Guy Gear

Socks buying guide




Socks are the most underrated — and most often ignored — piece of outdoor gear. A quality pair of socks might seem expensive at first, but it is worth its weight in gold and will make your time on the trail so much more enjoyable.

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THE SOCK COMMANDMENTS

1. Thou shalt never wear cotton socks for hiking. They absorb sweat quickly and are very slow to dry. Soggy, sweaty feet = BLISTERS.

2. Thou shalt wear only socks made of wool or synthetic fibers … or a blend of both. They will dry quickly, wick sweat away from your feet and keep your feet more comfortable on the trail.

3. Thou shalt wear socks that fit. Make sure your socks fit snugly. If they’re too big, they’ll bunch up inside your boots or shoes and be uncomfortable and might cause blisters.

4. Thou shalt not dry your socks on a stick over the campfire. They might catch fire or melt. Instead, wring them out and lay them on a warm rock in the sun.

5. Thou shalt always pack three pairs of socks. That way, you have a pair to hike in, an extra pair for hiking when the other gets wet, and a clean, dry pair for sleeping.

MONEY-SAVING TIP

Here’s a little secret: There’s often sizing overlap between large kids’ socks and small adult socks. They’re essentially the same product and cover the same size feet, but the kids’ versions are usually much cheaper. So check the company’s sock sizing charts online, and when they fit, go with the cheaper kids’ version.

WHAT’S HOT

There are endless options of thickness and cushioning, but here are some the Gear Guy’s favorite picks for your feet.

Click images for detailed descriptions.

Comments about “Socks buying guide”

  1. Pirate Queen of the Antelopes says:

    If the seam of your sock still rubs enough to create a hot spot when hiking, wear the sock inside out. The smooth side of the seam will be against your foot.

  2. lyknnits says:

    Of course, the best socks are hand knit. I hand knit all of my scout socks. They had a red stripe at the top and red heels and toes. I learned from another scouter that when he was growing up that is what scout socks looked like.

  3. p says:

    I wear the BSA hiking thorolos. Excellent socks. I collect boy scout
    Socks and have about 40 pair some dating back to 1920.

  4. nursejon1962 says:

    We were taught to put white poly blend Sox underneath.. Like tube Sox..then pure wool outer. Then hiking boots..

  5. good to know says:

    Good socks to wear evwn to work in

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