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Warmest Socks 2021: Best Socks For Heat, 10 Best Hot Weather Hiking Socks

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The main aim of this blog post is simple: giving you the most valuable information there is to help you choose the best summer hiking socks for your next travel adventure.

In this in-depth guide, we highlighted our top hiking socks for the summer of 2020. We reviewed socks for all budgets, conditions, and styles of travel. Similarly to our post about the best winter socks, here you will also find a sock comparison table with clear and concise information about the top summer and hot weather socks on our list, namely the most important characteristics, pros, and cons of each pair of socks.

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Most of our favorites are made with a combination of synthetic fibers – COOLMAX (polyester), nylon, acrylic, and spandex – and merino wool. In addition to the main materials used, we also summarized the other most important factors to consider when choosing summer hiking socks – breathability and wicking properties, drying speed, designs and constructions, fit, comfort, cushioning, prices, etc. In other words, we tried to explain clearly everything you need to know about summer and hot weather hiking socks. If interested in knowing more about the different types of hiking footwear, we recommend our in-depth post on this topic as well as our article about summer footwear where we reviewed the top hiking boots and shoes for the summer of 2020.

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Quick answer: BEST SUMMER & HOT WEATHER HIKING SOCKS FOR 2020

1. Darn Tough COOLMAX Micro Crew Cushion View on Amazon

2. Cloudline Hiking Light Cushion Unisex View on Amazon

3. Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion View on Amazon

4. Smartwool PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Mini View on Amazon

5. Farm to Feet Damascus Light Targeted Cushion View on Amazon

6. Wigwam Cool Lite Hiker Crew View on Amazon

7. Wrightsock Coolmesh II Crew View on Amazon

8. Smartwool Hiking Light Crew View on Amazon

9. Thorlos Unisex ULHX Hiking Lite Cushion Crew View on Amazon

10. Icebreaker Hike+ Light Mini View on Amazon

11. Wrightsock Escape Crew Unisex View on Amazon

12. GermaPro Hiking Boot Sock View on Amazon

Best overall summer hiking socks

#1 Darn Tough COOLMAX Micro Crew Cushion

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Height: Micro crew

Cushion: Medium

Price: $$* (the usual price is $21)

Materials: 37% Nylon, 34% COOLMAX polyester, 26% acrylic 2% Lycra (men’s); 39% nylon, 34% COOLMAX polyester, 19% acrylic, 5% polyester, 3% Lycra (women’s)

Notable features:

With COOLMAX for better moisture management in warm environments and conditionsUndetectable toe seam for a smooth and seamless feel on and off the trailSpecial knitting for durability, comfort, and excellent performance fit

Pros:

COOLMAX is great for summer pursuits but it can also be worn in various environments and conditions (COOLMAX is a modified polyester engineered to meet the performance needs of the wearer)Durable, built for high-performanceMedium cushioning helps to maintain all-day comfort even during long hikesFit snug without restricting the circulation

Cons:

Prone to retain more odor than socks with merino woolLimited color options

Best for: Technical trails and tough terrain in warm conditions

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon | REI | Backcountry

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Backcountry

#2 Cloudline Hiking Light Cushion Unisex

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Height: Crew

Cushion: Light

Price: $$ (usual price: $18.99)

Materials: 63% Ultra soft merino wool, 31% nylon, 6% spandex

Notable features:

Ultrasoft merino wool with anti-microbial abilitiesReinforced heel and toe provide durabilityWith ultra-light cushioning (except for the underfoot, which comes with medium cushioning)

Pros:

A great mix of cushioning and breathability for a more enjoyable experience on the trailAble to keep the wearer’s feet cool and dry all day long in predominantly warm conditions but can also work well in not-so-warm temperaturesRelatively high merino wool content for soft, itch-free, and odor-free experienceWell-made, these socks are suitable for three-season hiking and backpacking

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Cons:

Run a bit too tightLight cushion but not the lightest socks

Best for: Thru-hiking in warm weather. For really hot days, you may wish to check out the Cloudline Hiking Ultralight. The manufacturer sacrificed cushioning for breathability.

See the Cloudline Hiking Light Cushion Unisex

#3 Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion

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Height: Micro crew

Cushion: Medium

Price: $$ (the usual price is $23)

Materials: 61% Merino wool, 36% nylon, 3% Lycra (men’s); 59% merino wool, 39% nylon, 2% Lycra (women’s)

Notable features:

Built to be cool in the summer and warm in the winterFine gauge knitting for durability and performance fit; undetectable seam fusionGuaranteed for life

Pros:

Premium quality and functionality: excellent cushion, breathability, wicking and quick-drying abilitiesGreat style and softness make them suitable for various activities including as everyday wearLightweight and comfortable – these socks feel great on the feet, keep them dry, and stay in placeLifetime warranty

Cons:

Sizing problems – run smallThese are not built for really hot weather; better for cool summer days

Best for: High-intensity outdoor activities in not-so-warm temperatures

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon | REI | Backcountry

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Backcountry

#4 Smartwool PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Mini

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Height: Mini

Cushion: Ultralight

Price: $$ (the usual price is $16.95)

Materials: 48% Merino wool, 48% nylon, 4% elastane (men’s); 51% Merino wool, 45% nylon, 4% elastane (women’s)

Notable features:

Mesh ventilation zones help for better and more effective ventilation and moisture managementVirtually Seamless toe reduces rubbing and chafing for enhanced comfortShred Shield technology in the toe box area for reduced wear and tear

Pros:

These great performance socks built for adventures in hot climates are versatile: hiking, running, kayaking, fishing or everyday wearExcellent breathability for dry and cool feet; dry out quicklySoft and comfortable, they fit very well and stay in placeReally thin and lightweight but also fairly durable

Cons:

Too thin for extended trips and thru hikingA bit tight

Best for: Short and mid-range hikes in hot humid weather

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon | CampSaver | Backcountry

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

#5 Farm to Feet Damascus Light Targeted Cushion

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Height: Crew

Cushion: Light

Price: $$ (the usual price is around $24)

Materials: 51% Merino wool, 46 % nylon, 3% Lycra

Notable features:

High-density cushioning at critical performance areas throughout the sockSeamless toe closure reduces wear and tear and provides a blister-free experienceReinforced construction with super-fine merino

Pros:

Sturdy and hold up well in various conditionsExtra padding in the right places (including ribbed padding on the top of the foot) and snug fit make these socks very comfortable and prevent them from sliding around for a real blister-free experienceIncredible moisture management properties thanks to the fine-gauge merino woolGood design; cool color combinations

Cons:

Pricey – Farm to Feet Damascus are the most expensive socks on our listThe length is a bit too much for most summer pursuits

Best for: Thru-hiking

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Backcountry

#6 Wigwam Cool Lite Hiker Crew

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Height: Crew

Cushion: Medium

Price: $ (come at around $15)

Materials: 37% Polyester, 33% X2O acrylic, 23% stretch nylon, 6% Tencel, 1% spandex

Notable features:

Mesh instep and shin for enhanced breathabilityUltimax moisture management gets the moisture out of the sock effectivelyCushioned sole and supportive arch

Pros:

Excellent cushioning – medium thickness; suitable for year-round useFit snug, prevents the formation of blisters; yet, provide enough breathing roomBreathable material wicks moisture and keeps feet cool – a good choice for warm daysDecent durability + lifetime warranty if something happens to the socks

Cons:

Not as good as merino wool socks in odor controlNot the most comfortable fabric

Best for: Hiking in not-so-hot (cool) summer days

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw

#7 Wrightsock Coolmesh II Crew

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Height: Crew

Cushion: Light

Price: $ (the usual price is $15)

Materials: Inner Layer: 70% Dri-Wright II polyester, 26% nylon, 4% Lycra; outer layer: 71% Dri-Wright II polyester, 24% nylon, 5% Lycra

Notable features:

Dri-WRIGHT II performance fibers for effective moisture management and increased durabilityMesh panel ensures better air circulation and extra ventilationStabilizer Zones in arches to prevent the sock from slipping

Pros:

Lightweight double layer sockCool and comfortable; so comfy that it can be worn dailyBreathable and quick-drying fabric reduces the chance of hot spots and blistersBest for warm weather but can be used in all seasons

Cons:

Not the most durable sock given its priceTend to pill and shrink after washing over time

Best for: Warmer climates

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | CampSaver

#8 Smartwool Hiking Light Crew

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Height: Crew

Cushion: Light

Price: $$ (the usual price is $18.95)

Materials: 69% Merino wool, 30% nylon, 1% elastane (men’s); 67% Merino wool, 32% nylon, 1% elastane (women’s)

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Notable features:

Flat knit toe seam without bulk for better fit and comfortSoft and no-itch merino wool for better odor controlElasticized arch brace adds support and helps holds the sock in place

Pros:

Well made socks; great value for the moneyCan be worn for days without bad odor (fantastic odor control properties) during a wide range of activitiesSnug fit and offer great comfort in both warm and cold conditionsDurability + 2-year guarantee if something happens in the first two years

Cons:

Fit smaller than expectedToo thick for hot weather; better for cool days

Best for: Extended trips, thru-hiking

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

#9 Thorlos Unisex ULHX Hiking Lite Cushion Crew

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Height: Crew

Cushion: Light

Price: $$ (come at around $15.99)

Materials: 75% THOR•WICK COOL, 17% stretch nylon , 8% elastane

Notable features:

THOR•WICK COOL fibers (modified polyester) wick moisture for dry feetPadding in the ball and heel, as well as cushioned arch, provide support and comfortLow profile toe seam reduces rubbing/abrasion

Pros:

Lightweight comfort for enjoyable hiking trips during the warmer monthsExcellent moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties for dry feetHold up reasonably well thanks to the reinforced heel and toe areas (keep in mind that the sock is quite thin so you can’t expect to last for years)Versatile: good quality socks for hiking but can also be used for other activities or as everyday wear

Cons:

Almost no padding on the bottom; those who need more support won’t like itThe hardcore Thorlos fans will be disappointed because they’re used to thicker and more supportive socks from Thorlos

Best for: Day hikes and casual wear

See the Thorlos Unisex ULHX Hikine Lite Cushion Crew

#10 Icebreaker Hike+ Light Mini

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Height: Mini

Cushion: Light

Price: $$ (the usual price is around $20)

Materials: 61% Merino wool, 37% nylon, 2% Lycra

Notable features:

Breathe zone for improved ventilationAnatomical toe box for unique left and right fitReinforced heel and toe for durability and strength; seamless toe for blister-free experience and comfort

Pros:

Solid good quality socks; do not retain odorAnatomical socks with seamless toe reducing chafing and rubbing to minimize the formation of hot spots and blistersHigh-quality materials; excellent breathability and quick-drying abilities for dry and fresh feetSuitable for year-round hiking and backpacking

Cons:

Good length for summer but a bit too thick and warm for hot daysTend to pill after some time

Best for: Extended trips and thru-hiking in various conditions

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Backcountry

#11 Wrightsock Escape Crew Unisex

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Height: Crew

Cushion: Light

Price: $$ (come at around $18)

Materials: Inner: 70% polyester, 26% nylon, 4% spandex; outer: 68% polyester, 24% nylon, 8% spandex

Notable features:

Double layer system with Stabilizer Zones in arches to prevent sliding and fallingLight terry cushioned footbed in inner layer provides shock absorption without increasing bulk or shear against the skinMesh panels across the top of feet for increased breathability

Pros:

The double-layer construction reduces friction and provides a more comfortable fitThe all-synthetic fabric wicks moisture and is quick to dryDo a great job of protecting the feet and ensuring a blister-free experienceThough best for warmer temperatures, they are suitable for all-season use

Cons:

The boot-sock combination may not work because of the idiosyncrasies of double-layer socks; check it out in advance to make sure you got it right, especially before longer tripsThe two layers sometimes tend to bunch up

Best for: Cooler summer days

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | CampSaver

#12 GermaPro Hiking Sock

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Height: Boot height (mid-calf)

Cushion: Medium

Price: $ (come at $13.99 per pair or 23.99 per 2 pairs)

Materials: 42% Polyester (Germanium infused), 30% COOLMAX fabric with All Season Technology (50% cotton – 50% polyester), 22% nylon, 6% elastane

Notable features:

Germanium semiconductor infused yarn with antibacterial properties & ultra-breathable COOLMAXErgonomically constructed 3D multi-cushionTargeted Multi-Area Active Protection (reinforced heel and toe + seamless toe for reduced friction and abrasion)

Pros:

Can be used year-round in all types of weatherWith antibacterial propertiesGreat fit and feel – hugs the foot well; extra padding and support for all-day comfortWick away sweat for dry and cool and happy feet; no rubbing and chafing

Cons:

Durability issuesQuite tight and constricting on the calfNot for very warm weather

Best for: Day hiking

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon

Find the latest price:

Amazon

Table 1: Best summer hiking socks – comparison table

PRODUCTDESCRIPTIONPROSCONS
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Darn Tough COOLMAX Micro Crew Cushion

#1 Best overall summer hiking sock

Height -> Micro crewCushion -> MediumPrice -> $21Material -> 37% Nylon 34% COOLMAX polyester 26% acrylic 2% Lycra

-> Coolmax is great for summer but can be worn in various environments and conditions as well-> Sturdy, built for high performance-> The extra thickness and medium cushioning provide all-day comfort-> Fit snug without restricting the circulation

-> Prone to retain more odor than wool socks-> Not the most varied color pallet

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Cloudline Hiking Light Cushion

#2

Height -> CrewCushion -> LightPrice -> $19Material -> 63% Merino wool, 31% nylon, 6% spandex

-> Combination of cushioning and breathability for all-day comfort on the trail-> Work well in warm as well as in not-so-warm temperatures-> Merino wool for soft, itch-free, and odor-free experience-> Good craftsmanship

-> Fit a bit too tight-> Not the lightest socks

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Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion

#3

Height -> Micro crewCushion -> MediumPrice -> $23Material -> 61% Merino wool, 36% nylon, 3% Lycra

-> Premium quality and functionality: excellent cushion, breathability, wicking and quick-drying abilities-> Super durable plus a lifetime warranty-> Stylish and versatile-> Lightweight and comfortable

-> Sizing problems – run small-> Not suitable for too warm conditions

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Smartwool PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Mini

#4

Height -> MiniCushion -> UltralightPrice -> $17Material -> 48% Merino wool, 48% nylon, 4% elastane

-> Versatile performance socks built for adventures in hot climates-> Excellent breathability; dry out quickly-> Soft and comfortable, they fit very well and stay in place-> Thin and lightweight; fairly durable

-> Too thin for extended trips/thru hiking-> A bit tight

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Farm to Feet Damascus Light Targeted Cushion

#5

Height -> CrewCushion -> LightPrice -> $24Material -> 51% Merino wool, 46 % nylon, 3% Lycra

-> Sturdy and hold up well-> Extra padding in the right places and snug fit for a real blister-free experience-> Excellent moisture management properties-> Good design and cool colors

-> Expensive-> The length is a bit too much for hiking in hot conditions

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Wigwam Cool Lite Hiker Crew

#6

Height -> CrewCushion -> MediumPrice -> $15Material -> 37% Polyester, 33% X2O acrylic, 23% stretch nylon, 6% Tencel, 1% spandex

-> Excellent cushioning – medium thickness; suitable for year-round use-> Fit snug, prevents the formation of blisters-> Breathable material wicks moisture and keeps feet cool-> Decent durability + lifetime warranty

-> Not as good as merino wool socks in odor control-> Not the most comfortable fabric

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Wrightsock Coolmesh II Crew

#7

Height -> CrewCushion -> HeavyPrice -> $22Material -> Inner: 70% Dri-Wright II polyester, 26% nylon, 4% Lycra; Outer: 71% Dri-Wright II polyester, 24% nylon, 5% Lycra

-> Lightweight and breathable double layer sock-> Cool and comfy-> Quick-drying fabric-> Best for warm weather but can be used in all seasons

-> Durability issues-> Tend to pill and shrink after washing over time

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Smartwool Hiking Light Crew

#8

Height -> CrewCushion -> LightPrice -> $19Material -> 69% Merino wool, 30% nylon, 1% elastane

-> Well made, great value-> Fantastic odor control properties-> Snug fit and offer great comfort in both warm and cold conditions-> Durability + 2-year guarantee

-> Fit smaller than expected-> Too thick for hot weather; better for cool days

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Thorlos Unisex ULHX Hiking Lite Cushion Crew

#9

Height -> CrewCushion -> LightPrice -> $16Material -> 75% THOR•WICK COOL, 17% stretch nylon , 8% elastane

-> Lightweight comfort for better warm weather hiking experience-> Excellent moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties-> Hold up reasonably well-> Versatile

-> Almost no padding on the bottom-> The hardcore Thorlos fans will be disappointed because they”re used to thicker and more supportive socks from Thorlos

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Icebreaker Hike+ Light Mini

#10

Height -> MiniCushion -> LightPrice -> $20Material -> 61% Merino wool, 37% nylon, 2% Lycra

-> Solid good quality socks that do not retain odor-> Anatomical socks with seamless toe-> High-quality materials; excellent breathability and quick-drying abilities-> Suitable for year-round hiking and backpacking

-> Good length for summer but a bit too thick and warm for hot days-> Tend to pill after some time

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Wrightsock Escape Crew Unisex

#11

Height -> CrewCushion -> LightPrice -> $18Material -> Inner: 70% polyester, 26% nylon, 4% spandex; Outer: 68% polyester, 24% nylon, 8% spandex

-> The double-layer construction provides a more comfortable fit-> The all-synthetic fabric wicks moisture and is quick to dry-> Protect the feet and ensure a blister-free experience-> Suitable for all-season use

-> The two layers sometimes tend to bunch up-> You need to make sure you got the boot-sock combination right before long trips

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GermaPro Hiking Boot Sock

#12

Height -> Boot heightCushion -> MediumPrice -> $14Material -> 42% Polyester (Germanium infused), 30% COOLMAX fabric with All Season Technology (50% cotton – 50% polyester), 22% nylon, 6% elastane

-> Can be used year-round in all types of weather-> With antibacterial properties-> Great fit and feel; extra padding and support-> Wick away sweat for dry and cool feet; no rubbing and chafing

-> Durability issues-> Quite tight and constricting on the calf-> Not suitable for very warm weather

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