Hiking Socks Fabric Type
Hiking socks are rarely made from a single fabric, but rather from a blend that creates the right balance of comfort, warmth, durability and fast drying. These are the most common materials you’ll find in hiking socks:
Wool: Wool is the most popular hiking sock material and the one that our footwear specialists recommend above all others. It regulates temperature well to keep your feet from getting sweaty and it provides cushioning. Another plus is that wool is naturally antimicrobial so it tends to retain smells less than synthetic fabrics. These days most socks are made of merino wool, which is essentially itch-free compared to older types of ragg wool socks. And most wool socks use blends of wool and synthetic materials for better durability and faster drying.
Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic material that insulates, wicks moisture and dries quickly. It is sometimes blended with wool and/or nylon to create a good combination of warmth, comfort, durability and fast drying.
Nylon: This is another synthetic option that is occasionally used as the primary material. It adds durability and can help improve drying times.
Silk: A natural insulator, silk is comfortable and lightweight, but not as durable as other options. It's occasionally used in sock liners for reliable moisture wicking.
Spandex: Many hiking socks include a small percentage of spandex. This elastic material helps socks hold their shape and keep bunching and wrinkling to a minimum.