Wool Hiking Socks

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Whether you’re hiking in rain or snow, well-cushioned wool socks will maximize your comfort and keep you warm. Most high-quality hiking socks are made of a blend of natural and synthetic fibers, with wool providing odor resistance and wicking to help keep your feet dry; nylon typically adds durability; and spandex makes the material stretchy enough to stand up to hundreds of miles on the trail.

While cotton socks may seem soft, they are notorious for soaking up sweat and taking forever to dry, which can lead to blisters, odors, and discomfort on long hikes. Using a moisture-management fabric like wool can keep your feet feeling fresh all day long and reduce the risk of foot odor, which is especially important for thru-hikers.

The best wool hiking socks are made of a variety of fabrics, with merino being one of the most popular choices. However, just because a sock says it’s merino doesn’t mean it’s actually merino: varying densities of the yarn are used, and each brand has their own way of weaving the yarns together. For example, the REI Merino Wool Lightweight Hiking Crew socks have a high percentage of merino (79%) but also have a good amount of nylon and spandex to help with breathability, durability, and fit.

Another option is Swiftwick’s Pursuit Crew, which are designed with, you guessed it, moisture-managing merino wool along with polyester and spandex for strength and stretch. This combination provides a balance of cushioning, a seamless toe for reducing blisters, and infused twisted yarns that eliminate odor-causing bacteria. wool hiking socks

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