Best Hiking Socks For Men. Top 5

Are Hiking Socks That important?

Here at menhikingboots.com we believe that choosing the appropriate hiking sock is just as important as choosing the right hiking boots for your hiking trip. Everytime we set out to prepare for our hiking trips, we get so fixated on trying to select the best hiking boots and forget to even consider what socks to wear with the boots.

Honestly, it is a complete waste of time and money trying to buy quality hiking boots and not even invest a pound in the socks. This is because both are equally important and would produce more comfort and warmful. On top of that, having the right sock would prevent your feet from getting blisters, bacteria and sweat.

So spending some money on a good quality sock would save you a lot of troubles and make your hiking trip more smooth and enjoyable. Below we have outlined criteria you could use to guide you into choosing the right socks that fits the hiking boots that you have chosen. This would make your trip an enjoyable one if you follow them.

One big advice we would give to you when it comes to hiking sock is care for your hiking socks and prolong their life and they well in-turn take good care of your feet and make your trips more enjoyable.

How To Choose The Best Hiking Socks

Choosing the right hiking socks can be challenging. We have made your life easier by outlining a simple criteria you could easily follow. These include mid-weight, ultra-lightweight, lightweight and liners. Below I have explained each in-depth.

Mid-Weight: When choosing a hiking socks, its best to look at the mid-weight especially if you are going on a hiking trail that would take about three or four sessions. This type of quality tends to be very warm and have extra cushioning thickness around the top, ankle and underfoot. This makes your feet very smooth when you wear it with the hiking boots. The cool thing about this mid-weight feature is durable, reinforced heels and toes.

Ultra-Lightweight: Ultra-lightweight socks are more of a sporter socks than a hiking socks. We recommend that you always buy ultra-lightweight which have about 31% Enduro Wool, 35% Nylon/Polyamide and 31% Endurofil™/Polypropylene. These materials used especially the enduro wool for the socks makes it soft, its durable and the quality is good. In addition, the enduro wool have excellent thermal balance and moisture control properties.

Lightweight: Lightweight socks are mostly used for multiple day hikes or trails that are smooth to hike on. In addition, having a sunny day during the hiking trip can make the journey awesome. This is because this type of hiking socks have more cushioned and warmer when compared with ultra-lightweight.

Liners: And lastly, liners are uniform, thin and they are specifically designed in a way to give you the comfort you need whiles hiking even in longer distances. What we really love about liners socks the most is how it protects your feet and its practicality.


That’s our criteria in a nutshell when it comes to choosing the best hiking socks for your trip. It is now time to review our top 5 hiking socks for men.

Icebreaker Men’s Hike Light Socks

Cushioning: Lightweight

Materials: 70% merino wool, 27% nylon, 3% Lycra
Icebreaker Men’s Hike Light Socks
Benefits: Breathability and Cushioning.

Icebreaker company have started to use yarns to make their men’s hike light socks because this increase the softness and stretch whiles you wear them for longer hiking trips. This sock is designed to use in an all year round hiking trip due to it durability.

Durability: One of the key strengths of Icebreaker men’s hike light sock is its durability. This is because of the high quality materials they used to make the product. This means you could use it to hike for 4 to 5 long hiking trips without wearing out easily. Give it a try and you would be amaze at how this socks perform.

Breathability : These men’s hiking sock is one of the best when it comes it breathability. The socks allow air to pass through easily and since the merino wool is of high percent, it serves as a natural antimicrobial agent to prevent your feet from getting sweat bacteria.

Warmth and Comfort: Icebreaker men’s hike light socks are not very warm as it seems. That’s why it is mostly used in warm conditions. Although it can be very comfortable if you wear it with the right hiking boots.

Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion

Cushioning: Light/medium Weight

Materials: 61% merino wool, 36% nylon, 3% spandex
Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion
Benefits: Most comfortable and durable

The darn tough micro crew cushion is one of the best hiking socks in the markets. It is very comfortable, durable and fashionable. It is very popular in the hiking community and have the highest reviews and rates. One of the reason why hikers love this sock is because they have the best warranty.

Breathability: It is made of high-density knitting which makes it breathable, makes the padding very good and can last for about three to four hiking trips.

Durability: This sock durability and performance is very good due to the high merino wool and nylon used.

Warmth and Comfort: Darn Tough had invested a lot of money and high quality materials such as merino wool and nylon to make it very comfortable to wear. These materials prevent your feet from getting blisters and stops you from getting frictions.

Injinji Outdoor Midweight NuWool

Cushioning: Medium Weight

Materials: 43% NuWool, 12% nylon, 2% Lycra
Injinji Outdoor Midweight NuWool
Benefits: Offers a secure and stable fit.

The injinji outdoor midweight nuwool is on our top 5 hiking socks list simple because we love their five-toe design. The design makes it unique and stops you from getting hot spots. In addition, once you manage to get your toes in each of the five-toe design, it allows you to engage fully in the activities that you are participating in. The price is decent and if you are looking for a quick socks to wear for your hiking trip then this would be for you.

Breathability: This feature makes Injinji outdoor midweight nuwool more special than traditional socks. Since it is five-toe design, each toe is wrapped in a sweat-wicking material which dries your feet very quickly than expected.

Durability: The durability is not that long and it takes time to put it on. However, once you get it on your toes, it gives you stable fit to hike with.

Warmth and Comfort: In terms of warmth and comfort, it can be debatable. However, from my experience it is very comfortable to wear and prevents your feet from getting blisters and hot spots. Personally, I loved it. On the other hand some people may find it uncomfortable to wear because of the five-toe design.

Smartwool PHD Outdoor Light Crew

Cushioning: Heavy Weight

Materials: 70% merino wool, 28% nylon, 2% elastane
Smartwool PHD Outdoor Light Crew
Benefits: Optimum moisture management and maximum breathability

John Lewis describe smart wool PhD outdoor light crew as “high-quality, high-performance” and we certainly think it is. The materials they used are excellent. The snug PHD hold your arch, whiles the “x” design of the stretchy nylon protect your feet as you hike across the hails or mountain.

Breathability: This sock is not breathable and they really need to improve it.

Durability: The PHD have not being very good at durability for the last few years but the smart wool PhD outdoor light crew is different. This is because PHD used indestructa wool in the heel and toe and this had made the socks durable.

Warmth and Comfort: This sock is very comfortable and warm because the mesh zones provides ventilation when the socks are wet.

Smartwool Hike Light Crew

Cushioning: Light/medium Weight

Materials: 69% merino wool, 30% nylon, 1% elastane
Smartwool Hike Light Crew
Benefits: Light cushioned, have a good impact on absorption and warmth

Smartwool Hike Light Crew used to be popular and dominate the market in the earlier 2000s until Darn Tough took over. We still consider it us one of the best hiking socks to have because of warmth and light cushioned.

Breathability: The smartwool hike light crew is thinner in construction and the knitting is beautifully done. This makes it breathable to wear and the comfort is awesome.

Durability: The Smartwool Hike Light Crew is still durable despite consider as traditional hiking socks. They perform well and they still keep their shape after being washed or wear on numerous occasions.

Warmth and Comfort: This sock is very warmth because of the high merino wool and nylon. You would surely enjoy wearing it.

Final Thoughts To keep On Board

Since we are at the end of the post, I want to give you these final thoughts when buying hiking socks because you don’t want to end up buying the wrong socks which would last for a short time.

My first advice when buying a hiking sock is to try them on before buying it and wasting money. This is essential because you want to know that the sock fits you and make sure to check the materials which is being used. This helps you to know how to wash and dry them. Because if you don’t, you could easily wore them out.

And secondly, check the height, thickness and see if the socks suite the hiking trip you are about to undertake. The reason why this is vital is because every sock is designed for a specific hiking trip. For example, lightweight socks are mainly used for hot weather and short hiking trip. So if you buy the wrong socks for the wrong trip then it could make your feet uncomfortable.

If you have any questions or thoughts on the best hiking socks for men, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!

And as always have a fantastic and wonderful hiking trip.






  1. Great article. I agree that the socks are just as important as the shoe/boot that you wear. After all, if the sock doesn’t fit than more than likely the shoe/boot will not fit properly either.
    What exactly is “hot spots” that you mentioned?

    • Good to hear that Taianine. What I mean by the “hot spots” is basically your feet could develop soar if you end up buying the wrong socks which have poor materials. The reason why poor materials can lead to hot spots is because it’s not good at drying the moisture quickly and they have poor ventilation.

      That’s why I believe injinji outdoor midweight nuwool is very good at protecting your feet from getting hot spots because it wraps your feet with sweat-wicking material.

  2. Great post. I hadn’t really thought about the importance of hiking socks. I think I would just need lightweight socks. My hikes usually are only one day.

    • Thanks Melinda. Yeah, you are absolute right. Lightweight socks suit people like you who love to hike one or two days.

  3. Hello,
    I love hiking and used to invest in boots but not on socks. My feet got blisters often. I would prefer durability and breathability to warmth. What’s your recommendation to me?


    • Hello Brain, personally I would recommend you to get Icebreaker Men’s Hike Light Socks because it all have the qualities that you are looking for. I hope this helps.

  4. Wow, you have given more to look at and more ideas for a gift for my hard to buy for dad! I would have never thought about hiking socks, but these are a great idea! Which pair would be the best in cold weather?

    • I am glad you enjoyed the post @MattsMom. Hiking socks is very important than it seems. A lot of us take it for granted to buy a good quality hiking socks when we are going on a hiking trip.

      Personally, I would recommend either the Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion or Icebreaker Men’s Hike Light Socks for your dad. This is because it is comfortable, warm and durable. Hope this helps your dad.

  5. I definitely agree that the socks are helpful as the boots itself! This is such a very informative article. I will definitely subscribe to your newsletter! Thanks!

  6. I love taking hikes and walking. As a diabetic, I have to be very careful with my feet. These hiking socks seem like they would provide the comfort and protection I need for even daily use! I would be interested if you have found anything about socks for hiking for diabetics in your research?

    • I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the post Karin. Since you are a diabetic and you love hiking and walking, I would personally recommend you to check these hiking socks out. Foot Zen and Edema Socks. They are very comfortable, protect your feet from blisters and make it cool at all time. I hope this helps you Karin. Let me know how it goes.

  7. Thank you, Kuu, for your suggestions. I will check those out. Can you recommend a place I can get those? I live in a very rural area, so we typically have to order speciallty items.

    • You are welcome Karin. Firstly, you can get a lot of different options for both socks at Amazon and can even get different prices options as well. Secondly you can get Foot Zen at Revel Sports.com which also have different options as well. I hope this helps.

      • Thank you for answering my questions. I hope that these will give my feet the comfort that I am looking for! Next I’ll have to start looking at the good hiking boots! Thanks for your wonderful site!!!


        • You are welcome Karin. It’s a good step that you are taking. Having a good hiking socks is as important as having a good hiking boots. I wish you the best in all your hiking trips.

  8. KUU, great post I never really thought about my socks while hiking, I will be doing some hiking this fall and I will try some new socks, it will be a little colder, and I want to keep my feet warm.

    • I am happy that you enjoyed the post Robert. Make sure you do your research diligently on the materials which the hiking socks is made of. This well really save you from getting cold feet. Have a great trip.

  9. This article is so comprehensive and thorough. Buying socks for any reason is never easy – at least for me. And I have wasted a lot of money on socks that were too uncomfortable to wear more than 1-2 times.
    I notice the fabric content of each type of sock lists wool – Merino or Endura or NuWool. Is NuWool a synthetic fiber or a combination of wool and another fiber?
    I will be bookmarking this for future reference!

    • It’s great to hear that you really love reading the post. It’s very important to get good quality socks when going for a hike because it could make your journey a little miserable if you end up buying less quality ones. Don’t worry Susan, I have given you a criteria in the post that you can use when buying a hiking socks in the future. It well save you a lot of time and hassle.

      Generally speaking Nuwool are made with merino wool. The material merino wool is used because it provides good cushioning, support, and comfort whiles you are hiking through the trails. I hope you find this answer very useful. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Thank you for the good information on socks. I am always looking for extra-warm socks that are tough enough to hold up to exercise. You seem to have some excellent choices here. Well-researched and well-presented. Thanks, Kuu!

    • Hey Fran,

      Lovely to see that you like these hiking socks. There are different hiking socks available for women as well. You can find them at Amazon here. I hope you find a hiking socks of your prefer choice. All the best and have a fantastic hiking trip.


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