Best Hiking Socks for Blisters (2022 Reviews and Guide)

Best Hiking Socks for Blisters (2022 Reviews and Guide)

A hikers worst nightmare on a day out is definitely having a hotspot turn into a full blown blister. They are debilitating, annoying, and in the worst case scenario, they can become infected and cause a whole mess of other problems. Yes there are ways to prevent blisters while hiking by putting duct tape on your hotspots, or using moleskin on your feet before they develop further, but outfitting your feet with the proper gear is an even better place to start.

First, make sure you properly break in your hiking boots, then pair that with a great pair of hiking socks and hiking sock liners. We’ve compiled a list of the best hiking socks for blisters you can find. Each one of these socks has been chosen for a specific set of criteria and has been proven to cut down on the moisture and abrasion that leads to hotspots and eventually blisters.

5 Best Hiking Socks for Blisters in 2022

Product

Material

Price

Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks


59% RWS-certified merino wool
39% nylon
2% Lycra

$$

Editor’s Choice

Woolx Everyday Crew Sock

65% Merino Wool
33% Nylon
2% Lycra

$$$

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion

61% merino wool
36% nylon
3% Lycra

$$

REI Co-op Merino Wool Lightweight Hiking Crew Socks

79% RWS merino wool
20% nylon
1% Lycra

$

Smartwool Performance Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks

56% Merino Wool
11% Nylon
31% Recycled Nylon
2% Elastane

$$

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Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks – Editor’s Choice

Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks are designed to offer comfort and durability for those who enjoy the great outdoors. The socks are made of a wool/nylon/spandex blend that is certified to the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). This ensures that the animals that supplied the wool are well-cared for and that their grazing does not damage the land. The virgin wool is also extremely breathable and has excellent stretch and recovery. This makes Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks not only environmentally conscious, but also perfect for hiking, camping, or any other outdoor activity.

Specifications

  • 59% RWS-certified merino wool – 39% nylon – 2% Lycra
  • Engineered for comfort on and off trail
  • Moisture wicking & quick drying
  • Breathable for all day comfort
  • Low-Calf-Height Crew Socks
  • Added Arch Support
  • Soft, Comfortable Footbed
  • Made in the USA

Editor’s Choice

Woolx Everyday Crew Sock

The Woolx Everyday Crew Sock is a great sock for hiking – even though they are called the Everyday Sock, they are anything but. They have one of the highest merino wool contents of all of the socks on this list, meaning that they have better moisture and temperature regulation. There is also added arch support and they specially designed fit to prevent blisters. The Woolx Everyday Crew Sock is a great sock for anyone who wants a sock that will last many miles and prevent blisters along the way.

Specifications

  • 65% Merino Wool – 33% Nylon – 2% Lycra
  • Moisture wicking & quick drying
  • Breathable for all day comfort
  • Antimicrobial – Destroys odors
  • Year round performance
  • Built tough for extra durability
  • Ultra smooth seamless toe
  • Performance fit for no blisters
  • Low-Calf-Height Crew Socks
  • Merino wool plush cushioning
  • Added arch support

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion socks are made of custom-count, shrink-treated merino wool that enhances comfort and durability for outdoor activities. Merino wool wicks away moisture and breathes to regulate temperature for outstanding comfort in a variety of conditions. Mid-level cushion density under foot provides reinforcement at the heels and toes and elastic support around the arch. Ring-toe construction hides seams and enhances comfort. Darn Tough’s commitment to quality means these socks come with a lifetime guarantee – if they’re not the most comfortable, durable socks you’ve ever owned, return them for another pair, no questions asked.

Specifications

  • 61% RWS merino wool – 36% nylon – 3% Lycra
  • Moisture wicking & quick drying
  • Breathable for all day comfort
  • Antimicrobial – Destroys odors
  • Low-Calf-Height Crew Socks
  • Reinforced Heel and Toe
  • Added arch support
  • Medium Cushioning
  • Ring Toe Construction virtually eliminates annoying seams
  • Made in USA

REI Co-op Merino Wool Lightweight Hiking Crew Socks

REI Co-op Merino Wool Lightweight Hiking Crew Socks are designed for those who need a little extra cushioning and support on the trail. These socks are made with wool certified to the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), which requires that sheep are treated in accordance with leading animal welfare standards. Seamless toes prevent chafing, while the stretch arch band provides effective support. The socks are also reinforced at the heels, toes, foot beds and Achilles for long-wearing comfort.

Specifications

  • 79% RWS merino wool – 20% nylon – 1% Lycra
  • Moisture wicking & quick drying
  • Breathable for all day comfort
  • Antimicrobial – Destroys odors
  • Low-Calf-Height Crew Socks
  • Reinforced heel, toe, footbeds, and Achilles
  • Added arch support
  • Medium Cushioning
  • Seamless Toe prevents chafing and enhances comfort
  • Made in USA

Smartwool Performance Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks

Smartwool Performance Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks are an essential piece of gear for any hiker, offering unparalleled comfort and support on the trail. These socks are virtually seamless in the toe area, preventing irritation and blisters. They also feature a 4 Degree Elite Fit System for a dialed, performance-oriented fit with flex zone at ankle joint. Additionally, Smartwool’s Indestructawool technology features a patent-pending construction method for exceptional durability and comfort, while mesh ventilation zones provide optimum moisture management and maximum breathability.

Specifications

  • 56% Merino Wool – 11% Nylon – 31% Recycled Nylon – 2% Elastane
  • Sock Height: Crew
  • Indestructawool™ technology with extended durability zones
  • 4 Degree™ elite fit system for a dialed-in, performance-oriented fit
  • Additional body-mapped mesh zones for added breathability
  • Virtually Seamless™ toe for enhanced comfort
  • Comfort welt with ‘stay put’ fit
  • Height 8″

Things to Consider When Choosing a Hiking Sock for Blisters

Choosing a pair of socks to prevent blisters while you are hiking can sound simple at first, and it kind of is. But there are a few things to keep in mind that can make a massive difference between your new favorite pair of hiking socks or coming home with blisters and throwing your new socks in the trash. Here are the top __ things to keep in mind when you are looking for hiking socks that will solve your blister problems.

What are good hiking socks made of?

There are materials out there, more specifically cotton, that are absolutely horrible for hiking socks, and while you can wear your cheap, cotton socks on most days, cotton is probably the WORST thing to put on your feet when you are hiking for miles and miles.

The best hiking socks have a large percentage of merino wool, and most of the socks on the market have some other added fibers like Lycra, Spandex, Nylon, or Elastane to increase drying times and durability. A majority percentage of Merino wool is simply the best material for a sock to be made out of if you want to prevent blisters while you are hiking.

What makes Merino wool so good at preventing blisters while hiking?

Merino wool has a lot advantages over other materials and almost no disadvantages. Let’s make this easy with a simple list of the advantages of merino wool for hiking socks:

  • Affordable – Yes it may seem like paying $15-$20 for a pair of socks is kind of expensive when you are used to buying a pack of 20 for $6 at Walmart. Let’s get this straight, nothing is as cheap as cotton. But compared to other technical materials and synthetics, Merino wool is not expensive
  • Moisture Wicking – If you read our How to Prevent Blisters While Hiking post, you know that one of the main causes of blisters is excess moisture. So, it is very plain to see why Merino wool, with its excellent moisture wicking capabilities, is great for a hiking sock that prevents blisters
  • Comfort – Merino wool is known for its smooth and soft feel without being itchy. No one wants itchy feet while you are out enjoying nature all day!
  • Durability – With its smooth texture we talked about, you can imagine that the socks are more abrasion resistant and will last longer than other materials.
  • Breathability – Famous for its breathability, merino wool is one of the few fabrics that can stay cool when it gets warmer and insulate during cold weather. This means that you don’t need thick, and thin socks based on the weather. One can perform the way you want it to no matter the weather
  • Naturally Odor Resistant – That’s right, Merino wool is naturally odor resistant. One pair of socks can go through a couple days of hiking without having to be replaced by a fresh pair, so long as they are dried out properly at the end of the day.

How Tall Should my Hiking Socks Be?

Whether you’re wearing a hiking shoe or ankle boot, we recommend wearing a crew sock either way. Wearing no show socks or ankle height can still lead to abrasion if they were to ride down or not sit properly.

Wearing a crew height sock has a couple benefits in itself so let’s go over those really quick:

  • Protection – During summer, it can get pretty hot, and nothing feels better to me than hiking in shorts on a warm summer day! But I have found in my personal experience that hiking in shorts can lead to scratches and other things on my legs that I don’t necessarily want to be touching them. Crew height socks are a happy medium that protects a good part of my leg, but I still get some free feeling of hiking in shorts on a hot day
  • Versatility – I can wear the same socks whether I have a trail runner, waterproof hiking boot, or even my winter boots.
  • Keeps Things from Getting in my Socks – A shorter sock is closer to the ground and it seems to me like I used to end up with my things getting into my socks when I was hiking in trail runners. Since going to crew height socks, no more stuff in my socks!

Conclusion

When it comes to picking the best hiking socks for blisters, you can’t go wrong with any of our suggestions on this list. As long as it’s a majority merino wool and is crew height, they are going to be better hiking socks than any cotton version. We personally love Darn Tough because of their lifetime warranty, but they can be a little pricier per pair.

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