Which Sock Material is Right For Me?

When you’re looking for the right socks for your next hike, walk, or run, you’ll have lots of options to choose from. One of the easiest ways to narrow down your options and select socks right for your needs is to look for socks made out of the right materials for your intended application. If you want to find your next favorite pair of socks, learn more about the most popular types of socks materials and how you can determine which material is right for you.

Popular Types of Sock Materials

Some of the most common sock materials available today include cotton, synthetic, silk, merino wool, and recycled yarns. Before you select a pair of socks, you’ll likely want to know how these materials differ, their advantages, and their primary applications. 

Review the main qualities of the most popular types of sock materials below:

  • Cotton: While cotton is a very popular material for socks, it’s not recommended if you need socks for active applications, such as hiking, jogging, or trail running. Cotton socks tend to dry slow, absorb sweat, and saturate fast, with all of these factors leading to discomfort and blisters. As a result, cotton socks are only recommended for non-active applications.
  • Synthetic: You can find several kinds of synthetic materials for socks on the market today. For example, you might see nylon spandex and polyester combined to ensure a sock retains its snug fit and has moisture-wicking properties. Synthetic socks tend to dry fast, provide cushioning, wick away moisture, and last a long time. Due to their properties, they’re often worn in standard active applications, like jogging or hiking.
  • Silk: Occasionally, companies use silk in liner socks, as it offers a smooth texture and can wick away moisture. While silk is comfortable and lightweight, it’s less durable than other materials. Since it’s not very durable, silk tends not to be a good material for those who have an active lifestyle. 
  • Merino wool: Merino wool is a very popular sock material designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable in various temperatures. Unlike itchy traditional ragg wool, merino wool is itch-free. Merino wool socks are also durable and cushion the feet, making them appropriate for many active applications, such as long walks or hikes. 
  • Recycled yarns: Socks made from recycled yarns are quickly becoming a popular option for eco-conscious hikers and runners. These socks tend to use recycled yarns or wools, giving wearers the benefits of these previously mentioned materials. Due to these socks’ advantages, they’re usually appropriate for active uses. Some sustainable socks, such as those in our ECO Collection, combine post-industrial wool scraps and plastic bottles in their construction to help cut down on waste.

How to Choose the Best Sock Material for Your Needs

With the many sock materials on the market today, you might be wondering what sock materials are right for your needs. While cotton and silk can work if you’re only planning on wearing your socks around the house or on short walks, they’re not well-suited for more rigorous activities. If you plan on wearing your socks on hikes, jogs, runs, and long walks, you’ll want to avoid cotton and silk.

At Wrightsock, we generally recommend synthetic materials, merino wools, and recycled yarns for more active uses. Learn more about the main materials we use in our socks to help you decide the best socks for your needs below:

  • Synthetic materials: When you’re going out on a run or long walk, socks made out of synthetic materials are a great choice. We blend nylon, polyester, and occasionally Lycra® to create performance socks that don’t add extra bulk. Since these socks feature moisture-wicking properties and give wearers excellent protection, they’re great for people looking for running and jogging socks, no matter the time of year.
  • Merino wools: Many of our hiking and trail running socks feature merino wool. Our merino wool socks provide a great deal of comfort, perfect for long hikes, and while they’re great at temperature regulation in almost all temperatures, they’re especially good at keeping feet warm in cold temperatures. If you’re in the market for hiking socks that will keep your feet warm on cold days and hold up over long distances, merino wool socks are a great choice.
  • Eco-friendly socks: Our Eco-friendly socks are made from recycled materials, such as Recover RWool®, REPREVE® recycled yarn, and plastic bottles.  Our ECO socks are great for activitieslike hiking, jogging, and running, making them a popular choice for people who want a multi-faceted pair of socks. When you’re looking for an eco-conscious sock that still delivers all the performance of other synthetic performance socks, our ECO line is a perfect fit for your needs.

Choose Wrightsock for Your Next Pair of Socks

Whether you’re looking for a new pair of running socks or those best suited for hiking, Wrightsock can help. We offer a variety of anti-blister socks designed for various applications and made from high-quality materials, like merino wools, recycled yarns, and synthetic fabrics. Due to our socks’ double-layer, all of our socks keep your feet blister-free and wick away moisture regardless of their material.

Take a moment to review our collection of men’s and women’s anti-blister socks today. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.