The Best Hiking Socks in Australia [2019]

Besides hiking boots, a good pair of socks is the most important piece of gear you can invest in.

While they might seem benign and simple, picking the right pair of socks is critical for preventing blisters and for keeping your feet comfortable throughout a hike.

Although you could just wear any pair of cheap socks on your next walk, hiking-specific socks are specially designed to wick moisture, pad the underside of the foot, and reduce friction on the sock-boot interface to prevent blisters.

But how do you choose a pair of hiking socks? Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve created this hiking sock buying guide and review with all the information you need to decide which socks are right for you.

After the summary table below, we discuss the key things to look out for when choosing hiking socks, followed by our reviews.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
Our #1 Rated
Best hiking socks for women
OUR #1 RATED

BRIDGEDALE HIKE MID- WEIGHT PERFORMANCE

  • 26% New Wool, 18% Merino Wool, 38% Nylon/polyamide
    17% Polypropylene
  • Crew height
  • Padding underfoot, mesh above


WIGWAM UNISEX MERINO

  • 60% Merino, 30% Nylon, 5% Acrylic, 2% elastic
  • Full cushion support
  • Virtually seamless toe closure


Injinji Outdoor Original Weight Crew Performance Toe Socks

INJINJI OUTDOOR ORIGINAL WEIGHT CREW

  • 70% NU wool, 25% Nylon, 5% Spandle-flex
  • Very light and breathable
  • Reduces inter-toe chafing and rubbing


Best Merino wool socks

BRIDGEDALE HIKE LIGHTWEIGHT MERINO

  • 19% Merino Wool, 53% Coolmax/polyester, 27% Nylon/polyamide, 1% Lycra
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Light cushion underfoot


Antu Bamboo Waterproof Socks

ANTU BAMBOO WATERPROOF SOCKS

  • Outer sock: 98% nylon, 2% elastic; Inner sock: 70% bamboo rayon, 30% nylon
  • 100% waterproof
  • Anti-bacterial

How to Find the Perfect Pair of Hiking Socks

Unlike cheap everyday socks, hiking socks are created with innovative technologies to make walking over rough terrain both comfortable and enjoyable. But, there are many socks out there today, each with its own set of features.

Here’s what you need to look for when buying hiking socks:

Sock fabric

Most casual socks are made of some sort of cotton blend while nearly all hiking socks are wool or synthetic. Regular cotton gets very cold when it’s wet and can cause a lot of friction underfoot. Wool socks, particularly of the merino variety, can keep your feet warm even when wet, to reduce that clammy feeling.

Synthetic materials provide a similar amount of warmth when wet with the additional advantage of drying a bit more quickly than wool can.

Length

At home, sock length is often a matter of style and personal preference. However, if you choose socks that are too short when you’re hiking, you’ll likely experience some discomfort as the sock slips into the boot. Choose a sock that’s slightly longer than your footwear and you can prevent this scenario.

Cushion

Some socks come with built-in cushion underfoot. This can make long walks on rough terrain, especially on the downhill, much more comfortable. The trade-off? They can be quite warm and a bit bulkier, so they'll take up more space in your boot, which can be uncomfortable.

Now that you know what to look for in your sock, let’s get right to the reviews!


Hiking Sock Reviews

#1 Bridgedale Hike Midweight Performance Socks Review

TOP PICK

Best hiking socks for women

Made in the UK with some of the highest-quality materials around, the Bridgedale Hike Midweight is one of the most popular socks amongst hikers around the globe.

It is a crew height sock made with merino fusion technology. This fusion mixes merino fibres with synthetics for a perfect balance of insulation and comfort.

With light padding underfoot and mesh above, this sock combines the benefits of cushion with the breathability of a lighter sock. It wicks moisture incredibly well and is perfect for warm and cold weather hikes, making it our pick for the best hiking sock available in Australia.

Pros
  • 26% New Wool, 18% Merino Wool, 38% Nylon/polyamide,
    17% Polypropylene
  • Crew height
  • Padding underfoot, mesh above         
cons
  • Could be too thick for very hot weather

#2 ​Wigwam Unisex Merino Comfort Hike Socks Review

best value

BUY AT WILD EARTH

Wigwam didn’t try to reinvent the wheel here with this modern take on a classic hiking sock, but they've done it really well and provided a great quality, affordable option. Made of medium weight merino wool, the Comfort Hike Socks are very durable with a full cushion support underfoot.

These crew-length socks are no-itch and have a virtually seamless toe closure for reduced friction. A great sock at an affordable price, the Comfort Hikes would be great for hikers who value simplicity over flashy technology.

Pros
  • 60% Merino, 30% Nylon, 5% Acrylic, 2% elastic
  • Full cushion support
  • Virtually seamless toe closure
cons
  • Could be too thick for very hot hikes    

#3 ​Injinji Outdoor Original Weight Crew Performance Toe Socks Review

Injinji Outdoor Original Weight Crew Performance Toe Socks

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​The only toe socks in this review, this pair from Injinji uses an anatomical design to mould to the shape of your foot to prevent rubbing and chafing between toes. While this may seem odd to non-converts, the toe sock effectively separates your toes to allow them to breathe using a thin anti-friction fabric.

These high-quality toe socks are made from some of the finest materials around which wick moisture in the hottest conditions. The seamless construction prevents uncomfortable rubbing in the toe area, too.

Not a believer yet? Consider this: toe socks allow toes to separate and be biomechanically correct with your shoe for a more natural stride. While they’re certainly not for everyone, toe sock enthusiasts will really appreciate this great hiking option from Injinji.

Mountain guide
gaby pilson
professional mountain guide

Author's note:

"If you are new to the toe sock world, you’ll find them quite odd when you first put them on. Those brave enough to try them out – stick with them for a few weeks before you declare your verdict. They really are great!"

gaby pilson
professional mountain guide
Pros
  • 70% NU wool, 25% Nylon, 5% Spandle-flex
  • Very light and breathable
  • Reduces inter-toe chafing and rubbing
cons
  • Toe socks aren’t for everyone
  • Less padding than other socks              

#4 BRIDGEDALE HIKE LIGHTWEIGHT MERINO SOCKS Review

Best Merino wool socks

Another great option from Bridgedale, these socks integrate all the features of their classic design into a more lightweight option. This sock is designed to be worn with hiking boots and combines a range of materials to keep your feet cool and dry, while a flat toe seam adds to comfort and reduces the chance of blisters.

Made for performance, the Trail Lights are durable and abrasion resistant to keep you moving. They're moisture wicking and have light padding underfoot, as well as mesh above. This keeps them light and breathable without sacrificing on cushioning. We'd recommend these socks for people who prefer a lightweight and breathability over extra cushion and insulation.

Pros
  • 19% Merino Wool, 53% Coolmax/polyester, 27% Nylon/polyamide, 1% Lycra
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Light cushion underfoot
cons
  • Wouldn’t be warm enough for cold weather adventures

#5 ​Antu Bamboo Waterproof Socks Review

Antu Bamboo Waterproof Socks

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​The only waterproof socks in this review, this option from Antu uses a three-layer construction to keep your feet dry in wet conditions. On the outside, you have a nylon shell that protects the waterproof/breathable membrane below. The inside of the sock is made from bamboo rayon fibres, which are naturally anti-bacterial.

This 100% waterproof and breathable sock is great for wet hikes with non-waterproof or low-cut shoes. If you really hate having wet feet, these may be the socks for you!

Mountain guide
gaby pilson
professional mountain guide

Author's note:

"Many people love waterproof socks because they keep their feet dry when boots fail. It’s important to note, though, that if you’re doing large river crossings where the water goes over the top of the sock, you’ll likely end up with some water next to your foot, where it’ll get trapped by the waterproof membrane.

Also, some people have found that these socks are bulky and can be uncomfortable in somewhat tightly-fitting footwear."

gaby pilson
professional mountain guide
Pros
  • Outer sock: 98% nylon, 2% elastic; Inner sock: 70% bamboo rayon, 30% nylon
  • 100% waterproof
  • Anti-bacterial
cons
  • Expensive
  • Bulky                                                         

VERDICT

​​Although they’re all great options, only one sock can be a winner here in this head-to-head review. Our top choice: the Bridgedale Hike Midweight. These socks combine a great set of breathable, anti-friction, and cushioning sock into one comfortable package. They’re simple, yet effective for keeping you moving each step of the way.

But, above all, remember this: whichever socks you decide on, be sure to try them on with your boots to ensure a proper fit and no problem areas when you walk. Happy hiking!

About THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.


As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.


She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.

Categories Hiking