Updated May 2017
Spring is in full swing, and to help you gear up, we reviewed our sock selection to include product updates for 2017. We also reviewed the current market to ensure that our Editors' Choice winner still comes out on top, and we pointed out similar models that might match your needs. Lastly, we added charts and tables to easily decifer performance differences between models.
Best Overall Hiking Socks
Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion
Great range of temperature regulation
Quick to wick
Quick to dry
Not ideal for hot temperatures
For 2017, the Darn Tough Full Cushion Hiker
hit the top of our testers' scoring sheets for its outstanding performance across the board. It features merino wool blend with full cushion, and the designers at Darn Tough manage to blend warmth, comfort, and breathability into one quick drying, boot compatible hiker. Because of the full cushion, it's easy to assume that this sock will be built with thick material, but it's surprisingly thin. A superior construction means that this model highs higher-than-average durability, and our testers felt that these socks could hold up mile after mile. Plus, they're backed by Darn tough's lifetime
guarantee, so even if something goes awry, you can get them replaced. If you seek superior performance, this Editor's Choice award winner is the solution. If you're someone who needs a full cushion boot sock in the middle of summer, check out the Coolmax Boot Sock
from Darn Tough.
Read full review: Darn Tough Full Cushion Hiker
Best Bang for the Buck
Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro
Quick to dry
Accommodates a liner
Lacks compression paneling
Loses wicking capabilities in cold weather
Not only is the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro
the burliest sock tested, but it also proved to be warm and breathable. That, in combination with an affordable price of $14, made it our Best Buy award winner. The polypropylene makeup keeps the fabric from absorbing water - while the fabric construct provides great breathability. Even though the fit is a little loose, it's optimal for a dual-sock liner system. The performance in combination with its low price makes this sock our highest value contender.
Read full review: Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro
Top Pick for Versatility
Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew
No itch guarantee
Not as breathable as other socks
The Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Socks
was a top competitor for Editors' Choice, and it was some of our tester's favorite. Now updated, the PhD has a redesigned construction and a new color scheme. This redesign comes from a desire to improve the socks' comfort and durability. The original model already managed to blend warmth, comfort, and wicking ability into one of the best mid-weight models out there, so this update is exciting. It was able to keep our feet warm in the coldest temperatures but was beat out for breathability by the Darn Tough Full Cushion sock. Its great performance in combination with its wide temperature regulation range makes it our Top Pick for Versatility.
Read full review: Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Socks