When you are going hiking in the summer, the comfort of your feet is essential to making progress on the trail. High summer temperatures can quickly make your feet uncomfortable and stop even the most experienced hikers in their tracks. A great way to combat the heat is to invest in a pair of top rated socks for summer.
The best hiking socks for summer are sweat wicking, which helps move moisture away from your feet so that it can evaporate and dry. By removing moisture, your feet should be more comfortable and remain blister free. But not all warm weather hiking socks are made the same and determining what makes a quality pair can be difficult.
We want to help you stay comfortable on the trail. We’ve made a list of the ten best summer hiking socks and included our detailed buying guide, so you can find a pair of summer hiking socks that will motivate you to keep moving forward.
If you like big, slouchy socks, I recommend using a slimmer fit when you hike. That's because if there's any extra fabric to shift around inside your shoes, it's likely to cause blisters. If you must have those slouchy socks, consider wearing a thin, close-fitting liner sock beneath them.
You may have seen my other tips about avoiding cotton when you hike. That applies to socks, too, for all the same reasons: There's nothing worse than having your feet stuck in soggy, cold, chafe-inducing socks, which is exactly what happens when cotton socks get wet.
Even if the weather is warm enough to go hiking in sandals, I recommend bringing a pair of lightweight wool socks along. Wearing socks with sandals may not be stylish, but it'll keep your feet warm if the weather gets unexpectedly cold or wet.
How To Choose Summer Hiking Socks – Buying Guide
Many top rated socks for summer will be made with a blend of natural and synthetic materials. The two main natural materials used are Merino wool and cotton, while synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester may be featured in the construction.
When you are choosing a material, you want to be sure that it is breathable and durable. Merino wool makes the best hiking socks for summer because, while counterintuitive, the fine fibers of the wool are very breathable. Merino wool will naturally and effectively wick moisture away from your skin. The high breathability of the wool allows sweat to evaporate, so your feet stay dry. Merino wool is also antibacterial, which can help prevent foot odors.
However, cotton is another popular choice because it is a soft and lightweight material. Cotton is also considered breathable because it is a natural fiber, but it tends to not have the same wicking features as Merino wool. Cotton actually takes longer to try than Merino wool and it tends to absorb moisture. For day hiking, cotton may be comfortable when it is blended with synthetic materials.
The material should always be listed under the product specifications, so you know what type of socks you are purchasing. But summer hiking sock reviews are an excellent way to determine whether a pair of socks are made of quality materials like Merino wool.
When the temperatures rise, the best summer hiking socks will be lightweight and constructed with a thin material. Extra thick socks can cause your feet to sweat too much and make you uncomfortable on the trail. A lightweight design should keep your feet happy, but still incorporated cushioning in important areas like the toe, arch, and heel. By placing thicker cushioning in target areas, you can reduce the overall thickness of the sock and stop your feet from overheating during the summer.
The height of your hiking socks for hot weather should always be taller than the shaft of the boot. Socks are used to stop your raw skin from rubbing against the materials of your hiking boots, which prevents blisters. If your socks are not tall enough to cover the collar of your boot, you’ll likely experience chaffing and blisters.
Crew length socks for summer hiking are the most popular because of the taller shaft, which provides protection to your ankles and calves.
Hiking is a high impact sport, at least for your feet. Every time you take a step, your feet have to absorb the impact with the ground. Ideally, your insoles for hiking alongside your boots will absorb most of the impact, but that doesn’t mean that your socks won’t help.
Top rated socks for summer should feature a thicker cushioning along the full length of the footbed of the sock, which will provide your feet with extra cushioning. You don’t need a lot of cushioning, but you do want the bottom of the sock to be thicker than the shaft material. A lightweight cushioning should be sufficient, which will provide your feet with a little extra support in the toe, heel, and arch.
It is important that the cushioning of your socks is still breathable so that your feet aren’t drench in sweat, which is why the material used in your socks is important to consider. For this reason, most socks for hiking in summer will feature a light cushioning that is made of the same breathable material as the rest of the sock.
The best summer hiking socks will be durable so that you can use them in any terrain conditions, whether you’re doing the Half Dome hike, casual hiking, or even desert hiking. The breathability, cushioning, and durability of your socks for hiking in the summer should suit any location and terrain condition. However, it is important to predict your terrain before you head out on your hike.
The height of your sock can be an important consideration in relation to the terrain and how much protection you need. Ankle socks will provide little protection from the terrain because they are so low-cut. If you are going through bushes or climbing rocks, the best summer hiking socks for you would be a crew cut design.
There are a lot of different styles of hiking socks for hot weather and you should be able to find one that suits your needs. As we mentioned, one big aspect of style is the cut of the sock. Shorter cuts will provide less protection for your ankles, shin, and calves. Taller cuts will cover more skin and provide you with better protection for rugged terrain conditions.
Q: Are Wool Socks Good For Summer?
Yes, wool socks are good for summer because the material is breathable, comfortable, and durable. Merino wool is excellent moving moisture away from your skin and allow it to evaporate, which is exactly what you need for summer hiking. Wool is also naturally resistant to bacteria and microbes, which means you’re less likely to experience bad foot odors.
Q: Are Merino Wool Socks Good For Hot Weather?
Yes, Merino wool is the best choice for men’s and women’s hiking socks for summer because it is softer than regular wool. But Merino wool has all the same features as regular wool like breathability, comfort, and durability. The difference is that Merino wool comes from the Merino sheep, which makes it softer and less scratchy.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Regular And Summer Hiking Socks?
The biggest difference between regular and summer hiking socks is the weight of the sock. Regular hiking socks tend to be thick and heavy, so that they can be used in colder conditions. When you are hiking in the summer, you need your socks to be lightweight so that your feet don’t overheat. The best hiking socks for summer should have a design that is breathable and features lightweight cushioning for comfortable support.
Globo Surf Overview
When you’re ready to hit the trails, you want to be sure that your feet get the support they need so that you are comfortable on your hike. The best summer hiking socks should provide your feet with quality comfort, protection, and durability so that you can go further and explore for longer. We hope that our top picks and buying guide has helped you find the best hiking socks for summer so that you are fully equipped for your journey and eager to let your feet show you new paths into the great outdoors.
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Do you use a pair of the summer hiking socks that made it onto our list? Let us know which pair is your favorite in the comments section below.