The Perfect Pair of Hiking Socks
We all know how important it is to get the right footwear when doing any physical activity. Not having the best boots can result in injury or damage to your feet, worst still – a failed mission.
Have you considered how important it is to have the right socks?
There are so many different types of socks, but which are the best hiking socks?
This article will discuss how big of a difference sock choice can make to your hiking experience, while also looking at the various elements to watch out for to help you pick the perfect pair!
Choosing The Best Hiking Socks For Your Feet
Whatever type of activity you are going to do, hiking, or walking – it is always advisable to pick your socks to suit the type of activity. You are bound to spend hours on your feet, the correct pair of socks ensures that your feet remain pain-free for as long as possible.
There are many different types of socks, what is key is getting the pair which can encourage circulation, minimise bad odours, offer blister prevention, regulation of temperature and can absorb impact. Yes, a pair of socks can come with all of those features!
The best type of socks will have a wealth of benefits, regardless of whether you are hiking in the summer, or walking in the winter. Different seasons mean different thickness, a thicker sock in the winter and a thin sock in the summer.
The Different Types of Hiking Socks
There are numerous choices when it comes to the types of hiking socks that are available; they can be broken down either by their style, purpose or material.
Trainer Socks – Ideal for short walks, with warmer conditions. Worn with regular walking boots or shoes, most are not suited to long hikes, or walks in tricky terrains.
Liner Socks – Can be worn for short walks, in warmer conditions. However, these are predominantly for use underneath a pair of thicker socks as their primary goal is for wicking away moisture while padding out boots to stop movement.
Crew Socks – Crew socks are considered to be the most popular choice of sock for hiking as they come in a variety of thicknessess with options for both the Summer or Winter seasons. All crew socks are thick are ribbed around the top.
Double Layer Socks – This type of sock is one of the thickest available, they come with a built-in lining sock and are ideal for providing comfort while reducing the chance of blisters.
Best Hiking Sock Materials
Merino Wool is an excellent fabric choice for hiking socks. Merinio wool has natural wicking and anti-bacterial properties. A lightweight thin merino wool is a perfect choice for Summer, and although a little more expensive than the alternative synthetic options, they are well worth the extra cost.
A thick Merino wool sock is ideal for colder seasons or temperatures. Merino Wool is regarded to be the ultimate hiking sock material, being lighter in weight, giving more cushioning and therefore comfort while being breathable.
Cotton socks are the best sock for short walks, city walks or gentle walking. Unfortunately, cotton socks lock in the moisture and can result in blisters. They are not good for longer distances or for anything that is strenuous. Cotton socks come in a variety of thicknessess, and are a low-cost option.
Silk socks are perfect for walking in warmer seasons or climates. They can be exceptionally useful as lining socks due to the fact they wick away moisture and if needed additional layer of warmth. Being extremely lightweight, and high wicking makes them an ideal Summer hiking sock, however overall they are not long-lasting or durable.
Synthetic materials have come a long way over recent years, meaning there are plenty of high-quality socks, offering a plethora of benefits. They provide exceptionally wicking capabilities and a high-level of durability. If drying time is important to you, synthetic socks dry a lot quicker than wool socks and are considerably cheaper too.
Important Features of Hiking Socks
Flat seams – Helpful to reduce rubbing and blistering over long treks.
Cooling Technologies – High ventilation for breathability, perfect for Summer.
Wicking – Ideal for removing moisture, temperature regulation and blister prevention.
Anti-bacterial – Can be worn for multiple days and are odour resistant.
Anti-mosquito – Ideal for Summer hiking, or warmer climates, treated with insect repellent.
Extra Padding – Added padding around the toe and heel region giving additional protection on tough terrian.
It is crucial to understand that no two socks are the same when it comes to their suitability for hiking or walking. Buying the right socks, which best match your walking or hiking requirements can be imperative to your success, and of course to your overall comfort.
Remember that your sock choice determines how much space you will have in your shoe, you need to ensure that you have a sock that fits you correctly, so not being too loose, to low, or too tight.
Pick the right thickness for the purpose, opting for thicker socks in colder climates or on rough treks, and opting for thinner socks in the summer, or on slightly easier hiking trips.
Always remember to take spares and remember that picking the right sock for hiking can be as important as having the right shoes.