Top Socks

Top Socks

Good hiking socks are vital for looking after your feet on those long hikes. These are some of the best merino wool, synthetic and sheep’s wool ones on the market today.

[Thanks to Outsider Magazine for their contribution to this article]

A decent pair of hiking socks may make all the difference between enjoying a pleasant walk and enduring the burning feeling of blisters on your feet. Good stockings will help to keep your feet warm and avoid blisters; bad ones will soon be reduced to tatters, along with the soles of your feet. With such a choice available today it is difficult to decide which is best.

There are several critical factors that will come into play when choosing socks. Firstly, material. Socks tend to be made out Merino wool, or sheep’s wool of synthetic fabric. Merino wool is a natural fibre that is breathable and lightweight making it appropriate for all conditions. Sheep’s wool is normally thicker and warmer but is not as good at regulating temperature. They’ll also slower to dry out.

Socks made from synthetic material are usually made from some kind of Merino mixture and will try to combine the characteristics of Merino wool with more longevity. Though cotton socks are less expensive, it is best to try and avoid them. You’ll wear them out quickly and they will do little to prevent blisters.

The second key factor is the length of the sock. Generally, you don’t want socks that are shorter than your boot as otherwise you’re likely to encounter friction. Lengthier socks will also keep your feet warmer, a blessing in winter but they tend to be a little sweaty in summer. 

1. Smartwool PHD Outdoor Light Crew

Smartwool PHD Outdoor Light Crew

Smartwool PHD Outdoor Light Crew

These socks are made from Smartwool’s cleverly named ‘Indestructawool’ material that is designed to provide maximum durability. In essence, this is a blend between Merino wool, elastane and polyester. This ensures you get first-rate wicking and breathability together with a snug fit. The socks are very comfortable and virtually seamless around the toes meaning there is nothing to rub. The socks come just above the ankle meaning they are a great choice for ankle boots.

Price €20.00 Available from: Basecamp


2.   Bridgedale CoolFusion Trailhead

 

Bridgedale CoolFusion Trailhead

Bridgedale CoolFusion Trailhead

The CoolFusion socks have one big priority and that is ensuring your feet are cool and comfortable while you’re out and about. The socks have unique ventilation panels to keep a good airflow and prevent your feet from getting too hot and sweaty, in both winter and summer. The Trailhead socks are knit from a Merino wool blend and feature added padding around the heels and Achilles to keep your feet comfortable.

Price €23.00 Available from: Cotswold Outdoor 

 


3.   Silverpoint Alpaca Hiker

 

Silverpoint Alpaca Hiker

Silverpoint Alpaca Hiker

The specialist manufacturers Silverpoint have chosen the wool of the mountain-going Alpaca to blend with Merino wool in the making of their Alpaca Hiker socks. The socks are wonderfully soft and comfortable and remarkably breathable as a result. The toes and heels and toes are reinforced and padded to increase comfort in order to ensure they can cope with the kilometres you’ll be racking up.

Price: €19.50

Available from: Wild Side Sports

 


4. Bridgedale Endurance Summit

Bridgedale Endurance Summit

Bridgedale Endurance Summit

 

The Summit stocking is a thicker, heavy-duty sock that is designed to keep your feet snug and comfortable in cold weather and on demanding hikes. They have extra cushioning around the toes and heel to prevent friction and prove to be very comfortable as a result. They’re a bit unwarranted for run of the mill hikes but they are an excellent choice if you have greater ambitions.

Price: €22.0 Available from: Great Outdoors


5. Sealskinz Thin Mid Length

Sealskinz Thin Mid Length

Sealskinz Thin Mid Length

 

These Sealskinz socks are a premium choice but if you decide on these you will not be concerned about cold feet ever again. They are also totally waterproof making them an excellent choice for when the weather takes a turn for the worse. They feature elastic around the instep and ankle to eradicate slippage and ensure a cosy and snug fit. Sealskinz are definitely worth considering if you fancy hiking come rain or shine.

Price: €35.16 Available from: Outdoor Adventure Store


6. Icebreaker Hike Mid Weight Sock

Icebreaker Hike Mid Weight Sock

Icebreaker Hike Mid Weight Sock

 

These soft and highly breathable merino wool socks keep feet dry, comfortable and odour free out on the trails. A strengthened heel and toe make this a robust sock also! Seamless toe closures and a good level of ventilation also help to eliminate blisters.

Price: €21.99

Available from: Wild Side Sports

 

 

 

[Thanks to Outsider Magazine for their contribution to this article]

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