Having the right equipment and clothing is paramount when heading out on a hike, even when it comes to something as seemingly simple as a pair of the best walking socks.


After all, we take the time to find the best walking boots, so we should also care how our choice of socks will impact their comfort and performance.

The best hiking socks are designed to be lightweight, breathable, and most importantly, prevent blisters. Put another way, they offer you protection that you would not otherwise get from a more standard trainer sock.

However, with so many walking socks on offer and with such a broad range of prices, materials and styles, it can be difficult to find a pair to best suit your needs.

Below, you will find a selection of the best walking socks available. This is not a definitive list but it should give you an idea of what good-quality hiking socks are available for a range of climates, walk-lengths and conditions.

If you are considering upgrading your hiking kit, take a look at our review guides of the best walking trousers, best walking shoes and best walking gloves.

How to choose the best walking socks

Best Walking Socks

The best hiking socks should be breathable, comfortable and provide warmth if needed. This makes choosing the right material essential.

For example, wool is often found in thermal walking socks because it is good at insulation. Merino wool, which is extra fine, is a particularly good material for walking socks because of how well it manages moisture and sweat. In addition, many find it less itchy than traditional wool.

Synthetic materials such as those from Smartwooland Coolmax are also common. These man-made materials are designed to improve on the weaknesses of the more traditional materials like cotton and wool.

Man-made materials are typically more durable and can have additional features such as waterproofing.

What are the best walking socks to prevent blisters?

Choosing the correct material is key when it comes to preventing blisters, too. Materials such as cotton can often retain heat and do not deal with moisture well. Damp socks, from rain or sweat, can cause chafing, which can lead to blisters.

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Another option is double-layer socks. The two layers of material reduce friction to prevent blisters from forming.

Finally the length of the sock should be a consideration. To fit well, the sock should finish a little higher than your walking boot or shoe. This will minimise the chance of the footwear rubbing and keep the sock from slipping down.

The best socks for walking and hiking in 2023

Choosing the best hiking socks may seem like a menial task but it can make a huge difference on your performance and comfort during a walk. Here is a selection of the best walking socks available right now — all weather and climates considered.

SealSkinz All Weather Socks

SealSkinz Walking Socks

SealSkinz's socks promise to be 100% waterproof, windproof and breathable so you can use them throughout the UK's changeable weather seasons. The brand tests each pair by hand to make sure it lives up to its high standards.
These ones are made from Merino wool with a hydrophilic waterproof membrane to provide moisture control. Plus, there is additional padding to support the foot. Thanks to the four-way stretch and anti-blister properties, they should be flexible and comfortable to wear throughout the day.

1000 Miles Wool Fusion Socks

1000 Miles Walking Socks

Constructed to be blister-free, 1000 Mile's socks are double layered to stop friction between the foot and shoe. Made from 40% Merino wool, extra padding is also provided on comfort zones around the Archilles tendon, heel, toe and ball of the foot.

Bridgedale Coolmax Liner Socks

Bridgedale Coolmax Liners

Ideal for use all year round, the Coolmax liner socks from Bridgedale can be worn on their own for summer hikes or as a base layer under thicker socks. They’re made with fine Merino wool, which not only feels soft against the skin but should also keep your feet warm and dry.

There are flat toe seams to reduce irritation and blisters as you move. And the Y-heel cup should keep the socks in place inside your shoes. As an added benefit, the Lycra and Thermo Fit properties help the socks return to their original shape and size after you wash them.

Bridgedale Heavyweight Merino Endurance Socks

Bridgedale Merino Socks

Those venturing out into colder climates may benefit from a pair of Bridgedale's heavyweight Merino endurance socks. The blend is tough, dense and wool-rich and there is cushioning throughout the sock. They are also seam-free on the toes and have elasticated support.

Jeep Hiking Socks

Jeep Terrain Walking Hiking Socks on white background

These heavily cushioned hiking socks are padded from the heel to toes to protect from aches and pains over long periods of time. Ideal for long, cold treks these warm socks also have a ribbed leg which gently holds them in place.

KOOOGEAR Anti-Blister Hiking Socks

KOOOGEAR anti-blister hiking socks on white background

A colourful option from KOOOGEAR, these socks claim to help strengthen your feet as you walk and protect from tendon injury and shoe friction thanks to its ergonomic design. It features an arch support compression band, as well as a moisture wicking design to keep your feet dry and cool as you hike.

National Trust Hiking Socks

National Trust Walking Socks

This unisex sock is a good option for day hikes and mild climates. Made from Merino wool, the socks are designed to be breathable for the best possible comfort. This is combined with a heavy full cushion sole.

Quechua NH500 Country Walking Socks

COUNTRY WALKING SOCKS - NH500 HIGH on white background

Made from organic brushed cotton, grown without chemical fertilisers, pesticides or GMO, the sole of these socks features long fibres that are interwoven for a silkier, softer feel. The heel and top of the foot area are made from Polyamide to provide both durability and breathability.

Quechua SH520 Warm Hiking Socks

ADULT WARM HIKING SOCKS - SH520 X-WARM MID on white background

Designed for especially cold weather, you can keep your feet dry and warm while hiking in the snow with these Merino wool hiking socks, featuring knitted vents for breathability and moisture management. You shouldn’t have to worry about abrasion either, thanks to the Polyamide fabric reinforcement at the heel.

Rockay Razer Trail Socks

Rockay Razer Walking Socks

Designed to be a trail runner's sock, the Rockay Razer has performance cushioning, breathable mesh zones and an anti-odour coating. Made from a combination of nylon, polyamide and elastane, all the materials used are 100% recycled. The brand also guarantee that your feet with stay blister-free.

SmartWool Hike Light Crew Socks

Purple SmartWool Walking Sock

Made from a Merino wool rich blend, this ankle sock is designed to keep your feet warm but moisture-free during long walks. Additional support is provided by arch brace and cushioning. The socks even have a flat-knit toe seam to reduce the chance of any rubbing.

Alaplus Hiking Socks

Alaplus Hiking Socks on white background

With a good amount of cushioning on the sole, these socks are designed to increase comfort and reduce impact, with a compression in the arch for additional support to help minimise feet fatigue. The socks are also made from cotton with added odour-reducing material, with a flat-toe seam to help prevent blisters.

Jack Wolfskin Hiking Pro Classic Cut Socks

A black and grey sock on a white background.

A cheaper option than some on this list, the classic cut sock is designed to be paired with a lightweight, mid-cut hiking boot. Best suited for day hikes, there is additional padding around the Achilles tendon, ankle, instep, toes and high stress zones on the sole of the foot.


Holly PyneDigital Reviews Writer