Do I have to buy special hiking socks?

Written by: Flip-Flop


This first pair of socks work as a  base-layer for your feet. They absorb sweat and help keep your feet dry, while helping with your toes natural spread which improves balance. Also because they are toe socks they absorb sweat between your toes and act as a friction barrier that helps prevent blisters from forming.

Secondly, WOOL SOCKS! 

This next layer is almost just as important as the first. Without a wool outer layer, the moisture absorbed by the liners has nowhere to go. Business Insider wrote about the benefits of wool socks, and even stated that wool socks can actually hold a third of their weight in moisture before they feel wet to the touch. Wool socks are great at absorbing sweat, and are antimicrobial too, meaning they smell fresher for longer; every hiker’s dream. They are also a great insulator when paired with toe liners; when wet, they stay warm.

By wearing both the toe liners and wool socks you are setting your feet up for success! Your feet will stay cool and dry, all while reducing blisters from all that walking you’re about to do in them. Now if you’ve never worn toe socks we know it can take some time getting used to, and may sound a bit silly. But we swear that if you put them on, by the end of the day you’ll forget they are even there, and the more you wear the less time they will take to put on, promise. 

Okay, so you now know the recipe.
Now onto what brands we love and recommend!

Toe Liners

Injinji is the biggest name in the toe liner market and we have used them for years! They make basic socks, and sock liners. The main difference is the thickness of the socks. What we are recommending are their sock liners with coolmax technology if you plan to layer them with a wool outer layer as recommended above. 

Wool Socks

Darn Tough is an easy one for Flip-Flop because they have a lifetime warranty! Yes, lifetime. Meaning you’ll never have to pay for another pair of socks once you switch over to Darn Tough; as long as you don’t burn them, let the dog eat one, or lose one to the dryer monster. If you get a hole in them from normal wear and tear they will replace them for you. Check out Darn Tough’s warranty here. 

Smartwool is Caveman’s favorite wool sock brand. They do not have a lifetime warranty, but do come in many different styles and thicknesses compared to Darn Tough. Caveman has tried Darn Tough and says that his feet get too warm in them, which is why he prefers Smartwool for their versatility.

These buttons link directly to the socks that we wear on trail and all purchases made through these links help support our adventures!
Thank You! 🙂

Injinji’s liners and Smartwool & Darn Tough socks have been our go to for years!

We completed both the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest trail with this exact sock combination and have stayed blister free for over 5k+ miles. We’ve even been nicknamed “the sock people” from sharing our secret sock recipe with other hikers.

So join “the sock people” and get your pair of liners and wool socks today!

Have a question?
Leave us a comment below, we love to chat about socks!

Green, Dennis. Why Everyone Should Be Wearing Wool Socks This Winter, Business Insider, 22 Jan. 2015. Path: Business Insider; Executive Lifestyle; Why Everyone Should Be Wearing Wool Socks.

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