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What are the best hiking socks?

What are considered to be the best socks for hiking?

3 Answers

Smartwool socks are ideal for hiking. They keep your feet warm and dry due to their "smart" wool technology. Do NOT wear cotton socks while hiking, unless you want cold, uncomfortable feet.

The best Smartwool socks to get are ones that are designed with high density impact zones around the heel and ball of the foot (and toes). This helps reduce shock and abrasion, along with the Smartwool 4-Degree Fit System helps keep the sock in place. They have a bit of compression feeling around the heel and ball of the foot, which feels really nice for walking, hiking or backpacking. The last thing you want to get while out hiking are blisters, so it's very important that you wear the right socks.

These are all good options depending on the weather:
- Light Crew Sock (Smartwool PhD Nordic) -
- Medium Sock (SmartWool PhD Nordic) -
- Medium Crew Sock (SmartWool PhD Outdoor) -
- Heavy Crew Sock (Smartwool Men's PhD Outdoor) -

Wearing two pairs of socks is often recommended to reduce friction, and prevent blisters. If you go this route, you'll want to use a very thin hiking liner sock, then a Smartwool sock over the top of the liner.
- Hiking Liner Crew Sock (Smartwool Unisex) -

If you haven't done a lot of hiking or are prone to getting blisters, you should absolutely get Bodyglide Original Anti-Chafe Balm ( and put it on your feet and heels before going hiking. It absolutely works wonders at helping to prevent blisters. Lots of runners use it because of this. Having a stick of Glide in your backpack can also be very handy, especially if you're out hiking and you start to feel the on set of blisters. Walking miles with blisters is no fun, so being able to put glide on your feet can be a lifesaver to reduce friction on your heels/socks/boots.

Lastly, it's always a good idea to put an extra pair of socks in your backpack while on day hikes, just in case your first pair of socks get wet during the day.

Hopefully, this info will help keep your feet toasty warm, and feeling good while out hiking!

Fox River makes a great pair of hiking socks as well as smart wool. Yet it all depends on the kind of hiking you are going to be doing. Buy a thicker wool sock for backpacking with a heavy pack, and you should also look into liners if this is what you plan to do. If it is light to no backpack or day hiking then a lighter sock is ideal. In either case, Fox River and Smart Wool both make fantastic socks (i have the same fox river socks i bought 3 years ago and they work great).
Me- hiked in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Missouri (backpacked for 2 weeks in Rockies twice in past 3 years)

So, I'm allergic to wool.. gives me a very itchy rash/hives. Any other recommendations?

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