The Best Running Socks for All Seasons What is the best pair of running socks for hammering out miles on roads or trails? Its one of the most breathable socks tested, providing great airflow throughout. The elastane or spandex lets the fabric flex, while nylon gives the sock a structure that retains its shape even after being stretched, and supports your foot, ankle and lower leg. Durable and a great fit. They are insulated in soft material, made from yarn with excellent heat retaining ability.
The warm atmosphere and gentle wool fabrics,the hand feels soft and elasti Fine texture, not the ball. High quality natural wool, warm and comfortable. I know socks better than anyone, I even know yo Excellent for winter indoor or outdoor sports, keep your foot warm.
Advanced technology, excellent elastic,soft touch,fashionable color. I know socks better than anyone, I even know your feet better than you. Your feet will be dry and warm while also having the added bonus of being fresh and clean Also note that monitor settings may vary from computer to computer and may distort actual colors. We resolve any problems as quickly as pos Colors may vary a little due to monitors and colors display.
Red, Yellow, Darkblue, Green, I Also note that monitor We found that most socks priced in the higher range typically offer a lifetime guarantee and are constructed of more durable materials. For example; brands like Darn Tough , Farm to Feet , and Feetures all advertise and offer a lifetime guarantee that allows you to send back your socks if you're not happy. The Farm to Feet proves to be the most expensive, followed by Darn Tough and Feetures depending on the style you seek.
On the other end of the spectrum are the super inexpensive options that also provide a decent level of performance and durability. There are great deals out there for great performing socks. To see how the price and value compare, take a look at the chart below. When testing this metric, we consider many variables that contribute to comfort. This includes fit, panels of cushioning, relative thickness, and specific areas of compression.
We look at how it feels during low and high-intensity exercise, specifically backpacking, hiking, and running. We also note if the fit is unisex or specific to gender. After taking on challenges that push our physical boundaries, we note which sock is the most comfortable to pull on and just relax with. Socks that fit well with mid-weight cushioning and a merino wool composition are the most comfortable, while those that do not mold to the foot, made of thin materials or deform in water score lower.
While most hiking socks are pretty darn comfortable, some contenders stand out better than others. Smartwool , Darn Tough , and Farm to Feet all provide exceptional comfort on and off the trail - for different reasons. With aggressive paneling and cushioning on the toes and heel, this sock was perfect while fast-packing 28 miles through aggressive terrain on the Santa Cruz trail in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru.
The extra padding protects the foot from rocks and other trail hazards. This sock has a less fitted design than the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew with more cushioned and protective elements. Of all the socks tested, it is one of the thickest making it a perfect option for long hikes in any terrain. Not only is it great for on the trail, but it makes an ideal sock to pull on at the end of a challenging day of hiking.
Some of our testers thought the longer sock is a little more comfortable while hiking in boots but all of our testers preferred the shorter sock option for hiking in shoes. The Darn Tough Light Hiker is quite fitted and stayed entirely motionless on foot - a real advantage when traversing hillsides or hopping on talus.
The Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew for women is our top recommendation for active endeavors because of its thinner design. However, because of the lightweight design in both socks, the level of cushioning in both isn't as ample as other socks like the Smartwool Medium Crew Sock.
That said, every tester LOVES its super soft fabrics and high levels of compression that help it stay on foot. Finally, the Farm to Feet Damascus Midweight is a super cozy sock that offers a plush Merino wool blend that is both warm and cozy. The fabric provides instant comfort whether you are on the trail or snuggling next to your loved one at a campfire. Overall, if you're in the market for a comfortable and cozy sock option, be sure to check out our Top scorers. The Farm to Feet is a queen in comfort as a unisex option that fits everybody.
A good hiking sock will keep you warm in all conditions, whether you are summiting a mountain or curling up in a cozy sleeping bag. This is important if an unforeseen storm rolls in or you dunk your foot in a stream, and the temperature plummets. A well-performing sock and a burly pair of Hiking Boots is the ticket to keeping yourself safe when you tackle the backcountry.
While testing this important metric, we consider the warmth of each sock when wet and dry. To test warmth when wet, we dunk each sock in water, intrepidly bite down on our lower lip, and walk around with them on in cold temperatures. To test warmth when dry, we fly ourselves to remote places in Alaska during early Spring where temperatures vary from 10F to 35F daily.
Then we take each sock on split-boarding missions by day and snow-camp adventures at night. In the end, we rate each hiking sock based on performance in these conditions. We found that socks with a higher percentage of Merino wool provide us with more warmth and a vast range of thermoregulation. Synthetic socks perform well, but get cold after short periods of time. Toe socks are colder than traditional styles because of their individualized digit design just like mittens are a warmer design than gloves.
Overall, the hiking sock options in this review do keep warm in cold temperatures, but some fair better than others because of their fabric construction and make-up.
In a competition for pure insulating ability, nothing beats a wool-blend option. While hiking through rain storms and slushy snow, our feet were kept warm, and toes did not go numb while hiking …even when the wind picked up, and our hands lost feeling first.
The Smartwool PhD and the ankle-cut People's Merino Wool Hiking sock both score high because of their significant insulating properties. Both didn't do as well as the Editors' Choice winners while wet, but both provide ample warmth while hiking through cold, wet rivers in late fall.
They score a little lower because the sock length is lower therefore didn't provide as much warmth. For example, our Editors' Choice winners and the Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock are both examples of heavier weight options that insulate a little better. That said, while hiking on cool days in the fall, we accidentally dunked out feet in a stream while on a trail run. Both will keep your feet warm when wet. On the other end of the spectrum, the Injinji Midweight was the coldest of all tested.
The material itself keeps the feet warm when wet as long as you are in motion, but as soon as one stops, it cools down pretty quickly, leaving us shaking in our boots. In all, the best sock for wet conditions is the Darn Tough Full Hiker for men and Smartwool for women.
The Farm to Feet Damascus also did well here when hiking in the humid and wet conditions of Iceland and the Faroe Islands. All models performed pretty well when dry, but the warmest are the Smartwool Ph. The Darn Tough Full Cushion was a close second but didn't keep us warm for as long. All socks above keep feet warm in temperatures between the mids and 20s degrees Fahrenheit with appropriate footwear.
The People's Merino Wool and Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock also did well in this category, providing ample warmth during a cold fall night when the mercury dipped in the thirties.
Providing an average level of insulation is the Darn Tough light hiking options and the Wigwam synthetic sock. The Darn Tough products are a little thicker, making them better for colder weather. The Wigwam does a great job insulating when completely dry and a perfect night time sleeper option. That said, if you've been hiking all day, the moisture trapped in the boot and sock cools and does not insulate as well as other contenders. As a result, all three earned a six out of ten in the warmth category.
The contender to do the worst in this class is the Injinji Outdoor Crew as a result of its five-fingered design that is not conducive to heat generation. That said, all the hiking socks mentioned above are great if you're not looking for the warmest option out there. When considering wicking and breathability, we tested each in a wide range of conditions to determine which kept our feet dry and which didn't.
We put each sock through both high and low-intensity activities - ultra-distance running and hiking.
Our running days ranged from distances of miles in a wide range of temperatures and conditions. Through this process, we learned that thinner materials and breathable panels with a "stretch" component either lycra or spandex did very well in this category. Also, we found that fitted socks with compression paneling wicks more efficiently than those without it. Those with a tightly knit pattern were not as breathable as those with a loosely knit construction.
Overall, each sock has some level of wicking and breathability, but none are perfect. Of all the socks tested, the thinnest socks are the most breathable, while thicker socks are less breathable. The Feetures Elite Max and Darn Tough light hiking options for both men and women felt the airiest on hot days and prove to be the best options for warm weather both are strongly recommended for summer use! This airiness is due to a lighter weight construct and lower concentration of wool than thicker less breathable contenders like the Darn Tough Full Cushion for men or Smartwool Hike Medium Crew for women.
Because of this breathability, functionality extends to running, hiking, and camping in the Summer, Fall, and Spring. The Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool also provides superior breathability, though some of our testers mentioned sweaty spots exist between the toes. As a result, it did not score as high as other products. The Smartwool still breathes well, but because of its tightly packed wool layering, it isn't as airy as other loosely woven fabrics like the Wigwam Hiker Pro or the Danish Unisex Merino Wool.
The Injinji , Feetures and the Darn Tough light hiker options do a great job at keeping feet dry because of their tight fit and thinner material. We wish we could use these hikers with a liner, but they are incompatible.
Testing durability in a short period can be pretty tough, but we managed to see a difference after three months of continuous, high-intensity use. In this metric, we looked at overall wear and tear of the sock after putting approximately 60 miles of use into each.
We tested all sorts of weather conditions and temperatures. Think wind, rain, sun, snow, and more! After all this, we noted the conditions of each option, including what happens after a wash. Pills up over time. Without a doubt, New Zealand-based Icebreaker is one of the top manufacturers of merino wool outdoor gear. The fit also is excellent and Icebreaker is the only one here that makes socks specifically for your left and right foot although in our experience, the SmartWool above fits just as well.
With light padding to protect the bottom of your foot and leg, these socks are warm and wick moisture extremely well.
And more merino often equals a shorter life span. Ultralight What we like: Impressive support, low profile fit. Only for those with finicky cold feet. Made with liberal amounts of nylon for a very tight fit, the Smartwool PhD Compression Ultralight socks are for those that suffer from cold feet or want to get a leg up on muscle recovery.
The high price tag is due to the graduated compression technology that gently squeezes muscles in the lower leg to promote blood flow for warmth and recovery. Great price for merino wool. Loses its shape over time. Most importantly is fit: And the lower concentration of merino does make the Wilmot a little less warm and plush than what you get from the Darn Tough, Smartwool, or Icebreaker. See the Fox River Wilmot. The best synthetic sock available. Slightly less comfy and smellier than a merino option.
Made up primarily of Silver DryStat, these socks are designed to combat the biggest complaint of synthetic socks: While a merino wool sock usually can last a couple days before needing a wash, most synthetics smell rather ripe by lunch. Durable and a great fit.
Too thin for most skiers. From their growing lineup, the Jackson is a standout with its ultralight but durable nylon construction and super snug fit.
For uses like backcountry touring or downhill racing, the Jackson is a great choice. For a warmer and more cushioned sock from Farm to Feet, check out their Waitsfield model. See the Farm to Feet Jackson. More durable than merino. Still nearly as expensive. New last season, the Darn Tough Thermolite RFL is made with nylon and polyester for a low profile and lightweight ski sock.
There are a few downsides to bypassing merino. All in all, we like the Thermolite RFL and it also comes in a cushioned version, but we still give the nod to merino, and especially at a similar price point. Excellent value and very warm. More, these over-the-calf synthetic socks are the warmest to make our list with a midweight thickness throughout.
What you give up in using a thicker snowboard sock in a ski boot is a foot-hugging fit. And if you have a performance-oriented, low-volume design, the sock can be restrictive, uncomfortable, and actually less warm than a thin sock that fits better.
Anyone above intermediate level should stick to the downhill-specific designs above. Great fit and feel. Bridgedale lacks the cachet of a Smartwool or and Darn Tough, but the company has been pumping out quality socks since World War I. But perhaps the biggest difference between the two compression socks on this list is the compression level: Smartwool is at mmHg vs.
Depending on your needs, it may be the more attractive model as a way of meeting in the middle between hardcore compression and a regular ski sock. See the Bridgedale Compression. Purpose-built for cross-country skiing. Too low for downhill. Every other sock on the list is geared toward downhill or backcountry skiing, so we wanted to include at least one option for cross-country and snowshoeing.
What differentiates the Lars Nordic Boot Light from the pack? With this sock you also get the same upsides as our 1 overall pick also Darn Tough: Another possibility in this category is the Smartwool PhD Nordic, but we prefer the toughness and build quality of Darn Tough.
Outside of cross-country skiing, both are viable options for winter activities like snowshoeing, ice skating, and everyday wear under winter boots.
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