Your feet have to play a vital role while hiking, so comfort is something you can’t compromise with! Not wearing the right pair of summer hiking socks can cause various issues such as blisters that can be painful.
Also, mosquitoes can make it hard for you to sleep, and that's where hiking socks step in. After wearing the best socks, you can protect your feet from blisters. Moreover, the socks wick away the sweat and moisture keeping your feet dry.
But do you know how to buy the best summer hiking socks? It isn't just about buying the right size, as there are tons of factors to look for.
This summer hiking socks buyer's guide is here to help you make a quick buying decision.
Most of you will wonder why there is a need to buy summer-specific socks when you can use a regular pair while hiking. You can only hike when your feet allow, so comfort is paramount! Wearing summer hiking socks will protect your feet from blisters while giving cushioning comfort and coziness.
Here are some undeniable benefits you will get with these socks.
Hiking with wet and stinky feet can be painful as moisture enters into the muscles and makes it hard to walk on hard terrains. A pair of hiking socks will wick away the sweat and moisture to keep your feet dry. You will surely feel the boost in your performance when walking with dry feet.
Also, there will be no stink at all, and you can peacefully sleep in your camp without removing the socks.
Blisters can halt the hiking journey as these can make it excruciating for you to walk. A thick and padded pair of socks prevents your feet from rubbing against the hard sole, so there are fewer chances of blisters.
If you have sensitive feet that are prone to blisters, then look for thick socks for better cushioning. Don't settle down with thin socks for the sake of breathability, as it can be harmful to the feet.
Comfort is imperative when hiking because you can take more steps without getting tired. Wearing summer hiking socks will reward you with ultimate comfort so you will feel the coziness required when hiking on your favorite trail.
Hiking socks have better cushioning in the frontal and heel area, as these are always in touch with the ground. However, regular summer socks don't have cushions, so you will feel comfortable when walking on rocky terrain.
Hiking is a rough and tough sport that needs durable gear, and that is why summer hiking socks are important. The material used to manufacture the socks makes them highly durable against resistance. An ideal pair of these socks will last longer as compared to regular socks.
As we told you earlier, buying hiking socks isn’t easy at all, and that is why this buyer’s guide is here. We have listed almost all factors you should know before clicking the buy now button.
The first thing you should check is the material, as it has a lot to do with the comfort and durability of the pair. Many hikers think that summer hiking socks are made using cotton only, but this is not the case. You will find a range of materials being used to manufacture hiking socks.
Nylon is popular for its lightweight and durable nature. The man made synthetic material is highly durable and is perfect for manufacturing summer hiking socks. If you need socks that are highly durable, elastic, and adaptive, then nylon should be your choice.
The material doesn't wrinkle easily, so your socks will last longer while looking like a new pair. However, there is one problem with nylon as it absorbs and holds water that can be a little bit problematic while hiking.
But there is a good side as well as it dries quickly so you can get rid of the moisture and the socks will be ready for action.
Many premium summer hiking socks are made using polyester or its modified versions, such as Wick Cool, COOLMAX, and Thor. The reason why the material is popular among hikers is its quick-drying and moisture-wicking abilities.
The socks will keep your feet cool, and therefore you can rest assured about the comfort. The best thing about polyester is that it is relatively cheaper than nylon and other materials, so you have to spend less to get a good pair.
Further, polyester socks have excellent resistance against wrinkles, mildew, and abrasion. Also, the socks won't shrink or lose the shape, so you will love to wear them while hiking. However, aside from having an immense list of benefits, polyester has a major disadvantage as well.
The socks will retain the odor so it can be troubling to sleep with them in the tent. You have to remove the socks to prevent odor from spreading inside the tent.
Spandex is a highly flexible material that provides flexibility to fabrics, and that's why most products such as jackets and socks come with some percentage of spandex used in manufacturing. There are multiple subcategories of spandex, such as Stretch, Dorlastan, Lycra, and Numa. So if you see any of these written on the instruction label, the socks contain spandex.
No summer hiking socks are entirely made using spandex, as its only role is to provide good elasticity. Whatsoever, socks you are buying make sure that the pair contains spandex so that the socks can retain the original shape!
Synthetic and wool blend contains a combination of manmade fibers and merino wool. You will find the material in various summer hiking socks as it has excellent abrasion resistance and elasticity. Furthermore, these hiking socks are thick for extra cushioning, so you won't complain about comfort at all.
While wearing these socks, you may feel sweaty due to the thickness of the material. Some hikers prefer to use it in a moderate climate when the nights are cold.
Merino wool is a soft material that's highly comfortable and prevents itchiness. The material is a natural fiber that boasts various characteristics of manmade fibers, such as excellent breathability and comfort. Also, it prevents odor and has good isolative properties. The socks made using this material are thick so that you will get added support.
Buying summer hiking socks made using merino wool means spending more as compared to other materials. The price can vary highly, and you can even see a difference of 3 to 4 times when compared to regular summer hiking socks.
If you are an enthusiast and comfort is your top priority, then go for hiking socks made using merino wool.
These socks are excellent for hot weather, where natural fibers can make you feel sweaty. The breathability and moisture-wicking capability of these materials are incredible. Also, the drying time is less, and that's another benefit. These materials can include a mixture of spandex, acrylic, polyester, and nylon.
Summer hiking socks are available in different height options ranging from small to extra-large. Some of these socks won't even show from your boots, while some hikers prefer to wear long socks to get rid of mosquitoes.
Here are the four common options you need to know when choosing the right height for summer hiking socks.
If you don't want to show off the socks, then no-show hiking socks should be your choice. The socks are short, and won't protect your leg from rubbing against the hiking boots. If you need a pair for light hiking or trail running, these can be ideal.
Wearing long socks all day long can be challenging, so you can wear no-show socks when going out to explore the new places.
These are the most popular hiking socks due to the ideal size. The sock covers a few inches up the ankles to protect your leg from rubbing against the boots. However, these socks won't reach up to your knee, so you don't have to worry about heating and all.
Crew hiking socks are good for the extra coverage you need while hiking.
Ankle hiking socks are longer than no-show but shorter than crew socks. These will cover the ankle bone to prevent the boot collar from harming your legs. These socks are good for low-cut boots.
There are not many options available when choosing knee-high socks as these are better for winters. Some manufacturers offer these socks for summers as well for the mountaineers. The socks will protect your skin against everything, such as mosquitoes, abrasion, and much more.
However, wearing and removing the socks can be challenging as you have to sit to remove them.
When choosing the weight, make sure to go for an ideal hiking socks pair. Lightweight socks aren't always the best as these are thin so that you can face issues like blisters due to abrasion.
These hiking socks are extremely breathable as the material is thin, and it allows air to pass through it. Furthermore, the socks have excellent moisture-wicking abilities and dry quickly. Lightweight hiking socks are perfect for warm climates, and you can use them with removable liners as well.
Mid-weight hiking socks have better cushioning as compared to lightweight counterparts. If you want to hike on rocky terrain, then these socks are better due to excellent shock absorption. However, the socks take more time to dry, and these can retain moisture.
These hiking socks are the heaviest among all due to the material, so you should avoid using them in warmer weather. The socks are made using wool that is an excellent fiber to retain heat. If you are hiking in an area where it gets cold during the night, then you should carry these socks.
Nobody wants a pair of hiking socks that easily break down after a few uses. You will find some hiking socks in the market that are not that durable. Still, they are expensive, and there is no reason why you should pay for them.
Go for socks that are highly durable and can retain the original shape without shrinking or getting loose. Always look for high-quality material and trusted brands when choosing summer hiking socks, so that these last longer and you get a decent experience with the pair.
Always look for premium material that lasts longer, and you don't have to deal with breakdowns while hiking. The quality of the material should be excellent and buy the material that’s perfect for the purpose.
How often do you want to go hiking? If you are an avid hiker, then go for socks that are ideal for everyday use. Some manufacturers offer hiking socks that last longer, even if you use them frequently.
Some summer hiking socks require more maintenance, and failing to do the same will result in impacted durability. Always follow the instructions mentioned on the label to take care of your socks.
Hiking comes under high impact sports where your feet have to withstand the impact when you move. Walking on uneven and rocky terrain can be painful for the feet, and that's why cushioning is essential.
The cushioning mainly depends on the activities you want to do. Thick hiking socks may feel more comfortable, but these can lead to sweat and odor. We have classified the cushioning in four categories so you can quickly understand how much cushioning an ideal hiking pair should have.
Hiking socks with no cushioning are perfect for summers. These are thin and highly breathable so that you can walk with ease on the terrain. You have to wear liners under the socks to get comfort as the socks don't offer it.
Many hikers choose these socks because of the moisture-wicking abilities and quick drying. Overall, if you need lightweight socks to walk on flat terrains, then these socks should be your choice.
Hiking socks with light cushioning are suitable for a warmer climate. Also, these have excellent moisture-wicking abilities and are comfortable as well. The overall sock is thin, but there is little cushioning in some areas that withstand the impact while walking, such as the heel and frontal part of the foot.
You can use these hiking socks in moderate weather as they are warm compared to socks with light cushioning. The socks have mediocre thick padding in the high impact areas to absorb the shock.
These hiking socks are the thickest among all. Also, you will find them extremely warm due to the thick cushioning. Ideal for cold weathers, these socks aren't good for warmer climates. So it would be better if you avoid hiking socks with heavy cushioning.
Buying the right size summer hiking socks is essential if you want to have a good experience while hiking. Socks that are too tight will make it harder for you to feel comfortable while walking. Also, you cannot use lining with the socks, and these will break down early due to the tight fitting.
On the other hand, loose socks will cause blisters, and you have to stop multiple times during hiking to adjust them by removing the boots.
Always check the size chart before buying socks so that you get the perfect pair that enhances your performance while hiking.
Wicking and breathability are two important factors you should consider while buying summer hiking socks. The socks should transport the moisture to the outer layer, so your feet don't get wet and stinky. Breathability is important since you will be hiking in an area with a hot climate.
Moisture can even lead to blisters, so it is essential to check if the socks you are going to buy have moisture-wicking abilities along with excellent breathability.
Mosquitoes are inevitable, especially in hotter climates. They can make it harder for you to sleep, but the hiking socks can save your night. Some manufacturers treat the socks with mosquitoes repellent that repels them, and you can sleep peacefully.
Note: Not all summer hiking socks are anti-mosquito, so you should make sure that the socks you are going to buy have this ability.
Without this buyer's guide, you may have missed a lot of factors, including the color. The color of the socks will impact its performance. Lighter colors tend to absorb less heat so that you will feel less hot and sweaty with these socks. However, these colors are prone to getting dirty, so you have to wash the socks multiple times.
When we talk about darker colors, then these absorb more heat, but less dirt is visible on dark colors. If you want to hike in the night or cooler time, the dark-colored hiking socks come in handy. On the other hand, lighter colors are ideal for daytime when the heat is at a peak.
The pair of hiking socks should dry quickly so that you can wear it again to continue hiking. While hiking, many things are inevitable such as downpours and puddles, which you cannot escape from. Having hiking socks that dry quickly will help you continue the journey.
Just lay the socks on a dry place, and these will dry in some time. Socks that remain wet for a long time have more chances of catching odor. Go for materials such as nylon and other synthetics as these tend to dry quickly as compared to wool and other natural fibers.
Usually, summer hiking socks are available at affordable prices, but socks made using merino wool can be highly expensive as compared to other materials. Make your budget and the shop for the best socks that are under your budget.
A: You might have heard expert hikers talking about avoiding cotton socks, and it has a science behind it. Hiking socks made with 100% cotton absorbs moisture rather than wicking it away so you will feel wet, and it can lead to blisters.
Yes, cotton is a light material and dries quickly; it is still not suggested to buy socks made using cotton only.
A: Always buy two pairs in case one pair breaks down or gets wet, then you have a backup by your side. Keeping two pairs in your bag will be a wise decision.
A: Summer hiking socks should be thin so that you get ultimate breathability and comfort. But thin socks don’t have added cushioning to absorb the shock. Choosing the thickness is a matter of personal preference as you should buy hiking socks that are breathable and have good cushioning.
A: Yes, you can wash hiking socks whenever needed. All the socks are washable except some winter socks that have a different cleaning method. Always use gentle detergents when washing hiking socks to protect the material and other components of the socks.
With the help of this summer hiking socks buyer's guide, you can purchase the best pair that offers ultimate comfort, while protecting your feet from blisters. Always check the material to ensure that the socks are durable and breathable.
Also, while checking the size, measure your foot, and then check the size chart. You can easily consider the height of the socks by checking your hiking boots height. Overall, the guide contains things that you should know before purchasing a pair of hiking socks.
Lastly, some areas can have high populations of mosquitoes, so look for socks that are anti-mosquito so that you can spend time peacefully relaxing in the tent.
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