There’s nothing quite like hiking the gorgeous trails of the UK, but a bad pair of socks can turn that dreamy walk into a blister-filled nightmare.
When embarking on a long walk, your choice of socks for walking can significantly impact your comfort and overall experience.
That’s where we come in.
We’ve scoured the web for the ‘best hiking socks UK’ and have brought you the cream of the crop for your next outdoor adventure. Whether you’re planning a trek up Ben Nevis or a leisurely ramble through the Cotswolds, we’ve got you covered.
From merino wool wonders to bamboo sock sensations, these options will have your feet thanking you after those long, rewarding miles on the trail.
Ready to treat your feet? Let’s dive right in!
For many hikers, nothing can ruin a beautiful day on the trails like a nasty blister. It’s the kind of discomfort that reminds you of its existence with each step.
Often, it’s poor-quality hiking socks. A good pair of hiking socks can prevent blisters, wick away the sweat (bye, sweaty feet!) and keep your feet warm during those chilly treks.
When the makers design the socks right, you’ll feel as if you’re walking on clouds even during long hikes.
When buying hiking socks, there’s more to consider than just the size. The material, fit, appropriate season, and cushioning play crucial roles in your overall hiking experience.
For instance, while synthetic materials offer excellent moisture-wicking properties, nothing beats the temperature regulation of natural fibres like Merino wool.
As for the fit, nobody wants a hiking sock that’s too tight at the top of the foot or bunches up in your hiking boot, right?
Always remember, your perfect fit isn’t just about your shoe size; it’s about the overall shape of your foot.
The season also affects your choice. Summer hikes require lightweight socks to prevent overheating, while winter hikes call for thermal socks to keep your feet warm.
We shouldn’t overlook cushioning either; it’s a cosy barrier between the foot and the boot, especially on the part of the foot, which sustains the greatest pressure.
Regarding choosing the best hiking socks for your outdoor ventures, you need more than a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Here are some practical tips to help you make an informed decision:
Different materials offer unique benefits. Knowing what these are will help you pick the right socks for your needs:
- Merino Wool: Naturally moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating, Merino wool is great for keeping your feet warm in winter and cool in summer. Additionally, it has natural antimicrobial properties, which can help prevent odour and maintain foot health.
- Synthetic Materials: Often including polyester, nylon, or elastane, synthetic socks are typically quick-drying and durable. They’re excellent for strenuous activities or summer hikes as they effectively manage sweat, keeping your feet dry.
- Bamboo: Bamboo is an eco-friendly material known for its softness, making it ideal for those who prioritise comfort. However, keep in mind it might not provide as much insulation as wool or synthetic materials.
A good fit is crucial to preventing blisters and enhancing comfort. Here’s how you can measure your foot size accurately:
- Trace Your Foot: Place a sheet of paper on the floor and step on it barefoot. Trace the outline of your foot, keeping the pen straight up and down.
- Measure Your Tracing: With a ruler, measure the length from the heel to the tip of your longest toe and the width at the widest part of your foot. Use these measurements when checking the size guide for the socks you’re considering.
- Toe Seams: Pay attention to the toe seams, which shouldn’t be too high or tight to avoid friction and potential blisters.
Remember that socks shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. You don’t want them to restrict circulation, but you also don’t want excess material that could cause friction and lead to blisters.
The season or climate of your hiking destination can dictate your socks choice:
- Summer Hikes: Opt for lightweight, moisture-wicking socks. These help prevent sweaty feet and reduce the risk of blisters. Materials like synthetic fibres or thinner merino wool are ideal.
- Winter Expeditions: Choose socks with good insulation to keep your feet warm. Thicker wool or thermal socks would be your go-to options. Don’t forget to make sure they still fit comfortably in your hiking boots!
Cushioning in your socks can provide extra comfort, especially for long hikes:
- Light Cushioning: Great for short, casual hikes or when you’re wearing lightweight hiking shoes.
- Medium to Heavy Cushioning: Ideal for longer treks, more challenging terrain, or if you’re carrying a heavier backpack. These provide extra padding to protect your feet and absorb impact.
Remember, your socks are a crucial part of your hiking gear. Choosing wisely can mean the difference between a pleasant journey or one plagued by discomfort. With these practical tips, you’re on the right track to find the perfect pair for your needs.
Now, let’s debunk a few myths.
First, hiking socks don’t always need to be thick. Some thin socks are designed with excellent moisture-wicking abilities and can keep your feet blister-free. Moreover, not all socks perform the same.
The type of hike, whether it’s trail running or a leisurely walk, will dictate your socks requirements. A seamless toe, for example, might be more crucial for strenuous hikes where friction is higher.
Darn Tough lives up to its name. Known for their high-density knitting, they make these socks to last. Their Merino wool blend makes sure your feet stay dry and cosy, no matter the trail. However, durability and quality come at a slightly higher cost, a minor setback for budget-conscious hikers.
These socks are a green hiker’s dream. Made from eco-friendly Merino wool, they offer excellent temperature regulation. The cushioned footbed makes them ideal for long hikes. However, remember to size up as some users report, they run small.
With Bridgedale Storm Socks, you’re ready for the harshest weather. These socks’ waterproof and windproof properties make them perfect for winter hikes. Their thickness provides warmth but might make them too toasty for summer use.
These socks marry synthetic and natural fibres for best breathability and moisture-wicking properties, perfect for warm weather hikes. However, they might not be as durable as some competitors.
Lightweight and versatile, Stance Hike Lite Socks offer great performance in warm conditions. They also score style points! But their lightness might make them less suitable for cold weather or high-altitude hikes.
BAM Superluxe Socks take comfort to a new level with their ultra-soft bamboo fibre. However, they might not keep your feet warm on those cold winter hikes. With the right walking boots in the right season, these are good socks to have in your packing list.
Rockay Razer, with their sustainable manufacturing process and lifetime guarantee, are an environmentally conscious hiker’s choice. But their sustainability doesn’t compromise on the comfort needed for challenging hikes.
Rohan’s reputation shines in these durable and insulated socks. Perfect for extended use, they might be a bit expensive for budget hikers.
Patagonia offers excellent temperature regulation with their Merino wool socks. However, some users find them a bit thin, which could impact cushioning and comfort on long hikes.
These socks are a well-rounded choice with their balanced thickness and moisture-wicking abilities. They might not be warm enough for extreme cold, but they’re perfect for most conditions.
You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers. Let’s address some common queries about hiking socks:
The thickness of a hiking sock can depend on your personal comfort, the type of walking boots you wear, and the amount of cushioning you prefer, particularly around the ball of the foot.
Thin socks can be great for short, easy hikes, particularly in warm weather, as they’re breathable and prevent your feet from overheating.
However, for longer hikes, rough terrain, or colder weather, thick socks can provide extra cushioning and warmth. It’s often worth having a range of options to suit different circumstances.
When hiking, you should wear socks specifically designed for this activity.
Specially constructed for hiking, these socks come with extra padding, an extended cut to prevent chafing against boots. And fabric that draws sweat away from the skin for a dry, blister-free experience.
Materials often include Merino wool, synthetics such as polyester, or sometimes a blend.
For rainy or wet conditions, waterproof or quick-drying socks are essential. Look for socks made from synthetic materials, as these tend to dry faster than other options.
Some socks also come with a waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry. Brands like Bridgedale or Darn Tough offer excellent options for these conditions.
While budget is a personal factor, investing in a good pair of hiking socks can make a big difference. Higher-priced socks often offer better durability, comfort, and features like improved moisture-wicking or insulation.
If you often hike or plan to go on difficult terrains, spend more on quality socks that’ll last longer and protect your feet better.
However, there are still affordable options that offer good performance for casual or less frequent hikers.
Are 100% wool socks good for hiking?
100% wool socks, particularly those made from Merino wool, can be excellent for hiking. They offer great temperature regulation, keeping your feet warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather.
They also wick moisture away from the skin, which can help prevent blisters. However, 100% wool socks may not be as durable as those blended with synthetic fibres, and they may take longer to dry once wet.
What is the best material for walking socks?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because the best material for walking socks often depends on the individual’s needs and the weather conditions.
However, a blend of Merino wool and synthetic fibres (like nylon or polyester) is often a good choice. This mix offers the temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking benefits of wool, combined with the durability and quick-drying properties of synthetic materials.
What is the best type of socks for walking?
The best type of socks for walking are those designed to support your feet and keep them comfortable throughout your journey.
They should have adequate cushioning, particularly at the heel and ball of the foot, a snug fit to prevent blisters, and should be made of a material that is moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating.
Hiking socks, running socks, or any high-quality sports sock designed for endurance and comfort typically make a good choice for walking.
Remember, when it comes to hiking, comfort and protection are paramount. The right socks can make or break your hiking experience, so it’s worth spending time to find the perfect pair for your needs.
To maintain your socks’ longevity, proper care is crucial. Avoid using fabric softeners as they can impair the socks’ moisture-wicking abilities. Air dry your socks whenever possible to maintain their shape and elasticity.
Remember, investing in the right pair of hiking socks is investing in the joy of hiking. And that, fellow hikers, is priceless.
As the curtain falls on our exploration of the best hiking socks in the UK, remember this: Great hikes start from the ground up – literally. Your feet carry you every step of the way. So, isn’t it only fair to treat them with care?
Investing in the right pair of hiking socks can transform your walking experience. From blister-free strolls to warm toes on winter trails, these socks are a game-changer. They’re not just an add-on to your hiking gear; they’re an essential part of it.
So, gear up, choose your perfect pair from our top ten list, and let your feet relish the comfort they deserve. Here’s to many more fantastic hikes on the horizon! Let’s get hiking, shall we?