Hey there, my name’s Eddie. I am a 45-year old hiking enthusiast who would like to cover the importance of properly chosen socks for sporting activities in this review. I am also a big fan of traveling. Making it through around the world would be impossible without having comfortable shoes, and also, it depends a lot on the socks. Wearing hiking or working boots often made me learn how to single out corresponding socks. I decided to write this post in order to share my valuable experience with everyone interested in buying comfortable clothing for traveling and hiking in the mountains. My advice on that will be helpful for those who would like to feel great, not depending on the weather conditions and the place of tourism.
An experienced hiker knows that one is capable of achieving much more with special socks for rambling, climbing, wandering, not to mention other sports activities. Moreover, the problems with odor and stinky feet sound familiar to the majority. The main aim is to find the socks which make your feet breathe. I am well-aware of how it feels when you travel with the wrong wardrobe: traumas, peaks, fatigue, and other obstacles on your way to achieving the goal and enjoying your trip.
I lived in many extreme weather conditions: from California to Japan. I’ve tested various brands, and here is my list of favorite socks.
Top 8 Best Socks for Cold Weather
Singled out the socks under are separate categories, specifying the best socks for cold, wet weather, doing sports, traveling, etc.
Best Socks Unisex for Men and Women – Darn Tough Hiker Socks
The height of these socks is 10 x 4 x 1 inches, this product is lightweight, the material is Merino Wool (61%), Nylon (36%) and Lycra Spandex. They can suit almost everyone; the size range is from Small (S) to Large (XXL).
Searching through the web in an attempt to find the best extreme cold weather socks, I came across this brand. Unlike most of the socks that you would quickly wear out, this brand offers longer durability. These socks managed to survive thousands of tests throughout winter while their competitors failed. You can purchase this kind of socks to wear in winter and still have them in perfect condition in spring. Another idea is to buy running socks from this brand to wear daily.
These socks conduct the temperature perfectly, which guarantees fresh and rested feet. No matter whether you run a few miles or more than three miles per day, Darn Tough socks remain well-shaped and do not get thinner just like many of the goods offered by the brand’s competitors. Despite months of active usage, the owner can still find these socks in mint condition.
Compared to Kirkland, this product may seem a bit expensive. However, upon deciding to buy and try two items, you will realize that Darn Tough socks give the best value for the money spent even though the price is higher than what the rivals offer. Unlike the majority of competitors, this brand offers relatively thin socks that assure a rather tight weave. That is a huge advantage if you hate the cold. Darn Tough socks consist of spandex, which makes them stretch less overtime to fit better. These socks are more durable than many of the same products. You want to get a pair of these if you’re thinking long term.
After washing the socks multiple times, they still look like new and fit great. I would recommend the calf version, but there are other alternatives available. I’m just not a big fan of higher coverage.
I purchased this pair of socks three years ago, and, since then, I found almost no pitfalls. The wool is excellent: it does not smell or cause itching. It is possible to put on this company’s socks in any weather, so people from any state would be interested in purchasing the goods. Many of my friends who do backpacking or climbing mostly prefer socks made of merino wool.
All in all, the socks are not only smooth and convenient but stylish as well. The major disadvantage is no warranty coverage, but the product itself will barely disappoint anyone. Anyway, I would have them among the best cold weather wool socks.
- MICRO CREW HEIGHT: A shorter, more concise take on the traditional crew height. Peeks just above the top of a standard hiking boot. For a shorter sock, check out style 1905. For a taller sock, check out style 1403.
- Unsurpassed endurance;
- Adaptive to the weather changes.
- Slightly expensive;
- Do not have a warranty.
Best Socks Unisex for Men and Women – Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Socks
The height of these comfortable and practical socks is Crew, and they are midweight. As to the material, it consists of NuWool (64%), Nylon (33%) and Lycra (3%). The size ranges from S to XL.
These keep the temperature perfectly. Moreover, it is preferable to wear them when it is warm or even hot outside. And you would be surprised to know that these socks even have a unique ability to collect moisture!
Are you irritated by textile socks that make feet sweaty? If yes, try this brand now. These are at the top of the best cold weather socks for women and men alike. I foresaw high quality for this kind of price, and I was not disappointed. People who live in rather warm or even hot climate should try nuwool material instead of pure wool that can make you sweat. Thus, Injinji 2.0 outdoor nuwool socks would fit for populations of Southern as well as Western states of America.
These socks are thick enough to be quite durable. I would even compare their sustainability to the cotton socks. An interesting and unique feature is the option of absorbing the moisture, especially from the toes. The fabric keeps the feet arid, which is very important for the unstable regions, weather-wise, while these items prevent one from having wet legs and getting sick afterward.
It’s worth mentioning that those who get sick easily may find this kind of socks helpful for that issue. Commonly, colds result from the bottom of the legs getting damp, and Injinji socks help to take care of this problem by keeping them dry. It’s worth every cent to me.
My advice is to go for a bigger size than usual. In my case, the socks were small to fit my original size when I first purchased them.
I have many ultra athletes among my friends who recommended the socks from this brand. For instance, when it is snowy, icy, dirty, or wet outside, Injinji socks will endure every condition. Although I felt some irritation, I got used to it when my feet got adopted. I combined Injinji with Timp shoes, and I was delighted to see such positive results. Indeed, my mom, being an everyday runner who lives in Los Angeles, prefers this product among the pool of available options. I recommend this brand as one of the best socks for walking in cold weather. Moreover, they fit for different climates.
Personally, I was impressed with the feeling of my feet no longer crushed together all the time in tight limiting boots. Besides, if you need to contact the company/seller for any reason, I should mention that their customer care service is very nice. I enjoyed solving the size issue with the help of local client support.
- The original performance toe sock
- Are almost as thin as cotton goods;
- Moisture collector;
- Helps to prevent colds.
- A bit expensive;
- The size does not always correspond;
- Might feel irritating during the first few usages.
Best Socks for Men Who Love to Keep Fit – The First-Rate Warm Keepers
Let’s find out more about this product!
The socks are 11 inches high; they are midweight, the material consists of Acrylic (91%), Nylon (5%), Polyester (3%), and 1% Elastane. The size varies from Small to Large. They are super warm and ensure comfort for your feel all the time. Besides, they are convenient in use: the socks from this brand can endure machine wash and have special humidity absorbing and breathing features.
At first, I bought this product as a gift for my brother. It was Christmas time, and we planned to go skiing somewhere to enjoy the mountain wilderness. He often gets chilly in winter, especially during the times we go wandering. Happy to tell that these situations were in the past because these best winter socks for cold weather have definitely improved the situation.
According to my brother, the socks felt elastic and comfy on him. Furthermore, Heat Holders stay put for a long time. They guarantee warmth just after the time you wear them on. Please mind though, that these are rather chunky socks. However, when you go for the size that corresponds to your typical one, you will still feel okay with your tightest shoes on. Not to mention that my brother hasn’t noticed them being snug or something like that.
When I took a trip to the East Coast during the months of cold weather, I got the same pair for myself and understood the reason why my brother still calls them the best socks for extreme cold weather. As a result, we put them on during cold Christmas time just to celebrate in comfort.
I’ll share another story. This time, it is about my dad who has diabetes, and as a result, he tends to experience icy feet at night, especially in wintertime. He searched for the best mens cold weather socks, so I decided to offer him a pair of Heat Holders. He was beyond pleased to receive such a gift.
If some prefer online shopping, I would note that the product is always delivered on time. The company sends timely notifications and purchase verifications to inform you about the status of your order. I believe I did a right thing when I intentionally switched from the electric socks to those offered by Heat Holders: my father admitted that he felt way better during the first night because his feet felt warm and toasty. Since then, I purchase 2-3 pairs at a time. He wears them out fast, but only because of his problem.
These original socks took me off guard by their humidity inhaling features. A professional mopping action guarantees comfort during the day as the warm air is kept inside for quite some time.
- With a thermal tog rating of 2.34 heat holders are the ultimate thermal socks.
- Delicate & cozy;
- Moisture collector;
- High TOG rating.
- May be feeling a bit bulky on your feet;
- Not suitable for warm weather.
Best Socks for Men Catching Cold – Meriwool Cashmere Fleece Socks
The height of these socks is 11 inches, they are midweight and are made of Meriwool. The size ranges from S to L. Their specialties are smell resistance and low-temperature endurance.
Crew socks, quarter socks, and low socks offered in eight different colors – those who love choosing from several options will find these socks amazing! Are you the one who struggles with feet that turn from hot to extremely icy? Then forget about such material as cotton and look at this convenient option.
These cashmere fur socks for hiking can be considered relatively cheap compared to many other competitors. Perhaps, that is why you may notice one pitfall: the seams are slightly divided from one another.
I often wear these socks at the workplace. I cannot say that those are the best work boot socks for cold weather, but still, they are good enough for this condition. There were times when I was working in Hawaii for a while, and these socks came in handy for the warm weather. I preferred running and doing my exercises in the morning as I did not like to use public transport. I made a choice to benefit from hiking and utility footwear for my travels. As the weather was mostly humid, this choice of socks mattered to me.
At first, I used to try a great variety of poly-cotton blend socks of the low and medium quality as I did not want to pay much. However, I made a choice to go for a higher price for quality products than to suffer from trashy goods. If you don’t want your feet to smell bad, you should follow my recommendations and try another pair of socks from Meriwool. Merino Wool products are the finest choice for those living and working in a tropical environment, although they can do well in average cold temperature. To add on, they worked well in Japan during wintertime (taking into account the weather in winter there is not too cold).
I also could not find a fine deal for some time as I faced another issue back then: I needed to wear 8” special footwear for hiking to feel the extra anklebone protection. Not all options that I discovered online suited my requirements. Then when I found this brand of socks. I am extra sensitive to any signs of heat, and I was hesitating whether any socks would help me to survive extra hot weather. Luckily, these socks made my legs remain dry and cozy in any climate I tried them on. I did not feel that my feet sweat as they used to before! A useful note: it is possible to choose different thickness based on your preferences. I also enjoyed the friendly support that provided the answers pretty fast.
- Package Includes: Set of 3 Pairs of Merino Wool Blend Winter Cold Weather Crew Length Socks for Men and Women
- Great variety of colors for selection;
- Breathable lining;
- Wicking & odor resistance.
- Frail seams that might pull apart at some time.
Best Socks for Women That Prefer Staying Active – Darn Tough Vermont
So what are these socks packing? They are 10 inches in height; they are lightweight, the material is 67% of Merino Wool, 29 percent of Nylon, and 4 % of Lycra Spandex. You can choose from the Small (S) to Large (L) size. Furthermore, this product is suitable for machine wash and has a lifelong guarantee.
Darn Tough is a brand that you can trust. It outperforms many competitors due to incredible quality, guarantees, not to mention support. That was the reason for me to choose this brand for my wife and me. She loves walking, skiing, climbing, but there is one problem. She is tough on socks, wearing them out instantly.
As a couple, we form a hardcore hiking pair. It means we have to put on hiking special boots or water shoes to do our preferred activities. From cold mountains to hot regions, we travel from place to place. That is why I was looking for a universal product when choosing socks as a present for my wife. Even in two months, Darn Tough produced in Vermont showed no evidence of being worn out or bad smell. Among the contenders for the best sock for cold weather for females, these conquered my wife’s heart instantly.
Even after climbing in the rain, woods and mountains, my wife shared that her heels remained dry even though the shoes were rather wet. The socks absorbed the wet and prevented their owner from catching a cold or feeling uncomfortable. My wife does not need sock liners any longer!
We also enjoyed how long these socks stay in good shape without washing. Other socks for women mostly get thin and worn out after 4-6 weeks. The durability of Darn Tough is way better!
Darn Tough create antimicrobial socks so that there is no chance of catching the infection. Right after my wife took off her socks, I felt no odor, and she did not even have to freshen her feet when she was super tired and sleepy after the whole day of climbing the mountains or backpacking across the forest. Besides, it has helped me to solve a tiny little problem: the cold legs issue. These socks have your feet heated enough, being one of the best wool socks for cold weather.
- Midweight with Cushion — A warm and extremely comfortable choice when conditions demand it, this fine gauge knitted sock provides mid-level cushion density under your foot. True Seamless technology allows for an undetectable seam fusion for an Ultra-smooth, invisible feel.
- Antimicrobial and humidity-absorbing function;
- Lifetime guarantee;
- Odor resistant.
- Sore and blazing spots can be noticed.
Best Socks for Women – DearMy 5 Package Multi Performance Socks
Their height is 10 inches; the weight is light. They are made of Combed Cotton, Spandex, Polyester and Rubber. The size varies from Small to Medium. The special option while buying these socks is that you can choose practically any color you want: they are plenty to choose from.
In addition to Darn Tough, I should admit that my wife is also using DearMe brand, and she is quite happy with that choice, too. Those are definitely among the best socks for hiking in cold weather – their premium quality results in exceptional comfort and multi-functionality.
Along with our pets, we used to walk every morning for some time when we did not need to work at the office. When the necessity to change socks popped up, we started to search for a cheaper option than my wife’s favorite Darn Tough. Sometimes people say that DearMe socks cost a bit less for a fine reason: they are not as sturdy.
The satisfied reviews of other buyers helped us to decide upon purchasing them finally. My wife has another peculiarity to consider: she has a wide foot, and she dislikes seams in the toes as they make wearing socks uncomfortable. She hates socks that make her feel the pressure of the shoe on the sock. That feeling like something is stuck, it is awful. Her point was to see how long the new socks could survive regular hiking and walks in the woods.
The product provides great backing for your feet, regardless of doing other routine things like working on a horse farm, for instance. They can keep your feet dry, clean, and non-stinky. Normally, the socks from this brand look a bit higher than those offered by the competitors, which makes them look stylish. We prefer quarter socks, but they will not make your feet feel too warm. They are rather for adaptation and sports activities.
We also enjoyed the toe box. It allows wiggling inside hiking or other specific boots. We would say the manufacturer offers great quality for an affordable price as well as comfort for feet. For example, take the Korean market alone, where those are probably the best socks they have ever produced for an active life.
Wool mix or bamboo socks might be a beneficial variant for women who have troubles with the temperature of their feet (e.g., always having ice-cold feet, especially at night). However, these cotton socks will prevent you from the possible feeling of a rash around your ankles like some cashmere socks do. This DearMe product guarantees itch-free ankles when you are in a rush. These socks are almost as comfy as those made of natural fabric. They can be included in the list of the best hiking socks for cold weather.
- 🥇HIGH QUALITY COTTON SOCKS: Made in Korea. Women Multi Performance Cushion Outdoor Hiking Crew Socks are made of 78% combed cotton, 10% spandex, 3% Polyester, 9% Rubber. Socks are designed to keep your feet warm and dry during the rigors of trekking the earth's wild place. They are Strong and durable socks.
- Great as a gift;
- Decreased risk of injury.
- Combed cotton is not the best material for socks;
- Not as good as new after being washed.
Best Socks for Kids & Family – Merino Wool Hiking Socks
These are the greatest, definitely at the top in the industry! The socks are made of Merino Wool, Acrylic, Polyamide and Elastane. They are also 11-inch high and extremely light. The size to choose depends on the sex of the buyer and his/her foot length. One can enjoy a variety of colors they come in, and I must say: these could be an excellent gift for family members or friends.
As my family and I support those who defend the rights of the animals, we were searching for manufacturers who use cruelty-free wool, meaning the material is gathered in a way that prevents sheep from being harmed.
We found the right product: this cruelty-free company produces and sells these fine Merino Wool socks. A sustainable environment where the sheep grow made us want to try this product. The design and idea were born in Denmark, and that is why the socks look so stylish.
When you have to work 12-hour shifts almost every day, it is better to put on steel-toed safety boots. Another problem is in choosing the best warm socks for cold weather if you work in such a climate.
These socks are smooth from the start to the end. That’s the reason why we decided to buy them for the entire family. The manufacturer offers kids socks, which are as convenient as those made for adults. Usually, the majority of the previous socks we purchased cost around $18. These are offered at $20 per pair on the average, but the deal is worth it. That is a good price for an original wool product from Denmark.
Our son prefers walking to school instead of taking the bus. The middle knuckle of his toes used to rub the cover of his boots. They would turn red and sore, with bad blisters on them. Foam tubes we purchased to help our son were not enough. Once we bought merino wool hiking socks for our family, he stopped complaining about having wet legs. These socks have also reduced the pain in his ankles and toes.
If you have not purchased anything for your beloved ones yet, that is just a great idea for a family gift. Not so long ago, we were hiking in almost 40-degree weather, and the feet remained dry, with no bad odor. Mind the size when you place an order: the 8-10 size for women is big for the 8-feet size.
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- Excellent fit and design;
- No animal testing;
- Recommended by mountaineers;
- A huge variety of models and colors to pick from.
- Not suitable for machine dry;
- The size may not fit your traditional one;
- 33% merino might not be sufficient.
Best Socks for Extreme Cold Weather – J.B. Icelandic Arctic Trail
These socks are medium height, lightweight and consist of PreShrunk Wool and Nylon. These go in M-XL sizes. This product helps to regulate body temperature and survive in a cold or wet climate. Those great socks even have an extra cushion for protection and warmth.
Canadians know how to produce the best socks to keep your feet warm in cold weather. J.B. Icelandic Arctic Trail offers breathable socks made of wool that will serve you even in -40 degrees. I used to live a certain part of my life in such conditions. I had to change socks regularly as it was difficult to find those that would be effortless to clean. Typically, the condition of socks gets worse over time. Also, you cannot use machine wash to all of them.
What I was looking for was the best socks for wet, cold weather as the climate where I was living was far from dry. I needed to keep my legs dry and warm to avoid getting sick. That is why I enjoyed the product line established by J.B. Icelandic Arctic Trail. Their socks are such a versatile fiber. They helped to regulate body temperature as it was hot inside because of the heating. These socks also adjusted to the body temperature even when it was too cold outside.
They are also great at wicking away moisture and controlling odor. After all, I did not want my family members to suffer after taking the shoes off after a hard-working day. What about the summer season? I tried these socks out during hot weather and guess what! They made my feet feel cool as well as rested. I’ve noticed no blisters whatsoever after using the socks days long.
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- Excellent fit and design;
- High-quality pre-shrunk wool;
- Extra warmth and protection.
- May leave some blisters;
- Might feel too tight on your ankles.
Best Socks Unisex for Men and Women – Carhartt Men’s Arctic Socks
Want to know the main characteristics of this kind of socks? Well, they are 11-inch high, midweight, and are suitable for the 6-12 shoe size. The socks from this brand are made of Wool, Nylon, Fiber, and Spandex to help regulate the body temperature and easily adapt to cold and wet climates. Comfortable stretch top prevents falling, pinching, or binding.
If you are active all the time or have to move every 15-20 minutes, these might be the best socks cold weather. One of my friends used to stand a 6-hour shift when he was working for the armory. He was forced to do so in a -40 degree cold without any good chance to move. His feet used to get wet and cold in half an hour before trying these socks on. Even multiple layers of socks did not help him.
If you don’t have to move at work constantly, you can consider choosing another brand. However, if you are active most of your time outside, you will benefit from buying this model. Generally, these socks help in saving warmth even in the most extreme weather condition and come at a good price. Thus, I would recommend it for -30-40-degree weather in case you do not plan to stand at the same place for a while.
- Comfort Stretch Top prevents falling, pinching, or binding
- Extra protection from sweat;
- Comfort stretch top;
- Can prevent odor and soreness.
- You have to move constantly to save the warmness;
- Price is a bit high.
Why You May Need the Best Extreme Cold Weather Socks
Why do hikers pick hiking socks and hunters search the best cold weather wool hunting socks? Why don’t they put on typical socks, usually produced from cotton? Well, there are two basic things that the typical socks do not refer to – tight-fitting and strength. Besides, most of them cannot keep warm and prevent the feet from sweating and bad odor. It depends on how much you walk and run per day.
Unlike typical socks, the hiking ones are created to hold the legs in a snug grip. In other words, these socks are developed to fit tightly. In most cases, it is possible thanks to the Spandex material used. Usual cotton socks cannot provide the same fitting and optimal tightness and thus, are not useful for sports activities.
Special hiking socks compress legs to improve the blood flow. That leads to minimized fatigues, lower chances of traumas/injuries, less discomfort, and reduced swelling. Because of that, travelers and athletes feel way better when involved in their daily activities. Experts say that wearing hiking socks makes you less injury-prone.
Typical socks cannot adapt to different climate conditions. They also cannot regulate body temperature. It is especially critical for people who have health issues like diabetes that makes their feet cold or even icy all the time. Such people also benefit from wearing compression socks.
Therefore, I highly recommend trying special hiking socks if you are engaged in sports activities (hiking, running, etc.), or are up on your feet half a day. You will feel a world of difference and will probably never wear cotton socks again.
The Preferred Materials for the Best Hiking Socks for Cold Weather
Whether you need the best sand socks for cold weather or those that can prevent you from exhaustion in the hot summer, you should mind the most recommended materials. I will list the most popular fabric types for you below:
- Wool: It is my personal favorite. Footwear experts usually recommend socks made of this material. They are at the top in regulating temperature and keeping legs in warmth when it is too chilly. Also, remember that this type of fabric is antimicrobial, so it retains odor less than other known materials.
- Polyester: I sometimes buy socks made of this material to save some money. It tends to absorb the moisture and dry pretty fast. The socks made of this fabric are commonly durable and comfortable.
- Nylon: You can notice such material in most of the reviews, too. This synthetic alternative ensures extra durability and improves drying time.
- Silk: Some people may prefer socks made of silk. It is known as a natural insulator. However, this option might not be as durable as the rest of the materials on the list. In most cases, the manufacturers use this type of fabric in sock liners for moisture-wicking. Sometimes, they also add spandex, but it does not dominate.
Smart Ways to Pick the Best Winter Socks for Cold Weather
I have listed many options for you to consider when making a choice. I’ve observed a few criteria to base my assessment on. The four major factors to take into account when deciding on which socks to buy are:
- Height. If you get it right, the socks will defend you from abrasion with footwear. The recommended one is 10-11 inches;
- Cushioning. Its amount has an impact on the overall convenience and warmth.
- Materials. I’ve already listed the recommended types of fabric. It is better to select brands that include merino wool. You can try polyester or nylon, but it’s better to avoid cotton unless it is combined with one of the recommended components.
- Fit. You need to be certain that the chosen socks fit perfectly to fend off blisters.
Please keep in mind the peculiarities of each of these categories as well. For instance, while considering the height, it is better to avoid so-called no-show socks because they provide almost no protection against abrasion. When you are putting on mid-cut shoes/boots, ankle height will be enough. The perfect height which I prefer is crew. Such socks land a few inches above the ankle bones, and they protect the heels well. For traveling, I would suggest you go for a pair of knee-high hiking socks.
Avoid socks without any cushioning. They might be ultralight and thin, but they will not serve your traveling or hiking purposes. You can choose between the light, medium, and heavy cushioning. The last option is the thickest and the warmest one. Also, mind the climate and temperature in the target region when choosing footwear.
What Are the Best Socks for Wet Cold Weather? Verdict
As you can see, there are several great options to consider while choosing the right hiking socks. Now you know which factors matter. However, you’ll never know for sure if you do not test a pair yourself!
If it weren’t for the opinion and feedback of other hikers and enthusiasts, it would be impossible to come up with this review. That is why I’d like to ask you: what are the best socks for cold weather that you have ever purchased? Share your impressions in the comments below – it would be great to read about your experience as well.