12 Best Walking Socks for 2023 – Hike Blister Free

12 Best Walking Socks for 2021

When your feet become sore or develop blisters on a hike or walk, you’ll perhaps blame the boots. But did you know the cause could be wearing the wrong walking socks?

Yes, you read it right! When you wear the right kind of socks, you can keep your feet comfy and prevent blisters, soreness, and much more.

As a family, we enjoy hiking and going on long walks. And I always spend time finding the right kind of socks to go well with my boots. I live in Scotland near Aberdeen and know well how unpredictable the Scottish weather can be. That’s why when buying hiking socks or boot socks, I look for lightweight, waterproof thermal socks.

My two active kids love to be outdoors and close to nature but can moan on long walks if their feet hurt. That’s why I make sure to choose their hiking socks carefully. Typically, I look for walking socks that can keep the feet dry, less sweaty, and warm. I also focus on adequate cushioning, shock absorption, snug fit, and blister prevention.

Not sure which walking socks are the best buys? Here are our top picks:

Don’t have time to read reviews? No problem! Use these quick links to buy your walking socks right away from our best picks.

DANISH ENDURANCE Premium Warm Outdoor Hiking Socks, Comfortable, Merino...
2,692 Reviews
DANISH ENDURANCE Premium Warm Outdoor Hiking Socks, Comfortable, Merino...
  • PREMIUM HIKING SOCKS: Our Climayarn Merino Wool socks provide thermoregulating, breathable and sweat-wicking properties as well as targeted cushioning to reduce blisters, ensuring a high level of comfort, keeps your feet fresh in summer and warm in winter
Sale
Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Cotton Cool Comfort Boot-Women's- Medium-Plum
767 Reviews
Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Cotton Cool Comfort Boot-Women's- Medium-Plum
  • Socks in the HIKE range are suitable for every type of adventure delivering comfort and durability, mile after mile.
  • Fusion Technology provides balanced insulation, perfect fit and moisture control
Sandsuced Kids Warm Merino Wool Socks for Walking Toddlers Boys Girls...
1,364 Reviews
Sandsuced Kids Warm Merino Wool Socks for Walking Toddlers Boys Girls...
  • BREATHABLE & COSY : The materials for this stylish kid hiking socks are very comfortable and soft, no itching issue, special fuzzy inner design will keep the feet warm, the soft and thicken fabric will keep your feet feel comfortable all the day.
  • HIGH QUALITY : The kids wool thermal socks is blend of premium natural wool and cotton, all the materials is NON-TOXIC & ECO MATERIALS, It's 100% safety for your lovely children

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FEIDEER Women's Hiking Walking Trekking Socks, 3-Pack Outdoor Recreation...
315 Reviews
FEIDEER Women's Hiking Walking Trekking Socks, 3-Pack Outdoor Recreation...
  • 83.5% Cotton, 15% Polyamide fibre, 1.5% Spandex. Large fits women's shoe EU 36-41 //UK 4-8 size.
  • BREATHABLE SOCKS - Mesh ventilation channels improve air flow and breathability for enhanced comfort.
Sale
Trespass Vic, Raspberry Marl, 12-3, Socks Kids Unisex, UK Sizes 12-3, Grey
266 Reviews
Trespass Vic, Raspberry Marl, 12-3, Socks Kids Unisex, UK Sizes 12-3, Grey
  • Ideal for walking, hiking, trekking, camping and outdoor
  • Anti blister socks with tactile inner lining
ArcticDry Xtreme 100% Waterproof Socks — Unisex Thermal Socks for Men,...
1,111 Reviews
ArcticDry Xtreme 100% Waterproof Socks — Unisex Thermal Socks for Men,...
  • Advanced 100% Waterproof Socks — ArcticDry Socks for Men & Women are insulated and feature a durable membrane barrier alongside a 3-layer blend of Nylon, Spandex, Merino Wool & Coolmax, stopping frozen feet & keeping you dry and warm.
  • Unisex Breathable Impermeable Socks — Whether you need a mens 9-12 sock (Our Large Size), or a womens 4-7 (Small), ArcticDry Outdoor socks are perfect for either gender & Sports, whether you're into Cycling, Rowing, Fishing, Golfing, Running & More.
Sale
DANISH ENDURANCE Light Outdoor Walking Socks, Hiking, Merino Wool, Unisex,...
2,037 Reviews
DANISH ENDURANCE Light Outdoor Walking Socks, Hiking, Merino Wool, Unisex,...
  • BREATHABLE MERINO WOOL: Our light merino wool socks are thermoregulating and have sweat-wicking ventilation lanes to ensure that your feet stay fresh, dry and comfortable in any weather
Rockay Flare Running Socks for Men and Women, Cushion, Quarter Cut, Arch...
77 Reviews
Rockay Flare Running Socks for Men and Women, Cushion, Quarter Cut, Arch...
  • QUARTER LENGTH PERFORMANCE RUNNING SOCK - It’s all about balance, breathable mesh to regulate temperature, plus arch compression for keeping your feet stabilized. With additional length to keep you warm on a cooler day. All this in a sock, just high enough for a feeling of protection and performance.
1000 Mile Unisex 2270n-large (9-11) MILE TREK TWIN PACK NAVYCHARCOAL 2270N...
506 Reviews
1000 Mile Unisex 2270n-large (9-11) MILE TREK TWIN PACK NAVYCHARCOAL 2270N...
  • Actually clean hair twice as much with two Full Size bottles of hair Day Dry Shampoo, which eliminates oil, sweat, and odor with a time-release, crisply scented fragrance designed to last as long as the day does.
  • Cleansing
Sale
Bridgedale HIKE Midweight Merino Comfort Boot-Men's- Large-Stone Grey
747 Reviews
Bridgedale HIKE Midweight Merino Comfort Boot-Men's- Large-Stone Grey
  • Socks in the HIKE range are suitable for every type of adventure delivering comfort and durability, mile after mile.
  • Fusion Technology provides balanced insulation, perfect fit and moisture control

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Get straight to our reviews on walking poles by clicking here

Thermal socks: If you don’t have sweaty feet, are not likely to get wet, and need the warmest socks possible, thermal socks are for you. They are made of wool or synthetic blends, like nylon and acrylic materials.  Thermal socks are great on overnight hikes to keep you warm when sleeping too! My fav thermal socks are always Bridgedale Walking Socks.

Running socks: These socks increase ventilation, offer adequate support, and wick moisture from the foot. They also help prevent common runner’s problems like overheating, blisters, and discomfort.  For running socks you cant go wrong with Rockay Running Socks.

Typically, running socks are made of synthetic fibres like nylon and polyester. However, they may also be crafted using recycled materials like the Rockay Flare running socks. They have dense cushioning in the ball and heel of the foot and help reduce foot fatigue.

Wool socks: Wool is warm and soft. It also has insulating, relatively quick-drying, and moisture-wicking properties. These make wool one of the best materials for winter walking socks. 

You can buy alpaca wool or merino wool socks. Though both are good buys, alpaca wool is warmer and lighter. But if you need stylish, high-quality, comfy merino wool socks that are ‘Made in England,’ Pantherella socks would be ideal.

Waterproof socks: These walking socks (Sealskinz etc) have a layered construction. This makes them a bit thicker than ordinary socks. Usually, they have an abrasion-resistant outer layer. The breathable waterproof membrane with wicking properties sits in the middle. 

The inner layer provides insulation, comfort whilst the wicking layer keeps sweat from your feet.  These socks prevent foot rot and athletes foot!  They come in a range of sizes from Knee length waterproof socks to trainer style socks. You can find thermal waterproof socks too (I never go walking without a pair of Sealskinz Thermal Waterproof mid calf socks in my rucksack for a rainy day!)

Heat Holder socks: Heat Holder socks are made of 91% acrylic along with 3% polyester, 5% nylon, and 1% elastane. They provide around seven times the warmth of your average cotton socks. Compared to the average thermal socks, they give almost three times the heat.  I always take these socks with us when camping to prevent cold toes waking me at night!

Welly socks: A pair of quality welly socks will make your boots feel more comfortable and warm. They’ll also protect your feet from blisters and rubbing. These walking socks can be made of cotton, wool, fleece, nylon, or polyester.  Personally I love the large calf Heat Holder socks (and they come in cute colours)

Anti Blister Socks: So blisters when walking can not only ruin the walk on the day but lead to painful foot diseases if not treated properly.  Avoiding socks with toes seems is one way to minimise blisters and having good fitting socks BUT the best way is simply buy anti blister socks!  These socks really major in ventilating the feet to prevent moisture that causes the blister.  My favourites are Rockay Accelerate Running Socks.

Buyer’s Guide to the Best Walking Socks

If you’re an adventure enthusiast like me, nothing can stop you from going outdoors (ok well except for a covid lockdown!). But you need to wear suitable hiking clothes to ensure your outdoor activities arent ruined by being wet, cold or worse BLISTERS! Suitable walking socks are an integral part of your hiker’s wardrobe (and key to stopping blisters). 

So how do you choose the right ones? Here are some key factors to consider:

Purpose: Do you need to train for a sport outdoors (running socks)? Or go fishing? Or hike to rugged and difficult terrains? Then, you should look for trainer socks, fishing socks, and hiking socks, respectively. Depending on where you want to go and what activities you plan to do, you should choose your socks accordingly.

Climate and material: How’s the weather of the region where you plan to walk to or hike? Is it cold or hot? Is it at a high altitude or in the plains? Will it rain there? Or are there slush, stream, river, etc.? All these will determine what type of hiking boot socks you’ll need.

For instance, in a hot climate, your feet need to stay cooler. You may be tempted to avoid thick walking socks like those made of wool.  And choose a pair of socks that have wicking properties like a good pair of running socks.  Or why not go all eco in your socks and choose some anit bacterial, breathable Bamboo Walking Socks.

Wool socks help regulate temperatures better so are perfect for wearing on hikes where you know its going to be cold.  However just know if you get sweaty they get saturated a bit faster than synthetic socks.  However if you think there is a chance of rain wearing 100% waterproof sealskinz socks would be wise.

Cost: You should focus on the features, comfort, and durability when buying walking socks. Considering just the cost could make you buy either flimsy varieties or the high-end ones that you may not even use for once. For instance, if you need durable walking socks, Bridgedales’ could be a good choice. Though they cost up to10-15% of the price of your walking boots, Bridgedale socks will last a long time. This makes them a wise investment.

Size: Walking socks that are too short will slide down into the shoe and feel tight and give blisters. But if they’re too long, they’ll huddle together over your toes (blister time). You should focus on manufacturer-specific size information to get the correct size.

Size also covers the style of sock from knee length to trainer socks.  Again look at the type of hike, walk or sporting activity you are doing, weather etc and choose accordingly.  Let’s be honest if you arent sure which walking socks to take then pack a few types as they are lightweight.

Comfort: Your walking socks should meet your individual needs. They should also make your feet happy and comfy. For instance, if you need naturally antibacterial, breathable, comfy, and hard-wearing socks, you can try bamboo socks for walking. Again, if blisters bother you, buying a pair of anti-blister walking socks would be wise.

Sock features: Walking socks with arch reinforcements can prevent arch pain. They can even help you avoid plantar fasciitis that causes severe heel pain. If you’re going to walk on rough terrains, extra padding on the ball and heel of the foot is a must.in your walking socks.

Also i always look for socks that have wicking properties as my feet can bet sweaty on a hike.  Finally I cant stress enough to avoid blisters ruining your walks always look for anti blister socks in all the materials I listed above!

Quickly before we go into our in depth reviews of our best walking socks, here are quick links to our other picnic and hiking essentials on the site.  If you have all these, you are sure of the perfect time when you go outdoors!

Can you think of another essential outdoor or picnic items I need to include? If so, drop me a line in the comments.

12 Best Walking Socks for 2021

In-depth Reviews of the Best Walking Socks

Best Men’s Thermal Socks for Walking

DANISH ENDURANCE Premium Warm Outdoor Hiking Socks, Comfortable, Merino Wool, Unisex, 2 Pack Black 6-8
2,692 Reviews
DANISH ENDURANCE Premium Warm Outdoor Hiking Socks, Comfortable, Merino Wool, Unisex, 2 Pack Black 6-8
OVERALL BEST Men’s Thermal Socks for Walking - These are extremely hard-wearing and warm walking socks. You'll find them to be more comfy and sweatproof than you would have expected.

Pros