The best socks for hiking and backpacking in hot and cold weather are made of synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, wool fleece, or merino wool. This is because these materials wick away moisture, or move water away from the foot, at an exceptional rate.
Cotton socks are the worst option for hiking because cotton absorbs moisture making them feel wet and soggy. However, merino or fleece wool, or synthetic materials can be up to 40% saturated with water, and still feel dry to the touch!
With these details in mind, if you’re looking for a pair of high quality hiking socks, we’ve already done the leg work for you! In this guide you’ll find the top five best men’s socks for hiking and backpacking in hot and cold weather which will keep your feet nice and dry out on the trail. So, without further ado, let’s get to the list!
Price: ~$20-30 USD Per Pair
Materials: Knitted with 63% Merino Wool, 35% Nylon, and 2% Lycra Spandex.
Weight: 2.89 ounces (81.9 grams)
Conclusion: Made in the USA. Darn Socks are one of the most highly rated and absolute best pairs of hiking socks available on the market, and while they are quite expensive and heavy duty, these socks are legendary, and a true favorite of thru-hikers! As with all socks, if you’re hiking a long trail, you’ll need at least two or three pairs to cycle between throughout the day to keep your feet dry, and stave off trench foot. These Darn Tough socks are the top tier choice on our list.
Price: ~19.99 – 21.99 USD
Materials: 55% Coolmax Polyester, 37% Nylon, 5% Acrylic, and 3% Lycra Spandex.
Weight: 3.28 Ounces (93.0 Grams)
Conclusion: Made in the USA. Another pair of highly rated and fantastic Darn Tough socks made it onto this list due to their high quality construction and durability. While these socks are a bit on the heavy side, they make up for it with how durable they are. These socks are great for long thru-hikes or more extreme backpacking adventures in all weather conditions. If you’re looking for a top tier hiking sock, look no further than Darn Tough socks.
Price: ~$29.99 USD Per Pair
Materials: 40% Polypropylene, 28% Acrylic, 22% Wool, 9% Polyamide, 1% Elastane
Weight: 0.35 Ounces (9.9 grams)
Conclusion: These triple layered lightweight hiking socks, crafted by Falke, a company based in Germany, are primarily made of synthetic materials, and are a top of the line backpacking sock for day hikes and moderate hiking adventures, in all weather conditions. If you’re looking for a versatile pair of socks these are a good choice to add to your gear list.
Price: ~$19.99 USD Per Pair
Materials: Knitted with 66% Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, and 1% Elastane.
Weight: 0.35 ounces (9.92 grams)
Conclusion: These lightweight, highly rated, and very popular hiking socks made by Smartwool are a great addition to your gear list. While they won’t withstand vigorous thru-hiking expeditions like the Darn Tough socks listed above, these Smartwool socks are fantastic for day hikes or moderate hiking adventures. So, if you’re looking for a durable, yet lightweight and affordable pair of hiking socks, these are a wonderful choice to add to your collection.
5. Samsox 2-Pair Merino Wool Hiking Socks, Made in USA 3/4 Crew Cushioned Walking & Boot Socks for Women & Men
Price: ~$29.99 – $31.99 Per Pair
Materials: 68% Merino Wool, 30% Nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex
Weight: 2.49 Ounces (70.6 Grams) Per Pair
Conclusion: Last, but not least, on the list are these wonderful hiking socks made by Samsox, a company based in the United States. If you are looking for a high quality pair of hiking socks at an affordable price, around $15 USD per pair, Samsox has you covered. What makes these socks great is their primarily merino wool construction which allows for fantastic moisture wicking. These socks are best for day hikes and moderate hiking adventures, so if you’re looking for a budget pair of high quality socks these are a great choice.