47% nylon, 26% wool, 24% polyester, 3% elastane

    Founded in 2010, Stance are a relatively young company who claim to have turned hiking socks from something that had been largely taken for granted into one of the world’s most exciting accessories in just a few years. With a focus on relentless innovation, Stance socks can now be seen adorning the feet of adventurers in over 40 countries.

    Comfort

    70

    %

    Performance

    85

    %

    Durability

    85

    %

    Eco Score

    60

    %

    No items found.

    final score

    75

    %

    Stance Oscilate Feel360

    Check latest price

    Danish Endurance

    Best for those looking for a solid all-rounder

    Why we like it

    A reliable three-season sock which will keep you cool

    The Good

    • Danish Endurance’s socks contain merino wool, so you’ll benefit from their temperature regulation and odour reducing properties
    • Extra cushioning and padding will help prevent aching feet, hot spots and blisters
    • Ventilation mesh lanes help wick away sweat, keeping feet dry even when it’s a scorcher

    the bad

    • The toe area is quite wide, so if you have wider feet you could experience some rubbing
    • The lower Merino content means that they are not as waterproof as some brands

    Height

    Medium crew

    Colours available

    Grey, navy, black, brown, red, green

    Material

    36% nylon, 33% acrylic, 30% merino, 1% elastane

    Danish Endurance’s mission lies in helping people take their endurance goals to the next level by giving them high quality products. These hiking socks were developed with the help of Rasmus Kragh, the first Dane to climb Mount Everest without using supplementary oxygen, so you’ll be walking in the footsteps of a legend. Danish Endurance’s products are designed in Denmark and produced in factories in Portugal, where fair working conditions are ensured. Their wool comes from animal friendly sources.

    Comfort

    85

    %

    Performance

    80

    %

    Durability

    80

    %

    Eco score

    85

    %

    No items found.

    final score

    85

    %

    Danish Endurance

    Check latest price

    journal

    Fancy Winning Adventures, Booking Priority, And Discounts?
    Welcome to the fam!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.