Best Merino Wool Socks For Hiking

Best Merino Wool Socks For Hiking

top 10 best merino wool socks for hiking

Best Merino Wool Socks For Hiking

When it comes to looking after your feet while hiking, your socks are your first line of defense. Anyone who has walked several miles in the wrong type of socks will know just how big of a difference the thickness and materials can make to your comfort. The problem is that most cheap hiking socks are made from synthetic materials and do not have seamless joints. Any kind of raised seams will rub and cause a blister which is why you should always choose a high-quality seamless walking sock like one made from merino wool. So how do you know which are the best merino wool socks?

The best merino wool socks for hiking will provide cushioning in all the key areas including reinforced heels and toes for the points which are most prone to blistering. One of the many qualities that merino wool has is the ability to wick moisture away from your feet which helps keep your feet dry and reduces the risk of blisters. Merino wool socks are sure to keep your feet warm in winter thanks to their thermal regulating properties but will not overheat your feet for the same reason. The best merino wool socks are also known to reduce blister-causing friction and in fact, you can use the untreated natural wool as a make-shift compeed patch.

What to look for in the best merino wool socks?

Merino wool has some amazing natural properties which make it ideal for all kinds of outdoor clothing including merino base layers, hats, socks, and gloves. Depending on your personal preference you may have a specific type of merino wool hiking sock in mind but if not then here are some of the most important deciding factors.

Blend

The blend refers to the percentage of merino wool fibers used to compose the finished material. It is fairly common for merino wool to be mixed with other materials to achieve a finish that will excel in specific areas. Some of the materials you might see blended with merino wool are Nylon, Lycra Spandex, Polyester, Acrylic, Polyamide, Elastic, and Possum Fur. I personally believe that the higher the merino wool content, the better they are but as always, that is up for debate.

Weight

The weight refers not only to the number on the kitchen scale but also the thickness of the fabric. The weight of the material often reflects the amount of cushioning as well as the insulation level. A lightweight merino wool sock would be ideal for casual hiking in trainers and hot climates whereas a heavyweight merino wool hiking sock would work with some rugged hiking boots and help keep your feet warm in winter. Midweight merino socks are possibly the most versatile for backpackers because they can be worn in both hot and cold climates and with trainers or boots.

Cut

Choosing the cut on your merino wool socks is a little easier to figure out than the weight or the blend and really you only have three options to choose from. Merino wool trainer socks are often referred to as ankle socks as they sit just below the ankle and are designed for low cut trainers and are great to wear with shorts. Mid-cut merino wool socks are a great everyday sock to be worn with regular shoes or mid to low cut hiking boots. High cut boots are the best for any kind of walking boot and also add some insulation to your lower leg when you pull them up. Wellington Boot socks or ski socks are the longest and often cover your entire lower leg to avoid any friction on the top of your boots.

Some Tips About Hiking Socks

  • Avoid wearing pure cotton socks for hiking, they absorb moisture and take a long time to dry out
  • Wool socks wick moisture and provide excellent warmth to weight ratio, Merino wool is better than regular wool for this
  • Synthetic materials often wick moisture better than wool but are not as comfortable or insulating
  • In general, thicker socks are more durable and better for hiking long distances due to the cushioning and protection
  • Always look for flat seams or seamless joints to avoid unwanted pressure points where the thread bunches up
  • Elastic is an important component of any sock and should be strongest around the hem to make sure they stay up and don’t sag
  • The fit should be close but not tight, the heel and toe box should be in the right place on your foot when fully pulled up

Best Merino Wool Socks For Hiking


Minus33 Merino Wool Day Hiker Socks

Minus33 Merino Wool Day Hiker Socks

 

Materials: 85% Merino Wool, 13% Stretch Nylon, 2% Spandex

Weight: Medium

The Minus33 Merino Wool Day Hiker Socks are one of the most popular hiking socks on this list and for good reason. They have a high merino content of 85% which is expertly sourced and processed to be extra soft and comfortable all day long. Being naturally antimicrobial and moisture wicking means that they won’t make your backpack smell like a dead animal and they also keep your feet in good condition too. The seamless toe box provides the perfect fit to prevent blisters and all impact areas are reinforced with nylon to give these socks a super long lifespan.

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Browning Hosiery Uplander Merino Wool Socks

Browning Hosiery Uplander Merino Wool Socks

 

Materials85% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon, 2% Spandex

Weight: Medium – Heavy

The Browning Hosiery Uplander Merino Wool Socks are a favorite among hunters and outdoorsmen because of their high percentage of merino wool for cold weather and a thicker cushion for heavy boots. They have a full cushion on the foot and leg with added arch support on the base which helps them keep their shape after washing. The flat seam on the toe box helps to prevent blisters and as with all merino wool products they are itch-free and moisture wicking. While these are classed as more of a heavyweight sock they are still suitable for year-round use thanks to their ventilated grooves.

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Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool Socks

Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool Socks

 

Materials66% Merino Wool, 32% Nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex

Weight: Medium – Heavy

The Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool Socks are still made in Vermont USA to the same high standards as they always have and still include a lifetime guarantee. Using fine gauge Merino wool, these socks have a luxuriously soft feel to them while being incredibly durable. They have a true seamless construction to prevent any blisters and the all-around cushioning is very comfortable with hiking boots and shoes. Elastic ribbing above the ankle ensures the socks don’t slip or feel baggy and the reinforced heel and toes are shrink-treated to keep their shape and provide the perfect fit.

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CloudLine Merino Wool Crew Socks

CloudLine Merino Wool Socks

 

Materials: 63% Ultra soft merino wool, 33% Nylon, 4% Spandex

Weight: Medium

The CloudLine Merino Wool Crew Socks come in three different weights but our favorite and possibly the most durable is the medium thickness shown above. There is all over cushioning for amazing comfort, performance, and warmth whether you are wearing boots or trainers. The reasonably high Nylon content provides improved moisture wicking and fast drying qualities that make these merino wool socks suitable for year-round use. Manufactured in the USA with a lifetime guarantee, the CloudLine midweight merino socks are a favorite among thru-hikers and section hikers on some of Americas most popular long-distance trails.

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Wigwam Merino Wool Comfort Hiker Socks

Wigwam Merino Wool Comfort Hiker Socks

 

Materials: 67% Merino wool, 21% Stretch Nylon, 7% Elastic (rubber), 5% Acrylic.

Weight: Medium

The Wigwam Merino Wool Comfort Hiker Socks have a very good reputation for being the go-to hiking sock for any situation. With full cushioning throughout the entire sock, they are ideal for hiking all year round with superior comfort, warmth, and wicking wherever you are. The blend of ultra-soft merino wool and synthetic fibers extends the life of the socks and increases their durability. The Merino Comfort Hiker uses stretch nylon for an elasticated fit to stop your socks from slipping or bunching throughout the day and the seamless toe box prevents blisters from any unwanted excess material.

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Kirkland Signature Outdoor Trail Merino Wool Socks

Kirkland Signature Outdoor Trail Merino Wool Socks

 

Materials: 70% Merino Wool, 29% Nylon, 1% Spandex

Weight: Medium

The Kirkland Signature Outdoor Trail Merino Wool Socks are a premium hiking sock made from the best materials known for the job. The cushioning covers the entire socks but is reinforced on the heel and toe for extra comfort and durability. The moisture managing fibers are especially prevalent on the base of the foot to help with wicking and maintaining a cushion. The spandex runs along the arch brace to provide as much support as is possible from a sock and the smooth toe seam helps to avoid unwanted pressure points and blisters.

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Omni-Wool Merino Wool Light Hiker Socks

Omni-Wool Merino Wool Light Hiker Socks

 

Materials: 70% fine merino wool, 29% nylon, 1% lycra

Weight: Light – Medium

The Omni-Wool Merino Wool Light Hiker Socks are made from ultra fine merino wool which has excellent moisture wicking properties as well as ventilation channels to allow your feet to breathe. They come in a pack of 3 and are excellent value for money, however, the fit is slightly baggier than other socks. If you do a lot of summer hiking or like to double up your socks in winter then these are an excellent choice for both. They have a cushioned footbed and arched band to provide comfort and resit impacts for all kinds of outdoor wear and tear.

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Icebreaker Hike+ Trek Crew Merino Wool Socks

Icebreaker Hike+ Trek Crew Merino Wool Socks

 

Materials63% merino wool, 35% nylon, 2% elastane

Weight: Medium +

The Icebreaker Hike+ Trek Crew Merino Wool Socks are made to the highest standards by New Zealand’s most famous merino wool company Icebreaker. The anatomical toe box is shaped for each foot and has a left and right mark on them just like a pair of headphones. The sculptured cushioning also helps to improve the fit for each foot and adds tremendous comfort and impact resistance. Designed for hiking, these socks have extra support around the ankles, Achilles, and instep for stability and expert fit. The seamless toe closure prevents rubbing and blisters while the breathing zone improves ventilation. I would highly recommend these socks for all kinds of climates but I especially appreciate them in winter because they are warm and comfortable.

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SmartWool Medium Crew Merino Wool Socks

Smartwool Medium Crew Merino Wool Socks

 

Materials: 66% Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, 1% Elastane

Weight: Medium

The SmartWool Medium Crew Merino Wool Socks are great for hiking, everyday use, and have grown to be one of the top merino wool manufacturers around. With their roots in rugged Colorado, they have been tested in the coldest temperatures and some massive mountains to produce some very high-performance outdoor gear. Like most other socks on this list, they elasticated arches reinforced cushioning and a flat knit toe seam for added comfort. If you are still unsure about which merino wool sock to buy for hiking then take a look at the several hundred positive reviews on Amazon. These socks are definitely worth trying if not investing in a couple of pairs.

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People Socks Crew Hiking Merino Wool Socks

People Socks Crew Hiking Merino Wool Socks

 

Materials: 71% Merino wool , 21% Nylon, 7% Poly, 1% Spandex

Weight: Medium

The People Socks Crew Hiking Merino Wool Socks are incredibly popular in the USA because they are made here and are also cheaper than many other merino wool hiking socks. They also have an amazing customer service policy where if you develop a hole they will replace it for free, that’s you are sorted for socks for life! Using imported merino wool from Austrailia you can be sure these socks are super soft and suitable for both hot and cold conditions making them a true all year round merino wool sock. They have a reinforced toe and heal with medium cushioning and have thousands of positive reviews on Amazon, well worth the money if you didn’t get any socks for Christmas or are getting low.

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