As a result, it did not score as high as other products. They are so comfortable, you might be tempted to wear them daily, but that can get expensive. Others like thick, knitted socks that they can wear when they lounge, or fuzzy, soft socks.
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The Smartwool PhD and the ankle-cut People's Merino Wool Hiking sock both score high because of their significant insulating properties. Both didn't do as well as the Editors' Choice winners while wet, but both provide ample warmth while hiking through cold, wet rivers in late fall. They score a little lower because the sock length is lower therefore didn't provide as much warmth.
For example, our Editors' Choice winners and the Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock are both examples of heavier weight options that insulate a little better. That said, while hiking on cool days in the fall, we accidentally dunked out feet in a stream while on a trail run.
Both will keep your feet warm when wet. On the other end of the spectrum, the Injinji Midweight was the coldest of all tested. The material itself keeps the feet warm when wet as long as you are in motion, but as soon as one stops, it cools down pretty quickly, leaving us shaking in our boots. In all, the best sock for wet conditions is the Darn Tough Full Hiker for men and Smartwool for women.
The Farm to Feet Damascus also did well here when hiking in the humid and wet conditions of Iceland and the Faroe Islands. All models performed pretty well when dry, but the warmest are the Smartwool Ph. The Darn Tough Full Cushion was a close second but didn't keep us warm for as long. All socks above keep feet warm in temperatures between the mids and 20s degrees Fahrenheit with appropriate footwear. The People's Merino Wool and Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock also did well in this category, providing ample warmth during a cold fall night when the mercury dipped in the thirties.
Providing an average level of insulation is the Darn Tough light hiking options and the Wigwam synthetic sock. The Darn Tough products are a little thicker, making them better for colder weather.
The Wigwam does a great job insulating when completely dry and a perfect night time sleeper option. That said, if you've been hiking all day, the moisture trapped in the boot and sock cools and does not insulate as well as other contenders. As a result, all three earned a six out of ten in the warmth category. The contender to do the worst in this class is the Injinji Outdoor Crew as a result of its five-fingered design that is not conducive to heat generation.
That said, all the hiking socks mentioned above are great if you're not looking for the warmest option out there. When considering wicking and breathability, we tested each in a wide range of conditions to determine which kept our feet dry and which didn't. We put each sock through both high and low-intensity activities - ultra-distance running and hiking.
Our running days ranged from distances of miles in a wide range of temperatures and conditions. Through this process, we learned that thinner materials and breathable panels with a "stretch" component either lycra or spandex did very well in this category. Also, we found that fitted socks with compression paneling wicks more efficiently than those without it. Those with a tightly knit pattern were not as breathable as those with a loosely knit construction.
Overall, each sock has some level of wicking and breathability, but none are perfect. Of all the socks tested, the thinnest socks are the most breathable, while thicker socks are less breathable. The Feetures Elite Max and Darn Tough light hiking options for both men and women felt the airiest on hot days and prove to be the best options for warm weather both are strongly recommended for summer use!
This airiness is due to a lighter weight construct and lower concentration of wool than thicker less breathable contenders like the Darn Tough Full Cushion for men or Smartwool Hike Medium Crew for women. Because of this breathability, functionality extends to running, hiking, and camping in the Summer, Fall, and Spring. The Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool also provides superior breathability, though some of our testers mentioned sweaty spots exist between the toes.
As a result, it did not score as high as other products. The Smartwool still breathes well, but because of its tightly packed wool layering, it isn't as airy as other loosely woven fabrics like the Wigwam Hiker Pro or the Danish Unisex Merino Wool.
The Injinji , Feetures and the Darn Tough light hiker options do a great job at keeping feet dry because of their tight fit and thinner material. We wish we could use these hikers with a liner, but they are incompatible. Testing durability in a short period can be pretty tough, but we managed to see a difference after three months of continuous, high-intensity use. In this metric, we looked at overall wear and tear of the sock after putting approximately 60 miles of use into each.
We tested all sorts of weather conditions and temperatures. Think wind, rain, sun, snow, and more! After all this, we noted the conditions of each option, including what happens after a wash. We could see which look like they were worn and which still look brand new. The Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro is a super burly synthetic that will last for seasons to come! After 60 miles of use, it still looks brand new with very little noted wear and tear.
The Darn Tough light hiking options also showed some wear, with just slight pilling, while the Injinji showed close to none! The Smartwool PhD and Smartwool Hike Medium Sock scored the lowest in this category because we noted pilling, cushion compaction, and some thread fly-aways. Of our top recommendations for those on a shoestring budget, we are happy to announce that both low-priced options are pretty durable. We noticed some packing out of the material in both the Danish Unisex Merino Sock and the People's Merino Sock after about two months of use, though the fabric hadn't worn through even after logging 60 miles in each while running, hiking, and standing around at work.
That said, we didn't have more time to test for a more prolonged testing period - so time will tell!! A sock that dries quickly is a huge advantage on multi-day backpacking trips.
Imagine hiking through the North Pacific in rainy conditions. Your socks are drenched, and you have about three more hours of sunlight.
Or, you accidentally dunk your foot into a stream, and you still have 15 more miles to go. A sock that dries quickly is important. As a result, it's an important metric we consider in our testing. To test drying speed, we went hiking and backpacking in the field, purposely dunking our feet into streams and rivers along the way. We continued to hike to see if each would dry out on their own. In addition to these subjective field tests, we performed a very specific and precise drying analysis using set temperature settings and a dryer.
To test drying speed, first, we weighed each sock to find its dry weight. Then we drenched each model in the sink. We then wrung each out as best we could.
We then weighed the wet weight grams of each contender to first see which held the most water. Following this, we put each sock in the dryer at medium heat. We let the dryer run and every ten minutes we weighed each sock to determine the relative water quantity retained.
We kept doing this until each sock was back to its original dry weight. This provided us with objective data on which socks dried out the fastest, which held the most water, and which took the longest to dry. This year we had a gauntlet of new contenders that demonstrated impressive drying capabilities. All socks dried in our dryer tests within thirty minutes of each other. However, the differences in those thirty minutes are what determined which had the best drying capabilities.
Our field test data was confirmed by these objective tests. The fastest drying socks featured less merino wool and a higher concentration of synthetic materials. The Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro synthetic is the fastest sock to dry, thoroughly drying after just 90 minutes. In the field, we found that this sock dried out quickly as well.
Following this is the Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock that showed the fastest initial rate of drying within the first ten minutes , and ultimately dried out after minutes. All these are great options for hiking in wet conditions as they will dry out relatively quickly. We attribute this to the fact that it also absorbed the most water in the initial dunk tests. Our field testing confirmed these in-lab tests.
If you're in the market for a quick-to-dry sock, the Wigwam is our top recommendation. After hiking through a plethora of conditions across the world, we've determined key award winners and recommendations for both men and women. If you're looking for the best deal out there, check out the ankle-length People's Merino Sock unisex or the full-length Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock.
If you're still unsure about what to consider in a hiking sock, our Buying Advice article can help you to determine which best suits your needs. Choose your toe covers wisely and enjoy all your adventures to come!
The Best Hiking Socks. Medium What we like: Five-toe design can help with hotspots. Takes longer to put on than other socks and can spread out the toes. These unique Injinji toe socks beckon a certain toe shoe controversy from a couple of years back, but after strong reviews we had to give them a shot.
Essentially, instead of a traditional sock, Injinji uses a five-toe design that claims to reduce the possibility of blisters and hotspots. One editor liked the toe sock design and found it quite comfortable. The other felt that it separated his toes more than usual thereby causing some discomfort. Both found that the socks took longer than normal to put on and offered little discernable upside compared to our top picks.
If blisters and hotspots are a major issue for you, it may be worth giving the Injinji a shot. If not, traditional hiking socks perform great and require less effort. A good value for merino wool socks. Fit is less tailored than the models above. All in all, we like the Wigwams best for casual use and light hiking.
They are relatively thick all around the foot and have a less tailored fit than some of the performance-oriented models above. See the Wigwam Hiker Midweight Crew. Not the highest quality sock on our list. Made with fabric constructed from recycled plastic bottles, these socks provide a soft next-to-skin experience without the usual environmental burden of polyester.
They wick moisture very well too, making them a great choice for hot weather adventures when you still want the cushioning and support of a midweight sock.
For casual hiking and everyday use—especially in warm weather—the REI Coolmax are completely sufficient. Top-notch cushioning and warmth. Overkill for many conditions. The Darn Tough Mountaineering can be worn as a cold weather hiking sock, for snowshoeing, and it makes a pretty nice partner for lounging around a chilly mountain hut. Keep in mind that the Darn Tough Mountaineering Sock runs up to just below the knees—the elastic does keep things nice and tight so slippage is rare.
Most people will find them way too hot for summer they can be nice for blister prevention on long hauls , but they are an interesting option for those who desire the extra thickness or warmth. It also takes much longer to build up stink, allowing for extra days of wear on a hiking or backpacking trip how many days is up to you. Cotton, on the other hand, is heavier, absorbs moisture, and doesn't dry when wet. And while polyester may keep you cool, we are yet to find an option that doesn't start stinking rather quickly.
What exactly is merino wool and what makes it so great? There are a number of merino breeds and the wool strands vary in thickness from ultrafine For more information on the material, check out our article: Is It Worth It? Polyester In general, we strongly prefer merino wool over polyester. Merino is known for its natural antimicrobial properties, whereas polyester socks hold stink in a serious way this alone has us firmly in the merino camp.
More, merino wool is a naturally sourced material, whereas polyester is made from plastic fibers. That said, polyester does have a couple of redeeming qualities. For one, it is highly durable, lasting longer than pure merino. In addition, it does not soak up water to the extent that merino does, allowing it to dry faster. For those looking for synthetic material that is kind to the environment rather than adding to our plastics problem, check out Coolmax EcoMade, a polyester made from recycled plastic bottles found in socks like the REI Coolmax Midweight Hiking Crew.
Sock manufactures offer a variety of sock thicknesses designed for everything from summer hiking to mountaineering. For the purposes of this section, we are evaluating overall sock thickness ultralight, lightweight, midweight, etc. The downside is that ultralight socks are thin on the foot and offer significantly less padding and blister protection than lightweight and midweight socks. Keep in mind that these burly socks are overkill for three-season hiking and casual use. We feel that this is the optimal height for hiking: Many mountaineering and ski socks are knee high, which provide the added bonus of warming the lower portion of your leg.
Darn Tough makes the best overall hiking socks taking into account comfort and performance, but they have a slightly thicker and denser feel than Smartwool. Smartwool hiking socks have great loft and an excellent fit particularly the performance PhD line , but they also have more issues with durability and holes. All are great socks and the margins are thin in the comparisons above, but the distinctions between brands are worth noting. Beyond that though, the answer really comes down to what you like in a sock.
Some people such as athletes like socks that wick sweat and moisture away. Others like thick, knitted socks that they can wear when they lounge, or fuzzy, soft socks. Others still like socks they can wear that are an extension of who they are.
I often wear socks with cool designs, but I also wear boring old dress socks a lot. From the online portal you can get many men socks. Now you can buy socks easily online now. Which will save you time of going to market and the online store offers good socks at a lower price. All Day Socks feature a non-elastic top to promote healthy circulation, yet they are designed to stay up. They have a flat toe seam ensuring there is no irritation making them Diabetic friendly.
Excluding as per your request thin dress socks from top makers, you need to decide if you want cotton or merino wool usually a blend. I typically wear merino socks and lately have been wearing Falke socks TK2 merino medium cushion hiking socks as my everyday non-dress socks.
Trekking Socks TK2 Men. Social Sock Club provide stylish folks like yourself with a monthly sock subscription with a selection of unique colourful socks. We deliver our awesomely random sock subscription to your door every single month. Our sock subscription improves your sock game to turn heads. For every pair of socks we sell, we donate a pair to somebody in need. This page may be out of date. Save your draft before refreshing this page. Submit any pending changes before refreshing this page.
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Concise socks for hiking reviews tailored to your needs. Because we believe the best socks for hiking are not the best for everyone. Best Compression Socks with Reviews Compression socks are footwear / leg wear that utilize elastic fibers or rubber materials (often spandex) in order to squeeze the lower leg via increasing pressure and as a result, increasing blood flow. The sock is an innovative feat, giving good compression in combination with a subtle compressive arch support. The Organic Merino wool is the best quality to be sourced for a sock and this means longer durability blended with seriously nice comfort.