Hiking in the sunshine is a magical part of summertime, but you need to make sure you have the right provisions. On top of having things like a reliable backpack, proper hiking clothes, and some tasty trail snacks, you also need a solid pair of the best hiking socks for summer made from a temperature-regulating material like Merino wool or a polyester blend that won’t make your feet feel like a fiery inferno.
Warm-weather excursions come with a unique set of factors to consider, and the
best socks for the summer are typically different than the ones you'd wear throughout cooler months. The most obvious thing is you want them to be lighter and less insulated: This means lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics that feel airy and won’t trap sweat or cause blistering. Your feet are going to sweat — there’s no getting around that — so having material like Merino wool or a similar synthetic fabric will prevent that uncomfortable, sticky feeling.
Materials aside, you also want to think about things like comfort and support as you hunt for an ideal pair. They should 1) have a secure cushioned fit that won't ride down, and 2) have extra padding in your key blister zones to prevent rubbing and chafing. Is it obvious to say you should like the style, too? Because you should. You won't want to wear them if you don't like how they look.
Here, find a list of
the best hiking socks you'll actually want to pack in your backpack for your next summer hike. They'll give you a head start on your next adventure. 1 The Overall Best Hiking Socks For Summer — And All Year-Round
mid-weight hiking socks from Darn Tough are backed by a near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating from Amazon reviewers, and they’re a favorite of Bustle editor Jen Fiegel, who says, “I've tried a lot of brands, but am now a total Darn Tough convert. The Micro Crew are relatively thick socks, which I prefer even in the summer to cut down on painful rubbing, but the Merino wool and nylon prevent overheating. And the seamless toe-area design has really reduced blisters for me.” And if you prefer a mid-calf hiking sock, the brand offers that style, too. Helpful review: "I originally purchased these for long distanced hiking with a new a pair of hiking boots to break in. Now after wearing these socks I want to purchase more for everday use and work! Incredibly lite on my feet and yesterday being the first warm day of the summer season my feet didn't feel hot at all while wearing these socks during a 7 mile hike with a 3k elevation climb.” Material: 59% Merino Wool, 39% Nylon, 2% Lycra | Sizes: Small — Large | Colors: 8 2 These Affordable Hiking Socks (That Are Still High-Quality)
Made in Europe with a breathable and stretchy blend of fabrics, these
summer hiking socks are lightweight and feature antibacterial properties that prevent odor from building up. The high-performance fabric is woven with blister-preventing Lin Toe seams and targeted mesh zones, giving them constant ventilation. Even better, these socks come with shock-absorbent padding that protects the entire foot from soreness on bumpy terrain. Best of all, you can snag a three-pack for the cost of a single pair of its pricier counterparts. Helpful review: "I bought these socks for road and gravel cycling. The socks feel amazingly soft on my feet, they breathe well, and are thin enough to fit comfortably with my cycling shoes. They kept my feet cool on a hot summer ride and they feel like they will be equally comfortable in the cold season. Highly recommend!” Material: 30% Merino Wool, 36% Nylon, 33% Acrylic, 1% Elastane | Sizes: X-Small — Large | Colors: 3 3 A Pair Of Summer Hiking Socks With Extra Arch Support
Though they're not a "compression sock" per se, these U.S.-made
lightweight hiking socks do feature compression through the arch, offering soft support and maximum comfort. They have intentionally mapped, full-density lining in the parts of the foot that need extra padding, while the rest — like the flat toe area — remains lighter so you don't overheat or chafe. The material regulates temperature (i.e. cools you down when it's hot) and has sweat-wicking and odor-resisting qualities. Helpful review: "I love the weight of these socks for backpacking on the Appalachian trail in warmer months while wearing trail runners." Material: 51% Merino Wool, 45% Nylon, 4% Lycra | Sizes: Small — X-Large | Colors: 3 4 The Best No-Show Ankle Socks For Hiking
Whether you hike in sneakers or just prefer low-profile footwear, these
no-show hiking socks from Merrell are a fantastic option. They're crafted with a temperature-regulating fabric blend that makes them both exceptionally airy and odor-resistant in all weather conditions — even if they get wet. Besides boasting ample insulation, these socks also feature a cushioned sole to rev up blister protection, as well as arch support and a reinforced heel and toe. Translation: They're super comfortable. Helpful review: "These are great. Comfortable and breathable even in Texas heat. I got these to use with my hiking boots on a Geology field trip to Ink’s Lake an hour northwest of Austin. We spent two full days climbing through Devils Washtub which was beautiful [...] and warm but I didn’t even notice any heat in my feet which I was worried about.” Material: 74% Polyester, 24% Nylon, 2% Lycra | Sizes: Medium-Large, 9-11 | Colors & Styles: 4 5 The Best Waterproof Hiking Socks That Are Still Breathable In The Heat
It's actually hard to find good waterproof socks for the summer, because "waterproof" usually means "not breathable," aka "hot." These 100%
waterproof hiking socks, however, are made specifically for warmer temps, thanks to a ventilating, three-layer synthetic fabric blend. With a stretchy hand feel, seamless construction, and comfortable fit, they're the perfect choice for rainy day hikes. Oh, and they're odor-resistant, so you don't have to worry about any damp stenches. Helpful review: "I wear these every weekend for woodsball or hiking and my feet stay dry and warm. Once you try them, you'll realize the value in a full day outside not having to worry about wet, cold feet anymore.” Material: 61% Nylon, 32% Polyester, 7% Elastane | Sizes: X-Small — Large | Colors: 16 6 The Budget-Friendly 5-Pack Of Hiking Socks
If you’re looking to spend a little less, you might like this
five-pack of hiking socks. The breathable socks have thick toes and heels to provide cushioning and reduce friction while you walk, and many reviewers find them to be super comfortable. However, because the fabric blend includes cotton, you may find they’re not as quick-drying as other options on this list. Helpful review: “These are super comfy to hike in. I wore these in Hawaii on a few strenuous hikes and although it was incredibly warm this summer, they kept my feet dry and comfortable which was surprising because they are a bit on the thick side, which explains the great comfort they provide.” Material: 75% Cotton, 22% Polyester, 3% Spandex | Sizes: Medium — Large | Colors: 6
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This article was originally published on
June 1, 2018