Best Waterproof Socks For Hiking

By: Ashley Vitiello | Last Updated on December 22, 2023

Every recommendation we make has been used, tested, and expertly selected by us. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

Discover the top picks in our guide to the best waterproof socks for hiking. Stay dry, warm, and comfortable on any trail. Your adventure awaits!

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.

Our #1 Recommendation: Waterproof Socks by RANDY SUN

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

Not only are these RANDY SUN socks our Editor’s Choice, but they’re also the most affordable socks on this list. This means they’re ready for waterproof, blister-free adventures for a great price. Full Review

Our #2 Recommendation: All Weather Mid-Length Socks by SEALSKINZ

Affordability: 4.8/5
Quality: 4.9/5
Features: 4.8/5

These All Weather Socks by SEALSKINZ are built for a wide range of weather conditions and are engineered to be perfectly comfortable, very durable, and extremely waterproof. Full Review

Our #3 Recommendation: Waterproof Cold Weather Knee Length Socks by SEALSKINS

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

When you need more waterproofing than a crew height sock can offer, these knee high SEALSKINZ should be your go-to option. They’re remarkably waterproof, comfortable to wear, and are built to last using durable materials. Full Review

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.

Specifications

  • Height: Crew
  • Inner Layer: 66% COOLMAX, 30% polyester,4% elastane
  • Outer Layer: 61% nylon, 32% polyester, 7% elastane

Pros

  • Most affordable socks on the list
  • Extremely highly rated by users
  • Completely waterproof
  • Durable and comfortable to wear

Cons

  • None

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.

Specifications

  • Height: Mid-Calf
  • Inner Layer: 36% Merino Wool, 36% Acrylic, 18% Polyester, 5% Nylon, 5% Elastane
  • Outer Layer: 62% polypropylene, 29% Nylon, 9% Elastane

Pros

  • Merino wool helps with blister prevention and temperature regulation
  • High quality materials from a reputable brand
  • Available in ankle height and mid-calf height

Cons

  • Higher price tag

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.

Specifications

  • Height: Knee
  • Inner Layer: 38% Merino Wool, 38% Acrylic, 22% Polyester, 2% Elastane
  • Outer Layer: 90% nylon, 10% elastane

Pros

  • Knee high socks offer the most amount of waterproof protection you could get
  • Merino wool interior keeps feet warm and blister-free
  • High quality materials means these are built to last

Cons

  • Most expensive sock on this list

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.

Specifications

  • Height: Crew
  • Materials: blends of nylon, spandex, COOLMAX and Merino wool

Pros

  • Great price
  • Thick, warm materials for cold weather use
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons

  • No information on what materials they use

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.

Specifications

  • Height: Crew
  • Materials: 78% nylon, 15% polyester, 7% spandex

Pros

  • Affordable price point from a reputable brand
  • Versatile for a wide range of activities

Cons

  • Not as high quality or comfortable

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.

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.

Sock NameBrandPriceHeightBest UseOverall Rating
Waterproof Breathable SocksRANDY SUN$CrewEditor’s Choice5/5
All Weather Mid-Length SocksSEALSKINZ$$$Mid-Calf or AnkleRunner-Up4.8/5
Waterproof Cold Weather Knee Length SocksSEALSKINS$$$KneeFor Knee Height4.8/5
Waterproof SocksAcrticDry$CrewFor Cold Weather4.6/5
Crosspoint Waterproof Bike SocksShowers Pass$$CrewGood, But Not as Great as the Others4.4/5

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.

Materials

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.

Inner Layer

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.

Outer Layer

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

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.

Fit

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.

Thickness

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.

FAQ

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Our #1 Recommendation: Waterproof Breathable Socks by RANDY SUN

These All Weather Socks by SEALSKINZ are simply the best of the best of all waterproof socks. They are built for a wide range of weather conditions and are engineered to be perfectly comfortable, very durable, and extremely waterproof.

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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