If you don’t have time to read the entire review and just want to find out what the Best Socks For Walking Long Distances is, then we recommend the Rockay Flare Running Socks for Men and Women as the best choice.
They often don’t get the credit they deserve, but socks are just as important as shoes when it comes to long walks. A comfy shoe means little when a sock doesn’t do its job. And when you think about it, it’s the sock that’s in direct contact with your skin. If you’re going on a long walk, you’ll want to equip yourself with awesome, comfy socks.
A perfect walking sock needs to ensure a comfortable, sweat-, and blister-free experience. With this in mind, we present you with 5 best socks for walking long distances.
In this post, we’ve reviewed the Best Socks For Walking Long Distances. These are:
- Best All-Round Walking Socks: Smartwool Light Crew Hiking Socks
- Best Running Socks for Long Walks: Rockay Flare
- Best Performance Walking Socks: Smartwool PhD Medium Crew
- Best Light Walking Socks: Icebreaker Multisport
- Best Women’s Walking Socks: Thorlo LWMWX
What You'll Learn
- The Importance of Great Walking Socks
- Best Socks for Walking Long Distances
The Importance of Great Walking Socks
You may pride yourself on having sturdy feet and soles, but even if you’re an experienced mountaineer, your feet are still quite delicate. You may have the comfiest shoes on the planet, with ideal insoles that provide a lot of support and help your foot breathe. However, would you really wear them without socks? Most likely, you wouldn’t. And you’d be wise to avoid going sock-free. Every modern shoe is built with socks in mind.
But where we tend to spend hundreds of dollars on the comfiest walking shoes on the market, we also have a tendency to disregard the importance of having a pair of quality socks to complement them.
A perfect pair of walking socks will be breathable, no matter what. That means taking special materials into account.
If a sock doesn’t feel right when you wear it, then it isn’t right. Ideally, you’d want to forget about the fact that you’re wearing socks to begin with. Unfortunately, if you go sock-free, you may suffer.
Despite the fact that you’re wearing shoes to protect you from harsh terrain, you need socks that will protect you from in-shoe abrasion and soreness.
Best Socks for Walking Long Distances
Best All-Round Walking Socks: Smartwool Light Crew Hiking Socks
New Zealand wool should mean something. Premium New Zealand wool should definitely get you interested. The Smartwool Light Crew Hiking socks are made from this type of wool. it’s used for high-end shearling products, such as Ugg Boots.
First of all, Smartwool socks are soft and comfortable. The best adjective to explain how these socks feel is “luxurious.” The remarkable thing about them is the very nature of the wool. Smartwool features thousands of air bubbles. These air bubbles retain warmth in wintertime and keep your feet fresh during the summer.
This is what makes Smartwool ideal for hiking. But this doesn’t make the Crew Hiking socks any less fitting for long walks. Your feet won’t get sweaty or too cold, provided that you have a decent pair of shoes. This means comfort and no smelly feet.
A really cool thing about the Smartwool Crew Hiking socks is that they come with reinforced soles. This means that they’ll provide comfort, even if your shoes are old and worn. Another critical thing to keep in mind is that these Crew Hiking socks aren’t too bulky. They’ll fit your shoe, as long as it’s your size.
It’s no wonder that hikers tend to use their Smartwool socks both indoors and during long and short walks. In fact, the Smartwool Crew Hiking socks will become your everyday socks when you start using them. It’s amazing how adaptable they are.
- All-around socks
- Luxurious feel
- Reinforced soles
- Not too bulky
Not ideal for icy weather
Best Running Socks for Long Walks: Rockay Flare
Let’s get one thing out of the way first, Rockay Flares are designed as runners’ socks. The only thing that marks them out for distinction, when it comes to running, is that they’re pretty short. This is what makes them an excellent choice for long-distance walks.
When you look a bit closer, you’ll see the arch suppression on the back. This is what keeps them stable and ideal for runners. However, if you’re taking a long walk in the wild, you’ll want the same arch support – people can twist their ankles, even while walking.
The Rockay Flare socks are breathable and can regulate temperature to a certain level. They may be quarter-length, but this is more than enough to keep you warm on a cold day.
Rockay socks aren’t cheap. Although the price may seem a bit too steep for a pair of socks, you need to keep Rockay’s policy in mind. They offer a lifetime guarantee. This means that you won’t need to replace the Flares after a couple of long walks. They’re built to last, even if you run/jog every day, not to mention a casual long walk.
Blisters and chafing are some of the biggest worries among runners. The Rockay Flares boast high-wicking, which means that they do a great job at keeping your feet dry. This will help avoid abrasion and skin damage. And we’re talking about running here. The Flares will make your long walks immensely comfortable.
Rockay socks are treated with Polygiene Stay Fresh technology. This technology makes sure that your feet remain odorless and fresh, even after marathon runs.
- Will keep you warm
- Sweat-wicking technology
Primarily for runners
Best Performance Walking Socks: Smartwool PhD Medium Crew
In general, hiking socks are overly thick. They use a lot of cushioning to prevent chafing and blisters. However, this cushioning can quickly backfire as too much cushioning will cause more chafing.
On the other hand, you have light cushioning. The main benefit of socks that feature light cushioning is that they dry quicker.
The Smartwool PhDs feature a perfect balance between the two cushioning types. Medium cushioning provides impact absorption and warmth, but doesn’t cause extra chafing or sweating. This cushioning type is aimed at varied road/trail terrain.
Well, the Smartwool PhD socks are made of merino wool that regulates moisture and keeps your feet pleasantly warm when it’s cold outside. The great thing about Smartwool is that it doesn’t cause too much sweating.
Despite the fact that the Smartwool PhD socks are built with hiking in mind, they’re very versatile. They’re brilliant fits for any activity, really, from taking long walks to jogging or biking. Of course, you can’t expect them to protect you in rough winter conditions, but they do a great job in cold and warm weather.
These socks make for an extremely comfortable fit. The ankle flex zone provides comfort without hindering your performance.
The PhDs also feature a variety of designs and patterns, from the quirky to the more professional-looking. Whether you’re going for a hike, a long walk, or a day at the office, the Smartwool PhDs are an excellent choice. Versatility is the name of the game here.
- Medium cushioning
- Ankle flex
Not ideal for sleeping
Best Light Walking Socks: Icebreaker Multisport
The Icebreaker Multisports are thin athletic socks that can be used for various purposes. This, of course, includes long-distance walking, as well as numerous outdoor adventures. They’re made from Merino wool, which is widely famous for breathability, without compromise in the warmth department. However, even merino wool gets a bit “crowded” in terms of warmth.
The Icebreaker Multisport socks are exceptionally thin, making them ideal for light, yet long distances. This makes the Icebreakers less than ideal for long exposures to severe temperatures. However, this means that they’re more fitting for more casual strolls, such as long walks and trails.
A cool thing with merino wool socks is that you can get three to four uses between washes. With long-distance walks, this is more likely to be two to three uses. Even so, it’s pretty amazing, especially when you take the more than fair price tag.
The Icebreaker Multisports remain in excellent condition, three months into extensive use, which is also pretty amazing. If you buy a couple of pairs, you’re looking at a long life.
The Icebreakers are 63% wool, 35% nylon, and 2% Lycra elastane. Now, yes, we are aware that most people flinch at the mention of nylon in general, but 100% Merino wool socks are almost impossible to find.
Even if you could find a pair that’s entirely made out of Merino wool, it wouldn’t be an ideal fit for long walks. Merino wool, in itself, isn’t very durable. In fact, it’s incredibly stretchy and definitely not ideal for any type of a longer excursion. It’s the nylon that enhances a sock’s durability. The balance between nylon and wool determines how durable/comfortable/warm a sock is.
The Multisports have achieved the perfect balance for long walks here, achieving decent durability and optimal comfort levels.
The Icebreakers are accurately marketed as multi-purpose socks. They aren’t ideal for extreme temperatures and may not be a perfect idea for climbing Mount Everest, but they are ideal for long-distance walks and trails. This is what makes the Multisports one of the best socks for walking long distances.
The only real downside here is that they might leave the “ICEBREAKER” text imprinted on your ankle if your shoes are too tight.
- Thin and comfortable
- Pretty durable
- 63% Merino wool
- Multiple uses before washing
- Fair price tag
The ICEBREAKER“ cattle brand
Best Women’s Walking Socks: Thorlo LWMWX
If there’s one thing that’s a bit off with wool, it’s that some types can feel a bit uncomfortable (aside from Merino wool). On the other hand, you have cotton, which feels great, but doesn’t keep your foot fresh – a deal-breaker for long, extensive walks.
The great thing about Thorlos is that they feature something called “Thor-wick cool” fibers. This is Thorlo’s proprietary material that’s marketed as wool but feels like cotton. And the guys and gals at this company certainly deliver in this department. We don’t know what it is, but this material certainly feels like cotton rather than wool. And yes, it successfully levels out the temperature in your shoes, as merino wool would.
Many claim that the downside with these socks is that they aren’t unisex. Make no mistake, these are women’s socks. However, we don’t think that this should be perceived as a downside. With so many men’s and unisex models out there, it was about time someone stepped up with socks specifically tailored for women.
If you’re wondering why this is important, Thorlos, for instance, fit around most women’s arches perfectly.
The real downside to the Thorlos is that the ankle band is a bit loose. However, this downside doesn’t affect the comfort too much as the socks tend to stay in place anyway. This is the case owing to the fact that these socks are basically covered in cushions. These cushions provide a wonderfully comfortable and tight walking experience, making the Thorlos ideal for long walks and hikes.
The price tag may put you off a bit, but most performance socks made out of wool are in this ballpark. This is especially noteworthy when talking about the best socks for walking long distances.
- Perfect fit for women
- Thor-wick cool fibers
- Extra cushioning
- Cotton-like comfort
- Merino-like performance
Ankle band a bit loose
The competition here is strong with all of these excellent walking socks. However, Rockay Flare is the best choice for long-distance walks. They’re breathable and provide maximum sweat-wicking. This is important as it helps avoid moisture-caused abrasion, whilst providing perfect support and comfort for those long walks. Their only real downside is that they’re made primarily for sports, which, all thing’s considered, isn’t a real downside at all.
Smartwool Light Crew Hiking Socks are a great choice, but they’ll never deliver results like Rockay Flares for long-distance walks.
Smartwool PhD Medium Crew are also versatile, but versatility isn’t what you’re looking for on long walks – it’s the performance that takes the cake.
The Icebreakers may be pretty durable, but “ICEBREAKER” will start engraving into your foot during long walks. This is definitely not ideal for extended walks.
Finally, Thorlo LWMWX are brilliant and comfortable walking socks. They’re definitely the best socks on the list for women. However, this isn’t a comparison of the best women’s socks for walking long distances. We’re trying to find the best socks for walking long distances, in general here. With this in mind, the Rockay Flares are the best choice.
Who knew that performance socks made for running were going to win the title of best long-distance walking socks? As always, performance prevails.