If you don’t have time to read the entire review and just want to find the best socks for rucking, we recommend the Darn Tough Tactical Boot Cushion Sock.
Rucking is challenging enough without anything holding you back. Typically, people focus on finding an excellent pair of rucking boots. But they’re useless without the right socks.
Choosing poorly may lead to blisters, tender spots, and clammy feet. So to help you avoid a disastrous outcome, we’ve rounded up our top seven best socks for rucking.
What You'll Learn
- How to Choose the Best Socks for Rucking
- Best Socks for Rucking
- 1. Best Overall Option | Darn Tough Tactical Boot Cushion Sock
- 2. Best Lower-Length Socks | Darn Tough Hiker 1/4 Cushion Sock for Men and Women
- 3. Best Compression Socks | MudGear Ruck Sock
- 4. Best for Blister Prevention | Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool Sock
- 5. Best Military-Approved Socks | Fox River Military Wick Dry Mid-Calf Socks
- 6. Best Budget-Friendly | Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking Socks
- 7. Socks With the Highest Merino Wool Content | Smartwool Trekking Crew Socks
How to Choose the Best Socks for Rucking
Buying the right pair of socks for any physical activity is essential. Read on to learn how to make an informed decision about the most suitable product for you.
The best socks for rucking should be made from Merino wool. There are many reasons why this material works best.
First of all, Merino wool helps regulate your body’s temperature. When the weather is cold, the fibers will bend and trap the air, preserving the heat and keeping your feet warm. They’ll also work their magic when it’s hot outside. The moisture-wicking keeps the sweat away from your feet, leaving them dry and cool.
In addition, Merino wool socks resist odor. This is made possible by the material trapping the bacterial smell and keeping it from building up. As a result, your feet will remain odor-free, even on longer hikes.
Also, this material is super-fine and much softer than regular wool. The fibers stretch with your feet, resulting in supreme comfort.
However, Merino wool products might be pricy for some people. If affordability is on your list of priorities, consider buying a blend of Merino wool and other synthetic materials. You can also go for 100% synthetic socks. They are moisture-wicking but don’t usually offer the same comfort or keep your feet odor-free.
Rucking boots are made to be tough and durable. Sometimes, this might come at the cost of comfort. If your boots of choice lack cushioning, your socks might come to the rescue.
Although you could get away with using military socks, try to only choose socks specifically made with rucking in mind. The best socks for rucking feature strategically placed padding and cushioning to make each step as comfortable as possible.
Your overall comfort will also be determined by how fitting, breathable, and moisture-wicking your socks are designed to be.
When choosing the best socks for rucking, make sure they fit you as well as possible. Also, they shouldn’t be baggy, especially around the heel. If there’s any room left in this region, the sock might slide around and cause chafing.
Breathability is another essential factor to consider.
Basically, your feet need to be able to breathe while rucking. In addition, there needs to be enough ventilation to keep your feet dry and cool. Apart from keeping your feet from overheating, this feature will also prevent bad odor.
Merino wool socks have proven to be an all-weather product that will keep your feet dry under any conditions. Another option is to find rucking socks that include mesh points for ventilation. This will increase the airflow inside your socks and keep your feet dry.
The moisture-wicking properties of a rucking sock are mainly determined by the material and breathability. Therefore, you should choose socks made from a moisture-wicking fabric with ventilation points to help keep your feet dry and fresh.
In this respect, Merino wool is a clear winner. If you can’t afford Merino wool socks, note that synthetic materials also wick away moisture. However, the science behind them is different.
Namely, Merino wool will remove the moisture from your skin while it’s still vapor. In contrast, synthetic fabrics will wick sweat after it’s already become liquid. This means your body has to do the work to evaporate the liquid, making your feet clammy, especially in cold weather.
While searching for a decent Merino wool alternative, try to avoid cotton socks. Cotton doesn’t wick away moisture. Not only that but the sweat will get trapped and collect in your socks. This is a recipe for disaster when you have to walk long distances wearing those socks.
Compression is one of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing the best socks for rucking. Compression socks will keep your feet from moving and your toes from rubbing together. This helps prevent blister formation and facilitates a pain-free rucking experience. Also, compression offers excellent support and keeps your feet stable, preventing foot fatigue after a long day of rucking.
Another remarkable thing about compression socks is that they improve blood circulation. As a result, they will help you perform better, have more energy, and recover after rucking. They also have an impressive long-term benefit. Namely, compression socks will help prevent severe medical conditions caused by poor circulation.
Best Socks for Rucking
1. Best Overall Option | Darn Tough Tactical Boot Cushion Sock
The Darn Tough brand has earned an excellent reputation for consistently producing durable, high-quality socks. This US company believes in its products so much that they offer a lifetime guarantee.
These Darn Tough socks are unique because they were made with tactical boots in mind. For that reason, they’re perfect for rucking, even with heavier loads. In addition, they feature a reinforced heel and toe area to increase durability. These socks also offer elastic arch support to make each step comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, the best thing about these socks is that you won’t feel like wearing socks once you put them on. These densely cushioned socks hug your foot and leg and leave no room for bunching and slipping. What’s more, the seams are practically undetectable, creating an overall smooth feeling.
These socks are made from 62% Merino wool, 36% nylon, and 2% Lycra spandex in terms of the materials used. The Merino wool makes them moisture-wicking, breathable, and fast-drying. They also won’t emit odor, even after prolonged use. Hence, you won’t have to wash these Darn Tough socks after every use.
For added protection, these socks sit mid-calf in higher-cut boots. Unfortunately, some users claim that the socks tend to bunch up around the calf and slip to your ankle when wearing lower-cut boots.
2. Best Lower-Length Socks | Darn Tough Hiker 1/4 Cushion Sock for Men and Women
With Darn Tough’s superiority over their competitors, it’s no wonder another style made our list of the best socks for rucking.
The Hiker 1/4 Cushion socks are perfect for those who don’t want to ruck in full-length socks. These Darn Tough socks reach just above the ankle and work best with hiking boots. If these are your go-to boots for rucking, you might’ve just found your go-to socks. They won’t bunch, slip, or cause blisters.
Other than height, these socks have all the same features that make the Darn Tough socks so good. Known for their quality, the manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee.
These socks are 61% Merino wool, 37% nylon, and 2% Lycra spandex. Thanks to the Merino wool, these socks pull moisture away from the skin and keep them dry and odor-free in any weather conditions. They’re also exceptionally breathable. This is partly due to their composition and party because they feature side vents.
When it comes to comfort, you’ll forget you even put these socks on. As a result of Darn Tough’s True Seamless technology, the socks feel smooth all the way through and provide mid-level cushion density.
Unfortunately, comfort has also been an issue for some users. They claim these Darn Tough socks feel extremely tight on the top of the foot and around the ankle. As fit is one of the most crucial factors, this problem may ruin your rucking experience.
3. Best Compression Socks | MudGear Ruck Sock
The MudGear company specializes in functional socks and outdoor apparel. Specifically made for this activity, the Ruck Socks are among the best socks for rucking.
What makes these MudGear socks stand out is the compression they offer. They’ll do an excellent job as a rucking sock if you’re recovering from an injury or trying to improve blood flow. These socks also have a snugger fit with added stretch. This means there won’t be any foot movement once you put them on, but you’ll still feel comfortable. What’s more, this will prevent your feet from rubbing and creating blisters.
These MudGear socks are made from high-grade Merino wool and polypropylene. This combination enables excellent moisture management and odor control. You’ll be able to ruck for miles without worrying about sweaty or smelly feet. The Merino wool is focused on high friction areas like the heel and forefoot, providing comfort and abrasion resistance.
The composition of these socks already makes them breathable, but the airflow is further increased with a vented top.
Although compression sets these MudGear socks apart, it’s also a downside in the calf area. Some users claim the socks are too compressed on the calves and bearable only if you have strong muscles in that area.
Another major drawback of these socks is the price. At $30 a pair, they’re the most expensive socks on our list.
4. Best for Blister Prevention | Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool Sock
Injinji specializes in high-performance toe socks. Their Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool model is much-loved by the rucking community.
The primary way people use these socks is as a base layer under another pair of socks. You might be wondering why you use two layers of socks. The answer is simple – blisters. Thanks to their design, these socks prevent your toes from rubbing together while rucking. Instead, the fabric takes all the resistance, reducing the possibility of blister formation.
The “toe sock” design also enables a snug fit by wrapping and compressing each toe individually. This keeps the feet from moving around, especially in high-pressure points like the midfoot or the ball of the foot. Additionally, your feet will produce less friction, increasing comfort while rucking.
Whether you’re wearing these Injiji socks as a base layer or on their own, you shouldn’t worry about sweat. They’re made from 43% NuWool, 43% acrylic, 12% nylon, and 2% Lycra. NuWool is Australian-sourced Merino wool, which is known for its moisture-wicking qualities.
Unfortunately, these socks have a significant flaw. Many users have pointed out how quickly these socks deteriorate. Some even spotted holes after a single-use. It might be frustrating to constantly replace them paired with a not-so-affordable price.
5. Best Military-Approved Socks | Fox River Military Wick Dry Mid-Calf Socks
Consider these Fox River socks if you’re looking for the best for army ruck marches. So naturally, these socks are AR670-1 compliant. In fact, they’re one of the best military socks on the market and one of our choices for the best socks for rucking and ruck marching.
Fortunately, their functionality doesn’t come at the cost of comfort. These socks feature extra cushioning to soften the blow your feet take while rucking. They also fit well around your foot, keeping it from moving and causing friction. This helps reduce the possibility of developing blisters.
When it comes to the material, these Fox River socks are made from an all-synthetic blend. This includes 70% polypropylene, 28% nylon, and 2% spandex. Synthetic materials are moisture-wicking and quick-drying, which means your feet will be cool and dry in all weather conditions.
Unfortunately, some users claim they have trouble keeping these socks up. While they’re snug around your foot, they seem looser above the ankles. This causes the socks to constantly fall down, which can be annoying, especially if you’re wearing lower-cut boots.
6. Best Budget-Friendly | Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking Socks
These Danish Endurance socks might be just the ticket if you’re just starting rucking and don’t want to spend too much money. At less than $30 for a pack of three, they are the most affordable product on our best socks for rucking list. To put it into perspective, the $30 could only get you one pair of the MudGear Ruck socks.
These Danish Endurance socks are primarily intended for hiking, but you can use them for rucking as they check every box.
Firstly, they’re made from Merino wool, which means they wick away moisture and keep odor at bay. Next, they are lightly compressed, which helps with your blood circulation. Finally, they feature extra padding from heel to toe, enabling a comfortable rucking experience. Apart from comfort, the padding absorbs the shock of your feet hitting the ground and reduces traction. This further helps reduce the risk of blistering.
However, many reviewers were disappointed that the Merino wool content in these socks is only 30%. As a result, they don’t do a good enough job of keeping your feet warm on colder days.
Also, there are durability issues. Namely, some users have reported seeing holes in their Danish Endurance socks, even after a casual and light use.
7. Socks With the Highest Merino Wool Content | Smartwool Trekking Crew Socks
The Smartwool company is a Merino wool powerhouse. It’s no surprise, therefore, that their socks have the highest content of this precious wool. They feature a whopping 70% Merino wool, with the rest being nylon and elastane.
These socks greatly benefit from such a high Merino wool content. Thermoregulating, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant, they’re comfortable to wear due to the cushioning provided by the Merino wool fibers. In addition, the toe and heel areas are reinforced for added comfort and durability.
However, the amount of wool used increases the overall weight and bulkiness of the sock, which can make your boots feel tight. Also, the low percentage of synthetic materials shortens the lifespan of the socks. Many users claim they noticed holes in their Smartwool socks after a relatively short period of use. Additionally, they tend to stretch out quickly.
Although all the choices we’ve outlined are great, we consider Darn Tough Tactical Boot Cushion Socks the best socks for rucking and ruck marching. These tactical socks check all the boxes for a durable quality rucking sock.
They offer a perfect snug fit, unlike the fellow Darn Tough model on our list. Although made for lower-cut boots, the Hiker 1/4 Cushion socks feel too tight around the ankle.
While MudGear Ruck socks are an excellent choice, their price knocked them off the top spot.
Our winner stands out due to the lifetime guarantee. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Injinji, Smartwool, and Danish Endurance socks, as they have some catching up in the durability department.