When hitting the trail, wearing the right pair of hiking socks is important as carrying enough water. The right pair can prevent blisters and provides comfort and support along the way. This latest sock roundup highlights light hiking socks made by some of the most reputable companies in the industry. All six companies - Goodhew, Icebreaker, Keen, Point6, Smartwool, and Teko - have similarities in style, cut, blend (most used a merino blend), and overall feel. The only way to distinguish the difference is to blaze the trails with each pair.
Goodhew Light Hiking
The Goodhew Light Hiking socks feature a merino wool/nylon mix that feels more durable and much thicker than most in its class. Made in the U.S.A. and based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, these rugged socks provide generous support and keep feet nice and toasty during chilly autumn days. The Goodhew Light Hiking socks feature arch support and flat toe stitching that provide added comfort, however, the thick merino wool blend could benefit from being more breathable down the stretch. The Goodhew Light Hiking socks are available in a two-pack and retail for $19.95.
Icebreaker Hike Lite
The Icebreaker Hike Lite is an impressive sock that keeps feet warm and dry under the direst of circumstances. During a recent tropical storm where buckets of rain fell on New England, these socks provided the support, warmth, and dryness needed to survive the day-long monsoon comfortably. Wearing a pair of the Icebreaker Hike Lite socks is like having your feet next to the fireplace at the end of a long day, except the warm dry fire comes along during those soggy excursions. Icebreaker lists the Hike Lite for $17.50.
KEEN Mt. Airy 3/4 Lite
The KEEN Mt. Airy 3/4 Lite hiking socks feature a seamless anatomical flex fit system, a fancy way of saying each sock has a custom fit seam for each foot. The KEEN Mt. Airy 3/4 Lite socks are extraordinarily supportive, lightweight, anti-microbial, fast drying, and have a sharp design, but the fabric is somewhat thin. KEEN deserves plenty of credit for using a blend of post-consumer polyester and organic cotton in its socks. The suggested retail price for the KEEN Mt. Airy 3/4 Lite is $16.95.
Point 6 Hiking Tech Light
The Point 6 Hiking Tech Light sock presents a well-constructed blend of superior merino wool and nylon that performs well under pressure. The sock and its tightly spun merino wool are great at wicking away moisture and sweat, even in humid weather. Familiar with the world of light hiking socks (co-founders Peter and Patty Duke also created Smartwool), Point6 has created a supportive, innovative, and properly designed sock that feels cool, dry, and comfortable when it matters most. The Point 6 Hiking Tech Light is priced at $18.95.
SmartWool Hiking Light
Smartwool also enters the fray with its Hiking Light sock, a plush and supportive sock made for long hikes. The thick merino wool blend provides feet with a lush cushion, even several miles into a hike. While this latest Smartwool offering is among the rugged socks of this group, it was not as breathable as other socks in the company's vast product line. The SmartWool Hiking Light retails for $17.95.
Teko tekoMERINO Light Hiking
Finally, the Teko tekoMERINO Light Hiking socks feature a sporty design using an organic blend of merino wool. The latest offering from Colorado-based Teko is a highly stylish and genuinely comfortable sock that is also extraordinarily versatile and breathable. This is an American-made sock that one could wear in the boardroom and on the trail. The Teko tekoMERINO Light Hiking sock has a suggested retail price of $18.95.
Andrew Horton-Hall comes to OutdoorInformer.com with deep roots in the world of professional journalism, having covered breaking news and feature articles for newspapers throughout southern New England. After witnessing firsthand the power of positive publicity and promoting good causes, he decided to make the leap into public relations and marketing. He currently serves as a Marketing Coordinator at an international architectural firm in Boston and is studying for his MBA in Sustainability at Antioch University New England in Keene, N.H.
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