Tips for choosing the right socks

In everyday use many prefer the traditional cotton socks, and therefore are also familiar with the feeling of wet and cold feet. You might need to carry some bandages for blisters, just in case? In this guide we’ll help you choose the right socks, and you can enjoy dry feet in all conditions, during summer and winter!

The right kind of sock will complement the features of your shoes and ensure a pleasant experience while using them.

Halti socks merino wool socks for hiking and outdoor activities

What are the features of a good sock?

Cotton as a material ties moist and takes a long time to dry. For this reason, it is not the best material for socks compared to wool or synthetic materials. When comparing breathability in different conditions, wool and synthetic materials are clear winners over cotton because they move the moist from the skin and in this way keep the feet dry. Moist and sweaty socks are uncomfortable and attract bacteria, which cause an unpleasant smell as well as blisters.

The good qualities of wool have been known for centuries. From different types of wool, merino wool is the best natural wool and is used in socks but also in for example, base layers, beanies, gloves and scarves. Merino wool comes from Merino sheeps but just like normal sheep wool is causes allergies to only very few people. Merino wool is not itchy and doesn’t start to smell. Airing the items outside is enough to clean merino wool clothing and accessories, so no need to wash after each use!

Just like with all materials, also wool has its’ weaknesses. Wool wears out quickly from abrasion jo especially in socks synthetical fibers are added. With the added fibers the product becomes more durable and long-lasting. The synthetical fibers also help keep the shape of the sock. One weakness of wool is that an item can lose its’ shape when wet, so after washing socks should be shaped and dried on a flat surface.

Hiking socks

Some wear one pair of socks and some prefer two layers. There is no right answer on which is better. If you prefer to use two pairs of socks the first layer should be a well-fitting and thinner sock (liner sock) and on top should go a second, airier layer. Especially a new pair of shoes may cause abrasions and blisters and using two socks will move the abrasion from the skin to between the two socks. Shoes the have been used for longer usually don’t cause blisters and can be used with only one sock. During a hiking trip, socks are recommended to be changed often, at least once a day but more often if feet start to feel wet.

Hiking socks are designed and shaped to support and protect the feet. The shaping prevents abrasions and blisters. Technical/synthetic socks are pleasant and breathable and therefore great options during all seasons. Merino wool is recommended to be used during colder weather and seasons. On longer hiking trips, socks with padding on the toes and heels are recommended. Try hiking socks on with the shoe that you are going to use to ensure a good fit.  

Halti socks, tips for choosing the right socks, guide

Different materials:

Merino wool

Merino wool is the best options especially for cold weather conditions and during the winter. Majority of the merino wool used in the world is originally from Australia and New Zealand where rearing the merino sheep is a big and profitable business. The fiber of merino wool is longer and thinner compared to normal wool. Merino wool feels pleasant on skin and moves moist efficiently which helps keep feet warm and dry. The naturally antibacterial material is easy to take care of and doesn’t absorb smells easily. By airing out the items after use unnecessary washing can be avoided.

Sustainability is a common topic when discussing merino wool products. All merino wool products in Halti collections are made from mulesing free merino wool. The Mulesing Free farms have signed contracts on sustainable operations and treatment of animals. When choosing Halti merino wool items you can be sure the items are made ethically.

Technical /synthetic fibers

Socks made from technical materials can be used in almost all kinds of shoes. Especially waterproof shoes with a membrane require a sock with technical fibers for the features to work correctly. The sock efficiently moves the moist to the lining of the shoe and through the membrane it evaporates into air. In shoes with no membrane the technical sock feels pleasant and keeps the feet dry. You can’t go wrong when choosing a technical sock – explore all our socks here!


Still to the day most people use cotton socks in everyday life. They are elastic, fit well and feel good; until they get wet. Cotton absorbs all moist to the material and for this reason the socks, feet and shoes start to gather bacteria and smell and cause blisters.


When choosing a high-quality shoe, be sure to pick the right type of socks to make sure your feet feel comfortable during and after use!


Explore all Halti socks here!