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Hunting socks are somewhat of an afterthought for many hunters. That is, until they get into the field and their feet are sweating, blistering, or freezing. It’s not a stretch to say that many a big buck or bull has survived the season thanks to a hunter who threw in the towel early due to uncomfortable feet. It’s quite amazing what a difference something as insignificant as a sock can make in the comfort of the hunt. And it goes far beyond just buying the warmest socks you can find.

The only question is what socks are best for hunting. To answer that, we researched and tested pairs from some of the more notable brands out there today. Incorporating these into your arsenal of hunting apparel this year will make a big difference immediately. With that in mind, these are our picks for the best hunting socks.

How We Picked the Best Hunting Socks

We took several of the most popular options for hunting socks and put them through their paces. I tested these socks wearing a variety of hunting boots in differing weather and environments. While I primarily tested them while deer hunting, I also did some hiking in them. Testing conditions ranged from the heat of Texas in September to the wet and chilly cold of Michigan and Wisconsin in October and November.

While wearing them, I made notes of their insulating and moisture-wicking qualities. Quality socks that will keep feet dry in terrible weather conditions are not cheap. But I also considered the value offered by each pair of socks when making these decisions. Thus, we’ve tried to include socks of just about every price point. That includes budget-minded hunters who don’t want to spend a small fortune on a specialty sock.

Best Hunting Socks: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: GoWith Alpaca Wool Hiking Sock

Best Overall


  • Material: Alpaca and Merino wool
  • Color Options: 15
  • Type: Hiking socks


  • No odor
  • Exceptional comfort
  • Good heat retention


  • Expensive

After hearing other hunters rave about the qualities of alpaca wool, I just had to see if the stories were true. I now understand the hype. These socks are a Merino/alpaca wool mix, but they were a standout of all the pairs I tested. While they look scratchy, I was impressed with the softness and breathability. These socks are rather expensive, but this is one of those cases where it’s worth the price of admission.

A close-up of the material of some GoWith Alpaca wool socks on a hardwood floor.
These socks might look itchy, but they were softest of all the pairs tested. Travis Smola

After my testing, I determined these socks will work great for both active and stationary hunters, whether you’re on the move or sitting in a tree stand. I wore these while stand hunting several times here in Michigan and my feet stayed warm and comfortable all day. Where these socks shined most was my Wisconsin deer hunt where I kept moving positions to stay ahead of the pushers on some heavily pressured deer. I never once thought about the comfort of my feet on that hunt. It was a total non-factor despite the rough terrain.

Best For Rugged Terrain: Swiftwick Flite XT Trail

Best For Rugged Terrain


  • Material: Merino wool
  • Color Options: 4
  • Type: Trail socks


  • Footbed feels great
  • Very comfortable
  • Stay incredibly dry


  • We wish there was a higher cut

The Flite XT Trail Five socks are designed specifically for hiking and trail running, which makes them plenty effective for any hunt where a lot of walking is required. I paired these socks with some 8-inch 5.11 Tactical boots for a true hiking test. And I picked the hilliest park I could find in the county.

It was one of the most pleasant hikes I’ve had in quite some time, even though these socks are cut a little low for boots of that height. These socks were a snug fit, but I love the footbed, especially the heel, which cupped the balls of my feet like a glove.

The bottom of a pair of black and gray Swiftwick trail socks on a hardwood floor.
These socks have a cushioned bottom that grips the inside of boots nicely. Travis Smola

These socks were a bit of a slim fit, but I had no issues with the ankle of these socks falling even during the most strenuous parts of the hike. However, I wish there were some taller cuts of sock for taller boots. I see these as a warm weather option for more active hunters constantly on the move in the backcountry.

Best Value: Darn Tough Hunting Socks

Best Value


  • Material: Merino wool
  • Color Options: 8
  • Type: Heavyweight and midweight socks


  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Unconditional lifetime guarantee
  • Great comfort


  • Price

I tested several different pairs of Darn Tough socks including the over-the-calf heavyweights, the lightweight boot socks with cushion, and the midweight boot sock. Once again, my only real complaint is the price because these socks were exceptional in terms of warmth and comfort. These are an excellent choice for anyone who wants to buy American because all the socks are made in Vermont.

The quality showed from the moment I picked them up. These socks handled several very chilly evening tree stand and blind sits here in Michigan. My feet were the least of my concerns as temperatures dipped.

A close up of green and black Darn Tough socks sitting on a hardwood floor.
The Darn Toughs lived up to their namesake during my field testing. Travis Smola

The main reason these are the best value is because Darn Tough socks have a fantastic unconditional lifetime guarantee. If your socks ever develop holes—which is unlikely given the quality construction—you can send them in and get credit for new ones. Who else gives that kind of guarantee for any product these days? Let alone for socks, which are among the most abused pieces of clothing we use every day.

Best Budget: Magellan Outdoors Perform Repreve

Best Budget


  • Material: Acrylic and polyester
  • Color Options: 2
  • Type: Hunting socks


  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Durable


  • Polyester isn’t the best for odors

I’ve consistently picked Magellan as the best budget brand, and when it comes to affordable hunting gear, the Academy Sports house brand continues to impress. It may be budget-oriented stuff, but it doesn’t feel like it. I first tested these socks with a standard pair of rubber muck boots while checking trail cameras. They did an excellent job of keeping my feet from sweating despite it being an especially hot day.

I also wore these socks with a pair of incredibly stiff snake boots during a dove and teal hunt in Texas. While the boots needed some serious breaking in, I didn’t experience any feet blisters. I attribute much of that to the quality of the socks. Despite being a little bit thicker, my feet never sweated even when temperatures soared into the high 90s during the dove hunt.

Big Game Hunting Gear photo
The second pair that comes with the Repreve socks is a darker color. Travis Smola

These socks are a mostly polyester blend. Unfortunately, polyester isn’t my top pick for absorbing odors. While I didn’t notice any horrible odors with these socks, remember that a deer’s nose is way more sensitive. However, they kept my feet toasty warm in cold conditions. And the $12.99 price point for two pairs is hard to beat for a quality hunting sock that’s versatile for a variety of seasons and weather conditions.

Most Versatile: Meindl Merino Wool

Most Versatile


  • Material: Merino wool and synthetic blend
  • Colors: 5
  • Type: Hunting socks


  • Good price
  • Comfortable
  • Good on odor


  • We wish there were more long cuts in the line

The Meindl brand is better known for their boots, but I came away impressed by the quality of the socks and the affordable price points. The U.S.A. branch of Meindl has a very versatile lineup here as I tested the Merino Extra Jagd Long heavyweights, the MT6 midweights, and the MT3.5 lightweights. All had a great fit and performed exceptionally well on hunts in both Michigan and Wisconsin.

The only real issue with cold feet I had was not the fault of the socks. I made the mistake of wearing leather boots on a morning with wet weather conditions. The dampness soaked through to the socks unintentionally. I blame myself and not the socks for my cold toes that day.

A pair of gray Meindl
All the Meindl socks I tested featured excellent quality of construction. Travis Smola

Other than that, I wish there were a few more socks of the taller cut like the Jagd long, which was my favorite pair of the line. I think those will be perfect for the chilly late season. But this is an impressive little lineup considering Meindl only has five people running their operations here in the states. I love the versatility in this lineup. These are tough socks suitable for a variety of conditions and activities beyond just hunting.

What to Consider When Choosing Hunting Socks


One of the main reasons hunters get cold feet is not because their socks aren’t thick enough but rather because the socks don’t effectively wick away moisture. Cotton socks are notorious for not staying dry, which makes them a terrible choice for just about every hunting scenario. Even if your feet are only slightly wet, that damp feeling is compounded when the temperature dips, especially if you’re dealing with demanding conditions like rain or snow.

Subsequently, socks made of merino wool or alpaca wool are great choices. Most modern hunting socks are blends of merino, polyester, and nylon. The use of merino or alpaca wool has another benefit to hunters beyond just keeping feet comfortable. These materials are excellent for odor control, especially for an active hunter doing spot and stalks over rugged terrain. It’s also a relief for backcountry hunters because you can carry fewer pairs of socks without them reeking at the end of a week-long hunt away from civilization.

Sock Types

The three most common types of socks available to hunters are lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight. In my experience, midweight socks are a good catch-all type that fits just about any season, although you may need to add a liner or additional layer depending on the scenario. I’ve found they pair extremely well with a heavy pair of rubber muck boots. My feet don’t sweat at all with some good merino wool midweights. This sock type makes for some excellent scent control for wary whitetails and other species that depend on their nose.

Lightweight socks obviously work better for warmer climates such as the swelteringly hot dove hunt that I participated in in south Texas earlier this year. Lightweights are an excellent choice for the warm conditions usually present in spring turkey hunts.

Heavyweight socks are best for late season or stationary hunters who need warmth for extended periods. These can lead to sweaty feet depending on the type of boot and any layering. Because of this, they are not great for active hunters who are continuously on the move spotting and stalking.

While many manufacturers now make hunting specific socks, many types of hiking socks are a good choice, too. These socks are designed with breathability and the prevention of feet blisters in mind. Many also feature reinforcements in high stress areas that make them perfect for strenuous, off-trail hiking such as may be required on a high elevation mountain hunt.  


Q: What kind of socks prevent sweat?

Merino wool is one of the best options we’ve used for preventing sweat. It just does an excellent job wicking away the moisture, which helps prevent the formation of blisters. Polyester will also do the job. In most cases, the thicker the socks, the more likely your feet are to sweat in them.  

Q: What socks prevent smelly feet?

Polyester or merino wool are solid options for preventing odor. Alpaca wool is also a good choice because it is naturally odor-resistant. This type of wool also has anti-microbial qualities that can make it a solid choice for hunting socks.  

Q: Should you layer socks for hunting?

It depends on the situation. For hunts involving a lot of hiking, layering can help prevent blistering if you choose the right combo of socks. Some hunters prefer to use a liner sock combined with a wool sock to provide the perfect combination of insulation and moisture wicking qualities.

Best Hunting Socks: Final Thoughts

The best hunting socks make great gifts for hunters and it’s hard to go wrong with any of the options on this list. I liked all these socks for differing reasons, but all help prevent cold or sweaty feet, allowing the hunter to focus on the hunt. The GoWith hiking socks were my favorite—the alpaca and merino wool blend was just the standout in terms of comfort, warmth, and odor protection.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.