How to Choose the Best Hiking Socks

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Hiking Socks: Merino Wool, Waterproof, and More

When you're out on the trail, every step counts – and that's where the right socks come into play. At Great Outdoors, we understand that the perfect pair of hiking socks can make all the difference in keeping your feet comfortable and blister-free during your outdoor journey. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just starting your hiking adventures, choosing the right hiking socks is crucial. Here are four key factors to consider:

Sock Height: Finding the Perfect Coverage

The height of your hiking socks matters more than you might think. Great Outdoors stocks a wide range of hiking socks, from top brands like Smartwool and Bridgedale, in various heights to suit your needs:

  • No-show Socks: Ideal for low-cut footwear like trail-running shoes, offering minimal protection against abrasion.
  • Ankle Socks: Slightly higher than no-show socks, providing extra coverage for low- to mid-cut shoes and boots.
  • Crew/Boot Socks: A classic choice for hiking, these socks offer ankle bone protection and work well with boots that have high cuffs.
  • Knee-high Socks: Primarily designed for mountaineering, these socks offer added protection around the shins and calves.

    Darn Tough Sock Height Graph. Ultimate guide to choosing hiking socks

Cushioning for Comfort

The level of cushioning in your socks contributes to both comfort and warmth. Great Outdoors offers a variety of cushioning options from renowned brands like Smartwool and Bridgedale:

  • No Cushioning: Ultralight socks perfect for hot weather, with breathability and minimal padding.
  • Light Cushioning: Ideal for warm conditions, these socks prioritize moisture-wicking and comfort.
  • Medium Cushioning: Providing cushioning for hiking and backpacking, suitable for moderate to cold conditions.
  • Heavy Cushioning: The thickest and warmest option, great for challenging terrains and cold temperatures.
Different sock types - guide to choosing hiking socks

Choosing the Right Fabric

The hiking socks we stock at Great Outdoors are crafted from quality blends to ensure comfort, warmth, and durability. Some popular materials you'll find in our selection include:

  • Merino Wool: Highly recommended by our experts, merino wool regulates temperature, offers cushioning, and is naturally antimicrobial.
  • Polyester: This synthetic material insulates, wicks moisture, and dries quickly, often blended with wool for a balanced combination.
  • Nylon: Adding durability and aiding drying times, nylon is another synthetic option found in some hiking socks.
  • Silk: Lightweight and comfortable, silk is occasionally used for moisture-wicking sock liners.
  • Spandex: Included in many hiking socks for elasticity, ensuring a snug fit without bunching or wrinkling.

The Perfect Fit for Happy Feet

At Great Outdoors, we know that finding the right fit is essential for foot comfort during hikes. Our hiking socks are designed to fit perfectly, preventing blisters and discomfort. Follow these steps to ensure a proper fit:

  1. Foot Size Matters: Consider your foot size rather than just your shoe size to avoid socks that are either too large or too small.
  2. Consult Our Specialists: Visit a Great Outdoors store to work with our footwear specialists for personalized fitting assistance.
  3. Use Our Size Charts: Use the size charts provided on our product pages to locate the right sock size, whether you're shopping online or in-store.

When you try on hiking socks, remember that a snug fit is key, with the heel cup aligning properly with your foot's heel. Explore our collection of top hiking sock brands like Smartwool, Darn Tough, Falke, and Bridgedale in-store and online at Great Outdoors, and gear up for unforgettable outdoor journeys with the utmost comfort and support. Your feet will thank you every step of the way.

Why Merino Wool Socks are a Top Choice

Merino wool socks are a top choice for hikers due to their unique properties. They offer excellent temperature regulation, keeping your feet warm in cold conditions and cool in hot weather. Additionally, merino wool is naturally antimicrobial, reducing odor – a huge plus for long hikes.

The Advantages of Waterproof Socks

Waterproof socks are a game-changer for wet and muddy trails. They keep your feet dry, preventing blisters and discomfort caused by moisture. Brands like SealSkinz or Dexshell offer reliable waterproof options that maintain breathability and comfort.

Find Waterproof Socks here

Conclusion: Gear Up with Great Outdoors

Choosing the right hiking socks can transform your outdoor experience. With the variety of heights, cushioning levels, and materials available at Great Outdoors, you're sure to find the perfect pair. Whether you opt for merino wool for its natural benefits or waterproof socks for added protection, investing in quality hiking socks will keep your feet happy on every adventure.

Want to find your perfect pair of Hiking Socks? Shop our Huge Range here!

Got questions about finding the perfect hiking socks? Visit us in-store or check out our online selection at Great Outdoors. Happy hiking!