A great pair of walking socks can make a hike much more comfortable and reduce the chances of suffering from blisters or cold clammy feet. Here's what to look for when buying the best walking socks.
When you’re in the shop it can be hard to tell which pair of walking socks is most likely to keep you comfortable every step of the way, so read on for our tips on how to buy the best pair.
Designed for men or women
It may seem obvious, but men's and women's feet are different shapes, so it makes sense to choose a sock that’s designed and shaped to fit your feet.
Whichever boots or shoes you’re wearing, your feet will inevitably take a bit of a pounding on a long hike or climb, and cushioned walking socks are designed to give extra protection to those areas that take the most punishment.
Look for socks with extra padding around the heel and ball of the foot.
The type of walking sock you need depends on the conditions you’re likely to encounter during your walk - lightweight socks for summer and thicker, warmer socks for colder climates.
You’ll find most manufacturers divide their socks up into different ranges designed for different pursuits, such as hiking, climbing, running or skiing. In addition, many will suggest a season of use on the pack to give you more idea of how warm they are.
A pair of sock liners can help to make lighter-weight socks warmer and extend their season of use.
Not only can wearing a pair of sock liners underneath your regular walking socks reduce chafing and blisters, but lining socks can also help to keep your feet cool or warm, depending on your needs.
Those made of fabrics such as 'Coolmax' quickly wick moisture away to prevent it building up next to your skin, which is great if you’re walking in warm weather and likely to build up a sweat.
Thermal liners, or liners made of thin-but-warm merino wool, can provide an extra layer of insulation in cold weather, as well as wicking away moisture to stop feet feeling cold and clammy.