Commonly, most people focus on the obvious gear for hiking like footwear and outerwear, however there are a number of clothing accessories that can provide factors like additional comfort, make certain actions much easier and aide performance all-round. One such type of outdoor gear is Walking Socks which in principle are the same as any other pair, only they have been designed specifically to be worn in conjunction with technical footwear and therefore use synthetic fibres and fabrics similar to base layer clothing for factors like extra support, breathability, insulation, cooling and abrasion resistance amongst others, depending on what a particular pair has been created for.
The concept of Walking Socks may seem unusual if you have never worn a pair but they really do make for a much greater overall experience as they provide plenty of comfort in helping to maintain a steady internal climate, while supporting every area of the foot and in many cases a secure fit that not only works to prevent them from moving around in the footbed but also the collar from slipping down. As with our other guides on the top five products in a particular category we have put as many of these as we can get our feet into through the paces so you can see our Best of Walking Socks for 2015 and hopefully find the right pair for you.
Our 5 Best Walking Socks for 2015
Bridgedale MerinoFusion Trekker Walking Socks
To kick off our five best walking socks guide this year we have the Bridgedale MerinoFusion Trekker Walking Socks. They are a versatile mid-weight trekking sock so work well throughout the seasons no matter what kind of terrain you head out on. Merino wool is used in a combination of technical fibres hence the MerinoFusion so that while the wool naturally has the ability to give plenty of insulation to help the feet stay warm and is very soft against the skin, the Coolmax fibres are highly moisture wicking and drying. Durability is also a key factor with these Bridgedale walking socks as they last longer than your average pair.
Wigwam Merino Comfort Hiker Walking Socks
Similar to the previous pair, the Wigwam Merino Comfort Hiker Walking Socks are made from Merino wool for soft lasting comfort, insulation and prevention of odour microbe build-up but also feature stretch Nylon, Elastic and Acrylic for a custom-feel fit and to ensure the collar and leg section remain firmly in place. The toe box has a seamless closure so completely alleviates the discomfort commonly found with standard socks, plus are fully cushioned so that you have extra support and addition to impact resistance to help alleviate strain.
Teko Summit Light Walking Socks
If you plan to go trekking in warmer environments the Teko Summit Light Walking Socks are ideal. These use a variation on Merino wool, in this particular case the Teko M3RINO.XC which is completely organic, free of chlorine and un-dyed so is more natural and has a high amount of moisture wicking to keep the skin and sock drier. The footbed has light cushioning but is also reinforced to be hard-wearing, while a Lycra arch band has been included for both improved comfort and support and a Y-heel provides an articulated fit which works in conjunction with the overall rib construction which doesn’t impede on natural movement yet remains in place throughout wear.
Meindl Magic Walking Socks
The Meindl Magic Walking Socks have more features than the previous of our Best Socks for Walking so are perfect for all types of trails. The cotton fabric is both durable and light and keeps a soft feel so stays reliably comfortable. For areas of the feet that are most likely to incur strain and damage while on tough trails the Meindl Magic Socks have padding on the heels, toe box and ankle zone. The collar has been made extra-wide and has an elasticised cuff as well so provides a secure fit that keeps the sock in place but still allows it to move and flex as you do. For efficient breathability and cooling, the patented Meindl Air Channels on the soles keep up an airflow as you walk to maintain a dry and more comfortable internal shoe climate.
Smartwool PHD Outdoor Ultra Light Crew Walking Socks
The Smartwool PHD Outdoor Ultra Light Crew Walking Socks are highly versatile in terms of what kind of activity they can be used for, though as they don’t offer a great deal of insulation would be better suited to warmer weather conditions. They use Smartwool’s ReliaWool technology and 4 Degree Elite Fit system which combined is composed of Merino wool, Nylon and Elastane so that the former gives protection to areas likely to be affected by high impact while is stretchy enough to move with you while remaining in place for greater comfort. Mesh fabric has been used at certain points for ventilation to help maintain a comfortable climate through cooling and moisture wicking. The toe box has a low profile, yet remains durable and is seamless too to prevent chafing.
Wherever you spend your time hiking and trekking one of our Best Walking Socks for 2015 should be suitable for that added bit of comfort with each step taken. From cool alpine trails to a summer woodland walk they will work with your chosen footwear effectively so you can focus on the route ahead. Alternatively if you are even more active and prefer running or require a lower collar height to better suit a pair of walking shoes rather than boots there are running specific socks that feature similar technical features.