Choosing the Right Hiking or Backpacking Socks

Choosing the Right Hiking or Backpacking Socks

Hiking can be strenuous and especially hard on your feet. Whether you’re going out for a short, easy walk in the woods or undertaking a serious backpacking trip, taking care of your feet on hikes is crucial in preventing injury and maximizing your stamina on the trail. While most people know the importance of a solid pair of hiking boots, hiking and backpacking socks don’t garner as much attention even though they’re essential. Make sure to factor in the following considerations when looking for a new pair of hiking socks.

Sock Height

You’ll first want to be sure you’re looking in the correct height category. Eliminate no-show options and ankle socks from your list, as they don’t rise to the top of any hiking boots and will leave your ankles open to painful abrasion. Almost every hiking sock is crew length, ending a couple of inches above the ankle bone but leaving your calves free to breathe.

Knee-high socks can be a good option in cold weather or when performing serious mountaineering, but they may be too restrictive for average use.

Sock Cushioning

Cushioning is more critical for hiking than any other activity, but it must be balanced with other features depending on your needs. Hiking socks with light cushioning may not be the best for long-haul backpacking trips, but they are typically better at moisture wicking and breathability. However, if you’re backpacking in the cold, you’ll want the warmest and most cushioned socks. Often, a happy medium is the best answer for most needs. Additionally, socks should have left and right fits to ensure they conform to the foot for proper anatomical support. 

Fabric Types

Because hiking and backpacking socks need to provide comfort and durability, wool is the best option. Its temperature-regulating power and antimicrobial ability make wool very popular, and wool is often blended with synthetic materials to improve durability and moisture-wicking capabilities. 

Feetures premium hiking socks are made from our proprietary Merino 10 material, which blends merino wool with the synthetic, sustainable fiber TENCEL. They are exceptionally soft, hard-wearing, and built with hiking and backpacking in mind. 

Happy Hiking from Feetures

If you’re a backpacker or hiker looking for socks as tough as your trails, Feetures has the answer. 

Take our quick quiz to drill down on which of our eco-friendly, expertly-engineered sock lines will take your outdoor activity to the next level.


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