How to Choose the Best Hiking Socks
If you’re headed out on any hiking excursion from local day hikes to mountaineering expeditions in the Appalachians, the gear you choose will be put to the test. One mistake no hiker wants to make on the trail is wearing the wrong socks. Why? It’s the most common reason hikers experience blisters on the trail.
To keep your feet cozy and dry on your next trek, we’ve broken down the key components to look for in hiking socks that you can find in our PURSUIT™ Hike collection.
For Maximum Comfort, Fiber Choice is King
The fibers chosen for a hiking sock can make or break hiking comfort. Just say no to cotton if you want to avoid blisters. Natural fibers, such as wool are durable and dry, as well as soft and comfortable.
Our PURSUIT™ Hike collection combines natural Merino Wool and our Signature Olefin performance fiber to create the driest hiking sock in its class. The unique structure of our hiking collection uses Olefin to wick moisture and dry quickly, while Merino Wool absorbs moisture without feeling soggy or losing the ability to regulate temperature.
For the Perfect Fit, Look at Your Footwear
Take a cue from your shoe or boot selection when choosing an appropriate sock height. You want to be sure that your sock covers the entirety of your hiking shoe or boot to prevent rubbing and blisters. That means when you're in your trail running shoes in the middle of the summer, you may choose a 2-inch cuff, while in the midst of winter a 6-inch or 8-inch cuff may better fit heavier boots and colder weather.
The PURSUIT™ Hike collection offers four cuff height options to fit your chosen hike and comfort preference in 2, 4, 6 and 8-inch cuff options.
Find the Right Cushion
Does it matter in a hiking sock? Yes! While you may have a personal preference on sock thickness and cushion, the terrain you plan to trek should play a role in the socks you choose, as well as temperatures. Our PURSUIT™ Hike collection comes in four cushion options: ultra light, light, medium and heavy.
Higher temperatures and low difficulty outings call for a lightweight, low cushion sock. This is because they vent heat and sweat more readily, and you won’t need the extra protection of a thick sock. As the impact of terrain becomes a bigger factor though, or you intend to shoulder a heavy pack, then consider wearing socks with more cushioning in the footbed to give your feet a break. And cooler weather is often a good time to go with a thicker sock as well for the added insulation to keep your feet and toes cozy.
Compression is Key for Lasting Support
Compression may seem like an afterthought when it comes to a hiking sock, but the right amount can ensure your muscles get the support they need in tough terrain. The moderate compression of our hiking socks supports the muscles in your feet to keep that spring in your step, and to encourage healthy circulation. It also keeps the socks in place, critical for maintaining a good contoured fit for eliminating bunching and blisters.
Plus, all of our socks are made with our Contoured Compression® Fit for a perfect fit every time, and lasting support during every hike.
Swiftwick has been committed to crafting the best socks for every hike for over ten years. All Swiftwick socks are sustainably produced in the USA and we’re a proud supporter of the American Hiking Society.
- Rebecca Henson