The right pair of walking socks could make the difference between a painful slog and a comfortable trek.
The wrong ones will leave your feet either too hot or cold, or blistered.
The best socks will be the ones you don’t notice when hiking!
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A seasonal choice of sock is your best bet – a set of winter walking socks, one for all seasons and a summer set of walking socks that are light yet comfortable.
In this article we will show you the best for all three seasons, ranging from more expensive to budget friendly.
Read on to see our recommendations!
Best Winter Socks
So, what makes a good winter sock?
They should be thick and comfortable enough to keep the circulation going in the boot.
They should also be long – preferably knee length – to maintain warmth in the lower leg.
Here are three of the best winter walking socks that should serve you well – even through deep snow and ice.
- Merino wool wicks away sweat
- Long socks keep lower legs warm
- Anti-blister padding prevents problems
A sock that has been worn on an Everest summit expedition, the DANISH ENDURANCE Alpine performance socks are designed to keep you warm even in the most extreme environments.
The merino wool serves two purposes. It is thick and warm to keep your feet in good condition as you trek even in the coldest of conditions.
The wool is known to wick sweat away and prevents moisture build-up that in turn prevents issues like blistering.
Padding and cushioning around the sole and shin adds to the comfort and prevents blistering.
These socks also have a cuff at the top to keep them in position during your winter hike – no faffing around to adjust them on the hill.
- Knee length socks for cold weather hiking
- Composite of wool and manmade yarns to wick away the sweat yet remain durable and comfortable
- Anti-blister padding for optimum comfort
Another strong candidate for winter hiking is the Bridgedale Men’s WoolFusion Summit Knee socks will also keep your lower legs comfortable in tougher, colder and wetter conditions.
These walking socks have a combination of wool and manmade yarns to take the best of all worlds.
The wool and Eurofit mix WoolFusion yarns are designed to maximise durability while wicking sweat from the foot.
In addition there are Lycra yarns to keep the sock to the contours of the foot and leg.
Lycra is around the arch of the foot and around the cuff – the cuff to keep the walking socks high and comfortable so you’re not adjusting them constantly as you go.
Best On A Budget
- Waterproofed to maintain foot dryness
- Midrange price point
- Wool/polyamide material to keep sweat at bay
Wool blend winter socks aren’t expensive but will serve you well on a trek in colder weather.
The wool/polyamide combination of yarns are designed to fit comfortably while allowing the wool to wick away the sweat from your foot.
The cuff is non-elasticated to remain up while you are walking but without impacting circulation.
Another important design feature is the Rucodry Eco waterproofing treatment that is added to the walking socks to maintain dryness, perhaps should fluids get into the boot.
Though not for an Everest summit attempt, these walking socks will look after you on a hard winter walk on UK hills and mountains without discomfort.
Definitely worth considering for beginner to intermediate walkers who don’t let the weather ruin the opportunity to hit the hills!
Best All Season Walking Socks
Here in the UK you will often find yourself on the hill in winter when the weather is well above zero degrees.
You will also find weather throughout the year that isn’t blazing hot but you need to keep your feet warm.
That means you need an intermediate sock for year-round comfort.
Here are our best four all-season walking socks.
KOOGEAR Walking Socks – Women’s
- Padding in soles to prevent blistering
- Composite fibres to maintain comfort and prevent sweat discomfort
- Design keeps socks comfortable in all the right places
The brightly coloured KOOGEAR women’s walking socks are designed with you in mind.
Designed to stay in place at all times by holding onto the calf and arch, these socks won’t move around as you are on the hill.
Terry padding at the soles will prevent friction with the boot, keeping blisters at bay.
A number of different yarns have been used to wick sweat away while holding to the foot in around the ankle and arches, yet remain comfortable at all times.
The loose-thread technology will maintain warmth inside.
As an all-season woman’s hiking and walking sock, these are definitely one for the sock drawer for year-round use.
RedMaple Camping Hiking Walking Socks – Women’s
- Composite cotton / Spandex / Nylon materials for comfort and durability
- Y-shaped heel to keep friction at bay in all the right places
- Breathable to maintain dryness at the foot
With their feminine colours, the RedMaple women’s walking socks are eye catching yet extremely practical.
Core to the design of the walking socks is comfort in all weathers.
A Y-shaped padded heel is there to optimise comfort and fit, no matter what you throw at them.
The Spandex (1.5%) yarns are there to maintain grip and shape on the foot, while the cotton yarns (86%) are there for warmth and to wick the sweat away.
Padding across the sole will prevent friction with the boot and ensure you’ll be comfortable even after a hard day’s walking.
Not a sock to be ignored for year-round use!
Best All Season Socks
SPGOOD Walking Socks – Unisex
- Elasticated cuffs keep the socks in place
- Reinforced heel and toe prevent rubbing
- Mid-cut yet still thick and warm enough for a cold day on the hill
The colourful, all-season SPGOOD unisex walking socks won’t look out of place at a mid-walk hostelry as you warm your bones by the fire!
These are however designed for serious walking.
The reinforced heels and toes pad your foot and keep blisters at bay by preventing friction with the boot.
To add to this, they have a composite fabric of 80% cotton, 17% nylon while the 3% Spandex is designed to keep the sock in place and not need readjustment on the hill.
The breathable fabric is aimed at keeping sweat away from the foot so you won’t be at risk of blisters – or stinky feet!
- Cotton, nylon and Spandex fabrics keep your feet in perfect condition on the hill
- Padding on the soles minimise friction with the boot
- Y-heel design keeps the sock in place
With almost 80% cotton in the fabric, the YUEDGE men’s breathable walking socks will serve you well year-round.
Being breathable they will keep sweat away from the foot and your feet dry enough to not be prone to blistering.
A sock shouldn’t move around on the foot while walking, and the Spandex and elastic in the welt and foot arch will keep them in position.
The padded soles will maintain comfort in use – this will further insure against friction as you hike.
The Y-shaped heel is there for durability and added comfort – you won’t be replacing these for a good season or two!
Best Summer Socks
Summer socks have perhaps the hardest task of all.
They must be lightweight to prevent your feet overheating yet at the same time they must prevent friction in the boot.
To add to this they must also have padding in the right place to maintain comfort.
Winter socks by contrast can be heavy duty and keep your feet warm without friction – good padding is fine at it serves both!
Here are the best three summer walking and trekking socks:
Bridgedale HIKE – Women’s
- Lightweight cotton prevents the foot from overheating
- Padding on the sole acts to prevent blisters
- Manmade materials wick sweat away and hold sock to all the contours
Designed to be cool yet comfortable, the Bridgedale HIKE lightweight women’s walking socks should ensure that your feet remain cool even while pushing hard up the hill.
The cotton will wick the sweat from your feet while the Lycra will maintain the sock’s shape around your foot’s contours.
While lightweight these summer walking socks will keep the friction with the boot at bay as you hike, thanks to padding on the soles that will add to the comfort without warming the feet up too much.
This balance between keeping your feet from getting too hot yet maintaining comfort makes this the summer sock of choice for the discerning lady hiker.
Cotill Hiking Walking Trekking Socks – Unisex
- Breathable panels to let heat out
- Arch support to maintain shape and position
- Cushioning on the sole to prevent blistering
Suitable for him or her, the Cotill summer walking socks have areas where the feet can let go of the heat while maintaining comfort on the soles so blisters shouldn’t form.
A fabric mix of combed cotton (80%), nylon and Spandex ensures comfort and fit even on those blazing summer days on the hill that are both draining on the body but produce the best memories!
The reinforced heel and toe will ensure that these summer hiking socks will serve you for a good season or two.
They are also designed to wick sweat away, preventing a moistened skin from being vulnerable to blisters even further.
- Lightweight to prevent feet from overheating
- Cushioning on soles prevents blistering
- Cotton and Coolmax fabric adds to the comfort
These high-tech summer walking socks are designed to maintain comfort, prevent friction with the boot yet allow the feet to stay cool even as you’re pushing hard on the hill.
Special knitting creates a mesh that allows heat to escape, reducing the foot’s need to sweat to remain cool.
The fabric itself is designed to move sweat away from the foot, allowing the skin to remain hard enough not to blister.
At the same time composite fabric padding on the soles and heels will reduce friction with the boot, making for great comfort.
A final yet no less important design feature is the Lycra fibres that maintain the sock’s grip on your feet so there won’t be any shifting around in the boot.
So there we have it!
These are the ten best walking socks we’d advise you to buy for walking through the year.
They should serve you well for multiple seasons of use, and provide the necessary comfort for the climate you have bought them without blistering or causing excessive sweating as you explore the countryside.
Hiking Socks Best-Sellers
Charlotte walks anywhere and everywhere she can. Although she hasn’t ticked off as many official routes as she’d like, she has walked her way around large parts of Latin America, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Bucket list routes:
Last update on 2021-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API