Wool Socks or Cotton Socks – Which Is Better for Long Hikes

Source: pexels.com

If you’re planning on hiking this spring and summer, it might have been easy packing all the basic things such as clothes and bathroom essentials. But, once you got to packing spare socks, you might have ended up staring at your drawer, contemplating whether you should pack wool or cotton socks. You should know, this is something that you’ll need to decide upon by yourself, however, to make things easier for you, here is our comparison of both options:

1. Durability Levels

Source: pexels.com

Since you’ll be taking a long hike, it’s important that your socks are durable. Now, both of these options are manufactured from durable materials, however, when compared, wool does tend to provide better durability. Wool socks can sustain more pressure over a period of time and they won’t thin due to repetitive movements, which isn’t the case with cotton socks which can tear relatively quickly after being used.

2. Softness And Texture

Source: pexels.com

When it comes to the texture and softness, cotton takes the win. It’s commonly a softer material, hence, no matter how thick the material is, it’ll be softer against your feet. Also, if you get your feet wet, cotton will definitely feel lighter, while wool will soak and make moving quite daunting. It’s worth mentioning that you should opt for neoprene water socks – also known as water shoes – if you’re planning on hiking through rivers and streams.

3. The Warmth The Materials Provide

Source: pexels.com

If you’ll also be camping while on a hike, you should know that wool will keep your feet warmer at night. It’s a thicker material, which is why it’s capable of retaining more heat than cotton socks. Also, cotton will absorb moisture from your feet and the air relatively quickly, which means that it’ll actually have a cooling effect instead of warming your feet – which is something that you’ll want to avoid during the evenings.

4. The Weight of The Materials

Source: pexels.com

Now, this is something that’ll completely depend on the type of socks you opt for, mostly because different brands will spin the materials differently, thus, the weight will vary from one option to the next. Keep in mind, that both will get heavy once you get your feet wet, which is why you should opt for bringing toe socks such as the ones offered by Fun Toes with you, mostly because it’ll help you with keeping your feet dry.

5. Moisture-Resistant

Source: pexels.com

When a specific material is moisture-resistant, it doesn’t mean that it won’t get damp, it means that it can pick up the sweat from your feet, and pull it through the material, which then allows it to evaporate. As mentioned, cotton isn’t good at wicking the moisture away from your feet and it’ll also feel damp against your skin, which is why you might want to opt for purchasing or packing your wool socks with you.


As you can see, there are both pros and cons to both wool and cotton socks. The ones you choose to take on your long hiking trip will definitely depend on your preferences, but when packing, you should keep all the things we’ve mentioned in mind. By doing so, you can ensure that you take the right options with you, and more importantly, you can ensure that you feel comfortable while walking a great distance.