Best Summer Hiking Socks

The Best Summer Hiking Socks: Top 5 of 2021

If you plan on hitting the trail during the warmer months, finding the best summer hiking socks should be a priority. Heavy boots and hot weather can be a recipe for sweaty feet, but wearing the right socks can make all the difference.

A good pair of socks will keep your feet ventilated and blister-free. They will provide the comfort and moisture wicking required to keep your feet cool in warmer climates.

With so many options on the market, finding the best socks for hiking in summer can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve created this guide, rounding up the best socks that can keep your feet fresh throughout the trail.

Best Summer Hiking Socks At A Glance

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Summary

Price

  • Fabric transports moisture away from your feet

  • High density knit is ultra durable

  • Mid-level cushioning adds hiking comfort

      

      

  • Merino wool regulates heat on warmer days

  • Lightweight cushioning improves comfort

  • Seamless toe closure prevents blisters

          

          

    • Overfoot ventilation keeps your feet cool

    • Merino wool blend is moisture wicking

    • 'Y heel' prevents slippage for superior comfort

          

          

    • Coolmax fabric wicks away moisture

    • Lycra blend stops slipping and bunching

    • Mesh instep promotes heat release

          

    • Secure and seamless women's specific fit

    • Coolmax technology wicks away moisture

    • Highly durable and antimicrobial material

          

          

    Why Do I Need The Best Summer Hiking Socks?

    Hiking during the summer requires socks that can keep your feet cool. Many hiking socks provide the attributes needed to keep your feet cushioned, but lack the ventilation for comfort on warmer days.

    The best summer hiking socks are specifically designed to keep your feet cool. They are breathable, ventilated, moisture wicking and quick drying.

    The socks on this list are designed to be durable enough to last for many hikes. Many are capable of being worn for multiple days in a row, with anti-bacterial properties keeping thru-hikers content.

    Best Summer Hiking Socks
    Quality hiking socks should be durable and comfortable

    How To Choose The Best Summer Hiking Socks

    Material

    The material that your socks are made from often has the biggest impact on their warm weather performance.

    Most summer hiking socks use a blend of different materials, with wool and synthetics the most common choices. Each fabric has its own unique benefits and the predominance of a specific material will affect how it copes with warm weather.

    • Wool is a particularly popular choice due to its temperature regulating properties. It insulates in cold weather and breathes in warm conditions. The odour-resistant and moisture wicking properties of wool also enhance its performance on the trail.
    • The synthetic materials most commonly used are polyester and nylon. They are both offer great durability, making them enhance the strength of wool when used in a blend. Synthetics are also quick-to-dry and moisture wicking, making them a solid choice for summer hikes.

    Most socks will also include a ‘stretchy’ material, such as elastic or lycra. This allows them to retain their shape over time and will keep the sock from slipping.

    Best Summer Hiking Socks
    Hiking sock material can make a big difference

    Style (Height)

    Hiking socks can come in 4 different styles: Knee-high, ankle, crew and ‘no show’. Each one has its own benefits, but the most common summer hiking sock styles are ankle and crew.

    • Ankle socks sit just above your ankle joint. By offering minimal leg coverage, they will let your legs breathe in warm conditions. One thing to note is that their shortened height makes them suitable for lower-cut boots or shoes.
    • Crew socks usually sit half way up your calf. They are the most common style as they offer the most protection to your leg and can work with any boot.

    The style of socks you choose is down to personal preference. The main focus should be making sure your leg and ankle is protected from any ‘rubbing’ or abrasion.

    Cushioning

    ‘Cushioning’ refers to the amount of thickened padding applied to the ‘high-impact’ areas of a hiking sock. It’s designed to protect your foot from heavy impacts and potential blisters.

    Socks with a large amount of cushioning offer the best protection, but are often the warmest. The thickened fabric will make them heavier and reduce breathability in warm weather.

    Many of the best summer hiking socks offer minimal cushioning. Despite the decreased protection, they are much better at keeping your feet cool.

    Another thing to keep in mind is the location of the cushioning. Good summer hiking socks tend to focus the cushioning around key areas, such as the heel and ankle. This protects sensitive areas while still remaining breathable throughout the majority of your foot.

    Best Summer Hiking Socks
    Cushioning can promote comfort, but it comes at a cost

    Best Summer Hiking Socks Reviewed

    Darn Tough Coolmax Crew

    Key Features

    • Style: Crew
    • Material: 37% Nylon, 34% Coolmax Polyester, 26% Acrylic, 3% Lycra
    • Cushioning: Medium
    • Best For: Overall

    The Darn Tough Coolmax Crew hiking socks offer supreme ventilation and durability. Constructed from a blend containing ‘Coolmax’ polyester, they transport sweat away from your feet to remove sweat and humidity.

    The use of a high density knit pattern and reinforced common wear zones makes them some of the most durable hiking socks on the market. They also come with mid-level underfoot cushioning and seamless toe design for maximum comfort.

    The Darn Tough Coolmax Crew are an excellent pair of summer hiking socks. Offering supreme durability and a design that will keep your feet cool, they are sure to improve your time on the trail.

    Pros

    • Coolmax fabric wicks sweat
    • Dense knitting is ultra durable
    • Fast drying material
    • Naturally antimicrobial
    • Comfortable seamless design
    • Mid-level underfoot padding
    • Lifetime guarantee

    Cons

    • Top price bracket
    • Can be a bit tight on wider feet

    Icebreaker Hike+ Light Mini

    Key Features

    • Style: Ankle
    • Material: 60% wool, 37% nylon, 3% Lycra
    • Cushioning: Light
    • Best For: Ankle Height

    If you’re looking for a pair of hiking ankle socks that will keep your feet cool on summer days, the Icebreaker Hike+ Light Mini is a great choice. Constructed using a nylon and wool blend, they have great temperature regulation and can naturally resist odours.

    Using a double-layer of merino cushioning, they provide comfort and support around high impact areas. The reinforced seamless toes also add durability and comfort.

    The Icebreaker Hike+ Light Mini are sure to keep your feet comfortable during warm weather. Designed to be moisture wicking and breathable, they are a great way to keep sweaty feet at bay.

    Pros

    • Temperature regulating fabric
    • Odour resistant
    • Lightweight cushioning
    • Achilles support holds socks in place
    • Reinforced toe and heel
    • Seamless toe improves comfort
    • Added ventilation zones

    Cons

    • Can show wear and tear over time
    • Fabric could be softer

    Bridgedale Hike Ultra Light Crew

    Key Features

    • Style: Crew
    • Material: 56% Merino Wool, 41% Polyamide Nylon, 3% Lycra Elastane
    • Cushioning: Light
    • Best For: Ventilation

    If you’re looking to maximise cooling on the warmest hiking days, the Bridgedale Hike Ultra Light Crew might be your best bet. They use mesh ventilation to transport water away from your foot and reduce overheating.

    The ‘Y heel’ design provides a secure fit around the achilles to ensure a snug fit. Inside the sock, comfort is prioritised through the use of flat toe seams that reduce irritation.

    The Bridgedale Hike Ultra Light Crew socks are well designed for hot weather hiking. Combining a ventilation system with temperature regulating materials, they will keep your feet dry and comfortable.

    Pros

    • Cooling mesh ventilation
    • Temperature regulating material
    • Odour resistant merino wool fabric
    • Secure fitting lycra blend
    • Flat toe seams add comfort
    • Heel design prevents slippage
    • Great moisture wicking ability

    Cons

    • Top price bracket

    Lorpen T3 Light Hiker Socks

    Key Features

    • Style: Crew
    • Material: 40% Coolmax Polyester, 35% Tencel Lyocell, 15% nylon, 10% elastane
    • Cushioning: Light
    • Best For: Best Of The Rest

    The Lorpen T3 Light Hiker Socks are specifically designed to keep your feet cool and dry. Using Coolmax polyester technology, they are adept at pulling moisture away from your feet to remove excess sweat.

    In order to enhance durability, they have reinforced high-friction areas with tough nylon fabric. In addition, a mesh instep is used to minimise bulk and promote heat release.

    The Lorpen T3 Light Hiker Socks are a great way to keep your cool on the hottest days. The use of Coolmax fabric and a mesh instep works well to expel any excess heat and moisture, ensuring dry feet throughout your hike.

    Pros

    • Moisture wicking Coolmax fabric
    • Mesh instep ventilation
    • Reinforced high-friction areas
    • Comfortable cushioning
    • Flat knit toe seams
    • Lycra blend reduces slippage
    • Soft and comfortable feel

    Cons

    • Some hikers will prefer more padding

    Darn Tough Coolmax Zuni Micro Crew

    Key Features

    • Style: Crew
    • Material: 42% Coolmax Polyester, 42% Nylon, 14% Acrylic, 2% Lycra
    • Cushioning: Medium
    • Best For: Women

    The Darn Tough Coolmax Zuni Micro Crew is a women’s hiking sock that is perfectly built for warm days on the trail. Using a Coolmax polyester and nylon blend, they are great at wicking away sweat to keep your feet cool and dry.

    The use of lycra and underfoot padding gives these socks a performance fit that resists bunching and blisters. They are also designed with fine gauge knitting, giving them some of the best durability on the market.

    If you’re looking for comfortable and long-lasting women’s summer hiking socks, the Darn Tough Coolmax Zuni Micro Crew are a perfect choice. Constructed from exceptionally durable fabric and made to resist the heat, they will keep your feet happy on the hottest days.

    Pros

    • Coolmax fabric wicks sweat
    • Performance fit doesn’t slip or bunch
    • Super durable material knit
    • Breathable in hot weather
    • Naturally antimicrobial
    • Fast drying
    • Comfortable seamless fit
    • Lifetime guarantee

    Cons

    • Top price bracket
    • Too thick for some hikers

    Summing Up

    Hiking during the summertime is a fantastic experience. Beautiful weather, breath-taking views and flowers in full bloom are all part of a great day on the trail.

    In order to maximise your time in the outdoors, be sure to wear the proper clothing. The difference that a pair of socks can make is often overlooked, despite being essential.

    The best summer hiking socks are capable of keeping your feet cool during on the warmest days. They combine ventilation with comfort to make sure you’re trekking with a smile.

    Take the time to read the key features of each product and find the one that’s right for you. Every pair of socks on this list is designed with quality and comfort, allowing you to make the most of any adventure.