Don’t let your feet get you down when you’re out in the wilds. The wrong socks will make even the best pair of hiking boots hurt your feet. Here are three top choices for hiking socks.


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Sock height matters. Socks should be tall enough to prevent the shaft of your boot from chafing against bare skin. Socks extending above the shaft add warmth that may be welcome in cold weather, but uncomfortably warm in the summer.


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Your boot size and sock size may not be the same. Have your foot measured and buy socks accordingly. The sock’s heel cup should fit over your own heel. In general, socks should fit snugly so there’s no material that might fold or gather to irritate your feet, but not so tightly that they’re uncomfortable.

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Cushioning protects your feet, but the more heavily cushioned socks are warmer, too. Thickly padded socks work well for cold weather hikes in heavy boots, but may make your feet hot and sweaty on a warm day when light or ultralight socks might be more comfortable.