10 Best Mountaineering Socks – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

10 Best Mountaineering Socks in 2019

Socks play a vital role in mountaineering. As one of your lowest clothing layers, socks should be able to keep your feet dry, warm, comfortable, and odour-free.

You will need high cuff socks that do not fold itself on to the shoes. For such purposes, any socks will not work, you need the best mountaineering socks that do not hurt your feet during your excursion and end your expedition on a sour note.

Tips for Choosing Mountaineering Socks

During long walks, anyone can sweat in their feet. Such moisture and friction of the toes together cause blisters. You need to figure out the socks that have the potential to remove such risks so that you, at the very least, do not need to worry about your feet.

Just for the heads up, the best mountaineering socks mentioned below can be worn with other supportive liner pair as well to reduce friction and keep the skin dry.

Here are a few tips you should consider before buying mountaineering socks.

Activities you will be involved in

Of course, you are buying the socks for mountaineering. But have you considered the temperature you will be walking in?

Before going for climbing, check the socks if they fit well with your mountaineering boots even though such boots are generally built to suit a warmer pair of socks for insulation.

You will also find these socks handy to wear in winter when you are home.

Fabrics are comfort

The fabric used in your socks contributes hugely to your comfort. Most warm mountaineering socks use Merino wool along with polyester and nylon including elastane. You should look for socks with thick fabric and mid to high cushioning.

Merino wool provides warmth, moisture control and cushioning. Their natural antimicrobial properties prevent sock odors. This particular wool is also itch-free.

Polyester and nylon adds insulation, increases durability, wicks moisture, and dries quickly.

Spandex elastane helps in flexibility and grip throughout the sock’s coverage. It makes the socks keep their shape and protect them from bunching or wrinkles.

Medium to heavy cushion socks provides more warmth and comfort in cold temperatures. They are specially designed to bear the abuse of long trips, tough terrains, and extreme temperatures.

Also, look for socks with the appropriate length. Your mountaineering socks should be at least longer than the boots you will be wearing to protect the abrasion of the shoes on your legs.

Cotton kills

Never, and I mean never, opt for cotton socks while mountaineering. They have zero insulation capabilities when wet, which results in blisters and sore spots. Such socks will be your worst nightmare and will guarantee a painful journey.

Size does matter

While choosing socks, it is crucial to know the size of your feet so that you will not be buying smaller or larger socks.

While smaller sized socks are uncomfortable, larger ones will bulk on your boots while walking requiring extra attention. The right size can make your feet light and comfortable.

Crew length socks typically stretch few inches above your ankle. Knee-high socks cover above-the-calf zone up to below-the-knee height. Knee-high socks are generally preferred for mountaineering although some mountaineers opt for crew length.

Some socks come specialized for right and left foot. If you buy them, make sure to wear them on the correct foot for better comfort.

At least try once wearing your socks with the boot you will be bringing for mountaineering.

Badges of confidence – Warranty and Guarantee

Many mountaineering socks come with a lifetime guarantee or warranty.

Mountaineering is a tough sport where not only your endurance is tested, but the climbing gears along with your socks have to pass the test. This is where a pair of durable socks come into play.

Any socks that come with a warranty or guarantee shows the confidence the manufacturers have in their product. This also plays a crucial role in winning a buyer’s loyalty. You should look forward to buying socks with a warranty or guarantee so that you can replace them if it wears down in the future.

You should now get the general idea of what mountaineering socks do and how to find a perfect match for you. Let’s begin the review of best mountaineering socks of 2020 now.

1. Darn Tough Mountaineering Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion Socks

Darn Tough Mountaineering Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion Socks

The name itself implies that these Darn Tough Mountaineering Socks are made to last. These socks can be worn on chilly mountains where the temperatures drop typically below freezing point. These socks are the thickest among Darn Tough’s other productions. These are the most sought after socks among mountaineers these days.


Fabric – Merino Wool 72%, Nylon 26%, Lycra Spandex 2%

Fabric Thickness – Medium-thick

Height – Knee-high

Cushion – Heavy cushioning


Darn Tough Mountaineering Socks runs just below the knees. With the addition of extra cushioning, these socks are ideal for mountaineering in sub-zero temperatures.

The fabric blend of Merino wool, nylon and spandex keep the moisture away. The socks also dry up quickly. Merino wool helps to keep the feet fresh in relatively hot climates and warm in extremely cold conditions. This also helps to repel odours and bacteria naturally. The use of elastic is comfortably tight and prevents slippage of socks.

One of the major concerns for mountaineers is blister formation due to the abrasion of toes. Keeping this in mind, Darn Tough Mountaineering Socks are built to prevent slipping and bunching along keeping the toes dry to prevent blister formation. These socks feature fine gauge knitting and fast action wicking.


Apart from being comfy, Darn Tough provides a lifetime guarantee on these socks. It means, you can always ask for a new pair of socks once the older one wears out. All you have to do is cover the shipping cost for every replacement.

The inside of these socks is knitted with Merino wool. The outside and inside have nylon and lycra spandex knits that provide comfort, fantastic durability and a sweet fit. The fine-gauge knitting provides the fuel for boasting these socks as a life-long product. Unlike many mountaineering socks, these socks maintain their shape and size even when washed and dried.

In summary

  • Most preferred socks for mountaineering or to be worn when in freezing climate
  • The lifelong guarantee is warmly welcome
  • Not suitable for hot weather


2. Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

Specially designed for mountaineering purposes, the Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks will have a significant impact on your expeditions. They use Smartwool Fit system that includes ankle brace, arch brace, and reinforced cushion. These socks give you a feeling of tailor-made clothing for you that fits around your arch and has a subtle tapering around your ankle.


Fabric – Merino Wool 74%, Nylon 25%, Elastane 1%

Fabric Thickness – Thick

Height – Crew

Cushion – Heavy cushioning


The flat-knit toe seam repels irritation inside the boot and makes your feet comfortable. The fit-system provides added arch and ankle support. The arch brace keeps the sock intact whilst providing extra support. The Merino feels soft against the skin and fits well on your feet.

These socks help keep the feet warm and dry. In comparison to nylon or other socks, these Merino wool socks will make you feel comfortable even if your feet are wet. These socks are excellent at wicking moisture. The ventilation in the socks regulates foot temperature, which is very important while moving through cold and harsh climates.

The socks are very thick. It is recommended to check and see if there is enough room in the boot for such socks.

The major downside, as many have complained, is that the sock is relatively loose around the calf. It tends to bag around the top of the boots.


Wool-on-wool or WOW technology makes this product durable. This technology is also utilized for extra-heavy cushioning.

In summary

  • Thick and warm socks with extra-heavy full cushioning that work great even in sub-zero climates
  • Very comfortable to wear for anyone looking for spending long periods of time outdoors; does not feel bulky despite the thickness
  • Slightly loose at the calf but the socks stay in place throughout the day
  • Overall, amazing socks for mountaineers and ice climbers


3. Smartwool Men’s PhD Pro Mountaineer

Smartwool Men’s PhD Pro Mountaineer

Another excellent product from Smartwool, this PhD (Performance in the Highest Degree) Mountaineer is quite flexible without losing its grip on the feet. The double elastic fitting keeps the socks in place regardless of the conditions and terrains you are climbing.


Fabric – Merino Wool 50%, Nylon 43%, Elastane 7%

Fabric Thickness – Medium

Height – Knee-high

Cushion – Light cushioning


While walking or climbing, the most worked part of the feet is the heel and toe areas. Smartwool PhD Mountaineering Socks have put special care to protect these areas while providing more comfort. Seamless toe and dorsal venting mesh in these socks have decreased the chance of blisters to virtually zero.

These tall socks stretch up to just below the knee. These socks’ front has ventilation mesh to ease air circulation and vapourize moisture to the vent. This ventilation mesh optimizes air circulation and releases moisture vapor. This also helps the socks to be odor resistant.


These Smartwool PhD socks dry quickly and also are durable, thanks to the blend of nylon (43%) and Merino wool (50%).

Smartwool claims these socks are their ‘most technical socks ever’ built with ‘Indestructawool’ technology for durability.

However, these socks lack lace guard making them prone to wear due to abrasion in these areas.

In summary

  • The high content of Merino wool with an excellent blend of nylon and elastane makes these socks one of our favorites
  • The dorsal venting mesh helps in air circulation and vapourize moisture and keep the socks dry
  • Blisters do not form with these socks on because of moisture repellant feature
  • Smartwool PhD socks dry relatively faster
  • These socks are odour resistant
  • These are highly durable socks


4. SealSkinz Waterproof Trekking Thick Mid

SealSkinz Waterproof Trekking Thick Mid

What can be worse than a trip with wet and cold feet? SealSkinz Waterproof Trekking socks are designed primarily to tackle this issue once and for all.

Built with a hydrophilic membrane of nylon and elastane outer and a blend of Merino wool, acrylic and nylon inner, these socks are here to make your journey comfortable. And they will keep your feet dry and happy.

Perfect for a score of activities, these socks are thick and cozy that comes with amazing features like waterproof, breathable, and waterproof technology.


Fabric – Outer (90% Nylon, 10% Elastane), Inner (42% Merino wool, 42% Acrylic, 14% Polyster, 2% Elastane)

Fabric Thickness – Thick

Height – Mid length

Cushion – Medium


Wet feet are an improbability with these socks on. Built with three layers – synthetic abrasion-resistant outer layer, hydrophilic membrane, and antimicrobial Merino wool, these socks are waterproof and windproof.

The padded heel, toe, and footbed absorb shock, decrease friction and thus reduce blistering risk. The flat seam prevents the rubbing of the toes.

Thick Merino wool lining helps to keep the feet warm even in freezing temperatures. The hydrophilic core makes it highly moisture-absorbent since the inner is designed to keep your feet warm.

The elastic ankles fit well on your feet. These are ideal to wear in wet and cold conditions. Y-gore heel construction provides a secure and comfortable fit.

These socks are bulky than regular socks. You might struggle to wear your boots if they are tight while wearing summer socks.

Make sure that water does not get in from the neck of your sock. Once in, the water does not have a way out and therefore stays in. All waterproof socks have this problem. But if you can manage this, these socks will be a great travel companion.


These socks come with a lifetime guarantee! This can only mean one thing, it’s highly durable.

SealSkinz Waterproof Trekking Thick Mid socks are thicker than their other products. Therefore they provide warmth and dryness during your long excursions.

The outer of these socks is abrasion-resistant. Unlike many socks in this list, they are machine washable, thanks to the Stretchdry technology.

In summary

  • SealSkinz Waterproof Trekking Thick Mid socks are ideal for mountaineering
  • They are waterproof and windproof
  • They keep the feet very warm even in extreme cold and wet conditions
  • They come with a Lifetime Stretchdry Guarantee


5. Thorlos St Mountaineering Over Calf

Thorlos St Mountaineering Over Calf

Thorlos St Mountaineering Over Calf walking socks work amazingly even in sub-zero temperatures. The manufacturers claim these socks to be ‘specifically engineered to deliver maximum protection and comfort’.

Unlike most socks in this list, Thorlos St Mountaineering has Worsted wool instead of Merino wool. Worsted wool is comparatively lighter, smoother and more durable than Merino wool. They are also better water-repellant.


Fabric – Worsted wool 60%, Acrylic 27%, Nylon 11%, Spandex 2%

Fabric Thickness – Thick

Height – Over the calf

Cushion – Heavy cushioning


These Thorlos St Mountaineering socks perform very well in extremely cold weather. People who suffer from cold feet will find these socks perfect for them.

The toe is made of 100% wool that provides maximum warmth. The low profile toe seam prevents rubbing.

Cushioned instep and arch are built for a better fit that comes with more support and less pressure on the feet. Since these socks are designed for mountaineering, it reduces moisture and hence decreases the chance of blisters.

The ventilation panel has improved fit and wicking. Similarly, padding around the ankle protects the feet from boot pressure.

If you do not find the socks comfortable, you can always return the socks for a refund. Make sure to do it within 30 days.


Thermal fibers blended with THOR-LON treatment makes these socks highly durable. They also insulate the heat and feel very soft to the feet.

In summary

  • Thorlos St Mountaineering socks use Worsted wool than the popular choice, Merino wool
  • These socks are highly durable and provide excellent support even in extreme weather
  • These socks help to keep away blisters and frostbite
  • If you are not comfortable in these socks, then refund is guaranteed


6. Falke TK2

Falke TK2

The TK2 socks from Falke offer great comfort in freezing temperatures, making them an excellent option for your next expedition. The superior thermal-insulated socks are made with a blend of quality Merino wool, polypropylene, acrylic, polyamide, and of course, elastane.


Fabric – Polypropylene 40%, Acrylic 28%, Merino wool 22%, Polyamide 9%, Elastane 1%

Fabric Thickness – Medium

Height – Crew

Cushion – Medium cushioning


These highly-technical socks offer great comfort along with better thermal insulation, thanks to the excellent blend of merino wool mix and medium cushioning.

TK2 socks wick moisture rapidly. Perfect temperature regulation along with superior comfort are other comfort features of this product.

The socks have cushioned footbeds and cushioned wrinkle-free toe area along with elastic ankles that provide a better fit.

It is advised to check the footwear you plan to wear for your mountaineering before choosing these particular socks because of their comparatively thinner fabric.


Even though the TK2 socks are one of the thinnest socks in this list, they are highly durable. These socks are also wrinkle-free.

Falke socks are known for their durability. These socks give lasting performance whilst retaining their properties even after heavy use and multiple washes.

These socks absorb less moisture and dry quickly.

In summary

  • Merino wool with medium cushioning makes Falke TK2 socks comfortable
  • Superior thermal insulation keeps the feet warm throughout your expedition
  • These socks wick moisture quickly and regulate temperature perfectly for added comfort
  • Fits pretty well
  • Less moisture absorption and quick dry features make this product coveted among mountaineers


7. Bridgedale Men’s Summit Knee Socks

Bridgedale Men’s Summit Knee Socks

Bridgedale Men’s Summit socks are designed for people who love to travel into the wilderness of mountains. Bridgedale has been making socks for more than a century now.

These beefy socks provide you warmth and comfort even in the freezing weather. Their Fusion Technology uses a unique blend of yarn and knitting which makes them different from other sock brands.


Fabric – Enduro wool 51%, Nylon 29%, ENDUROFIL/Polypropylene 19%, Lycra 1%

Fabric Thickness – Thick

Height – Knee-high

Cushion – Heavy cushioning


The dense cushioning, a result of WoolFusion technology, ensures better performance all day long. These socks provide balanced insulation, moisture-wicking, and durability. These socks come with more comfort, better thermal and moisture control as well as high performance.

These socks will stay in place regardless of the abuse they endure during tough mountain climbing, maintaining their top functionality.

Bridgedale Men’s Summit socks keep your feet warm even in sub-zero temperatures.

The dense cushioning throughout the sock provides comfort, warmth, and impact resistance.


Backed by the experience of making socks for more than a hundred years, Bridgedale provides a three-year warranty on their products.

Bridgedale Men’s Summit Knee socks are very durable, thanks to the blend of wool and synthetic fibers used in the manufacturing of this product.

In summary

  • The unique construction process of Bridgedale ensures warm and dry feet
  • Thermal insulation and moisture control provides comfort
  • The inside of the sock resists impact
  • A 3-year warranty is offered on this durable expedition sock


8. Lorpen T3+ Inferno Trekking Expedition Socks

Lorpen T3+ Inferno Trekking Expedition Socks

If you are a mountaineer looking for socks manufactured with cutting edge technology designed for warmth and can sustain the abuse in frigid climates, then these Lorpen T3+ Inferno Trekking Expedition socks are made for you.

These socks are part of Lorpen’s T3+ range which features Primaloft thermal insulation sewed in-between two Polartec Power Stretch layers. This technology offers an impressive combo of dryness, warmth, and comfort to your feet.


Fabric – Polyester 89%, Polyamide 10%, Elastane 1%

Fabric Thickness – Thick

Height – Knee length

Cushion – Heavy cushioning


This is the only brand of sock that has three layers of yarn which provides maximum performance and benefits. The use of Primaloft, Polartec, and Power Stretch provides immense comfort to the feet.

The world’s best artificial thermal insulator, Primaloft, which is hydrophobic, is used as a mid-layer in these socks. They wick moisture away and keep your feet dry.

Polartec Power Stretch technology used in the outer layers of Primaloft offers a soft feel to the skin while putting moisture away from the skin.

The availability of right and left socks in every pair makes these socks fit comfortably. These socks ensure unrestricted blood-flow during your climb or even when you are staying still.


These hand-sewn socks are quite handy for excursions into the snowy wilderness.

The Polartec Power Stretch technology makes the outer of these socks resistant to abrasion. The thick fabric and heavy cushioning make the socks long-lasting without compromising its warmth retention and moisture-wicking property.

In summary

  • Lorpen T3+ Inferno socks are heavily insulated and are designed for alpinists
  • Right foot and left foot anatomical design offers a better fit
  • Hydrophobic layer Primaloft is sandwiched by Polartec Power Stretch technology, hence resisting abrasion, moisture, and wind without letting the warmth of the feet escape


9. Minus33 Merino Wool Expedition Mountaineer Sock

Minus33 Merino Wool Expedition Mountaineer Sock

Minus33 Mountaineering socks are one of the warmest mountaineering socks available in the market. These socks are perfect for sub-zero expeditions or any other activities in extremely cold weather. These socks are designed to bear extreme cold weather.

Minus33, operating since 2004, has remained one of the most trusted brands in the market. They are known to manufacture quality socks.


Fabric – Merino wool 82%, Polyester 10%, Nylon 5%, Spandex 3%

Fabric Thickness – Thick

Height – Knee length

Cushion – Heavy cushioning


The use of 82% of Merino wool has made these socks very warm and comfortable. The natural anti-microbial and moisture-wicking property of Merino wool means that these socks stay dry and do no trap odor. You will have a warm, dry and non-stinky feet even after a long walk.

These socks resist against microbes and odor. The wool naturally wicks moisture and does not let your feet smell.

The full-cushioned bottom along with the seamless toe keeps your feet comfortable. The naturally elastic elements allow it to stretch according to your movements.

These socks are machine washable and dryable.


The use of 10% Polyester and 5% Nylon increases the durability of these socks.

Minus33 Merino wool insulates against high temperatures and does not catch fire easily. Even if it does, the fire is extinguished itself. Unlike synthetic fabrics, the burnt wool does not melt or stick to the skin.

These socks come with a 1-year warranty although normal wear and tear, and other damages are not covered.

However, if these socks do not satisfy you, a 100% refund is available if returned within 30 days.

In summary

  • Minus33 Merino Wool Expedition Mountaineer socks are one of the warmest mountaineering socks
  • These are heavily cushioned thick socks that will keep your feet dry, warm and comfortable even in the extremely cold weather
  • These socks are fireproof. Even if it catches fire, the burnt fibers will not stick to the skin.
  • They come with a handy warranty and guarantee schemes.


10. Darn Tough Yeti Over-the-Calf Socks

Darn Tough Yeti Over-the-Calf Socks

These socks are specially designed for women to be worn in all seasons. Mid-level cushion density, versatility, unbeatable style, and lifetime guarantee makes these socks one of the prominent products in the market. These socks are cool in summer and warm in winter!


Fabric – Merino wool 68%, Nylon 28%, Lycra Spandex 4%

Fabric Thickness – Thick

Height – Over the Calf

Cushion – Mid-level cushioning


Darn Tough always boasts about their socks – “put it on, forget it’s on” feel.

These socks are performance-fit. They do not slip or bunch on top of your boots. The True Seamless treatment gives you undetectable seam fusion for an added smoothness under your feet. The perfect amount of cushioning on the bottom provides extra support for a comfortable hike.

The fast action wicking feature keeps moisture away from the skin and they dry fast too. This makes sure that there is no blister formation on your feet. All these features have not compromised on the warmth of these socks regardless of the weather conditions.

The natural antimicrobial fabrics repel bacteria and odor.

Similarly, Merino wool makes the socks breathable and comfortable to be worn in any condition.


Similar to other Darn Tough socks, the Darn Tough Yeti is also guaranteed for life. No strings attached. These burly and beasty mountaineering socks will last longer than many of the other items in your wardrobe.

In summary

  • Darn Tough Yeti Over-the-Calf socks are specially designed for women
  • “Put it on, forget it’s on” feel will help you concentrate on your mountaineering rather than your feet
  • True Seamless treatment provides a smooth feel
  • These socks wick moisture and prevent blisters
  • These Darn Tough socks come with a lifetime guarantee


Comparison Table of 10 Best Mountaineering Socks in 2020

ProductFabricFabric ThicknessHeightCushion
Darn Tough Mountaineering SocksMerino Wool 72%, Nylon 26%, Lycra Spandex 2%MediumKnee-highHeavy
Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy SocksMerino Wool 74%, Nylon 25%, Elastane 1%ThickCrewHeavy
Smartwool Men’s PhD Pro MountaineerMerino Wool 50%, Nylon 43%, Elastane 7%MediumKnee-highLight
SealSkinz Waterproof Trekking Thick MidOuter (90% Nylon, 10% Elastane), Inner (42% Merino wool, 42% Acrylic, 14% Polyester, 2% Elastane)ThickMid-lengthMedium
Thorlos St Mountaineering Over CalfWorsted wool 60%, Acrylic 27%, Nylon 11%, Spandex 2%ThickOver the CalfHeavy
Falke TK2Polypropylene 40%, Acrylic 28%, Merino wool 22%, Polyamide 9%, Elastane 1%MediumCrewMedium
Bridgedale Men’s Summit Knee SocksEnduro wool 51%, Nylon 29%, ENDUROFIL/Polypropylene 19%, Lycra 1%ThickKnee-highHeavy
Lorpen T3+ Inferno Trekking Expedition SocksPolyester 89%, Polyamide 10%, Elastane 1%ThickKnee-lengthHeavy
Minus33 Merino Wool Expedition Mountaineer SockMerino wool 82%, Polyester 10%, Nylon 5%, Spandex 3%ThickKnee-lengthHeavy
Darn Tough Yeti Over-the-Calf SocksMerino wool 68%, Nylon 28%, Lycra Spandex 4%ThickOver the CalfMedium

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Mountaineering Socks

Q. Is choosing mountaineering socks important?

Of course, they are essential. Mountaineering is a set of activities that involves a tremendous amount of workload to your feet. Choosing right or wrong socks can make or break your adventure.

Q. Are cotton socks suitable for mountaineering?

No. Absolutely no. Although cotton socks are excellent in warm weather, they have poor insulation features. Once wet, cotton socks take time to dry which will keep your feet damp and prone to blisters and odor.

Q. How long should mountaineering socks be?

It depends on the length of the boot you will be wearing during your expedition. Some mountaineering boots are tall enough to cover your calf. In such cases, you should go for socks that cover the top of these boots so that the abrasion caused by the boots are prevented.

If your boot size is long enough to cover the ankles, then crew length socks are good enough.

Q. Does mountaineering socks need extra care? Do they need regular maintenance?

You can find many mountaineering socks that come with a lifetime guarantee. You still need to take good care of them. It is wise to check the maintenance instructions of your socks as advised by the company. This will not only help you with the proper safeguarding of the socks and but will also come in handy while claiming warranty or guarantee.