Are you looking for the best hiking socks to wear in warm weather? The socks worn on a hike, are some of the most underestimated pieces of clothing for hiking. Most hikers tend to splurge more on other items of clothing and gear because they seem more important or more useful.
This is usually with the thought that you can wear absolutely any socks. However, going out on the trail will make you realize that this is not true. It is easy to forget how uncomfortable it can be to walk in sweaty shoes, let alone hike in them.
Hiking socks have particular characteristics that make them unique and make them an asset for warm weather hiking. The things that make you want to go out and buy a great pair of hiking socks are what you need to keep in mind. But sometimes we do not know what we ought to be looking for. In this article, we explore what this means.
In a Hurry
Are you in a hurry and would like to know what type of socks to use when hiking in warm weather? The first thing you want to look out for is how well they fit. Ill-fitting socks can be a sore spot. Make sure that you stay away from cotton socks. They absorb a lot of moisture and they dry very slowly.
Also, see that the socks are high enough to ride higher than your shoes. This will reduce the amount of friction and abrasion between your skin and the hiking shoe or boot. A good pair of hiking socks should be able to transport the perspiration from your feet to your boots lining.
This will increase comfort and keep your feet from blistering in the warm weather. Make sure they are made of a material that is breathable and quick drying. The material should also be durable because hiking socks are exposed to some tough conditions.
You will also do yourself a favour by getting hiking socks that have antimicrobial properties, these are odour-resistant, which is a great benefit when hiking in warmer climates. Since you will be hiking in the warmer weather, you also want to make sure that you get thin socks. The cushioning on these may not be as thick as on other socks, but you will need to find socks that have a delicate balance.
Darn Tough Coolmax Micro Crew Cushion Socks
If you’ve been on the search for socks that work well with warm weather, the Coolmax material would’ve come up a few times. That is because it is known to do well, in particularly warm and humid conditions. It is material that is designed to allow for the free movement of air as well as the wicking of moisture away from your feet. What that means for a hiker are dry feet that do not get too cold.
Beyond the heel and toe reinforcement, there is nothing that is particularly visually appealing about the socks. The good thing is they don’t need to be visually appealing. Their performance speaks for them. And it speaks volumes. They have a high density knit which is to say that the more stitches per inch. This means that the socks are more comfortable and durable. It is hard to rip through socks when they are so densely stitched.
Another brilliant thing that comes of the socks is that the common wear zones which we all know to be quick to fall apart on our socks have been reinforced on these socks. The mid-level has been provided with sufficient cushioning to make them comfortable for the underfoot.
This also makes them slightly more versatile when the weather gets chilly. The toe region has a seam that is not easy to spot. Overall, the socks are quite lightweight, yet durable. They have ribbed support.
You may or may not know that this is an American brand straight out of Vermont. They’ve been around for over four decades. This is quality that simply cannot be outsourced. Perhaps it can, but they have not outsourced and kept quality control consistent for years, generation after generation.
Dickies Multi-pack Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks
I would be quite surprised to come across anyone who would say that they have not heard of Dickies. They have been around for over 95 years. What they are known for is making heavy-duty work products. This is exactly what the socks are.
They are part of Dickies’ dry tech moisture control socks collection. They do exactly what their name says that they do. Do not be deterred by the title “work socks”.They are designed to be comfortable when worn for a long day as well as worn inside of work boots. That’s what makes them ideal for going on a hike.
Some of the key things that they deliver include their stay-dry comfort which is part of the moisture management technology that is known to keep feet both cool and dry. They also have mesh ventilation that comes through various channels. This is designed to improve airflow and breathability making them even more comfortable for a long hike on a warm day.
They also have what Dickies call the best fit arch compression. This is designed to provide arch support which is critical when you’re hiking as it enables you to be more stable. Finally, they also feature cushion comfort. They can be washed in a machine. The material used is 78% cotton, 19% polyester, 2% spandex and 1% nylon. Both the toe and the heel end of the socks are reinforced.
Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks
If you have not heard about Merino wool, welcome to the new world. It is known to be both comfortable and to keep your feet dry. It has properties that are known to provide both heating and cooling. Merino wool keeps your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
It features ventilation lanes allow for sweats to be wicked away. There is sufficient padding and cushioning that is known to reduce pain on impact. It also ensures that you are less prone to blistering, developing aching pains in your feet or experiencing jarring shocks when hiking. There is no question that the socks are designed to take on the harsh outdoors.
When hiking in the warm weather these are great socks to have on. We appreciate the versatility of being able to use them when it gets colder as well. That means you may not need to get a new pair of your favourite socks when the weather changes. You can stick to the socks that you love.
The socks are designed in Denmark and usually produced in Portugal. It’s probably down to more affordable production been carried out in Portugal as we’ve seen other companies such as Vivobarefoot doing the same thing for their shoes. What we love about this is that the working conditions are fair and the workers are paid fairly. That means we get a product that does not come out of exploitation.
The famous Danish mountain near Rasmus Kragh was behind the development of the socks. They say that he made use of them for some of his training regimes. So they have been tested to the fullest limit. If he is pleased with them you will most likely be as well.
Ballston Lightweight 81% Merino Wool All Season Low Hiking Socks
Speaking of Merino wool we have another pair of socks that makes use of it. This time we’ve gone with the low hiking pair of socks. Its features premium quality blend of yarns. It is lightweight and warm. The material used included 81% Merino wool, 18% nylon and 1% lycra spandex.
They are made in America. You’ll be pleased to find out that the socks are incredibly comfortable. This is down to an emphasis that was placed on creating a pair of socks that is not only comfortable but fits your feet well.
Unsurprisingly these two aspects go hand-in-hand. Socks that fit well tend to be very comfortable. They’ve made use of wool to provide cushioning all the way from the toes to the heels of the foot. There is also some reinforcement in the toe region as well as the heel region of the foot. This almost guarantees longevity. It also means they are safe to be washed in a machine as well as dried in the heated dryer.
Seeing as they are designed for warm, whether you’re probably wondering what else do they have to offer in this regard? Well, you’ll be happy to know that they are lightweight and quite highly breathable. The length goes without saying. The opening above the ankle coming up the leg means there is more air to come into contact with your body without being blocked off by the socks.
As you may already know Merino wool helps regulate your skin’s temperature during the summer as well as the winter. Another aspect of these socks that we love is the wicking properties that it delivers. It ensures that your socks remain smelling fresh even after long hikes they also have antibacterial properties as well as odour resistant one.
Smartwool Hiking Liner Crew Socks – Ultra Light Wool Performance Sock
Our final a pick is one that we’ve become familiar with. Smartwool is a blend of wool, nylon and elastane. The socks rise up to about an inch and go 4 inches wide. It provides sufficient insulation for the qualities these are socks that are designed to deliver. When facing high degrees of temperature you’ll be pleased to find that they fit quite well.
They are very comfortable. The manufacturer focused on performance and fit before all other aspects of the socks. The toe region of a sock is seamless. Beyond being quite breathable they are also lightweight. It is not a surprise to find that breathability and lightweight go hand in hand. The thicker a sock is the less breathable it tends to be. One of the major concerns that come up when socks are lightweight is the area of cushioning.
You’ll be happy to know that there has been some light cushioning added to the socks. This is the key to performance. They are padded to ensure that you remain comfortable throughout the seasons. To be more specific with the material content they comprise 59% of Merino wool, 39% nylon and 2% elastane. They can be tumble dried as long as you use the low setting. It goes without saying that they can be machine washed.
There are a couple of important factors that you will do good to keep in mind if you are to get the best hiking socks for warm weather.
What types of material should the socks be made of?
Most hiking socks are made of a combination of blends of material. There is a mixture of natural and synthetic fibres. They can be divided into those that are made primarily of Merino wool and those made of synthetic fibres such as nylon, polyester, and advanced fibres.
Merino wool is from merino sheep and provides excellent breathability. It provides you with a very efficient way of transporting the moisture away from the skin. Socks made of merino wool also maintain your feet’s natural temperature, even if they get wet as the outer layers of merino wool are hydrophobic. Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial /odour resistant. Merino wool fibres are not very durable on their own and hence need to be blended with synthetic fibres to provide the much-needed feature.
Synthetic socks are more durable and they dry a little bit faster. The downside is that synthetic socks are less breathable and therefore they tend to get smelly faster.
Should hiking socks have any form of cushioning?
When you go hiking, your feet will need as much help as they can get in terms of protection. You will be hitting some harsh spots and terrain and the more comfortable you are the better. Socks with cushioning make your task much easier.
However, hiking in warm weather means you need to wear thin socks so that your feet maintain a cool temperature. Hiking socks for the warmer months are made with cushioning, but not too much. It is a delicate balance between finding the socks that have cushioning but are also thin enough to let air in and keep your feet cool.
How high or long should hiking socks be?
The length of your socks should be long enough to cover the hiking boots. This is done so that there is no friction between the shoe and your leg. Socks come in different lengths and hiking socks are no different. Crew socks are a mid-calf length and are best suited for high cut hiking boots. Micro crew socks are best suited for those who like to hike in trekking shoes or mid-cut shoes. Crew socks can be used on any shoes, they are versatile.
Are wool socks hot in the summer?
The warmth of the socks depends more on the thickness than on the material they are made of. Wool can be knit into very thin fabric and therefore still maintain the coolness of other thin socks. What you will need to check on, is the type of wool they are made of and if they are blended in any way. (Blended socks are better)
Going hiking in warm weather means there are a few things you need to consider and keep in mind. Take into consideration all the variants and you will find yourself a great pair that will be the perfect addition to your gear. Make sure to choose a pair that is durable in every sense of the word. It needs to be able to withstand regular washing without changing shape. Synthetic socks have proven to be more durable than pure merino socks.
We certainly hope that our reviews of the top brands on the market today, help you make your decision. Whether they are for you or someone else, getting a great pair that works great in the climate you are in, is key to a happy hiking experience. Happy shopping!
If warm is not quite right, you may want to consider the Best Hiking Socks for Hot Weather.