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Regular cotton socks won’t cut it when you’re going on long hikes or camping trips. Sweaty, wet feet lead to blisters, chafing, and irritation. Blisters, while banal, can immobilize you on the trail, so you need socks that can protect your feet, keep them dry, and last through many long days. Naturally wicking and odor absorbent merino wool is one expert-approved material, noted for its ability to prevent growing bacteria and keep moisture off your feet. Here are some of our favorite socks made from the stuff.
Danish Endurance hiking socks are a mix of merino wool, acrylic, polyamide, and elastane. They’ve got an innovative toe seam designed to prevent rubbing, a reinforced cushion in the heel and toe areas to provide comfort and minimize chafing, a 120-needle count high density knit, and ribbed supports to prevent slippage. Plus: they come recommended by a Danish mountaineer who climbed Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen.
These socks are a full 75 percent Merino wool. The other 25 percent? Nylon, which helps reduce wear and tear, and elastic to make sure they fit OK on your foot. The socks are designed with a bit of arch support, plus a reinforced heel and toe and compression. Plus: they’re machine washable and dryer friendly, and come in an array of meditative neutral tones, or a pretty pink.
These socks are beloved by trekking advocates, who love the performance fit that keeps them snug on your feet, plus their all-weather suitability and fast-drying fabric. They’re designed with fine-gauge knitting, which makes them extra comfortable, and feel seamless. They come at a Micro Crew height: a little shorter than a traditional crew sock, but perfectly designed for hiking boots. These socks come with a lifetime guarantee—trust them to hold up on the toughest of trails.
You can grab a four-pack for the price of one or two of the premium brands. These are made in North Carolina, and come in a medium-heavy knit with a reinforced toe and heel. As with other merino wool socks, these keep your feet dry and are odor-resistant.