Mom Goes Camping

10 Best Cheap Hiking Socks (That Will Still Make Your Feet Happy)

best cheap hiking socks

While most serious hikers will swear that hiking socks are worth the cost, it is understandable that you don’t want to shell out $25 for a pair of socks.  The good news is that there are plenty of quality brands of hiking socks which don’t cost a fortune.

All of the cheap hiking socks listed below cost less than $8 per pair (at time of writing).  They are also good (or great) quality and most are made of Merino wool.  None of these socks have cotton in them.

Quick Tips:

  • Always air dry your socks. The dryer destroys their elasticity and wears them out quickly.
  • Buy hiking socks in winter. You’ll often find insane deals.
  • Also check out REI’s Clearance section for cheap socks.
  • If you have trouble with blisters, try wearing two pairs of socks. Here’s why.

 

1. People Socks (Merino)

Compared to other brands of cheap merino socks, People Socks brand has a lot of options.  You can get their socks in different heights, weights and with features like compression and heel tabs.  Not all of the socks are cheap but some models do cost under $6 per pair.

Features:

  • 71% wool, 21% Nylon, 7% Polyester,1% Spandex
  • Stretch material around heel and ankle to prevent slipping
  • Arch support
  • Between a light and mid-weight sock
  • Crew and quarter length heights
  • Good wicking and odor control

Check them out here


2. Kirkland Signature Trail Socks

These used to be sold in Costco but the store doesn’t seem to be stocking them anymore.  Now you can find them on Amazon.  They are almost always recommended by hikers as the best cheap hiking sock.   Price varies but their 6 pack is an incredible deal.

Features:

  • 72% merino wool, 27% nylon, 1% spandex
  • Smooth toe
  • Arch support
  • Reinforced areas
  • Mid/Heavy weight

Check them out here 


3. Ortis Merino Wool Socks

These hiking socks come in 4 packs.  They aren’t the cheapest per pair, but are pretty damn close.  The socks are well-made.  The weight of the socks isn’t listed but they fall into the mid-weight range so are good for mild weather hiking. Features include:

  • Made from 49% wool
  • Good breathability thanks to mesh fiber design
  • Reinforced heel
  • Cushioned sole
  • Wicking and odor control
  • Low cut or crew height

Check them out here 


4. EnerWear Merino Outdoor Socks

This is one of the few brands of budget hiking socks which actually offers many options.  Their socks come in various heights and thicknesses.  They are especially good for cold weather and there is an option with 86% wool that is great for winter hiking.  For hot weather hiking, they have a Coolmax wicking sock which is 71% polyester and 25% wool. Just make sure you pay attention to the features when buying so you get the right sock for your needs.

Features:

  • High Merino amount (86% in some models)
  • Multiple height and thickness options
  • Heel tabs on low cut socks
  • Cushioned sole
  • Reinforced areas

Check them out here 


5. Omni-Wool Merino Hiking Sock

This is a smaller USA-based brand.  Their wool base layers are very popular with hikers and their socks are also gaining popularity too.  It’s just too bad they don’t have more options.

  • 56% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon, 18% Acrylic, 1% Spandex
  • Mid weight
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Arch support
  • Ventilation panel

Check it out here


6. Saucony Athletic and Performance Socks

This brand sells their socks in multipacks.  The price ends up being insanely cheap per pair.  Despite the low price, they have some really nice features for hiking.  Most of their socks are ¼ length though they do have some crew height socks.

Features:

  • Vented
  • Heel tab
  • Selective cushioning
  • Arch support with targeted compression
  • No cottom (most are made from 98% polyester and 2% spandex)
  • Comfort toe seam

Check them out here 


7. Danish Endurance Merino Trekking Socks

If you buy just one pair of these socks, they are fairly expensive.  However, you can often find good deals on 3-packs of their socks.  There are basically two options: the “Classic” is a thicker sock with more cushioning and better suited for colder weather.  Their “Hiking Light” sock has more Merino content but is thinner and doesn’t have as much cushioning.   A nice thing is that you can buy the socks as a variety pack at a pretty good deal.

Features (Classic):

  • 30% merino wool, 36% nylon, 33% acrylic, 1% elastane (classic), 40% wool (hiking light)
  • Cooling mesh ventilation
  • Cushioning

Check them out here 


8. Kavanyiso Wool Trekking Socks

It really doesn’t get much cheaper than these wool socks.  The reason they are so cheap has to do with the fact they are a generic brand and basically rip off the design of more expensive socks.  They

  • 70% merino wool, 25% nylon and 5% spandex
  • Very soft pile weave
  • Heavy weight
  • Reinforced heel and toe areas

Check them out here


9. Fun Toes Merino Socks

This brand mostly makes heavy-weight Merino socks for cold weather.  They do have some mid-weight options though which are good for hiking, including crew cut socks and ankle height socks, but these are still pretty thick.  The socks manage to be so cheap because their merino content is pretty low and they don’t have any built-in ventilation.  So, only choose these if you tend to prefer synthetic socks over wool.

Features (Mid Weight):

  • 50% Merino, 40% nylon, 9% polyester, 1% spandex
  • Reinforced toe area
  • Arch support
  • Best for cold weather hiking

Check them out here 


10. Darn Tough Socks

are darn tough socks worth it?

At first glance, Darn Tough socks seem really expensive. They generally range from $17 to $22 per pair.  However, when you factor in the quality of the socks, they actually end up being pretty cheap.  Darn Tough socks outlast cheap socks by a huge timeframe (especially if you are a serious hiker).

When you also consider the lifetime warranty on Darn Tough socks (which is legit!), the socks end up being even cheaper.  If you ever do wear through the Darn Tough socks, they will give you a new pair, which means the price ends up being much lower.

Features:

  • Seamless design
  • Made from fine-gauge, low micron Merino wool
  • Cushioning in sole area
  • Wicking technology
  • Performance fit for no bunching
  • Tons of options for height and weight
  • Lifetime warranty

Get them here

As the phrase goes, “I’m not rich enough to buy cheap gear.”  If you want to save money on hiking gear, you can do it in ways which don’t really matter as much (like using your regular backpack or hiking in cheap clothes…).  But, when it comes to your feet, it’s usually worth it to invest a bit more money upfront than pay for it on the trail.

Know of any good, cheap hiking socks? Let us know your favorites in the comments section below.


Image credit:”Pink Socks Brown Boots” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by dan_walk
Resources:https://www.reddit.com/r/backpacking/comments/ndc36/great_inexpensive_merino_wool_sock/,
https://www.reddit.com/r/frugalmalefashion/comments/2cn4sc/where_can_i_find_frugal_wool_socks/,
https://www.reddit.com/r/hiking/comments/l37k54/best_hiking_socks/,
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About the author /


Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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