How to Choose Hiking Socks to Stop Your Feet Getting Blistered

A good pair of hiking socks can regulate temperature, absorb shock, prevent blisters, and improve circulation. On a long hike they can be the difference between finishing and giving up.
Types of Material
Hiking socks are generally made from 5 types of materials; silk, Merino Wool, wool, cotton and IsoCool.

Merino Wool
Made from natural fibres, Merino Wool socks are warm, breathable and soft. So not only will you feel comfortable in them, but you won't be desperate to air your feet when you finally get to sit down after a long day's walk.


IsoCool socks, as the name suggest aims to keep your feet cool during hot weather hikes. Whereas other socks merely absorbs moisture, resulting in a rather uncomfortable squelchy feel at the bottom of your boot, IsoCool socks dry quickly, leaving your feet feeling fresh throughout the day.

For generations of hikers, wool has been the go to material for hiking socks. And for good reason. They are warm, padded and long lasting. Their only downside is that on occasions they can be too warm. While they are great for winter hikes, they are too hot for summer hikes, and at times they can make your feet feel like they are inside an oven.

Cotton Walking Socks
You should use cotton socks only for short walks. They are cheaper than the others, but but not so good at getting rid of moisture, potentially leading to blistered feet. That said it is a good idea to bring a few pairs with you as cheap spares, or to put on when you are wandering around a town, city or village.

High wicking, and lightweight, silk socks are great for wearing in hot weather and even better for wearing as lining for other socks. Their only problem is that they damage relatively easily and it is best to take a few pairs with you if you can afford them, or as already suggested, use them in combination with other types of hiking sock.

Types of Hiking Socks
There are three types of hiking sock; crew socks, liner socks, and double layer socks.
Crew Socks are the socks people most associate hikers with wearing. They are usually made from a thick material such as wool and stretch right to the calf. Often you will see people roll them up over their trousers, though this is not a good idea as it can cause them to get wet.

Liner Socks are made from thinner material such as silk and are used to line thicker pairs of socks to prevent a build up of moisture. You should bear in mind that moisture is the most common cause of blisters because it causes friction.
Double Layer Walking Socks are socks with a liner already built into them. Though convenient, they can make it difficult to fit on your boots. Ideally they should be worn with boots a size bigger than your normal size.

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