How To Choose Hiking Socks

When preparing for a hiking trip, socks can be a bit of an afterthought with your choice of fleece, coat and over-trousers taking priority. Truth is, your socks are arguably the most important part of your hiking attire. Choosing the right socks can mean the difference between an enjoyable hike and a miserable, uncomfortable experience- and there’s a lot more to it than you would think. Follow our guide to help you decide which socks are best for you.

Target Dry Cocona Merino Wool Hiking Walking Socks

Why are hiking socks important?

  • They cushion your feet to make your hike more enjoyable and comfortable.
  • They wick moisture away from your feet to help prevent blisters and keep your feet dry.
  • They keep your feet warm when hiking in winter or adverse weather.
  • They reduce blister-causing friction.
  • They can be used to improve boot fit, but only very small amounts.

Points to keep in mind when choosing your socks:

  • Never wear cotton socks when you go hiking. Cotton absorbs moisture and takes time to dry.
  • Wear woollen socks to stay warm and wick away moisture. These socks tend to be the most expensive. Look for Merino Wool for softer, finer fibres.
  • Socks made from synthetics are great if your feet tend to sweat a lot because they wick moisture away better than natural fibres.
  • Thicker hiking socks tend to be more durable. The thickness can also help improve the fit of a boot that is ever so slightly too big. It might be best to consider wearing thicker socks in the morning and changing into a thinner pair after lunch when your feet have swelled a bit with all the walking.
  • Seams should be flat so they do not create more pressure points on your foot.
  • Socks should have good elastic stretch at the top so they hold to your ankle well and don’t slip down into bunches in your boot.
  • The fit should be snug, but not too tight. Any bagginess or extra material at the heel or toe means it’s too big.

Target Dry Hiking Socks - Choose from WalkLite, HikeMid and TrekComfort

What will you be doing?

Different socks are intended for different purposes. Our own range of socks come in three different weights, each appropriate for a certain type of hiking:


Our Walklite Socks (men’s and women’s) are the lightest of the three weights. They are intended for hiking in warmer weather, or for shorter hikes that won’t put your feet under too much pressure.


Our Hikemid Socks (men’s and women’s) are the perfect all-rounder socks. They will keep your feet warm and well protected from blisters. They are intended for a good intensity level of hiking and will wear well.


Our Trek Comfort Socks (unisex) are a heavy weight sock. They are very durable and are intended for long-distance hiking in cold weather. They are the perfect boot-filler if your boots are slightly on the big side.


If you need any more information, or a little help choosing the right socks for you, we are always on hand to help. Get in touch with us through one of our social media pages and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Find out more about our socks here.