Best Neoprene Socks for Hiking

By: Ashley Vitiello | Last Updated on December 22, 2023
If you’re looking for a pair of neoprene socks to take on your hiking adventures, the Boundary Socks by NRS are simply the best of the best. They are dry neoprene, meaning they keep water out as long as it’s lower than the knee high cuff. They’re a thick material designed to keep you warm, […]

If you’re looking for a pair of neoprene socks to take on your hiking adventures, the Boundary Socks by NRS are simply the best of the best. They are dry neoprene, meaning they keep water out as long as it’s lower than the knee high cuff. They’re a thick material designed to keep you warm, and you can even pair them with wool socks for even more warmth and comfort.

We understand that this pair of socks may not be everyone’s top pick, so we’ve assembled our other favorite options below – that way you can pick the perfect option that best fits your needs. Whether you’re trying to stay dry in wet conditions or are embracing the chilly water (like The Narrows in Zion), there’s a neoprene hiking sock that’s best suited to your needs.

These socks are all made of neoprene – if you want waterproof socks, check out our best waterproof socks for hiking article.

Best DRY Socks: Neoprene Boundary Socks by NRS

Affordability: 4.6/5
Quality: 5/5
Features: 5/5

These NRS Boundary socks are incredibly comfortable to wear and they offer knee-high waterproof protection that’s great for all kinds of outdoor hiking and water adventures. Full Review

Best WET Socks: Neoprene Water Fin Sock by Skyone

Affordability: 5/5
Quality: 4.8/5
Features: 4.7/5

If you’re looking to embrace a wet adventure (like the Zion Narrows), these socks are perfect. They are very comfortable and work hard to keep you warm and blister-free. Full Review

Best Bootie: Neoprene Water Socks by OMGear

best neoprene socks for hiking

Affordability: 5/5
Quality: 4.5/5
Features: 4.8/5

These wet booties offer protection from sand and rocks, plus they have an anti-slip bottom that’s ideal for a wide variety of applications. Full Review

6 Best Neoprene Socks for Hiking

These are our picks for the best neoprene hiking socks:

  • NRS Neoprene Boundary Socks – Best DRY Socks
  • Neoprene Water Fin Sock by Skyone – Best WET Socks
  • Neoprene Water Socks by OMGearBest Booties
  • Sandal Socks by NRS – Best Low Profile
  • Water Sports Shoes by Vifuur Most Colors
  • NRS Boundary Boots – Best Heavy-Duty Sole

Best DRY Socks – Neoprene Boundary Socks by NRS

nrs boundary socks review

When it comes to neoprene hiking socks, these Boundary Socks by NRS are the best option money could buy. They keep your feet and calves dry and warm, even in cooler water. Pair with wool socks for even more comfort and warmth, and use them in a variety of different shoes when you venture outdoors.

Some neoprene socks are meant to provide warmth while they’re wet (like most of the options below), but these socks are meant to stay waterproof even when they’re submerged in water. As long as the water line stays below the cuff, your feet will stay dry and warm all day long.

This waterproofing is due to high quality materials and fully taped seams that keep out water and all moisture. Also, the hydrocuff around your upper calf works hard to hold in warmth while keeping out water. These neoprene socks even have a body heat reflecting titanium layer to reflect your warm body heat back at you in cold water.

Even though these socks are waterproof, they are still remarkably comfortable to wear and don’t have any seam rub at all. They can be worn with sandals, boots, or wet shoes, and can be paired with a wool sock underneath to keep you even warmer while helping to fight blisters as well.

Specifications

  • Thickness: 3mm neoprene for warmth
  • Wet or Dry: Dry
  • Height: Knee (18″)
  • Weight: 11 oz.
  • Exceptional at keeping you dry and warm

Pros

  • Dry neoprene keeps out water and moisture
  • 3mm thick neoprene is heavy duty and durable
  • Can be paired with wool socks for even more warmth
  • Sold by a reputable brand with a guarantee

Cons

  • More expensive option, but the quality is worth it!

Best WET Socks – Neoprene Water Fin Sock by Skyone

skyone neoprene water socks review

These Neoprene Water Fin Socks by Skyone are the best if you’re looking for a wet neoprene sock for your wet hiking excursions. They come in two different thickness of neoprene to keep your feet warm even with the water is chilly – wear them with shoes or sandals for ultimate comfort!

These socks use open-cell neoprene, which is not waterproof. They’re designed to work like a wet suit – you’ll be wet but the thick fabric keeps you warm even when the water is chilly.

The sole and toe box have an anti-slip design that’s meant to keep the sock in place, and the neoprene is soft and flexible for an extremely comfortable fit. The height is perfect for keeping out pebbles and debris without having too much material to weigh you down.

Specifications

  • Thickness: 3mm or 5mm neoprene
  • Wet or Dry: Wet
  • Height: Crew
  • Perfect for wet adventures where you don’t mind getting wet

Pros

  • Wet neoprene allows water to get in but works hard to keep your feet warm
  • Anti-slip sole helps keep the sock in place
  • Really great price

Cons

  • No adjustable cuff

Best Bootie – Neoprene Water Socks by OMGear

omgear neoprene socks review

These Neoprene Water Socks by OMGear are some of the most purchased and most reviewed water booties on Amazon. They come in either 3mm or 5mm thicknesses and two different height options. We love how they have an anti-slip bottom, comfortable materials, and a Velco strap around the top to keep out dirt and debris.

These booties are quite versatile and many users enjoy wearing them on the beach, in the water, and as water shoes for hiking and adventuring in wet places. The bottom isn’t durable enough to hike long distances, but you could pair them with shoes or sandals while you’re hiking then take off your shoes when you don’t feel like they’re necessary.

Specifications

  • Thickness: 3mm or 5mm
  • Wet or Dry: Wet
  • Height: Ankle or Crew (4.1″ or 7.6″)

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Several options for height, thickness, and color
  • Wet socks work hard to keep you warm in cooler water

Cons

  • Lower quality materials can wear through quickly

Best Low Profile- Sandal Socks by NRS

These Sandals Socks by NRS are actually designed to fit into shoes and sandals, so you know they’ll be comfortable and effective when you pair them with your desired footwear. Plus, they’re a great price and offer superior comfort and fit without bunching or blisters.

One of the first thing that stands out about these socks is that they have an anatomical left and right foot. A lot of wet socks are one shape fits both feet, so it’s a nice change to see a designated left and right foot design. This helps eliminate extra fabric that would have caused bunching and blisters in your shoes.

Know that these are designed to be wet socks, so they will allow water in but will work to keep your feet warm using 2mm thick neoprene combined with a titanium laminate layer that reflects your body heat back at you. Even with these features, the sock has minimal bulk that will easily fit into your shoe of choice.

Specifications

  • Thickness: 2mm
  • Wet or Dry: Wet
  • Height: Ankle

Pros

  • Designed to fit into shoes and sandals
  • Anatomical left and right foot for shaped comfort and correct fit
  • Minimal bulk that fits into your shoe of choice

Cons

  • Low profile may not be for everyone

Most Colors – Water Sports Shoes by Vifuur

If you’re looking for an alternative to the neoprene socks above, perhaps these Water Sports Shoes by Vifuur will be a great fit for you. They are made with a neoprene fabric attached to a rubber sole that gives you the flexibility to wear them on their own. The rubber sole provides durability while the neoprene keeps your feet warm and protected.

These water shoes have over 120,000 reviews on Amazon and come in over 40 different color options. They are super comfortable to wear and protect your feet whether you’re at the beach, climbing over rocks, or just hanging out by the pool.

Specifications

  • Wet or Dry: Wet
  • Height: No Show

Pros

  • Lots of fun colors and designs
  • Rubber sole helps protect feet
  • Perfect for casual wear

Cons

  • Low quality materials can wear through quickly

Best Heavy-Duty Sole – Boundary Boots by NRS

When it comes to a heavy duty neoprene, these Boundary Boots by NRS are the best of the best. They’re not like the other socks on this list, and instead blur the line between neoprene boot and neoprene sock with their unique design. These boots offer knee high waterproof protection combined with rugged soles that handle harsh terrain with ease.

For the serious adventurer, these boots offer the best protection. They have comfortable insoles atop a grippy, rugged sole that’s ready to walk through water and over obstacles with ease. The neoprene upper extends all the way below your knee, so you have warm, waterproof protection that keeps you dry and comfortable all day long.

Specifications

  • Thickness: 2mm plastic shims, 5mm neoprene uppers, 7mm neoprene insoles
  • Wet or Dry: Dry
  • Height: Knee high

Pros

  • Durable sole for traversing terrain
  • Thick neoprene to keep you dry and warm
  • Combines a neoprene boot with neoprene socks for the best of both worlds

Cons

  • Most expensive option on this list, but it’s also the most durable

How We Tested, Reviewed, And Rated Neoprene Socks for Hiking

We love outdoor gear, and we love recommending gear that adds value to our outdoor adventure. We know and understand the importance of having gear that’s worth every penny, so we thoroughly research and test every product we recommend. No matter how we procure an item, our goal is to remain as unbiased as possible, and we put it to the test against its competitors to find the best and worst features.

We also understand that each adventurer is different, and our favorite pair of socks may not be yours. That’s why we rate and review a wide variety of products currently available, so you can see a breakdown of all the features and pick what’s best for you and your situation.

Comparison Table

This comparison table takes some of the most important specifications from each tent on our list and puts it into an easy to read format so you can directly compare each one to its competitors. You can see that we’ve included price, weight, square footage, peak height, materials, and user reviews.

SockBrandPriceHeightWet or DryBest UseOverall Rating
Neoprene Boundary SocksNRS$$$KneeDryEditor’s Choice4.8/5
Neoprene Water Fin SockSkyone$CrewWetRunner-Up4.8/5
Neoprene Water SocksOMGear$Ankle or CrewWetBest Bootie4.5/5
Sandal SocksNRS$$AnkleWetLow Profile Socks4.5/5
Water Sports ShoesVifuur$No ShowWetMost Colors4.4/5
Boundary BootsNRS$$$$KneeDryBest Heavy Duty Sole4.5/5
A table comparing each of the best neoprene socks and their price, height, wet or dry, best use, and overall rating.

What is Neoprene? How Does it Relate to Hiking Socks?


Neoprene is a synthetic rubber originally created as an oil-resistant substitute for natural rubber. It’s renowned for its excellent durability, flexibility, and water-resistant properties, making it a popular material in various industries, especially the outdoor and sports sectors (like wet suits).

When it comes to hiking socks, neoprene can be used in the manufacture of waterproof and thermal socks. Given its waterproof nature, neoprene socks can keep your feet warm when hiking through wet or damp conditions, such as crossing streams, navigating muddy trails, or walking in the rain.

Are Neoprene Socks Good for Hiking?

You can wear neoprene socks hiking, but their suitability largely depends on the hiking conditions and personal preferences. The primary strength of neoprene is its excellent waterproofing and insulation properties. If you’re hiking in wet or cold environments, such as crossing rivers or streams, or navigating snowy trails, neoprene socks can keep your feet dry and warm.

If you are interested in wearing neoprene socks while hiking, consider your typical use and if a dry or wet neoprene sock will be a better fit. Dry neoprene will keep your feet dry and warm, but will limit the depth of water you can traverse and can hold in sweaty moisture. Wet neoprene lets you get wet but the thick material keeps you warm while you hike in and out of water. Both are meant to be paired with some type of shoe, like a sandal or boot, to protect the sole and provide more stability.

Benefits and Downsides of Neoprene Socks

Benefits

  • Waterproof: Neoprene can be either wet or dry depending on the socks, but either way it provides better protection in water than a regular sock.
  • Insulating: Neoprene offers superior insulation. This makes them great for cold weather hikes as they can keep your feet warm even in chilly temperatures.
  • Durable: Neoprene is a robust and long-lasting material that can withstand challenging hiking conditions.
  • Versatility: Beyond hiking, you can also use neoprene socks for various water activities like kayaking, canoeing, or fishing due to their excellent waterproof characteristics. This makes them a versatile addition to your outdoor gear if you engage in a variety of outdoor pursuits.

Downsides

  • Lack of Breathability: One of the biggest downsides of neoprene is that it’s not breathable. This means it’s best for cooler weather and specific situations.
  • Bulk and Weight: Neoprene socks are usually thicker and heavier than regular hiking socks. This can lead to extra weight in your hiking boots and may require additional space in your footwear, potentially causing discomfort over long hikes.
  • Drying Time: While they’re excellent at keeping external moisture out, if any water does get inside (for example, if water overflows into them during a river crossing), they can take a long time to dry out.

Alternatives

If you aren’t convinced that neoprene socks are the right fit for you, no worries! There’s lots of hiking socks out there and we’re here to help you find the best ones. Trying checking out these other articles we have:

FAQ

Do I wear socks under neoprene socks?

Neoprene socks are typically designed to be worn directly against the skin, without the need for another pair of socks underneath. The material itself provides both insulation and waterproofing. Wearing additional socks can affect the breathability, comfort, and fit, potentially leading to issues like blisters. The only exception is dry (or closed cell) neoprene that is designed to keep the user dry – then you could potentially wear socks underneath but it could still affect fit.

Are neoprene socks waterproof?

Yes and no – it depends on the individual product. Some neoprene socks are wet, open cell neoprene that is designed to work like a wet suit. You will get wet, but they help you stay warm. Some neoprene socks are dry, closed cell neoprene that works hard to keep you both dry and warm while keeping all water and moisture out.

Conclusion

While neoprene socks may not be the ideal choice for every hike, their waterproof and insulating qualities make them an excellent option for wet and chilly conditions. Choosing the best neoprene socks for hiking depends on your individual needs, taking into account factors such as the fit, thickness, and the specific weather and terrain you’ll be encountering.

Remember, comfort and proper foot care are paramount on the trails. While neoprene socks provide unique advantages, they also have limitations, such as lack of breathability. Thus, they should be part of a hiker’s broader gear repertoire, ready to be employed when the conditions call for them

Our #1 Recommendation: Boundary Socks by NRS

These NRS Boundary socks are incredibly comfortable to wear and they offer knee-high waterproof protection that’s great for all kinds of outdoor hiking and water adventures. Pair them with wool socks for even more warmth!

Why Trust Know Nothing Nomads?

Since 2017, Know Nothing Nomads has cemented itself as the “approachable experts” in everything camping, hiking, climbing, and adventuring in the Great Outdoors.

With over 60 years of experience in the outdoors, we don’t just talk about outdoor gear or recommend a good hiking trail.

We USE the gear we talk about. We’ve hiked 1000’s of miles. We have camped 1000’s of nights in the wilderness. We have sent hundreds of boulders and projects.

We don’t just know a few things about the outdoors — WE EAT, SLEEP, AND BREATHE IT.

We are not journalists from a magazine telling someone else’s stories from behind a computer. We are the ACTUAL outdoorsmen that those people write about. 

We are not a “gear lab” that runs tests on gear in life-like conditions. We are the seasoned, “trial-by-fire” experts who have taken the gear into the wilderness and USED IT. Read about our gear testing process here

We started Know Nothing Nomads to share our passion and expertise with our readers to inspire, educate, and enable you to explore the outdoors in the way that we have. And you will be more equipped and capable than ever before with the knowledge you gain here guiding you along the way.

And the best part? We are real people that LOVE our readers and this community. If you need anything or have a question about any of the things we have to write about, just reach out. Normally, one of us can respond within 24 hours, sometimes within minutes. THAT is the approachable expert.

You should also know that advertising does not influence our gear reviews in any way, shape, or form, and it never will.

While we always focus our attention on gear that stands out to us—sometimes we discover that things aren’t up to our standards. This is exactly why we will always talk about the downfalls and compromises that we find while we are testing anything (If we find any).

About The Author

Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, wildflowers, scenic snacking, and mushrooms. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent years enjoying time outside doing things like hiking, camping, and rock climbing.
Her goal with Know Nothing Nomads is to make these hobbies easily accessible through knowledgeable content and how-to's based on all the stuff she's learned on her journey. If she isn't writing an article, she's probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.

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We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

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