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Best walking socks: perfect pairs to keep you warm and dry when hiking

Treat your toes while hiking, strolling or taking the dog out with our pick of the driest, warmest and comfiest walking socks around. 

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Feb 2, 2022

Walking boots and socks

If you’re a keen walker, you’ll know that comfortable feet are of utmost importance. Without them, you won’t get far. A good pair of specially-designed walking socks can mean the difference between an invigorating hike and a miserable, blistered trudge. 

There’s all sorts of smart, high-tech socks available for walkers, with innovative fabrics, precision-engineered support and thermal features to keep your feet happy. We’ve travelled the length and breadth of the Mumsnet Talk forums to bring you the very best walking socks, as recommended by Mumsnetters. 

Here are the best walking socks to buy this year. 

1. Best overall walking socks: Bridgedale Trekker Socks

Bridgedale Trekker socks

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

"Bridgedale are the only socks I buy. Expensive but worth it and they last years" - recommended by Mumsnet user, DoorKnobber

"My Bridgedales last years. I was sorting out socks the other day and realised some are now 5 years old and still going strong. I go out hiking every weekend, so they are worn and washed a lot" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, AlexaRain

Bridgedale socks are cult favourites among Mumsnetters, thanks to their durability and comfort. The Trekker style is a great all-rounder for walking as they'remade from a merino mix, which wicks moisture away from the skin, keeping you blister-free. What’s more, Bridgedale bases its women’s styles on real women’s feet (rather than just scaled down men’s styles), meaning they fit like a dream. We think they’re the best walking socks around. 

Key specs

  • Material: Merino/Coolmax mix
  • Waterproof: No

2. Best budget walking socks: Storm Bloc Lightweight Hiking Socks

Storm Bloc socks

Price: £10 (pack of three) | Buy now from Amazon

At £10 for a pack of three, these hiking socks from Storm Bloc are a bargain. They have padded soles for extra comfort, and they’re breathable for walking in warmer conditions. The high cotton content means they’re not as protective against blisters as higher-priced options, but for shorter walks they do the job well. 

Key specs

  • Material: Cotton, polyester and elastane
  • Waterproof: No

3. Best anti-blister walking socks: 1000 Mile Approach Walking Socks

1000 mile socks

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

"1000 mile socks are amazing. Not had a blister since wearing them" - worn and recommended by Mumsnet user, Jaimx86

"Try 1000 Mile two layer socks, definitely no blisters and I have walked hundreds of miles over all terrains in mine. Absolutely unbeatable" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, YanTanTethera123

As the name suggests, 1000 Mile socks are designed for long distances. It’s the clever double-layer construction that makes them so reliable against blisters as any friction from your footwear rubs on the layers, rather than your skin. They have specially designed arch support and a reinforced heel that stays in place, plus they’re made from sweat-wicking merino wool, meaning they’ll keep your feet comfortable no matter how far you walk. 

Key specs

  • Material: Merino and nylon
  • Waterproof: No

4. Best walking socks for sweaty feet: Trespass Women's Cool Socks

Trespass cool socks

Price: £6 | Buy now from Amazon

"I like the coolmax type, either alone with my walking shoes or as liners for my boot socks" - recommended by Mumsnet user, ErolTheDragon

Coolmax is a high-tech fabric engineered for breathability and moisture control. These socks from Trespass are super lightweight and can be worn on their own or underneath thicker socks when it’s cold. The Coolmax fabric is quick-drying and wicks away sweat from your feet quickly, so they’re ideal if your feet tend to get overheated and uncomfortable. 

Key specs

  • Material: Coolmax
  • Waterproof: No

5. Best walking socks for summer: Ashmei Merino Ankle Trainer Socks

Ashmei trainer socks

Price: £14 | Buy now from Ashmei

"Merino socks are amazing. I have Ashmei ones for running and no matter how hot it is, my feet stay dry and not smelly" - recommended by Mumsnet user, CMOTDibbler

During the warmer months, keeping your feet cool and blister-free while walking becomes even more difficult. As well as sweating more, feet also swell when they get hot, meaning more friction. These trainer socks from Ashmei are made from temperature-regulating merino wool with odour-reducing carbon particles embedded into the fabric, making them soft and lightweight as well as high-tech. 

Key specs

  • Material: Merino
  • Waterproof: No

6. Best lightweight walking socks: Bridgedale HIKE Ultralite Performance Socks

Bridgedale Hike

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

"Bridgedale, without a doubt the best. I have the light weight for day to day and summer and heavier for wearing with hiking boots in the winter" - recommended by Mumsnet user, AlannaOfTrebond

Bridgedale have a full range of walking socks for every occasion, and lots of Mumsnetters swear by their lightweight HIKE style for summer walking. Boasting T2 anti-shock cushioning and flat toe seams, they’re supremely comfortable. Because they’re made from 43% Coolmax and reinforced in all the right places, these socks take great care of every inch of your feet. 

Key specs

  • Material: Coolmax and nylon
  • Waterproof: No

7. Best double layer walking socks: Hilly Twin Skin Anklet Socks

Hilly Twin socks

Price: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

"Hilly Twin Skins. It’s like someone is holding your feet when you walk. Also helps with blisters. I find most Bridgedales too hot in summer, though I do have a bamboo pair but they don’t support your feet like the Twin Skins. I sometimes change socks when walking all day too" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Fuzzlewuzzle

For a blister-free walk, two-layer socks like these Hilly Twin Skins stop friction in its tracks and protect your feet in all the right places. There’s extra support at the heel and toe, and the inner fabric is designed to wick moisture away from your skin, keeping your feet fresh, dry and comfortable. 

Key specs

  • Material: Polyamide and polyester
  • Waterproof: No

8. Best thermal walking socks: Smartwool Women's Hike Crew Socks

Smartwool socks

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

"I've always used Smartwool socks with my walking boots, they seem to keep my feet dry and comfy and I never get blisters" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, NannyR

"I did a 4 day camp/ hike. I used Smartwool socks and they still smelled nice!" - recommended by Mumsnet users, norfolkskies

With their high merino wool content, these 3-season hiking socks from Smartwool are designed to keep your feet warm when it’s cold outside, and cool when it’s warm. Just like a thermal base layer, they work by trapping heat next to your skin while allowing moisture to be drawn outwards. The toe seams are flat-knit for extra comfort, and they’re available in six different colours. 

Key specs

  • Material: Merino and polyamide
  • Waterproof: No

9. Best waterproof walking socks: SealSkinz Waterproof Cold Weather Knee-Length Socks

Sealskinz socks

Price: £37 | Buy now from Amazon

"You can get moisture wicking BUT WATERPROOF socks called Sealskinz. My dd got them for Ten Tors, now we all have them, they are ace and really add to my walking experience. My walking boots are meant to be waterproof, but sealskins have really improved them" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Ohyesiam

For trekking in wet conditions, Sealskinz will keep your feet dry, however many puddles or downpours you encounter. Incredibly, they’re both 100% waterproof and breathable, which prevents rubbing or overheating. If worn in cold conditions, they also have thermal properties. Despite their numerous super powers, as long as you follow the care instructions they feel just like wearing a comfy sock. 

Key specs

  • Material: Nylon, hydrophilic membrane, merino and acrylic
  • Waterproof: Yes

10. Best walking socks for extreme conditions: Peter Storm Heavyweight Outdoor Socks

Peter Storm socks

Price: £18 | Buy now from Millets

Designed for maximum warmth, these heavyweight walking socks from Peter Storm won’t let you down. With thick cushioning throughout the socks, they’re really comfy, cosy and will guard against blisters. A reinforced heel and toe make them durable, meaning they’re perfect for walking in hilly terrain, cold climates and for camping. 

Key specs

  • Material: Not stated
  • Waterproof: No

How to choose the best walking socks

When it comes to socks, you get what you pay for. Keeping your feet comfortable and blister-free is important for hiking and walking, and it’s worth investing in fabrics such as Coolmax or merino wool to ensure your feet are well taken care of. A good-quality pair of socks will last longer too. 

What are the best walking socks to prevent blisters?

Double-layered socks like Hilly Twin Skins and 1000 Mile are the most effective way to protect yourself from blisters. They act as a second skin, meaning any friction from your shoes doesn’t reach your skin. 

Is it better to wear thick or thin walking socks?

For most of the year, a thin pair of walking socks will serve you well - feet can get hot while walking, and most good-quality walking socks have sweat-wicking and thermal properties to regulate their temperature. For colder climates and deepest winter, go for a thicker sock for extra warmth. 

What are the best walking socks to buy?

Bridgedale Trekkers are our pick for the best walking socks to buy. Their winning combination of quality, design and value really impressed us. 

How we chose our recommendations 

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which walking socks discerning Mumsnet users had bought for themselves. We compiled a list of the socks they recommended for being comfortable, durable and keeping their feet blister-free.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which walking socks had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customer reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the walking socks we thought would make the best buys.

Why you should trust us 

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.