Are you looking for the best hiking socks to prevent blisters? Hiking is a great way to explore the world around you, and also get a great workout in there as well. It has been known to reduce the effects of cardiovascular diseases and lower blood pressure. The benefits that come with hiking are numerous. It may not be the easiest habit to get into, but once you realize what you will be getting in return, you may just want to change your mind.
Hiking can be strenuous on the body especially on the feet. It only makes sense. You will be walking through a natural environment, on terrain that is not uniform at all. Terrain that you and your feet are not accustomed to. The probability of slipping or kicking rocks is pretty high. You need to make sure that you are well equipped when you go out onto the trail.
The equipment and supplies you carry are just as important as the clothes you wear. Oftentimes we talk about the shoes, the hats the gloves, all apparel that we can see. But we forget that you need a good pair of socks that will make sure you do not get blisters as you climb and blaze the trail. In this article, we explore what type of socks you will need on your adventure. Whether you are a newbie or a pro.
In a Hurry
Do you need a quick guide to know which socks will work best in your shoes as you go hiking? Blisters can be painful and can cut your hike short. You will need to know what to consider when going shopping for your socks. One of the first and important factors to think of is the fit. You want to make sure that the socks are the right fit and that they are snug around your foot. If they are too big, they can help cause the very same blisters you are trying to avoid.
Make sure that you look for socks that have good moisture control and management. When your foot gets wet, it causes either your socks to get caught up inside the boot, or your skin to start sliding around. In both cases, the friction causes blisters. Also, look for socks that give you extra protection under your heel and toes and arch support. Also, make sure that they are strong and durable enough to handle the abuse they will be put through by being worn in hiking shoes.
1000 Mile Tactel Fusion Blister Free Socks
What sets these socks apart is that they toe the line. Pun intended there. Instead of the conventional padding that is usually used to provide comfort and protection or the double layering that is designed to minimise friction. They have gone with something different. You often find that the thickness of the padded socks makes for an issue in some ways. The ones that have double layers will often feel too thin.
These are socks that are brave enough to come with a blister-free guarantee. This is paired with comfort and protection. Their goodness does not end there. The Achilles tendons also receive their fair share of protection. There is arch bracing geared to give even more of this support. Key parts of the feet require more protection, so that is exactly what the manufacturers have provided. There is extra padding provided to the toes, ball and the heel zones. The socks are double layered to get rid of friction that often occurs between the foot and the shoes.
This ensures that there is less wear. As a result, the risk of getting blisters is all but eliminated. There are Tactel inner layer wicks in place for the purpose of getting rid of perspiration as it develops. This is what will keep maintaining cool and dry feet. The material makeup of the socks includes 57% nylon, 41% Tactel and 2% spandex. The cuffs are of the standard variation as are the seamed toes. The thickness of the socks is regular as is their length.
Bridgedale Multisport Cushioned Merino Wool Socks
If you are keen on shorter socks, these may be the pick for you. As with the version above, these have come with padding in all of the right places. Instead of making the socks fully enclosed, they have mesh on certain parts. You will not need to be told that this is perfect for facilitating breathability. They are incredibly lightweight socks. The cushioning on these socks is Merino wool. Whatever you choose to use them for, you can rest assured that they are up to the task.
The Bridgedale Multisport Cushioned Merino Wool Socks are British made. The process involves the incorporation of Endurofil fibres that increase the features that the wool is known to have. Thermal performance is enhanced, as is the socks’ ability to wick moisture. What you may not expect is that these features combine to enhance the durability of the socks as well. By using a mesh structure on the upper part of the socks their overall weight is kept to a minimum. Cushioning is placed on the forefoot, Achilles, under-heel and on the ball of the foot. Blister protection is provided by hand linking toes that have smooth seams.
The socks are made out of 42% polyamide, 28% Merino Woll, 26% Endurofil/Polypropylene and 2% Elastane. The thickness of the socks is medium. They run up to the ankles.
Balega Blister Resist Quarter Socks
If you are one for choice, these may just be the ones for you. They come at a length of just above the ankles. You will be pleased to find that these are high-performance socks. Although they are marketed to the athletics market, they do a great job for hiking as well. A blend of soft mohair and Drynamix make the perfect pairing for reducing friction between socks and your feet. This is how blisters are prevented. The Drynamix also plays a massive role in wicking moisture to keep your feet dry at all times. Temperature is well regulated by reducing the amount of friction.
Our favourite feature of these socks are the microfibre mesh ventilation panels. They have a wide arch band that gets rid of pressure marks. This is also a good source of support. The socks are kept loose enough to allow for free blood circulation without hindrance.
The entire construction of the socks is without any seams. This is a perfect indicator of durability. The heel pockets are designed to be deeper than you would get from standard socks. You will be happy to find that they snuggle around your foot when you put them on. There is some elasticity on the rib quarter grip. The socks do not slip inside your shoes.
For those long hikes, you will derive a lot of benefit from the high-volume cushioning. This delivers comfort the entire time. The natural fibre that is used is designed for feet that are prone to getting blisters.
Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks 3 pack
If you want to get more bang for your buck, this may be just the pick for you. These socks take advantage of the natural heat management properties of merino wool. This is how they deliver warmth in the winter and keep your feet cool when the weather requires that. To add to these features is mesh ventilation that wicks away moisture resulting from sweat. This keeps your feet dry at all times. There is a lot of cushioning and padding in the key areas of the feet. This is one of the key features for reducing blisters. It also ensures that common aches and niggles that your feet will have after long hikes are also negated.
These socks are designed in Denmark. They are then manufactured in Portugal. According to the manufacturers, these socks are recommended by mountaineers. The development process was anchored by famous mountaineer, Rasmus Kragh. His process involved repeated testing. If they are good for him, they sure are good for the rest of us.
Merrell 3 Pack Cushioned Performance Hiker Socks
Our final pick comes from a brand that we are all too familiar with. This set comes with 3 socks in the pack. The first things that will grab your attention about these socks are the toe and heel cushioning. These are designed to provide you with the support that you will need when on a long hike.
They are designed to take on all kinds of terrain. The socks provide zoned arch support to reduce fatigue. Both heels and toes are reinforced. The reinforcement also ensures that there is longer durability of the socks.
The socks are made out of 74% polyester, 24% Nylon and 2% Lycra Spandex. While they are not quite your ordinary ankle socks, they do not go too far up your leg either. There are various lengths that you can make your pick from. These include crew, quarter and low cut.
The shoes are ribbed which helps them stick in your shoes. There are fewer issues with your feet sliding as you hike. They also provide you with compression that is ideal for keeping your feet warm when hiking in cold weather conditions. There is a fair amount of arch support provided as well.
It may seem like an insignificant part of your gear, but socks are pretty important. Here are a few things you will need to consider.
Does the material the socks are made of matter?
Good hiking socks are made of the specific material that will help keep your feet from blistering. Socks made of merino wool soak up moisture incredibly. They also offer great temperature management. You can also get socks made of a synthetic blend that works great in warmer climates. Some synthetic blends also help keep foot odour at bay. With the amount of sweating you will be doing, you will be grateful for this feature.
Check on how they are constructed and knit. The right construction and material can keep your feet at the right temperature. You can have a comfortably cool hike if the socks are right. You will also need to make sure that the material the socks are made of, does not irritate your skin. You want to be comfortable even after your hike.
Can I machine wash all hiking socks?
Hiking socks are knit differently. The construction is different and this means that you will need to be careful when washing them. Some socks can not withstand the harsh agitation in a washing machine and as such, they need to be hand-washed.
How important is it for the socks to have extra padding?
Hiking can be harsh on the feet. It would be prudent for you to look for socks that will offer you good arch support. Thicker padding under the heel and forefoot keep those parts comfortable, while thinner fabric elsewhere makes sure that your foot can breathe while encased inside your boots.
How long or high should hiking socks be?
Blisters are caused by friction between the skin and other materials such as shoes or socks. You must get socks that go as high or higher than the boots. This means that you will not have to deal with your socks friction with your skin and the boots.
Does sock size matter?
Avoiding blisters when hiking means that you also want to avoid socks that do not fit well. Make sure you get a size that fits. Ask if they fit true to size or they are small or large cuts. This will be a big determining factor.
Are cotton socks a good bet for preventing blisters when hiking?
Cotton socks are not a good idea when it comes to socks for hiking. They absorb moisture and hold it next to your skin, which combined with friction causes blisters.
What sort of cost can I expect hiking socks to run?
Hiking socks can range from very cheap to pretty pricey. You must look for the pair that matches what you need them for before anything else. You also need to consider how often you will be using them. If it is a once-off trip, then you may not need to “invest”. However, if hiking is your lifestyle, then you need to make sure you get a good pair. These can be pricey, but your feet will thank you for it.
No matter how important you think your backpack and the rest of your hiking gear is, the socks are the most important piece of your wardrobe you will wear. It sounds like a far reach, but once you try going hiking without a good pair, you will realize just how much you need them. We have gone through the different types of socks available on the market to help prevent blisters. We hope that our review helps you decide to get the perfect pair for your hike. Happy hiking and happy shopping!