It seems weird to give any additional thought to what socks you’re wearing during a hike, but choose incorrectly and your feet will be grumpy after a long day. Here are some ideas for the best hiking socks for summer.
There are multiple rules of thought when it comes to height of the sock, but the first thing you need to consider is the material of the sock. When I hike I try to wear as much synthetic material up top as I can, but with socks a good wool sock will do you right.
Now that’s not saying you necessarily want a 100% wool sock, but there needs to be around 45-50% Merino wool in there. The synthetic percentages will ad to comfort and stability, but the wool is what will give you the most comfort overall. It helps to wick away moisture and help with the temperature of your feet in hot and cool weather conditions.
Back to the height of the sock. On Texas hikes there are multiple terrain options. If I know I’m going to be on regular rocky, hill country trails I’ll stick to crew. If I’m going to be somewhere that’s a little more grassy then I’ll go up to my calf muscle to help protect my legs from the itchy plants I’ll walk through. ( I hardly ever wear pants in the summer if your curious).
Best of the Best: Darn Tough
When it comes to the best of the best Darn Tough hiking socks are the first I recommend. I wear them year-round in multiple lengths. They have noticeable cushion and not too much compression.
The fabric breakdown is 61% Merino wool/36% Nylon/3% Lycra Spandex.
They are made in Vermon, USA AND they are backed by a LIFETIME guarantee. They are pricier than the competitor, but I mean, guaranteed for life is a pretty good selling point.
Not too shabby: Smartwool
Smartwool has been making clothing, including socks, for over 20 years. I love the variety of colors and sizes they have for socks.
At first glance they have more of a sporty feel to their socks. A lot of bright colors and angles, but they also make other socks besides hiking. If you’re a runner, and not just a trail runner, you’ll find they have options for you that include no-show.
For hiking you’ll find the ‘Light Hiker’ and the ‘PhD Outdoor’ options most suitable. They are made with Merino wool for that comfort, and have a slight lighter weight to the feel.
They’re also made in USA and feature 73%Merino wool/ 22% Nylon/5% Elastic for the Light Hiker model and 61%Merino Wool/37% Nylon/2%Elastane for the PhD Outdoor model.
Price is right for the REI Co-op brand. They’re usually a bit lower priced, but they also feature the natural fibers for moisture-wicking and comfort.
DANISH ENDURANCE make a Merino wool hiking sock that are super popular on Amazon. They are lower in Merino (33%), but also feature Acrylic (33%), Polyamide (33%), and Elastine (1%).
Patagonia lightweight Merino performance crew socks are similar to Darn Tough in price point ($22), but with Patagonia you also get great customer service and satisfaction backing your purchase.
These are made with 2-ply wool (90%) and Nylon sock yarn (10%).