Whether you’re prone to sweaty feet or prefer to live an active lifestyle in the great outdoors, sock liners are one of those things that you won’t know you need until you need them. These liners are designed to be worn underneath your regular hiking socks, acting as a thin base layer in between your skin and your boots to help reduce friction and provide proper ventilation to mitigate wetness. The best sock liners supply trusted comfort and defense against moisture build-up and blisters on your feet, so all you have to worry about is the trail ahead.
If you’ve ever taken a long and sweaty summer hike, or a winter hike through blistering cold weather, then you know what we’re talking about. If your feet are exposed to stifling and extreme elements for longer periods of time, such as the mixing of cold weather and your insulated boots, moisture easily starts to accumulate on your feet, resulting in wetter, softer skin and an increased susceptibility to forming blisters.
The best sock liners help wick that moisture away from your skin and direct it toward your outer sock to prevent such irritation, and even go as far as keeping your body temperature in balance. Although liners have a specific goal, not all of them are made the same. Here are some things to consider when weighing the best sock liners for you:
- Fabric: You’re going to be better off with synthetic fabrics like silk, nylon, and polyester, or if you need some extra warmth, wool. Synthetic materials are best for giving you the quick-drying capability you need, while wool is a great alternative for those cold-weather moments for added insulation without sacrificing breathability. Whatever you do, stay away from cotton sock liners.
- Length: The best sock liners come in many shapes and sizes, and it mainly boils down to personal preference. Low cut liner socks might be more cost-effective, but we recommend you go with a sock liner that is long or mid-cut because they stay up longer and can be easily adjusted.
- Weight: We don’t mean this literally, but the weight of your liner socks can make a bigger difference in their effectiveness, too. A lightweight, ultra-thin synthetic blend is typically more suited to all-around usage because it’s designed to be an added layer of ventilation and protection, not a second sock. Although thicker sock liners or smart wool liners provide more warmth, they’re not as breathable and can throw off your boot size by taking up unnecessary space. Therefore, thick liner socks should be kept in the closet unless you decide to summit Mt. Everest.
Fox River Ultra Lightweight Liner Socks
Fox River has been supplying hardworking, adventurous men with premium socks for over a century, so the brand knows a thing or two about keeping your feet comfortable. Its lightweight sock liners are crafted with a synthetic fabric blend (93% polypropylene, 6% nylon, 1% spandex) the brand’s treasured Wick Dry Health System, which works to keep your feet dry, comfortable, and blister-free in every environment.
Injinji Liner Crew NuWool Socks
If you are looking for a thicker sock liner that won’t add much bulkiness, Injinji’s blend of nuwool, acrylic, nylon, and lycra offers just enough added padding and a five-toe design to supply the comfort you need for excursions outdoors and other athletic activities. The toe cutouts prevent your toes from rubbing together during a long hike, and even though the fabric is thicker, it’s thin enough to fit snugly between your skin and outer sock and works exceptionally well for wicking away moisture and fending off odor-producing bacteria.
Wigwam Ultimate Liner F6089 Sock
Wigwam’s sock liners are handcrafted in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where weather extremes are as common as a hearty poutine or homemade craft brew. Featuring a high-performance blend of stretch nylon, acrylic, and spandex, among others, these liner socks boast an ideal thinness and mid-cut crew length for desired comfort, as well as stouthearted moisture control to keep your feet parched and free of blisters, odors, and other irritants.
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