12 Best Walking Socks for 2021 – 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.

Premium Merino Wool Hiking Socks 2 Pack, for Men & Women, Thermal,...
225 Reviews
Premium Merino Wool Hiking Socks 2 Pack, for Men & Women, Thermal,...
  • PREMIUM MERINO WOOL FOR PREMIUM COMFORT: Our Merino Summit Hiking Socks are the premium version of our classic hiking socks. These trekking socks are crafted with high-quality, thermoregulating and sweat-wicking Merino Blend to keep your feet dry and warm. Optimized, targeted cushioning and padding reduce the risk of blisters and jarring shocks and ensure superior comfort without bulk for all activities
Sale
Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Coolmax® Comfort Boot Women’s, Plum, M
1,560 Reviews
Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Coolmax® Comfort Boot Women’s, Plum, M
  • 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 Wool Socks for Walking Toddlers Boys Girls Winter...
411 Reviews
Sandsuced Kids Warm Wool Socks for Walking Toddlers Boys Girls Winter...
  • 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
Sale
Mens 3 Pair Luxury Jeep Terrain Cushion Sole Walking Hiking Work Socks 6-11...
852 Reviews
FEIDEER Women's Hiking Walking Trekking Socks, 3-Pack Outdoor Recreation...
278 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
149 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 for Men, Women & Children | Thermal...
  • 100% WATERPROOF SOCKS - Our thermal socks are 100% Waterproof, meaning you can submerge your feet into water and be fully protected by a strong inner waterproof layer. Waterproof socks men & waterproof socks womens
  • THERMAL WATERPROOF SOCKS - ArcticDry Thermal Waterproof Socks are made to be warm & cosy, made from 3 layers they are much more than just a thin waterproof membrane
Sale
Merino Wool Light Hiking & Trekking Socks 3 Pack, Men, Women, Kids,...
1,217 Reviews
Merino Wool Light Hiking & Trekking Socks 3 Pack, Men, Women, Kids,...
  • MERINO WOOL FOR COMFORTABLE & DRY FEET: The high quality merino wool of our light hiking socks have natural cooling, heating and antibacterial properties that keep your feet warm in the winter and fresh in the summer. Ventilation mesh lanes optimize the airflow and wick away moisture. The targeted padding reduces the risk of getting blisters
Sale
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.
Sale
1000 Mile Twin Pack Trek Walking Socks, Navy/Charcoal, Men's Large (UK...
  • 2 pairs per packet
  • Top of foot and arch ventilation mesh for breathability
Sale
Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Coolmax® Comfort Boot Women’s, Stone Grey, L
  • 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
Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks for Men and Women, Cushion,...
  • RUNNERSWORLD AWARD WINNER - The Rockay Accelerate was chosen among the very best and not only that, we are also featured as a top sock on Business Insider, Forbes, Runnerclick and many others! A trusted sock by the leading experts!

Get straight to our reviews on walking poles by clicking here

Types of Walking Socks

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

Premium Merino Wool Hiking Socks 2 Pack, for Men & Women, Thermal, Anti-Blister (Black, UK 6-8 // EU 39-42)
225 Reviews
Premium Merino Wool Hiking Socks 2 Pack, for Men & Women, Thermal, Anti-Blister (Black, UK 6-8 // EU 39-42)
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

Cons

Best Women’s Thermal Socks for Walking

Sale
Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Coolmax® Comfort Boot Women’s, Plum, M
1,560 Reviews
Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Coolmax® Comfort Boot Women’s, Plum, M
OVERALL BEST Women’s Thermal Socks for Walking - These ladies walking socks will keep your feet at just the right temperature to make them comfy. They're very hard-wearing and would keep your feet away from rubbing and blisters.

Pros

Cons

Best Kid’s Thermal Socks for Walking

Sandsuced Kids Warm Wool Socks for Walking Toddlers Boys Girls Winter Thermal Thick Heavy Cosy Cabin Boot Gift Crew Hiking...
411 Reviews
Sandsuced Kids Warm Wool Socks for Walking Toddlers Boys Girls Winter Thermal Thick Heavy Cosy Cabin Boot Gift Crew Hiking...
OVERALL BEST Kid's Thermal Socks for Walking - These boot socks are nice, stylish, and warm. They aren't itchy and don’t have any odd seam on the inside.

Pros

Cons

Best Budget Men’s Walking Socks

Sale
Mens 3 Pair Luxury Jeep Terrain Cushion Sole Walking Hiking Work Socks 6-11 uk, 39-45 (Green)
852 Reviews
Mens 3 Pair Luxury Jeep Terrain Cushion Sole Walking Hiking Work Socks 6-11 uk, 39-45 (Green)
OVERALL BEST Budget Men’s Walking Socks - These walking boot socks are very comfy and have just the right thickness in the key areas to prevent blisters and corns. They also have a nice padded sole. These walking socks retain their fit and shape even after multiple washes.

Pros

Cons

Best Budget Women’s Walking Socks

FEIDEER Women's Hiking Walking Trekking Socks, 3-Pack Outdoor Recreation Socks Wicking Cushion Comfortable Breathable Crew...
278 Reviews
FEIDEER Women's Hiking Walking Trekking Socks, 3-Pack Outdoor Recreation Socks Wicking Cushion Comfortable Breathable Crew...
OVERALL BEST Budget Women’s Walking Socks - These walking socks for women are stretchy, comfy, and have padding for your long walks. The elastic is positioned in all the right places, and the cuffs stay up superbly.

Pros

Cons

Best Budget Kid’s Walking Socks

Sale
Trespass Vic, Raspberry Marl, 12-3, Socks Kids Unisex, UK Sizes 12-3, Grey
149 Reviews
Trespass Vic, Raspberry Marl, 12-3, Socks Kids Unisex, UK Sizes 12-3, Grey
OVERALL BEST Budget Kid’s Walking Socks - If you need anti-blister socks for your kids, these walking boot socks are just what you should order. That they’re comfy and fit well are added advantages.

Pros

Cons

Best Sealskinz Waterproof Socks

ArcticDry Xtreme 100% Waterproof Socks for Men, Women & Children | Thermal Waterproof Socks | Waterproof Socks Men |...
OVERALL BEST Sealskinz Waterproof Socks - These 100% waterproof walking socks are extremely warm and comfy. They aren't bulky and fit easily inside your cycling or trainer shoe. Even when your shoes get soaked, these boot socks will keep your feet warm and dry.

Pros

Cons

Best Merino Wool Socks

Sale
Merino Wool Light Hiking & Trekking Socks 3 Pack, Men, Women, Kids, Anti-Blister (Multicolour: Grey, Green, Yellow, EU 43-47...
1,217 Reviews
Merino Wool Light Hiking & Trekking Socks 3 Pack, Men, Women, Kids, Anti-Blister (Multicolour: Grey, Green, Yellow, EU 43-47...
OVERALL BEST Merino Wool Socks - If you're looking for a lighter pair of boot socks suitable for both summer and winter, you have found the right product. These merino wool socks are comfy and great to wear all day long, even in warmer weather.

Pros

Cons

Best Running Socks

Sale
Rockay Flare Running Socks for Men and Women, Cushion, Quarter Cut, Arch Support, 100% Recycled, Anti-Odor (1 Pair)
OVERALL BEST Running Socks - These are comfy and supportive running socks suitable for everyday use. They smell like fresh new socks even after you have used them a few times. This means you can save time and effort on washing as they don’t need frequent washes.

Pros

Cons

Best Multi Pack of Walking Socks

Sale
1000 Mile Twin Pack Trek Walking Socks, Navy/Charcoal, Men's Large (UK 9-11.5)
OVERALL BEST Multi Pack of Walking Socks - These are great running socks that are breathable, lightweight, and limit any friction in the shoe. These comfy socks are true to size.

Pros

Cons

Best Bridgedale Socks

Sale
Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Coolmax® Comfort Boot Women’s, Stone Grey, L
OVERALL BEST Bridgedale Socks - These Bridgedale socks are designed for all-day comfort. They are padded in the right places to keep your feet away from blisters and soreness.

Pros

Cons

Anti-Blister Socks (Unisex)

Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks for Men and Women, Cushion, Ankle Cut, Arch Support, 100% Recycled, Anti-Odor (1...
OVERALL BEST Anti-Blister Socks (unisex) - These anti-blister walking socks are super comfy and look great. They offer you a snug fit and come with a lifetime warranty.

Pros

Cons

Extras for Hiking

Choosing suitable walking boots is essential for a hike. They should be comfy to wear, offer adequate support and protection from the elements, and allow flexible movement of your feet. If you’re looking for men’s walking boots, you can check our star buy – the Salomon Quest Prime GTX Men’s Hiking Boots.

Depending on the type of activity and climate of the area you’re hiking to, you should choose your walking jackets. Typically, investing in a breathable, waterproof, windproof, and lightweight jacket is wise. Women looking for such jackets can buy the Rab Women’s waterproof jacket. It’s our overall best women’s hiking jacket.

Walking rucksacks are another essential item on this list that you should consider. These sturdy products let you carry food, water, additional clothing, and other things necessary for your hike. If you’re planning a picnic on your hike, make sure to carry picnic rucksacks. For a 4-member party, our star buy – the Sunflora 4 Person Insulated Picnic Backpack Rucksack would be the ideal choice.

For staying hydrated while you’re out there, you should also carry thermos flasks and reusable water bottles. Our best buys in these categories are the ONEISALL 2L Flask and HYDRO FLASK – Water Bottle 591 ml, respectively. Both of these can keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. They have a steel inner that makes them shatterproof. They also feature cool-touch walls and a user-friendly, no-spill press pour lid.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Walking Socks

Most frequent questions and answers

What are the best walking socks to avoid blisters?

The best anti-blister walking socks are breathable and super comfy to wear. You can LEARN MORE on our star buy in this category – the unisex Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Socks, here and its also reviewed above.

What are the best socks for walking long distances?

Walking socks that are hard-wearing, durable, comfy, and offer optimal padding are ideal for long distances. Our star buy is the DANISH ENDURANCE Premium Outdoor Walking Socks. If you’re looking for the overall best men’s thermal socks for long distances, you have it right here too.

What is the best material for a walking sock?

Different materials like cotton, wool, fleece, nylon, or polyester are used to make walking socks to suit different needs. Each sock material has its merits depending on what you want it for but if pushed to pick the BEST material then its merino wool.  Socks like these manage sweat and moisture well, are warmer and are comfy against my skin. You can check our star buy – the Bridgedale HIKE Midweight Merino Wool Walking Socks here.

Do Walking Socks make a difference?

Yes, they definitely do. The right ones will keep your feet dry, comfy, cushioned, less sweaty, and away from fatigue and painful blisters.

Trust me grabbing your hubby’s socks and thinking they will be ok on a hike is a NO NO…my blistered feet took weeks to recover when i tried that!

Does the thickness of the walking sock matter?

Yes. For example, thicker and fluffy socks can keep your feet warmer in cold weather. Again, if you need more protection and warmth around your toes, wearing thick leather boot socks would be good.  Over thickness i would always look for the support in the mid foot and extra padding on toes and heel for walking comfort!

Have you used any of these walking socks? Then please leave your review in the comments box below. Is your favourite pair of walking socks not on the list? Be sure to let me know in the comments below so I can review it.

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API