Best Hiking Socks

I am obsessive about the socks I wear when hiking. These small bits of fabric can make or break a decent hike. In 2004 at the start of my first 30 day hike along the Camino, I discovered blisters, unlike blisters I have ever known.

A change of footwear from boots to lightweight hiking shoes and buying the best hiking socks I could afford at the time made all the difference for the next 27 days. Now I own socks for every different weather condition and season.

Think of it like this: you wouldn’t pull a regular pair of work boots out of the wardrobe for hiking a long-distance trail, would you? You need specifically designed hiking socks – here’s everything you need to know about the market’s most popular offerings: 

Top 25 Hiking Socks Reviewed

1. Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion

Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion

Key Features:

  • Darn Tough brand
  • Men’s sock, all sizes
  • Merino wool
  • Excellent cushioning

This pair of socks, from the Darn Tough brand – still made where they always have been made, in Vermont, USA – is a very nice starting point, as it ticks all the boxes. Available in sizes from small to XX-large – so catering to most– the Micro Crew Light Cushion are quality ultralight socks at a price that reflects this fact.

Made from the finest Merino wool, which – you will remember – has certain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that are important for this sort of footwear and long-term use, in a fine gauge, the Darn Tough Micro Crew socks are supremely comfortable, and are designed to fit perfectly, so no slipping or blistering.

The Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion ultralight socks also feature cushioning along the bottom of the foot for added comfort.


  • Comfortable & exceptionally durable
  • Superb padding & breathability
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty


  • Not as plush as some of the other socks on the list

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2. Darn Tough Vermont ¼ Merino

Darn Tough Vermont ¼ Merino

Key Features:

  • Ankle socks
  • Merino, nylon, Lycra mix
  • High-density
  • Performance fit

Another hiking sock from the Darn Tough range (this brand is one of the market leaders in hiking socks, so I will make no excuse for featuring their products more than once), the Vermont ¼ Merino is a short and lightweight hiking sock that will come up to the ankle.

Made from a combination of 61% Merino wool with 37% nylon and 2% lycra, they provide a high level of comfort and protection from bacteria. The knitting is high density for durability, and the socks are also designed for a performance fit and are very comfortable.

They come with the Darn Tough lifetime guarantee – an excellent added bonus.


  • Provide comfort and protection from bacteria
  • High-density knit ensures unsurpassed durability
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty


  • Could be more odor-resistant

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3. Icebreaker Hike+ Light Crew

Icebreaker hike sock

Key Features

  • Merino wool mix
  • Small to XL
  • Seamless toe
  • Crew style

The Hike+ Light Crew Socks – that’s standard length above the ankle – come from Icebreaker, another US brand.

These socks are sculptured to fit and are made from a combination of Merino wool with nylon and spandex for a more comfortable fit. They are designed to be non-slip and an excellent fit, and are a quality item that I think comes at a very competitive and sensible price.

Available in four sizes from small to XL, the Icebreaker Hike Light crew socks also come in a bewildering choice of colors and patterns: there’s something for everyone. Fully cushioned on the foot, they also have a seamless toe closure for added comfort – something you will surely appreciate when camping in the wild


  • Secure (non-slip) but comfortable fit
  • Fully cushioned on the foot
  • A lot of color options


  • Not the most affordable socks out there

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4. Danish Endurance 3 Pair Pack

Danish Endurance 3 Pair Pack

Key Features:

  • Prolen fabric 
  • Geometric pattern 
  • Sweat-wicking ventilation
  • Well-cushioned

Another pair of socks I tested are the Danish Endurance 3 Pair Pack Socks, advertised as long-distance running socks but used by a lot of people for hiking. These quarter cushioned socks utilize sweat-wicking Prolen fabric and ventilation channels to keep feet dry on long training runs.

Designed with input from a Danish Olympic runner, the socks provide arch compression and targeted cushioning to reduce foot fatigue and blistering. They are crafted from breathable, quick-drying polyamide and elastane – I was surprised how comfortable they feel even when they’re wet.

After multiple hikes, I’ve been impressed by their fatigue-fighting support and moisture management. For all-day use out in the backcountry, Danish Endurance socks keep feet cool and comfortable.


  • Features sweat-wicking ventilation lanes
  • Comfy – perfect for long-distance hikes 
  • Can be used for running too 


  • Could have a bit more padding 

5. Smartwool Performance Hike

Smartwool Performance Hike

Key Features:

  • Merino, nylon, and elastane mix
  • Elasticized arch brace 
  • Mid-calf crew fit
  • Flat-knit toe seam

Smartwool’s Performance Hike Socks are constructed with a blend of 62% merino wool, 24% recycled nylon, 12% nylon, and 2% elastane and provide ample cushioning and arch support for all-day comfort on the trail.

The merino wool wicks moisture and regulates temperature effectively across seasons, while the flat-knit toe seam prevents irritation. After multiple long hikes, I’ve appreciated the socks’ plush full-length cushioning and responsibly sourced, quick-drying fibers that keep feet comfortable mile after mile.

For sustainable warmth and blister-free hiking, these definitely deliver. 

Make sure to also read my in-depth comparison of Smartwool vs Icebreaker


  • Ample cushioning & arch support 
  • Moisture-wicking Merino wool 
  • Keep feet comfortable during long hikes 


  • Prone to pilling

6. Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Women’s

Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Women’s socks


Key Features:

  • Women’s crew style
  • Three sizes
  • Merino mix
  • Performance fit

These women’s socks from the Darn Tough’s “Hiker” range come in some very nice colors and in sizes ranging from small to large.

Made from a Merino mix (2% Lycra spandex with 39% nylon and 59% Merino wool), the Women’s Hiker Micro Crew Light Socks provide an excellent fit and comfort as well as moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial protection- they’re more than suitable for long hikes.

The performance fit means no slipping and not as many blisters, and they have the usual padding in all the right places.

The Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Women’s socks come with a lifetime warranty. However, keep in mind that you will pay a higher price for this brand’s items.


  • The best women’s hiking socks out there
  • Well-padded in all the important places
  • Suitable for long-distance backpacking


  • It may be too snug for some users

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7. Injinji Trail Midweight Mini Crew 


Injinji Trail Midweight Mini Crew 

Key Features:

  • Lycra, Coolmax, and nylon combo 
  • Patented five-toe design 
  • Allow natural toe splay 
  • Available in 20 colors 

I recently tested Injinji’s Trail Midweight Mini Crew Socks – although designed for trail running, they’re just as great for hiking.

Utilizing a patented five-toe construction, each digit is wrapped in sweat-wicking, quick-drying CoolMax EcoMade fabric, while the snug cuffs seal out debris across rugged terrain. These durable nylon toesocks provide arch support and targeted cushioning for comfort even over long distances.

After multiple hikes and training runs, I’ve appreciated how the socks prevented skin-on-skin friction and blisters by separating the toes. By allowing natural foot splay, the Injinjis enhanced my stability, while their mesh panels and moisture-managing fibers kept my feet drier across changing weather and trail conditions.


  • Prevents blisters and skin-on-skin friction 
  • Features moisture-managing fibers
  • Excellent cushioning & arch support 


  • Not the most durable socks – too thin 

8. Randy Sun Compression Women’s 

Randy Sun Compression Women's


Key Features:

  • 15-20mmHg graduated compression socks
  • Designed to promote blood circulation
  • Comfortable & breathable 
  • 100% quality guarantee

Randy Sun is well know for its waterproof socks. However, their Compression Women’s Socks are something else – constructed with durable, sweat-wicking nylon, these fashionable knee-highs utilize targeted gradient compression to boost blood flow and provide muscle support.

After hours of running, hiking, and travel, the lightweight socks effectively increased my better half’s circulation while also combating fatigue and swelling. She appreciated how the breathable, elastic fabric conformed comfortably to her calves with consistent graduated pressure.

For anyone prone to leg strain, swelling, or poor circulation, Randy Sun’s thoughtfully designed compression socks promote recovery across various exploits. The stylish patterns also add flair to any activity.


  • A pair of breathable & comfortable knee-highs 
  • Great for folks with feet issues 
  • Incredibly affordable 


  • A bit loose at the ankles

9. Fits Crew Medium Hiker 


Fits Crew Medium Hiker 

Key Features:

  • Patented technology
  • Unisex
  • Merino mix
  • Tight but comfortable fit

The Fits Crew Medium Hiker Socks are a Merino mix – 70% wool, 6% polyester, 22% nylon, and 2% Lycra – which the maker claims offers the ultimate comfort.

They also make claims for these socks being non-slip, thanks to a performance fit and clever design. High-impact cushioning around the foot means added comfort, while patented ‘Full Contact Fit’ technology ensures the best fit available.

You can get them in sizes from small to XXL and they are designed for unisex use. At the price, these socks seem like a pretty good choice for long-distance hiking. 


  • Features patented “Full Contact Fit” technology
  • High-impact cushioning around the foot
  • Stretchy, flexible fabric for better mobility


  • It may be too stretchy for some users

10. Darn Tough 1/4 Cushion 

Darn Tough 1/4 Cushion


Key Features:

  • Darn Tough brand
  • Short design
  • Cushioned
  • Merino mix

My next choice takes us back to Darn Tough, the brand from Vermont with a lifetime guarantee. Their 1/4 Cushion Socks come with cushioning all around for added comfort and a better fit.

To be more precise, these are medium-weight socks with a performance fit – so non-slip – and are also truly seamless, so you have less chance of getting blisters.

The material is a Merino mix (61% Merino wool, 37% nylon, as well as some Lycra spandex) and they come in a full range of sizes from small to XX-large, and a choice of three different colors.

As usual, the quality shines through and the price reflects that.


  • Outstanding Darn Tough construction
  • No blisters, no slipping, no bunching
  • Breathable & moisture-wicking


  • Shrink substantially in the wash

11. Wigwam Merino Comfort Hiker

Wigwam hiking socks


Key Features:

  • 62% Merino wool + spandex, polyester, nylon
  • Made in the United States
  • 12 color options
  • Cushioning – medium

The socks made by the Wisconsin-based company Wigwam prove that trekking enthusiasts don’t have to fork out a lot of money to obtain a good pair of hiking socks.

Not only does the company stand behind its socks with a guarantee against defects, but it also uses the same materials as Darn Tough while offering its socks at lower prices. In addition, all of their socks are made in the United States and feature wool that was sourced from American farmers.

The Wigwam Merino Comfort Hiker Socks are made out of 2% spandex, 34% nylon, and 62% Merino wool. They are available in many color options, and that’s always a big plus in my book. Finally, they are quite thick around the foot, which turns them into a great choice for cold-weather hiking.


  • Great for cold-weather hiking
  • Good-value Merino wool socks
  • Crafted in the United States


  • A less tailored fit

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12. Darn Tough Coolmax Women’s 

Darn Tough Coolmax Women's


Key Features:

  • Highly porous Coolmax fabric…
  • …as well as lycra, acrylic, and nylon
  • Seamless construction
  • Very comfortable 

The Darn Tough’s Coolmax Women’s Socks are crafted specifically for hiking. These mid-cushioned socks utilize lightweight, quick-drying Coolmax along with durable nylon for optimal temperature regulation and blister-free comfort across the trail.

The seamless construction and micro crew height fit perfectly inside my better half’s hiking boots while the ribbed knit ankle offered her a secure, non-restrictive feel mile after mile. Despite sweaty summer conditions, the breathable socks kept her feet cool and comfortable throughout several all-day treks.

Boasting Darn Tough’s lifetime guarantee against wear and tear, the Coolmax Micro Crew are ready to log endless miles in total comfort.

I highly recommend checking out my hiking shoes for women article, too. 


  • A well-made synthetic hiking sock
  • Well-cushioned and snug-fitting
  • They peek just above the top of hiking boots


  • Could be cheaper 

13. Wrightsock Coolmesh II


Wrightsock Coolmesh II

Key Features:

  • Lycra, nylon, polyester mix
  • Anti-blister system
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Made in the US

Those with tender feet that are susceptible to blistering will be pleased to know that Wrightsock has come up with an ingenious solution for their issue.

Manufactured with a double-layer construction, the brand’s Coolmesh II Socks limit the potential trouble spots by absorbing friction from one’s hiking boots or shoes.

In addition, the inner layer of these socks is moisture-wicking – its job is to keep your feet dry and, in that way, provide even more protection against blisters. These socks also work well in trail runners.

Made out of Lycra, nylon, and polyester, the Coolmesh II is a good alternative to most Merino wool models in my roundup. While it’s not particularly durable or warm, it’s a phenomenal choice for folks who often have trouble with blisters.

If you need more coverage, there is also a crew-length variant of this hiking sock.


  • Excellent protection from blisters
  • Feature a moisture-wicking layer
  • A fine alternative to wool socks


  • Not very cushioned

14. Balega Hidden Comfort

Balega hidden comfort

Key Features:

  • Drynamix, elastane, neofil, nylon mix
  • Impact-resistant cushioning
  • Microfiber mesh ventilation
  • 32 color options

A lot of no-show socks available on the market aren’t really well-padded. The Balega Hidden Comfort Socks are an exception to that rule – they’re a fantastic choice for people who want more comfort in their low-profile socks.

The medium cushioning of Balega Hidden Comfort translates to better impact resistance and overall protection. Obviously, this can be of great help when it comes to long days on the trail.

And while a lot of medium-cushioning models run quite warm in hot weather, the Drynamix construction of this hiking sock ventilates the user’s feet and wicks away moisture.

An important thing to keep in mind here is that no-show socks such as these don’t offer a lot of protection against trail debris. If you decide to go with Balega Hidden Comfort socks, remember to always pair them with low-profile hiking footwear. In summary, this is a stylish, breathable, and comfortable model that you won’t regret buying.


  • Breathable Drynamix construction
  • A stylish, super-soft pair of hiking socks
  • Thicker cushioning underfoot


  • Minimal coverage

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15. Sockwell Elevation Compression

Sockwell Elevation Compression

Key Features:

  • Merino wool, spandex, rayon, nylon mix
  • US-made
  • Knee-high design
  • Cushioning – light

A lot of trekking enthusiasts turn to compression socks when it comes to mileage-heavy pursuits such as long-distance hiking. This is because compression socks provide additional support and tend to improve blood flow.

While nobody really knows how efficient the compression technology actually is, the extra snugness of the Sockwell Elevation Compression Socks undoubtedly minimized my fatigue during long-distance hikes.

In addition, this sock is a pretty good choice for folks who always have trouble with cold feet. It’s a great pick for anyone looking for a calf-hugging design that provides extra support during backcountry adventures.

The main downside of these hiking socks is that they cost quite a lot for the amount of Merino wool that they offer (32%). Still, they add much-needed security, protection, and coverage for those who often venture off the trail. Besides hiking, the Sockwell Elevation Compression socks are also great for cycling and skiing.


  • A comfortable but secure & snug fit
  • Calf-hugging design with light cushioning
  • Provide extra support and protection


  • Expensive for the amount of Merino wool

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16. Merrell Cushioned Midweight 4-Pair 


Merrell Cushioned Midweight 4-Pair 

Key Features:

  • Spandex (and other fiber) + polyester 
  • Cushioned toe & heel 
  • Odor resistant technology
  • Machine-washable

The next pair of hiking socks on my list comes from one of the world’s most famous outerwear brands – Merrell. Their Cushioned Midweight 4-Pair Socks offer pretty much everything you need for a comfortable walk out in the country. 

First of all, these socks come equipped with Merrell’s proprietary moisture management technology whose job is to keep the wearer’s feet dry. Secondly, these socks are also odor-resistant – something that a lot of avid outdoor enthusiasts are bound to appreciate. 

I also really liked how durable these socks are, featuring a cushioned toe and hell. The model also fights fatigue with its arch band, and provides additional comfort with its smooth toe seam. 

The socks are available in several color combinations and stand as a great choice for folks looking for something branded yet affordable. 


  • A 4-pack of well-designed Merrell socks 
  • Durable, supportive, and odor-resistant 
  • Relatively affordable 


  • Could be a bit thicker 

17. Smartwool Mountaineer Classic Edition


Smartwool Mountaineer Classic Edition

Key Features:

  • Merino wool, elastane, nylon mix
  • Heavy cushioning
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Made in the USA

The best thing about Smartwool’s Mountaineer Classic Edition Socks is that they’re crafted specifically for frigid adventures. Boasting 74% merino wool and ample padding, these toasty crew socks provided me with remarkable warmth while wicking effectively across a few winter pursuits of mine, from hiking to mountaineering.

Even soaked after stream crossings, my feet stayed surprisingly warm and dry thanks to the breathable Merino fibers. However, the thick cushioning proved stifling in even mild temperatures. So I strictly reserve these cozy cold-weather shields for subzero exploits when reliable insulation takes priority over packing compactly.

For keeping toes toasty through the bitterest conditions without overheating, the Mountaineers definitely deliver.


  • Crafted specifically for frigid adventures 
  • Very thick & warm 
  • Breathable & moisture-wicking 


  • The heavy cushioning can feel stifling 

18. Wigwam Hiking Outdoor


Wigwam Hiking Outdoor

Key Features:

  • Cushioned sole 
  • Ultimax moisture management
  • Reinforced with synthetic fibers
  • Lifetime Product Guarantee

I recently tested yet another pair of socks made by Wigwam – the Hiking Outdoor Socks, constructed with a blend of 40% olefin, 36% X2O acrylic, 20% nylon and 4% spandex.

After a dozen miles on the trail, the medium-cushioned crew socks have proven impressively durable thanks to the abrasion-resistant synthetic fibers. They also provided my feet with ample breathability for hiking in warmer weather, although they lose their quick-drying power in frigid temperatures. The roomier fit felt comfortable but tended to bunch in my boots over long distances.

For durable, quick-to-dry warmth on shoulder season adventures, I’d recommend the Wigwams. But for winter pursuits, wool socks retain more consistent insulation.


  • Durable construction withstands abuse
  • Breathable in warmer weather
  • Quick-drying on the trail


  • Loses insulating ability in cold

19. Farm to Feet Damascus Crew Lightweight

Farm to Feet hiking socks

Key Features:

  • Fast moisture absorption
  • Snug, comfortable fit
  • US-made
  • Cushioning – light

Designed specifically for thru-hiking enthusiasts, the Farm to Feet Damascus Crew Lightweight Socks offer an excellent combination of cushioning and breathability for demanding backpacking trips.

With padding in its high-wear sections, a seamless toe area for blister prevention and bulk minimization, as well as a snug performance fit, this sock is made to easily handle long backcountry journeys.

Moreover, the model comes accompanied by the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. Another great thing is that these socks are made from American-raised sheep – it’s a US-made product and a mighty fine one at that.

Out of all the socks on today’s market, the closest competitor would be the PHD Outdoor Light Crew by Smartwool – those socks cost a bit less while also having more Merino wool in their construction.

Still, Farm to Feet Damascus is undoubtedly a worthwhile purchase due to its high-quality design and a superb warranty.


  • A high-quality trekking sock made in the US
  • Accompanied by a lifetime warranty
  • Snug performance fit


  • Less Merino than PHD Outdoor Light Crew by Smartwool

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20. Dickies Dri-Tech Multipack


Dickies Dri-Tech Multipack

Key Features:

  • Nylon, Spandex, polyester, and cotton 
  • Dri-Tech moisture management
  • Best-fit arch compression
  • Machine-washable

The Dickies Dri-Tech Multipack Socks are crafted with sweat-wicking polyester and cotton.

The affordable 6-pack utilizes ventilation channels and mesh construction to enhance airflow and keep feet cool, dry and blister-free even on hot summer days. An elastic arch offers compression for stability while the reinforced heels and toes provide durability over the long haul.

After a couple of miles on the trail and work days on my feet, I’ve been impressed by how the breathable Dri-Techs manage moisture through multiple wears and washes.

For an everyday crew sock that controls odor and cushions hard-working soles at an affordable price, Dickies certainly delivers reliable performance.


  • Keep the feet cool, dry, and blister-free
  • Reinforced heels – improved durability
  • Excellent at managing moisture 


  •  A little thinner than I hoped for

21. Feetures Merino 10 No-Show

Feetures Merino 10 No-Show


Key features:

  • Merino/synthetic blend
  • A pair of non-slip hiking socks 
  • Seamless, elastic design
  • High-density cushioning in certain areas 

The plush Feetures Merino 10 No-Snow Socks crafted are made out of a Merino and synthetic blend. The soft, high-density material and strategic cushioning made them extraordinarily comfortable for logging miles.

An elastic arch band and snug fit ensured they didn’t slip or bunch while running. Breathability was somewhat lacking though, with moisture accumulating in the well-padded zones during a few warm-weather hikes of mine. During one of those, pilling occurred, and elastic bunched up slightly.

However, comfort remained unmatched. For runners or loungers prioritizing a cushy feel, the Merino 10s deliver genuinely plush performance.


  • Incredibly soft, plush cushioning
  • Compressive fit prevents sliding
  • Targeted padding protects key zones


  • Thick padding reduces breathability

22. Darn Tough Mountaineering OTC

Darn Tough Mountaineering OTC

Key Features:

  • Heavy cushioning
  • Quick-drying & moisture-wicking
  • Tight, secure fit
  • Guaranteed for life

Here we have yet another quality sock from Darn Tough. To appreciate the Darn Tough Mountaineering OTC Sock, you don’t actually need to be a mountaineer.

This is a genuinely well-made sock that can be used for a number of activities – mountain climbing, snowshoeing, or simple cold-weather trekking. What’s more, a lot of people use this sock for shoulder-season hiking due to its superb cushioning (don’t forget to account for this additional thickness when you’re sizing your boots).

This model runs up to just below the wearer’s knees. You won’t have to worry about slipping, though – the fit is as tight and secure as it can be.

Most hiking enthusiasts will find these to be too hot for warm-weather trekking, but they can certainly be of great help when it comes to blister prevention on long-distance backcountry adventures. In summary, these hiking socks best fit people who want additional warmth and thickness in their shoulder season and/or winter socks.


  • An extremely well-made knee-high sock
  • Heavy cushioning ensures top-notch warmth
  • Breathable & moisture-wicking


  • Not for summer hikes

23. Feideer Wicking Cushion Crew Women’s 


Feideer Wicking Cushion Crew Women's 

Key Features:

  • Spandex, polyester, and cotton 
  • Multipack – 5 pairs of socks 
  • “Exclusive Moisture Wicking Management”
  • Affordable 

Feideer Wicking Cushion Crew Women’s Socks consist of 75% breathable cotton, 22% moisture-wicking polyester fiber, and 3% spandex.

These medium-cushioned socks provide padded protection underfoot using shock-absorbing high-density knitting concentrated in the toes and heels. An elastic arch brace and ribbed cuffs ensure a secure fit that stays put mile after mile. while ventilated mesh zones enhance airflow.

After testing on various trails, my better half found that the socks effectively wick sweat and cushion the feet, whether she was hiking, backpacking, or doing some light trail running. For durably comfortable recreation at an affordable price, Feideer checks the boxes.


  • Provide phenomenal underfoot protection 
  • Sweat-wicking & well-cushioned 
  • A secure fit 


  • A bit too tight at the ankle 

24. Rahhint Coolmax Compression

Rahhint Coolmax Compression

Key Features:

  • Spandex, nylon, and cotton 
  • A 3-pair pack of anti-blister socks 
  • 15-20 mmHg of gradient compression
  • Machine-washable 

Another pair of hiking socks I tested are the Rahhint Coolmax Compression Socks, engineered specifically for outdoor activities.

The moisture-wicking blend of cotton, nylon and spandex utilizes ventilated mesh construction and padded zones underfoot to enhance breathability, cushioning and blister prevention. Like in the case of many other socks on this list, there’s also an elastic arch brace – its purpose is to boost stability. The seamless, smooth toe box, on the other hand, prevents irritation.

Moreover, these lightweight socks effectively wicked sweat and kept my feet cool and comfortable thanks to the quick-drying fibers and ergonomic compression fit. The socks are a fine choice for anyone looking for moisture and odor control across hiking, athletic training, and casual wear. 


  • Provide blister prevention, cushioning, and breathability 
  • Ergonomic compression fit 
  • Sweat-wicking 


  • Not the most durable hiking socks 

25. Swiftkick Pursuit Seven

Swiftkick Pursuit Seven

Key Features:

  • Mid-calf height
  • Merino wool, spandex, nylon blend
  • Moisture-wicking
  • US-made

The last socks I’ll be taking a look at come from Swiftkick, a relatively new name in the hiking socks game. Besides running and hiking socks, the company also manufactures fitness socks, cycling socks, and more.

Their Pursuit Seven Socks, made out of spandex, nylon, and Merino wool, came out 3 years ago and is are now held in high regard by many backpacking enthusiasts all over the world.

These mid-calf socks have reinforced toes and heels that guarantee durability, and they come with medium cushioning. Their seamless knit construction provides a smooth-to-the-touch feel, an excellent fit, and a decent amount of comfort.

The ventilation “channels” that are sewn into the sock’s upper part ensure breathability during summer hikes. Swiftkick Pursuit Seven socks can be purchased in 4 different sizes.

An important thing to mention here is that the company has also launched its Pursuit Hike collection. The socks from this lineup are of similar style, but they also feature olefin fibers that make them a bit more “technical”. The socks from this range also come in varying cushion options.


  • Well-cushioned – excellent comfort and support
  • Reinforced toe & heel ensure durability
  • Good breathability in hot weather


  • Could be a bit thicker

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That was my roundup of the market’s 25 most popular hiking socks. To help you choose the right pair for your needs, let’s quickly recap some of the factors you need to consider when shopping for a product of this type: 

Best Hiking Socks Buying Guide

Sock Material

wool hiking socks

This is a very important consideration when choosing hiking socks. For many people, the material of choice is Merino wool, and this is largely because it insulates well and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Some are a mix of Merino and nylon plus either Lycra or elastane for added protection and durability.

If you want to know more about hiking sock materials, check out my post on Coolmax vs Merino wool.

Thickness/ Insulation of Hiking Socks

You will find different thicknesses in my roundup, and, therefore, different levels of insulation. I advise you to check the manufacturer’s specifications carefully before making your choice.

Sock Height

There’s a distinction here between the ‘crew’ style – this is the standard length above the ankle height that we think of with socks – and the lower ankle high designs, which are suitable for shoes rather than boots.

The Comfort of Hiking Socks

Hiker puts on socks

Some factors are a personal choice, with this being one of them; I am talking about the overall fit of the hiking socks you choose, as some are more defined than others.

For the highest level of comfort, look for “performance fit” in the description, as this distinguishes socks that are designed to be fitted to as high a degree as possible. Also, check for cushioning and seamless construction for added comfort.

Hiking Socks Durability

You want to buy quality socks that will last a long time. Remember they are going to come in for some arduous and prolonged use.

Obviously, socks that are thicker and feature reinforced sections will last a lot longer than paper-thin models designed for fast-and-light hikes.

Hiking Sock Warranties

These products have gotten a lot pricier in recent years. That is precisely why the warranty is now a vital part of the buying process.

As you’ve probably noticed in my reviews, Darn Tough is the unsurpassed leader in this department, with its unconditional lifetime guarantee.

How to Care for Hiking Socks

Hiking socks on a clothes line

Hiking socks, like all footwear, will need the regular care that normal socks get.

Still, you’ll want to check the manufacturer specs for details on how best to wash and care for your socks, although most products of this type are machine-washable.

My Choice

You’ve probably noticed how, while analyzing over 20 different pairs of socks in this roundup, I kept coming back to one brand – Darn Tough.

There are good reasons for this, and while the other products mentioned are all of decent quality, there is no doubt this is the brand that offers some of the best hiking socks on the market. They also offer a lifetime guarantee, which is practically unheard of in this day and age.

The only thing I will say about Darn Tough socks is that you will pay more for them than for any of the other brands featured here – indeed you can have some of these for bargain prices – but this is a product where the economies of scale come very much into the picture.

For long trail walking on potentially arduous terrain, you want the very best in comfort and fit that you can get – socks that are comfortable to wear for long periods, that can be washed and used over and over again, and that are durable and warm. You get all of that with any of the Darn Tough socks on my list, so my suggestion is that you take your pick from those.

If you plan on buying more gear and clothing for your next outdoor adventure, read my post on the best outdoor clothing brands.

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