The best waterproof socks for hiking are the Waterproof Breathable Socks by RANDY SUN. They’re an awesome pair of socks that are remarkably comfortable, extremely waterproof, very affordable, and can be used in a wide variety of temperatures.
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 searching for a more high quality option or a knee high behemoth, we have something that on this list that’s perfect for you!
Note: these are all waterproof socks, if you were looking for neoprene socks or booties, check out our article on the best neoprene socks for hiking.
5 Best Waterproof Socks for Hiking
These are our picks for the best waterproof hiking socks:
- Waterproof Breathable Socks by RANDY SUN – Editor’s Choice
- All Weather Mid-Length Socks by SEALSKINZ – Runner Up
- Waterproof Cold Weather Knee Length Socks by SEALSKINS – For Knee Height
- Waterproof Socks by ArcticDry – For Cold Weather
- Crosspoint Waterproof Bike Socks by Showers Pass – Good, But Not As Great
Editor’s Choice – RANDY SUN Waterproof Socks
These Waterproof Breathable Socks by RANDY SUN are the highest rated and most reviewed waterproof socks on Amazon and they’re our Editor’s Choice for the best waterproof socks for hiking. They’re super comfortable to wear, are extremely waterproof, and are the most affordable sock on this list by a long shot.
One of the first things we noticed about these waterproof socks is their inner layer materials, which includes COOMAX and other fabrics commonly seen in regular hiking socks. This tells us that even though these are a step above what you would usually wear hiking, they still use some of the best materials you could pick for a great pair of hiking socks.
That being said, what makes these socks different from regular hiking socks is their waterproof mid-layer, which prevents all water and moisture from seeping in. We hiked in all different kinds of wet conditions and never got wet feet or toes. Plus, the outer layer adds durability without being too thick, so we can tell that these socks are built to be comfortable for miles and miles to come.
- Height: Crew
- Inner Layer: 66% COOLMAX, 30% polyester,4% elastane
- Outer Layer: 61% nylon, 32% polyester, 7% elastane
Runner-Up – SEALSKINZ All Weather Mid-Length Socks
SEALSKINZ is one of our go-to brands for waterproof socks and their All Weather Mid-Length Socks are an awesome choice. They are super comfortable, completely waterproof, and their high quality materials decrease friction that would normally lead to blisters and hot spots.
We noticed that they resist smells from stinky feet, wick away sweat and moisture, and the Merino wool helped keep us cool in the summer and warm in the colder months. The inner layer materials mimic some of the best hiking socks on the market, so you know they’re ready for adventure.
Our feet didn’t get wet at all after hours of use, so these socks excel at keeping your feet dry, comfortable, and blister free even after hours on the trail.
Note: these socks are also available in ankle height if you want something shorter.
- Height: Mid-Calf
- Inner Layer: 36% Merino Wool, 36% Acrylic, 18% Polyester, 5% Nylon, 5% Elastane
- Outer Layer: 62% polypropylene, 29% Nylon, 9% Elastane
For Knee Height – Waterproof Cold Weather Knee Length Socks by SEALSKINS
When you need more protection than a crew height sock can offer, these Waterproof Cold Weather Knee Length Socks by SEALSKINZ should be your first choice. They offer the same level of quality and durability as all the other socks on this list, but have completely waterproof protection that goes all the way up to your knees.
We love how the inner layer has a high percentage of Merino wool, which helped keep our feet blister-free, sweat-free, and warm. Some of our favorite hiking socks have Merino wool, so we were pleasantly surprised that these did as well.
That being said, the best part of these socks is obviously the knee-high waterproofing – it’s extremely effective and kept our feet dry for days on end, even in very wet conditions. Even though this sock is the most expensive option on this list, it’s well worth the price tag if you think you may need the additional protection that this pair has to offer.
- Height: Knee
- Inner Layer: 38% Merino Wool, 38% Acrylic, 22% Polyester, 2% Elastane
- Outer Layer: 90% nylon, 10% elastane
For Cold Weather – Waterproof Socks by ArticDry
These Waterproof Socks by ArcticDry are not only waterproof, but they also provide an essential layer of insulation, ensuring that your feet stay warm in colder weather conditions, making these a great option for hiking in colder weather, snow, and chilly water.
In addition, the added cushioning in the foot area offers enhanced comfort during long treks, making them ideal for hikers who take on strenuous trails. If you’re looking for a reliable pair of waterproof hiking socks, ArcticDry’s product stands out with its impressive balance of waterproofing, warmth, and comfort.
- Height: Crew
- Materials: blends of nylon, spandex, COOLMAX and Merino wool
Good, But Not as Great – Crosspoint Waterproof Bike Socks by Showers Pass
The Showers Pass Crosspoint Waterproof Bike Socks offer a great blend of performance and comfort. These socks are versatile, serving not only hikers but also cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts, due to their optimal balance between water resistance and breathability.
However, while these features make the Showers Pass Crosspoint Socks a notable choice, they do not quite match up to our editor’s pick in certain areas. Users have found that despite their excellent waterproofing, these socks may not offer the same degree of warmth provided by some other top contenders. In addition, some hikers may find them to be less cushioned compared to other waterproof socks, potentially impacting comfort during long and challenging trails.
Nevertheless, the Showers Pass Crosspoint Socks are a reliable choice, offering high-level waterproof protection, even if they fall slightly short of being the top choice.
- Height: Crew
- Materials: 78% nylon, 15% polyester, 7% spandex
How We Tested, Reviewed, And Rated Waterproof Socks
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 waterproof 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.
When Should You Wear Waterproof Socks?
Waterproof socks are best worn for hiking when you’re likely to encounter wet conditions for extended periods of time. This includes situations like traversing muddy trails, hiking during rainy seasons, or crossing streams or marshy areas. The waterproof layer of these socks ensures that your feet remain dry in such circumstances, enhancing your comfort and reducing the risk of blisters.
Waterproof socks are also beneficial in colder climates due to their insulation properties. They can keep your feet warm and dry when hiking in snow or during chilly winter months. Their three-layer construction often includes an insulating inner layer that helps retain heat, making these socks ideal for low-temperature environments.
However, during dry conditions, especially in warmer weather or when engaging in strenuous, high-intensity hikes, waterproof socks may not be the best choice. They tend to be less breathable than regular hiking socks, which can lead to excessive sweating and possible discomfort. In such scenarios, it’s often better to opt for breathable, moisture-wicking hiking socks, compression socks, or even summer hiking socks pair with liner socks instead. Pair these regular socks with a pair of waterproof boots for more basic protection in regular conditions. Read more for how to choose hiking socks.
Thing to Consider When Choosing a Pair of Waterproof Socks for Hiking
When shopping for the best waterproof socks for hiking, consider these factors in relation to your specific hiking needs and preferences. The best socks will keep your feet dry, comfortable, and blister-free on any hike.
The construction of waterproof socks typically involves three layers: an inner layer for comfort, a middle waterproof layer, and an outer layer for durability. The choice of materials in each layer contributes significantly to the socks’ overall performance.
The inner layer is in direct contact with your skin and should provide moisture-wicking capabilities to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Common materials for this layer include Merino wool or synthetic fibers like Coolmax®. Merino wool is known for its natural moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties, while Coolmax® effectively transports moisture away from the skin.
Waterproof Mid Layer
The middle layer is what makes the socks waterproof. It’s often made of a waterproof and breathable membrane, like Gore-Tex® or eVent®. This layer prevents water from getting in but allows moisture (i.e., sweat) from your feet to escape.
The outer layer is designed to provide durability and protection. It’s usually made from a hard-wearing material like nylon, which can withstand rugged hiking conditions and prolong the lifespan of the socks.
Breathability is crucial for any hiking socks, but especially waterproof ones. The best waterproof socks should be able to release moisture from inside to prevent your feet from getting too sweaty and hot. This is where the waterproof-breathable membranes come into play. Look for socks with high breathability ratings or those made with advanced materials that are renowned for their superior breathability.
However, it’s essential to remember that waterproof socks are typically less breathable than regular socks. This means that they can potentially make your feet hot and sweaty during high-intensity hikes or in warm weather, which could lead to discomfort or even blisters. Therefore, they may not be the best option for every hike or for every hiker.
Like any piece of clothing, fit is a crucial factor. An ill-fitting sock can cause discomfort and blisters, even over short distances. A good waterproof sock should fit snugly but not too tightly, and it should provide enough room for your toes to move freely. Some socks come in different sizes, while others are one-size-fits-all, so make sure to check the manufacturer’s sizing chart before making a purchase.
The thickness of the socks can impact warmth, comfort, and how well they fit into your hiking boots. Thinner socks might provide less cushioning but are lightweight and fit easily into tight shoes. They’re ideal for warm weather or high-intensity hikes. Thicker socks, on the other hand, offer more insulation and padding, which can be beneficial in cold weather or for long hikes over rugged terrain. However, you need to ensure they fit comfortably in your boots without feeling too tight or causing pressure points.
Are waterproof socks any good?
Yes, waterproof socks can be very beneficial for hiking, especially in wet or cold conditions. They are designed to prevent water from seeping in, keeping your feet dry when hiking through rain, crossing streams, or navigating muddy terrains. Additionally, many waterproof socks provide excellent insulation, which can keep your feet warm during cold weather hikes.
Do you wear socks under SealSkinz?
In most cases, you won’t need to wear another pair of socks under your SEALSKINZ. Wearing socks underneath may affect the fit and comfort, potentially leading to issues like blisters. It might also impact the breathability and moisture-wicking properties of the SEALSKINZ socks.
Do waterproof socks exist?
Yes, waterproof socks do exist! They have a wide variety of intended uses that range from watersports to hiking and trekking. They have a cozy inner layer to keep you warm and blister-free, a waterproof mid layer, and a durable outer layer for longevity.
Can you hike in water socks?
A pair of waterproof hiking socks can be really beneficial for hikes where you are going to encounter a lot of water, whether that be from rain or from wet and muddy ground. They pair well with sandals and trail runners since they allow your foot to breathe while it stay completely protected from exterior water.
Can you wash waterproof socks?
Yes, you can wash waterproof socks but you should hand wash them in cold or cool water. Never dry them or expose them to heat – instead just let them air dry after washing and in between wearing.
The best waterproof socks for hiking offer a delicate balance between waterproofness, breathability, comfort, and durability. Choosing the right pair involves considering the materials of each layer, the fit, and the thickness based on your specific hiking needs. With the right pair of socks, you can embrace the great outdoors and keep your feet dry and comfortable, regardless of the trail or weather conditions.