I have a strange obsession with socks, especially hiking and backpacking socks. I find myself lingering in the socks section of the outdoors shop convincing myself that I need another pair!
After years of experimenting, I thought I would share with you my sock findings!
#1 – Hiking socks
A good quality hiking sock is essential when walking in the colder months, especially in the UK. Believe me, I have spent a fortune on cheap hiking socks that end up curling up in the corner of your boot which results in sore feet and chafing. Spend a few pennies and invest in a good pair of hiking socks. I enjoy wearing the women's Bridgedale socks, including the lightweight versions for summer months.
Bridgedale Ladies ultralight hiking socks – https://amzn.to/2Igjvkj
2. Summer socks / long distance trails
If you are walking any long-distance trail or longer hikes in the summer months then I have found that marathon socks for runners are far more supportive than hiking socks. I use the Xsocks which have support on both sides of the foot and additional protection in the toe box which helps prevent those horrible back nails.
Xsocks runners socks – https://amzn.to/32QkfpY
3. Compression socks
While walking the Meseta on the Camino and also along the South Downs Way, I suffered from shin splints. Shin splints are tiny tears in the muscle either side of the shin bone and it is extremely painful. I used athletes tape to start with, but once I discovered the benefits of compression socks I now have them in my pack as spare socks for emergencies. If I know I will be completing lots of road walking, or hard ground (South Downs is very chalky hard ground), then compression socks are a must for me.
Hilly Compression socks – https://amzn.to/2IkNfgc
4. Muck Boots
I know these are not socks, but I did mention them in the video and promised a link below – here is the link. Muck Boots (Arctic boots for walking) – https://amzn.to/2VNhlkf
5. Waterproof socks
If wearing wellies is not your thing then consider investing in a good pair of waterproof socks. No walking boot is 100% waterproof as they all have a gaping big hole in the top where your foot goes in! I do not like wearing waterproof boots or shoes as they take ages to dry if they get wet. Waterproof socks were the answer and I love mine! Please do not buy cheap ones from eBay or Amazon as they feel like you are wearing rubber socks (yes, I have two pairs of cheap rubber socks!). Two brands that I would recommend are Otter and Seal Skin Brands (links below).
Otter waterproof socks – https://amzn.to/2VIu8V7
Seal Skin Waterproof socks – https://amzn.to/3ar7rc3
6. Liner socks
I like to wear liner socks underneath my waterproof socks, or under my hiking socks during the winter months. In the summertime, I enjoy wearing my coolmax liner socks on their own with just my trail runners on. Again, a good quality liner sock is essential and I like the Bridgedale Coolmax ones as they work well for me (although I do go through them quite a bit!).
Coolmax Liner socks – https://amzn.to/2uXGgqs
7. Comfort socks
If you are looking for super soft, comfortable socks that you can wear on shorter hikes, then please do not wear cotton as they retain moisture. Give bamboo socks a try – you won't regret it.
Bamboo socks – https://amzn.to/2uSrRvv
I am always on the lookout for good sock brands. What type of socks do you wear? Please feel free to share your wisdom in the comment box below.