Do Hiking Socks Make a Difference?

Yes, hiking socks are necessary. Caring for your feet is one of the things you must consider when hiking. One of the essential things you require is hiking socks; they always make a difference, and if you choose the right ones, you guarantee protection on your feet.

If your feet aren’t comfortable, then hiking becomes difficult. Hiking socks add extra cushioning, especially on the ball and toe area or the heel part of your feet. The thickness adds more strength to your socks as well as protects your feet from blisters. 

If you find good hiking socks, you won’t have problems with wicking. Hiking socks provide excellent moisture-wicking, and your feet will stay dry to avoid any formation of blisters. Merino wool is the best moisture-wicking material that makes the best hiking socks.

Hiking socks are good insulation that keeps your feet warm, particularly on your feet’ critical areas, the heel or the ball and toe area. Good hiking socks should allow aeration.

Wearing regular socks when hiking is somewhat of a disaster. You can wear hiking socks several times without washing them, which reduces foot and shoe odour.

You can guarantee yourself more fun and minor discomfort if you get the right hiking socks. They help breathe fun by preventing all the blistering, moisturizing and pain. 

Hiking socks are necessary; you have to find the proper ones that make trekking and hiking easier.

The benefits of hiking socks

  • Provide extra cushion 
  • Help Prevent blistering 
  • Provide additional warmth, especially in winter 
  • Helps in moisture-wicking 
  • Keeping the feet dry

The benefits of wool hiking socks

Wool makes excellent hiking socks. Most hikers prefer wool hiking socks compared to other materials. The reason why wool is the most popular hiking socks material is because of its following benefits. 

It is an excellent insulator- wool is the best amongst other materials. It makes more insulating air pockets, and these help keep your body heat closer to your skin. The thread continues to keep your feet warm even when it gets wet. 

Wool is naturally sustainable, and it is much more bearable because it comes from 100% sheep clothing without chemicals.

It regulates temperature- wool adapts to your body temperature better than any fabric. It allows aeration and wicks moisture away, keeping your feet dry.

Wool material used to be itchy and uncomfortable, but nowadays, it is the softest, and all the itchiness is gone.  They are producing modern yarn such as merino wool which makes soft and comfortable hiking socks.

When it comes to wicking, wool is the best moisture-wicking material, and it can draw sweat away, leaving your feet dry, preventing blisters.

You wouldn’t want that odour from shoes and socks, and wool makes the best odourless hiking socks. For example, merino wool contains amino acids and natural compounds that help in resisting odours.

Just because wool can wick moisture, it is durable. The dampness that other materials cannot resist causes them to be susceptible.

How to choose the best hiking socks

Not all hiking socks are the best, and some aren’t dependable because of either the material or the fitness. You have to choose the right hiking socks for you to see the difference they make.

When choosing hiking socks, consider the height, the cushioning, the fabric and the fitness. 

The Height

Height matters when choosing hiking socks; selecting the right height depends on the type of footwear you have. It will help if you look for a slightly above the cuffs of your boots to prevent your skin from rubbing directly to your footwear.

Types of heights include

No-show height socks; these types are best worn with low cut footwear or light hiking shoes because they provide very little skin to boot abrasion protection. 

Ankle height socks; These socks are slightly above the no-show type, and they are best with low to mid-cut boots for better protection. 

Crew height; These types of socks are the most classic and popular hiking socks. They are slightly above your ankle bones and are best with high cuts to protect against skin and footwear abstraction. 

Knee height; this type is best for mountaineers; they protect against abstraction to a greater extent.

So you must choose the height of hiking socks according to the type of hiking boots you have


Cushioning is essential when choosing hiking socks. Selecting the right cushioning can be tricky; you have to select the cushioning according to the kind of trips you have and the weather around that area. Like height, they are four types of cushioning socks you can find 

No cushioning; these can also be called linear socks, which you can wear inside heavy hiking socks. They are best for scorching temperatures to allow moisture-wicking and aeration, and they have very low padding. 

Light cushioning 

These types of socks provide more comfort and moisture-wicking and are best for warm conditions. They have light padding, mainly at the heel and ball of the foot. 

Medium Cushioning; these make the best type of cushioning, making them ideal for both moderate to cold conditions. They are padded very well enough on the heel and ball of the foot.

Heavy cushioning 

These are the thickest type of socks; they provide more warmth and more cushioning. They are ideal for long trips and freezing temperatures.

The type of material 

The type of material matters most when choosing hiking socks. Hiking socks come from a blend of materials for durability and balance in strength. 

The type of materials include 

Wool is well-known and the most recommended material for hiking socks. Wool provides the best cushioning, and it regulates temperature. It is also suitable for retaining odours and breathing, and it is blended with other materials to produce durable products. 

Silk, this type of material, wicks moisture quickly, which makes it best for liners. It is lightweight and a natural insulator but not durable compared to other materials. 

Polyester is also lightweight, and that makes it a good insulator; it dries wicks moisture quickly. Most of the time, polyester is blended with wool or nylon for durability, comfort and warmth. 

Nylon is a synthetic fabric that works well as a primary material, and it improves durability and dryness.


You have to find the right size of your feet when choosing hiking socks, and the right size will always make you feel comfortable. Avoid unnecessary sock slippage from wearing undersized socks and the sock wrinkles that come from oversized socks that may lead to blisters.

Where to buy the best Hiking Socks

You can find the best hiking socks on 

  • Amazon
  • The Sock Shop
  • Hiking Stores
  • Walmart

Here are some of the:

Best socks for hikers with sweaty feet

Are hiking socks worth it?

Hiking socks are certainly worth it. They make hiking easier, especially for long distance hikers. You save yourself from blister worries, that uncomfortable feeling found if you use regular socks for hiking.

How often should you change your socks while hiking?

When going for a hike, I recommend that you carry two pairs or more hiking socks; this is because if the first one rips or tears, you have another team to change. 

Sometimes you can feel that the one you are wearing is too moisturized and needs a quick change to prevent blisters from changing the wet one. 

Even though the best hiking socks wicks, you have to wash them and make sure you change them. It will help if you go on a hike well prepared to avoid cutting it short.

How many socks should you wear hiking?

Most hikers will wear one pair of socks at a time. This reduces the friction that can cause blisters. You can wear two hiking socks in extreme weather conditions. When hikers wear two pairs, the inner one is usually lighter than a liner sock. 

Two socks may prevent blisters by adding extra cushioning, but they have some weaknesses, including socks bunching and slipping. 

Choose linear socks inside to prevent too much slipping.

Difference between Hiking Socks and Regular Socks?

The difference between hiking socks and regular socks lies in their purposes. 

Cushioning hiking socks have extra cushioning compared to regular socks; hiking socks have the purpose of preventing blisters when trekking; regular socks are just for simple walks or home use.

Wicking hiking socks are the best moisture-wicking socks because they have to save that purpose. You cannot use regular socks for hiking because they may lead to the formation of blisters. 


Are hiking socks much more robust compared to regular socks? Yes, because the former is meant for rough trekking and long hiking, regular socks are not that strong because they are for lighter walks.

Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.
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