That’s because your socks play an important role in not keeping your feet dry and at the right temperature, they can help make sure your feet remain blister-free and comfortable too. If you don’t want your walk to turn into a painful experience, picking the right hiking socks is crucial.
With that in mind, we have put together a quick guide to choosing the perfect walking and outdoor socks for your next hiking adventure.
Match your sock to your walk: In general, hiking socks are classified as either light, medium or heavy. A light hiking sock will be great for a few hours of light walking on easy trails. If your hike is a bit harder, you’ll want to go for a medium hiking sock, while a heavyweight sock are the thickest, warmest socks around. If your hike tackles challenging ground in the cold for several hours, a heavyweight sock is a must.
Pick the right material: When it comes to picking the right sock material, always stay well clear of cotton – this material retains sweat and can lead to sore and painful blisters. Wool has been a traditional choice for walkers for many years, but this material can hold onto moisture and lose its shape over time. Many hiking sock manufacturers nowadays mix merino wool with synthetic fibres to keep the moisture out, keep your feet warm and allow them to breathe at the same time.
Get the right fit: When you pick your sock, you will want to make sure it fits correctly. If your socks are too tight you’ll be uncomfortable, but too loose and you’ll risk blisters and chafing. Most socks come in a size range or are classed small, medium or large. If your sock doesn’t fit properly, try the next size up.
Choose the right design: Good hiking socks will have extra cushioning built into the design around the ball, heel and toe areas of the foot. This helps to increase the comfort and protection levels around these high impact zones.
To sum up, a great hiking sock is just as important as your boots. They can mean the difference between a fantastic hike and a wet, cold, miserable one that ends in blistered itchy feet.