MTB Training

      Best Hiking Socks for Women of 2022

      Updated on November 6, 2020

      Your feet go through a lot when you hike: blisters, rocky terrain, wet stream crossings, soreness after pounding out mile after mile. We’ve rounded up the best hiking socks for women so that you can keep your toes in top shape on the trail, whether you’ll be spending a few hours or a few days on your feet.

      Don’t throw any old cotton socks on your feet – they are, after all, what carry you from your trailhead to your destination, and everyday socks aren’t going to cut it. Check out the options below to find your favorite pair with the features you need in the height you prefer to pair with your hiking boots on any trail.

      For more of our top hiking apparel recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Socks. 


      Quick Answer The Best Hiking Socks for Women

      Darn Tough CoolMax Micro CrewView at REISmartwool HikingView at REIWRIGHTSOCK Double Layer Silver EscapeView at REIDarn Tough Hiker Quarter CushionView at REISmartwool PhD Outdoor Light CrewView at REIREI Co-op CoolMax MidweightView at REIDarn Tough Hiker Micro CrewView at REISmartwool LightView at REIDarn Tough Gatewood BootView at REI


      Comparison Table The Best Women’s Hiking Socks

      For the best experience turn your device horizontally

      Name Height Cushioning Price Rating Review
      Darn Tough CoolMax Micro Crew Crew Medium $$ 4.7 Read Review
      Smartwool Hiking Crew Medium $$ 4.8 Read Review
      WRIGHTSOCK Double Layer Silver Escape Crew Light $$$ 4.7 Read Review
      Darn Tough Hiker Quarter Cushion Quarter Medium $$ 4.9 Read Review
      Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew Ankle / Quarter / Mid Crew / Crew Light $$$ 4.7 Read Review
      REI Co-op CoolMax Midweight Crew Medium $ 4.4 Read Review
      Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Quarter Medium $$$ 4.8 Read Review
      Smartwool Light Crew Light $$ 4.7 Read Review
      Darn Tough Gatewood Boot Crew Heavy $$$ 4.8 Read Review
      Name Height Cushioning Price Rating Review

      Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

      Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

      Reviews Best Hiking Socks for Women

      Darn Tough CoolMax Micro Crew


      Material: 60% CoolMax Polyester/35% Nylon/5% Lycra SpandexHeight: CrewCushioning: Medium


      Quick DryingMoisture WickingFine Gauge Knitting (for extra durability)Antimicrobial


      Warm in the winter, but cool in the summer – no matter the season, these socks will keep your feet cozy and dry. The performance fit is designed to prevent slipping, bunching, and blisters while wicking moisture from your skin and drying fast when your feet are sweating.

      These socks are naturally antimicrobial, repelling odor and bacteria so your feet won’t send everyone scurrying when you take your boots off at camp. The “micro crew” height comes to just over the top of a standard hiking boot, and the socks are truly seamless, so you won’t feel uncomfortable seams bunching up at your toes while you’re on the trail. Add in the mid-level cushioning, and the Coolmax Micro Crew socks will keep your feet comfortable in all kinds of conditions.

      View at REIView at Backcountry

      Smartwool Hiking


      Material: 70% Merino Wool/28% Nylon/2% ElasticHeight: CrewCushioning: Medium


      Moisture WickingNon-ItchMachine Washable and Dryable


      These Smartwool socks come with all the benefits of merino wool – odor-repelling, moisture-wicking – without the negatives often associated with wool products; they won’t itch, and you can even throw them in the dryer without worrying about shrinking.

      With a moderate amount of cushioning to absorb impact on the trail, these socks are great for long miles over rough terrain. You’ll love them for years as they maintain their shape and softness – the nylon and elastic blend will ensure durability and a great fit.

      View at REIView at Backcountry

      WRIGHTSOCK Double Layer Silver Escape


      Material: Dri-WRIGHT ll Polyester/Nylon/Silver/Lycra SpandexHeight: CrewCushioning: Light


      Top Mesh Panels (for ventilation)Moisture WickingQuick DryingAntimicrobial


      The key feature of these WRIGHTSOCK socks is their patented double layer that reduces friction while hiking, thus minimizing hot spots and blisters. The silver woven throughout these socks’ inner layer provides natural antimicrobial protection, keeping your feet smelling fresh.

      On the trail, lightly cushioned footbeds absorb shock, while the mesh paneling on top of the socks ventilate your feet. If you struggle with blisters and odor after a long day of hiking, these socks may be the answer.

      View at REI

      Darn Tough Hiker Quarter Cushion


      Material: 60% Merino Wool/38% Nylon/2% SpandexHeight: QuarterCushioning: Medium


      Side VentsFine Gauge Knitting (for extra durability)Undetectable Seam (for ultimate comfort)


      For fast and light hikes, the Darn Tough Hiker Quarter Socks are your best bet. Vents on the side of the socks offer extra breathability, while a performance-enhancing fit is designed to prevent bunching, slipping, and blisters. The quarter height sits just above the ankle, ideal for low-cut hiking boots and hiking shoes.

      A medium level of cushion combined with a smooth seam you can’t feel mean ultimate comfort when you slip these socks on. They’ll keep your feet warm for a winter hike or cool for a summer one thanks to the versatility of the merino wool, which also repels bacteria and odors. Take these socks for a spin, and you’ll forget you even have them on.

      View at REIView at Backcountry

      Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew


      Material: 58% Merino Wool/39% Nylon/3% ElastaneHeight: Ankle / Quarter / Mid Crew / CrewCushioning: Light


      Women-Specific FitMoisture WickingMesh Ventilation Zones (for breathability)


      Smartwool calls the patent-pending technology making up this sock “Indestructawool,” and it’s a fitting name. The construction combines merino wool and reinforcing fibers in the optimal spots to increase durability and comfort, meaning you can rely on these socks from hiking trip to hiking trip.

      In terms of comfort, ventilating mesh zones help manage moisture and allow your feet to breathe. These socks have a fit system with two elastics, which offer more stretch and recovery to keep the socks in place as you hike. They’re tailored to women, with a slimmer fit and narrower heel to conform more to women’s feet. Finally, a virtually seamless toe rounds out the extreme comfort these socks provide from town to trail.

      View at REI

      REI Co-op CoolMax Midweight


      Material: 80% COOLMAX EcoMade polyester, 19% nylon, 1% spandexHeight: CrewCushioning: Medium


      Quick DryingMoisture WickingSeamless Toe (for optimal comfort)


      On cool, fall days or early spring before your hikes get hot, REI’s CoolMax midweight hiking socks will keep your toes toasty. The breathable polyester blends with stretchy nylon for added durability, and flexible spandex ensures the optimal fit. The toe closure is seamless, so no concerns about bunching necessary.

      The padded heel and toe are thick enough for great support, but not too thick. Throw these socks on for rugged terrain of all kinds, as they avoid slipping and sliding that can lead to blisters. At such a great price, you can pick up a few pairs to treat your feet.

      View at REI

      Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew


      Material: 59% Merino Wool/39% Nylon/2% Lycra SpandexHeight: QuarterCushioning: Medium


      Fast DryingMoisture WickingAntimicrobialMachine Washable and Dryable


      Moisture-wicking and breathable merino wool cradles your feet when you put these socks on, increasing comfort and offering optimal durability for all of your peak bagging. The micro crew height is perfect for those who prefer a shorter sock, but still want it to reach the top of their hiking boots.

      Enough cushioning to protect your feet from rugged trails also features reinforced heels and toes, as well as elastic support around the arches. The toe seams are hidden and comfortable, while the performance fit ensures no bunching, slipping, or blisters. You can rely on Darn Tough’s Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks for a variety of terrain, whether you’re out for a day hike or a week in the backcountry.

      View at REIView at Backcountry

      Smartwool Light


      Material: 72% Merino Wool/26% Nylon/1% Spandex/1% PolyesterHeight: CrewCushioning: Light


      Machine Washable and DryableMoisture WickingFlat Knit Toe Seam (for added comfort)


      Smartwool guarantees an itch-free experience, and the merino wool and nylon in these socks will absorb and wick moisture away from your skin no matter the season. The Lycra spandex in the upper ribbing helps keep the sock in place as you move, while the Lycra in the arch brace adds support and comfort.

      When you get home, throw these socks in the washer and dryer without fear of them shrinking. The lightly-cushioned terry-loop padding provides comfort without too much bulk. The Smartwool Light Hiker Socks will stay soft and odor-resistant for seasons to come, making them a surefire staple for your hiking kit.

      View at REIView at Backcountry

      Darn Tough Gatewood Boot


      Material: 67% Merino Wool/30% Nylon/3% SpandexHeight: CrewCushioning: Heavy


      Fine Gauge Knitting (for extra durability)Moisture WickingAntimicrobialSeamless Toe (for comfort)


      With the highest level of cushioning on this list, the Darn Tough Gatewood Boot Socks are a great option for hikers who prefer extra padding on their feet. Full cushion throughout the entire sock provides plenty of comfort, while the height hits at mid-calf for additional protection and warmth. A high density of merino wool wicks moisture away from your feet and dries quickly whether it’s hot or cool out.

      In addition to a performance fit that minimizes the slipping and bunching that leads to blisters, an undetectable seam means this sock is ultra smooth and comfortable no matter how many miles you’ve put in on the trail. A fully cushioned option that naturally repels bacteria and odors, these socks won’t let you or your feet down.

      View at REIView at Backcountry





      Hiking sock height is typically a matter of preference, though higher socks can add protection against the elements and warmth. Lower socks, on the other hand, mean less material and can help keep more of your foot cool. The heights available on this list range from ankle (super short) to crew (calf-height). Make sure to consider where you’ll be hiking and how high you usually like your socks before deciding which sock and height to purchase from the list above.



      Depending on how many miles and the kind of terrain you tend to hike, you may want higher or lower density cushioning in your socks. Extra padding can help your foot absorb shock over rough terrain, but lots of cushion can also create bulk.



      Hiking socks are often distinguished by the materials that make them up, with different blends offering various features from antimicrobial to fast drying fibers. Many socks incorporate merino wool, for example, due to its natural moisture-wicking nature and odor resistance.



      At this point in the research process, you might be thinking, “$20 plus for a pair of socks??” It’s all in the materials – if you want hiking socks that will keep your feet happy through long miles with a heavy pack on your back, it may be worth it to spring for a more expensive pair. Keep in mind that investing in a more expensive pair of quality hiking socks also means that they’ll last for years of wear and tear on and off the trail. However, if you see yourself sticking to short day hikes, socks on the less expensive side can still do the trick.



      Especially if you often hike in hotter climates, sock ventilation can be the difference between sweaty feet and comfort while hiking. Look for features like mesh paneling and good airflow to keep your feet dry and happy.





      Merino wool is a naturally odor-resistant and moisture wicking fiber, which is why it’s so prevalent in many hiking socks. It’s a durable material that will stay soft even after many uses – look for pre-shrunk wool that you can run through the dryer without the socks shrinking.


      Crew socks generally hit around your mid calf, providing additional warmth and protection below the knee.


      Ankle socks typically rest just above the ankle, cut for lower boots and shoes.


      Socks infused with natural or synthetic antimicrobial fibers are bacteria-resistant, so they’ll fend off odors and prevent your feet from getting swampy even if they sweat.


      For more of our top hiking & backpacking gear recommendations, check out these popular buyer’s guides:

      Best Hiking Backpacks

      Best Backpacking Tents

      Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags

      Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads

      Best Backpacking Stoves

      Best Hiking Boots For Men (and Women)

      Best Hiking Shoes For Men (and Women)

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