We are supported by our readers. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More

The 8 Best Socks For Hiking In Cold Weather

Hiking socks are integral parts of any hiking gear. On average, each hike gulps up to 2,000 steps. So it's to pay extra attention to your feet.

Now when it's winter, you need to gear up differently down your feet. Great hike boots will come first naturally. That's not out of place.

However, socks are more important, and you don't have to wear those hiking boots without them to find out.

I'll give you a sneak peek: it's one hell of an experience. The boots won't do all the protection, your feet will grow cold, you'll suffer from frostbite, and it'll affect your entire body. That is just a preview.

The good news is that, you are here already, and you will find out more about why you need the best socks for hiking in cold weather.

premium pick
top pick
top pick
Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks 3 pack (Multicolor: Navy, Grey, Green, US Women 8-10 // US Men...
Alvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Thermal Warm Crew Winter Boot Sock for Men Women 3 Pairs SM
DG Hill 3 Pairs 80% Merino Wool Socks for Men and Women, Thermal Warm Socks For Hiking, Crew Style,...

DANISH ENDURANCE

Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks

Alvada

Merino Wool Hiking Socks

DG Hill

Merino Wool Socks for Men and Women

premium pick
Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks 3 pack (Multicolor: Navy, Grey, Green, US Women 8-10 // US Men...

DANISH ENDURANCE

Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks

top pick
Alvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Thermal Warm Crew Winter Boot Sock for Men Women 3 Pairs SM

Alvada

Merino Wool Hiking Socks

top pick
DG Hill 3 Pairs 80% Merino Wool Socks for Men and Women, Thermal Warm Socks For Hiking, Crew Style,...

DG Hill

Merino Wool Socks for Men and Women

Best Socks For Hiking In Cold Weather

Best Socks For Hiking In Cold Weather: Reviews

Cold temperatures cross the mind with the mention of winter. It is a season where almost every habit has to change. That could be the mode of dressing, eating habits, and the activities you undertake. However, it should not deny you a chance to go for that amazing excursion. All you need is to arm yourself with the appropriate gear.

Stockings are among the essential items for any trek. They play several crucial roles to ensure that you enjoy your excursion. First, they provide warmth to your fit. Additionally, they bring comfort, allowing you to have a great experience. Due to that, we have come up with a list of the best winter hiking socks.

1. Danish endurance Merino Wool Hiking Socks 


Main Features

  • Temperature regulation characteristics
  • they maintain warmth in the feet
  • Availability in different sizes
  • cushions and padding

Premium Choice

Danish endurance Merino Wool Hiking and Walking Socks

Maintenance of comfortable feet

Danish Endurance has the natural temperature regulation characteristics of merino wool blend. Therefore, they are not only ideal for winter but also during the summer. Despite the cold temperatures during winter, internal body temperatures may lead to sweating. This product comes with ventilation mesh lanes that absorb the sweat. Additionally, with the friction during walking, they have cushions and pads, which lower the risk of aches and getting blisters.

Suitable for adventures 

These unisex products are suitable for all excursions.  It is the perfect gift you can give to your family or friends. Besides, they are available in different sizes to suit all ages.

Good for mountaineers 

If mountaineering is your adventure, you don't have to go for anything other than the Danish Endurance types. As the name suggests, they endure the strenuous activities. You have an assurance of the highest performance standards.

Danish Endurance is so ideal, even if you are going for a rigorous excursion. Therefore, even if you are to walk miles in a day, this is a product that ensures your feet remain comfortable.

Pros

  • comfortable to wear
  • High Endurance
  • multipurpose
  • Unisex

Cons

  • They are relatively high priced
  • They shrink on washing

2. Alvada Merino Wool Hiking Socks


Main Features

  • suitable for different environment
  • they offer an itch-free experience
  • superior cushioning
  • warming the feet

Top Choice

Alvada 80 Merino Wool Hiking Socks

Material

Alvada consists of 80 percent Merino wool and 15 percent polyester. The other composition is four percent Nylon and finally Spandex, which takes up one percent.

Comfort experience

These products give the comfort you would ever wish on an adventure. It does not matter whether the environment is warm or cold. Besides, every pair is suitable for a rugged trail.

No itches 

It is so uncomfortable when you keep bending to scratch your leg after every ten steps. Besides, it is an embarrassing situation. Your colleagues may think you spent your time in a mite-infested chicken coop. These Alvada products allow you to conserve the energy you would use in scratching your legs for completing the trail. The nylon material is itch-free.

They provide warmth to your feet. 

These products provide warmth during the trek. Cold temperatures can freeze your feet to the point that you feel like not moving any inch. 

Cushioning 

The footbed of this type of product has superior cushioning. Therefore, you are more comfortable even as you move up steep terrain. It significantly reduces the likelihood of fatigue during the excursion. Besides, there is no pain in the evening.

Easy to take care

It is easy to wash these Alvada 80 percent Merino wool products. They are good to go by placing them in the wash on cold.

Due to their thick material, they are so warm to the feet. If you are not the person who sweats on a minor rise in temperature, then these are a perfect match for you.

Pros

  • easy to wash
  • comfortable
  • Unisex
  • no slip

Cons

  • too thick material
  • less durable

3. DG Hill Merino Wool Socks for Men and Women

Main Features

  • Availability in varying sizes
  • Anti-bacterial properties
  • Wicking properties
  • Optimal warmth

Best Value

DG Hill 3 Pairs 80 Merino Wool Socks for Men and Women

Suitable for optimal warmth

If you are taking your excursion in a cold season, DG Hill is the type to purchase. These unisex products are such warmth. Despite that, they are ideal for the warm season too. The Merino wool plays the role of a temperature regulator.

Comfort

These products come with a fleece lining to ensure the highest standard performance. They are long-lasting, even after subsequent wearing.

Cushioning

The footbed of these products has excellent cushioning. Additionally, there is arch support that ensures that you are comfortable even when you stand for long.

Wicking properties

These products take up a sweat, ensuring that your feet remain dry. Therefore, you are safe from bacterial infections. Besides, the dryness they maintain on your feet allows a fresh odor even after a long trail.

Variety of sizes

Other than being unisex, these products come in different sizes. Therefore, you can find your match regardless of the size of your feet.

A great aspect of these stockings is that they are available in different sizes. Besides, they are suitable for both men and women.

Pros

  • Reduced odor
  • Arch support
  • Durability
  • Comfort

Cons

  • Unpleasant chemical odor
  • Inconsistent quality

4. Carhartt Men's A118-4 Cold Weather Crew Socks

Main Features

  • High standard performance
  • Superior cushioning
  • Full motion stability
  • Wicking properties

Reliable Pick

Carhartt Mens A118 4 Cold Weather Wool Blend Crew Socks

Great material composition

Carhartt men's stockings consist of five materials. the major constituents are Acrylic, which takes up 41%, as Polyester comprises 36%. The rest composition includes Nylon at 14%, wool at 8%, and Spandex, which makes up one percent.

Wicking properties 

Sweating is a normal body process which happens even in cold temperature. However, the sweat does not accumulate around your feet. These stockings wick it away through FastDry technology, thus maintaining dryness. Therefore, you don't expect the awful odors from your feet.

Superior cushioning

These stockings consider the comfort of your feet. A full cushion on the footbed allows a cozy feeling even in rough terrains. Besides, this product assures high standard performance.

Warmth

The wool blend in this product allows your feet to remain warm even in the coldest temperatures.

Durability

The design on the toe and heel incorporates yarn reinforcement. Therefore, you have a guarantee that these stockings are durable.

Support

The arch support design allows support even when you are walking down a trail. Therefore, you are stable even when in fast movements.

Danish Endurance is so ideal, even if you are going for a rigorous excursion. Therefore, even if you are to walk miles in a day, this is a product that ensures your feet remain comfortable.

Pros

  • Great composition
  • Warmth and Comfortable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Incredibly bulky on shoes
  • Not suitable for women

5. Smartwool Hiking Crew Socks


Main Features

  • Great material composition
  • High-performance degree
  • Virtually seamless toe
  • Maximum comfort

Reliable Pick

Smartwool Hiking Crew Socks Mens Medium Cushioned Wool Performance Sock

Warmth

Smartwool Men's stockings are designed for the highest degree of performance. They provide your feet with a perfect amount of warmth.

Comfort

These stockings have a fit system that deeply considers performance and a flex section around the ankle. All these, together with a seamless toe, ensure that you get maximum comfort.

Breathable

There are stocking manufacturers who find it difficult to balance durability and breathability. You find that the more breathable the stocking is, the looser the yarn reinforcement. Therefore, it tends to wear out quickly. However, Smartwool Men's stocking features two properties. It is durable and, at the same time, breathable. There are mesh ones that offer maximum ventilation all day long.

Light cushioning 

The bottom of these stockings features a light cushioning. Therefore, it is comfortable to wear different terrains. It does not matter the activity that you are undertaking could be running, walking, or climbing. These stockings are comfortable all the time.

Great material composition

Smartwool Men's stockings consist of 66 percent Merino wool and 33 percent Nylon. Elastane material takes up one percent. The composition is crucial for their warmth, comfort, and durability.

The feet require fresh air, especially in long-distance treks. These stockings have great ventilation that allows breathability.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Breathable
  • Fit system
  • Warm

Cons

  • Suitable for men only
  • Inferior cushioning

6. Icebreaker Merino Women's Crew Socks

Main Features

  • Provides warmth to the feet
  • Great material composition
  • Anatomic sculpturing
  • Seamless toe closure

Reliable Pick

Icebreaker Merino womens Hiking Crew Socks New Zealand Merino Wool

Great material composition

Icebreaker Merino Women stockings consist majorly of wool that takes up 66 percent. Another major material is the Polyamide at 32 percent, and finally, Elastane takes up two percent.

Comfort 

The design has great consideration for comfort. The stockings have a seamless toe closure. Therefore, it ensures that you are comfortable even when trekking long and rough terrains. Besides, you won't get blisters.

Durability 

Icebreaker's Merino wool stocking guarantees to serve you for a long time. The yarn reinforcement, in addition to the material of the products, adds to the durability.

Full cushioning

Icebreaker’s Merino wool stocking incorporates cushioning along its interior to enhance comfort. It does not matter the activities that you intend to undertake during your excursion. These stockings contain a cushioning that maintains your feet at ease.

A great feature of the Icebreaker Merino stocking is it's full cushioning. Therefore, if you intend to take up a rigorous adventurous activity, then you might consider them since they maintain your feet at ease.

Pros

  • Full cushioning
  • Machine wash
  • Comfort
  • durable

Cons

  • Less breathability
  • Not ideal for men

7. Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Crew Nuwool Socks


Main Features

  • Great fiber content composition
  • Reduced skin on skin friction
  • Comfortable for long treks
  • Protective cushion

Reliable Pick

Injinji 2 Outdoor Midweight Crew Nuwool Socks

Protective cushion

Injijni 2.0 Outdoor stockings come with heel padding and metatarsal. The two features play two crucial roles. First, they protect your feet regardless of the excursion activity that you intend to undertake. Additionally, they also increase the durability of these stockings.

Mesh top 

These stockings feature a mesh that optimizes ventilation. Therefore, they allow your legs to breathe, which is key to maintaining freshness.

Full foot utilization 

It facilitates separation and proper alignment of toes. Therefore, it allows your feet to remain engaged regardless of the adventurous activity you are undertaking.

Protection from blisters 

These stockings maintain each toe in its pouch. Therefore, it protects two from rubbing each other as the friction may lead to blisters.

Moisture management 

The design incorporates wicking material in the toe pouches. The function is to absorb sweat to maintain dry feet. It makes these stockings more comfortable than conventional ones.

Injinji 2.0 outdoor stockings are quite exceptional. They feature heel padding and a metatarsal not only for maximum comfort but also for durability. Besides, they are great at protecting you from blisters.

Pros

  • Wicking material
  • Breathability
  • Arch support
  • Durability

Cons

  • The smooth texture leads to slipping
  • Unrealistic pricing

8. Time May Tell Men's Merino Wool Socks

Main Features

  • Sweat-wicking properties
  • Great for all seasons
  • Great gift choice
  • High elasticity

Reliable Pick

Time May Tell Mens Merino Wool Hiking Cushion Socks Pack

Great material composition

These stockings consist of 80 percent Merino wool as the primary material. Nylon takes up 14 percent while Poly is at five percent. Finally, Spandex takes up the remaining one percent. You won't find any spare threads in these stockings' interior due to the meticulous process adopted in the design. Besides, the material composition makes them elastic and soft to handle.

Fashionable design

If you have an eye for fashion, these are the stockings to purchase. They are ideal for professional excursion activities. Besides, they are perfect for daily wear due to their stylish design and vibrant colors. These stockings give you a cozy feel regardless of the seasons you wear them.

Unisex 

These stockings suit both genders. They are soft and stretch easily, making it convenient to wear. You won't have to keep pulling them up after every ten steps of your trek.

Great present choice

These stockings are the perfect gift you can present to outdoor walkers or any excursion enthusiast.

Time may tell stockings to come with a stylish design that attracts anyone who has an eye for fashion. Besides, they have a great material composition for optimal comfort and durability.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Soft to handle
  • Warmth
  • Unisex

Cons

  • Weird writing at the bottom
  • Inferior cushioning

Nothing can deter you from having a great excursion. This list consists of the top stockings that perfectly suit a cold season excursion. Other than providing warmth to your feet, each product has additional features to improve your overall experience.

Let's begin by answering the question below.

What is the Importance of Hiking Socks for Cold Weather?

Firstly, you need socks for hiking in any weather condition. But when it's cold out there, you need them to keep your feet warm and eliminate any chance of frostbite.

When the weather is cold, your head, hands, and feet need all the protection they can get. These are major access points of cold into your body system. Your feet are paramount here because they are doing the most job, and when they are not comfortable, the entire hike will be in jeopardy.

The right socks keep the feet warm and dry. Since your feet are going to be super busy, they are still going to sweat despite the cold weather. However, a suitable socks for such a climatic condition will ensure that sweats are away. They will wick the moisture out to keep the feet dry.

When you have a build-up of sweat down your feet, what you witness is wet feet and wet socks as well. Thus, you have a terrible situation where the pool of water down your feet naturally finds its way to your whole body. And although you have your hands and head covered, you will still have to suffer from spontaneous shivering.

So the primal essence of hiking socks for cold weather is to provide insulation for your feet against perspiration. The insulation ensures your feet stay dry at all times.

These hiking socks can carry out this role very well because they are thick, and this thickness enables them to absorb moisture better. Also, this thickness is excellent at keeping the feet warm. It is the first benefit they offer.

Now that you are aware of the sheer importance of this often neglected hiking gear, let's proceed to how you can find the perfect one for your cold-weather hike.

How Do You Choose Hiking Socks For Cold Weather? 

How Do You Choose Hiking Socks

When it's time to choose socks for that cold hike, the first thing that should come to your mind is finding the right size. The right size for you will fit perfectly into your feet and ankles without sagging. It will also be moderate in terms of space; somewhere between tight and loose.

This way, you don't get to feel uncomfortable having it too tight on you, and it doesn't feel too loose either to allow for sagging.

In getting the right size, you should be aware that your boot size and that of your feet aren't the same. Hence you choose according to your feet size and not boot size because the foot offers some level of allowance. 

Secondly,

Socks come in different heights. Now it's winter, and if you are hiking in shorts, you need knee-high socks. Otherwise, anyone around these (no show, ankle, and crew) ranges will do.

For you to understand the importance of socks height when choosing, let me briefly explain the various heights of socks available.

There are four major heights of socks which are:

  • Knee-High
  • Crew
  • Ankle
  • No show

Knee-High

This height of socks is your best shot at getting fully geared for cold weather hiking. Just like its name suggests, it's very high and gets up to your knees. This will keep your legs and feet fully covered against the cold. Most hikers go on shorts, so this is an excellent choice.

Crew

This height takes the middle position of your legs. It's in between your knee and ankle. This is the most preferred hiking socks out there and the most ideal. This is because, it's great for summer and more importantly, a fine option for winter as the extra length above your ankle keeps you warm. 

Ankle

This height stops at your ankle and is a preferred option for casual hikes. Casual hikes don't need high jungle boots, a low-cut boot will do. Generally, ankle hike socks are made for low-cut and mid-cut boots. Never settle for this option in winter.

No show

The name says it all. It's no showing off. So if you're putting these socks on, it means you're only concerned about the safety of your toes and soles. They don't show up and nobody knows you've got them on. Their job is mostly internal and not ideal for the cold season. This is the worst option for cold weather unless you're going to cover them up with another sock; preferably knee-high socks.

Things to Consider While Choosing Socks For Hiking 

Things to Consider While Choosing Socks For Hiking

Since we are talking about cold weather here, there two major considerations you have to make while choosing socks.

They are:

Material and Cushioning

Let's start with the first.

Material

The kind of material used in making the socks will, to a great extent, determine how they will serve you adequately. Wool and cotton are both famous in the industry and cotton is known to generate lots of heat that are needed for the cold climate.

Although wool is the most ideal for warm weather, most people still prefer wool in the cold weather due to its rich qualities. Merino Wool is the best choice and it comes with anti-microbial properties. Consider wool your first option here.

Cushioning

Cushioning is a very important factor to consider in choosing socks when you know it's going to be cold out there. Cushioning is what makes the socks thick and this is good for warmth. Ultimately, you need to feel warm because it's cold already. So choose socks with heavy cushioning. They are the thickest and provides the best warmth.

Different Types of Fabrics for Hiking Socks

There are different types of fabrics used in making hiking socks. Each comes with its unique property, but the best comes from a blend of two or more fabrics. This blend provides the right balance in warmth, cushioning, fast-drying, ventilation, and durability.

Here are the different types:

Wool

Naturally, wool is the first choice for hikers. It has been recommended by experts all over the world and has lived up to the hype. Merino wool from Australia is a special one since it comes with anti-microbial properties. This quality makes it odorless and bacteria-free. A blend of wool and spandex or polyester is a must-have for every hiker. This combination provides every great quality you need in a sock. From durability, comfort, moisture-wicking, breathability to cushioning, temperature regulation, and fewer odors, you've got everything in one sock.

Nylon

Nylon is a synthetic material that doesn't fare off well on its own as a material for making hiking socks. It is mostly blended with others.

Spandex

This is a synthetic material and just like Nylon, it is blended with other materials in a small ratio. Spandex makes socks very elastic.

Polyester

This is yet another synthetic material for making socks. Unlike the others, it can stand alone because it offers insulation, wicks moisture away, and dries faster. It is the best material to combine with wool.

Cotton and Silk

Both materials are natural but are rarely used because they offer less in value. Cotton has been ruled out as a choice for any socks by many hikers. However, silk is still relevant since it's a natural insulator.

Conclusion

While it's common to pick socks for hiking, most people do that without arming themselves with prerequisite knowledge about them.

In the end, they find themselves with tons of socks but not getting the best out of them. Thankfully, this guide has been able to provide in detail, some of the handy tips needed to get it right.

So when next you go out shopping socks for your next hike, this guide should be your reference point and we do hope you find it resourceful.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

1. What are the best socks to wear in cold weather?

The top socks for cold weather are the ones that provide warmth to the feet and legs via cushioning and insulate the feet properly. Let us have a quick view:

1. Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking Socks (Premium pick)

2. Alvada Merino Wool Hiking Socks (Top Choice)

3. DG hill Merino Wool Socks for men and Women (Best Value)

4. Carhartt Men's A118-4 Cold Weather Crew Socks

5. Smartwool hiking Crew Socks

6. Icebreaker Merino Women's Crew Socks

7. Ininji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Crew Nuwool Socks

8. Time May Tell Men's Merino wool Socks

2. What type of socks keeps the feet warmest?

The best kind of socks to keep the feet warmest is the one made of wool and a blend of polyester. This kind does not retain sweat, rather than keep the feet dry and insulate them against perspiration.

3. Which socks are best for hiking?

The best socks for hiking are wool socks. Seasoned hikers strongly recommend them and they are truly the best.

4. Does wearing more socks make your feet colder?

The answer is certainly no. More socks amount to more heat and less ventilation. You will have the right cushioning but you will certainly be uncomfortable.

5. Should you wear two pairs of socks when hiking?

It all depends on the nature of the socks and terrain. If they are too light weighted, you can double them because harder terrains require heavy cushioning. Otherwise, stick to one.

6. Should hiking socks be thick or thin?

Hiking socks are meant to be thick. The thickness helps limit Injuries due to friction between your feet and the hiking foot. More importantly, thick socks are best for a cold-weather hike.

7. Why should we not wear socks while sleeping?

Wearing a pair of socks while sleeping will cause overheating. This overheating can spread to other parts of your body and cause you to feel uncomfortable.

8. Why are my feet cold with socks on?

When your feet are always cold even when you've got socks on, it points to one major thing. This is due to poor or reduced circulation of blood down your feet. Your feet are not getting enough blood flow which is essential for temperature regulation.

9. Why is my body warm but feet cold?

This also has to do with poor circulation. The extreme parts of your body receive the least blood flow. Your palms can also be cold.

10. What are the best socks for chilblains?

Wool socks provide the needed warmth for people suffering from the chilblain condition. However, there are therapeutic socks that will assuage the condition better. You can simply ask your dealer.

Leave a Comment