The best walking socks for trainers, plus advice from a SockShop designer

Sock savvy: Material matters in your walking gear - sock designer Paul Taylor will tell you that.

A selection of the best walking socks for trainers, with brands like Decathlon, Columbia and Bridgedale

by Gemma Lavers |
Updated on

If you enjoy a hike but don't enjoy wearing walking boots, there's an alternative option - walking trainers. And if you're opting for trainers over boots, you're going to need a pair of the best walking socks for trainers to prevent any annoying blisters.

Socks that are specially made for walking boots may not be suitable for trainers as they tend to be quite thick and bulky. Instead, walking socks for trainers will still do exactly the same job and will provide the same amount of comfort, they just won't feel as chunky in your trainers.

The best walking socks for trainers, at a glance

• Best overall walking socks for trainers: Finisterre Last Long Ribbed Sock - View on Finisterre
• Best mid-length walking socks for trainers: QUECHUA Hiking Socks - View on Decathlon
• Best walking socks for trainers for sweaty feet: Patagonia Wool Anklet Socks - View on Patagonia

As any seasoned walkers know, finding the perfect socks isn't just about providing a barrier between your shoe and foot. In fact, it's all about moisture management, temperature regulation, and above all, sheer comfort. After all, blisters, soggy feet and hot spots and just mere inconveniences - so make sure you're packing the right socks. Our buyer's guide at the end featuring advice from a SockShop designer will clear up all the questions you might have about selecting the best pair of walking socks.

SHOP: The best walking socks for trainers

Please note: All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Best overall walking socks for trainers

Finisterre Last Long Ribbed SockFinisterre

Selected as the best by our very own Editor Will Austin-Lobley, the Finisterre socks aren't ridiculously thick, but they still have that classic wool feel. These walking socks are also made incredibly sustainably, like with trusted wool partners and shipping to the warehouse via land and sea. Plus, they're crafted with anti-bacterial fibres and a ribbed construction to stop any odours and keep their shape, wear after wear.


  • Naturally has anti-bacterial properties
  • Ribbed construction for durability and shape
  • Sustainably packaged with their 'Leave No Trace' packaging material that's water soluble and ocean safe


  • Not ideal for longer hikes as they make your feet get too warm

Best mid-length walking socks for trainers

QUECHUA Hiking SocksDecathlon

Made with the discerning adventurer in mind, these socks have been developed to cope with various walking conditions. With the aim to reduce friction inside your walking trainers, these socks are crafted from anti-friction yarn and multi-strand polyamide fibre. If that didn't scream COMFORT - then there's also the anatomical shape of the QUECHUA socks that is there for foot support, and to keep your feet sweat-free.


  • Features anti-friction yarn Terry fabric reinforcement on rubbing areas
  • Well-ventilated
  • Elastic structure for foot support


  • These socks run small

Best walking socks for trainers for sweaty feet

Patagonia Wool Anklet SocksPatagonia

Crafted from a blend of ethically-sourced Merino wool, these socks boast unmatched plushness and warmth, ensuring your feet stay snug and moisture-free. With innovative details such as unique ventilation patterns for breathability, a reinforced mesh arch for stability, and anklet design - it's time to pamper your feet. What's more, each purchase extends a helping hand towards sustainability, allowing you to stride with a conscience as light as your step.


  • Mesh arch brace provides a snug fit
  • Terry-loop footbed gives airy cushioning across the bottom of the foot
  • Clever patterning on the top of the foot provides added breathability and stretch


  • A little thin so not the best for winter walking

Best men's walking socks for trainers

TK5 Lightweight Cushioned Trekking Invisible SockSock Shop

The TK5 Lightweight Cushioned socks are designed as a discreet, ankle-hugging sock that create direct shoe contract, boasting lightweight padding for protection. Strategically placed cushioning delivers this protection right where it's needed, and is complemented by a patented anatomical toe box for a customised fit and wrinkle-free wear. Featuring reinforced cuffs with extra padding at the back to safeguard your heel, the Falke TK5 socks promise a comfortable and stable trekking experience.


  • Features an anatomical perfect fit toe box
  • Light zonal cushion to stop your foot from slipping
  • Low on the ankle


  • Not great value
  • Only available in black

Best unisex walking socks for trainers

Bridgedale Unisex Lightweight Ankle Length Storm SocksCotswold Outdoor

Crafted to weather the elements with finesse (particularly rain - they're 100% waterproof), these Bridgedale socks offer a blend of performance and breathability. Sitting at just a few centimetres above the ankle bone, these socks are great for hikes in the spring or summer months, as what they lack for in insulation, they make up in breathability.


  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Odour-resistant


  • Slightly tight at the top of the sock

Best women's walking socks for trainers

Columbia Women's Balance Point Walking Low Cut SocksColumbia

Columbia are known for their great outdoor wear, and of course their socks are no different. Perfect for women with UK size 7-9 feet, these socks boast sweat-wicking Omni-Wick technology that keeps your feet nice and dry, as well as mesh ventilation. In terms of support, they have targeted cushioning on high-impact areas, and arch support so you can explore with boundless freedom and comfort.


  • Omni-Wick
  • Arch support
  • Mesh ventilation


  • Only available in one size (women's UK shoe size 7-9)

Best walking socks for trainers for everyday use

Saloman Evasion 2-Pack SocksBlacks
Price: £8.50 (was £17)

These Salomon socks are great for everyday adventures, and they're also great value for money. Engineered for enduring comfort, their ribbed ankle and arch provide a snug fit, while the plush padding underfoot guarantees all-day support. Plus, their mid-weight thickness means you can wear them during outdoor escapades, and to casual events too.


  • Mid thickness so great for both seasons
  • Soft feel
  • Available in grey and black


  • Some reviewers found the fabric balls easily together

Best Merino wool walking socks for trainers

EBMORE Merino Wool Thermal Walking SocksAmazon
Price: $22.99

These ankle socks for both men and women ensure your feet are always toasty, with temperature regulation that can withstand even the coldest of climates. Available in two sizes, catering to both size 3-7 and size 7-11, each package offers six pairs of these compression socks. Speaking of, the EBMORE socks have built-in compression stripes to safeguard your Achilles and alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis. All while the high elasticity of the fabric promotes blood circulation.


  • Merino wool is naturally odour-resisting
  • Keeps your feet warm in cold temperatures
  • Has targeted compression stripes to protect your Achilles and reduce plantar fasciitis


  • Not the highest wool content inside the socks

A guide to walking socks for trainers

Finding the best walking socks for boots is hard, but finding the best walking socks for trainers is even hard. Let's make it simple.

Do the right socks make a difference?

Paul Taylor - Design and Development Lead for SockShop UK - explains how the right socks will affect your hiking experience.

"Whether out for a leisurely stroll, the gym, or a serious uphill hike, wearing the right socks can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of walking and outdoor activities in general. Suitable socks can keep your feet either warm or cool and also dry and blister free," he says.

The best walking socks for trainers will also have plush soles that make sure each step is backed by comfort. Paul says "cushioned soles can provide extra comfort and improve the fit of your walking shoes, while elasticated arch supports help keep the socks in place, reducing 'slipping' inside the shoe and therefore reducing friction and blisters."

"By preventing soreness and discomfort, the right walking socks can increase your enjoyment of trekking and hiking and keep you outdoors for longer," he says.

Should walking socks be thick or thin?

Walking socks for trainers are usually thinner than walking socks for hiking boots, but both thicknesses of sock can have their own benefits. Paul explains the difference between the two.

"Lightweight socks can be more suitable for hiking in warmer months. The warmer weather can mean more sweat and therefore more bacteria around your feet, leading to damaged skin and blisters." He continues, "a lightweight walking sock will provide more airflow and a sock knitted with a synthetic performance based fabric can help wick away moisture keeping your feet dryer for longer."

Alternatively, "heavyweight socks can be more suitable in colder months or on longer, more difficult hikes where the extra cushioning will provide longer lasting comfort," Paul says. "A sock knitted with a warmer fabric such as merino wool will provide extra warmth and softness while providing longer lasting heavyweight cushioning in the sole area."

Is it ok to wear socks with trainers?

Wearing socks with trainers is of course okay, in fact, it's more hygienic to wear socks in your trainers than not. There's also a whole host of other benefits that come with wearing socks with walking trainers. Paul says "socks provide an extra layer of comfort and protection between our feet and our shoes. A sock knitted with a breathable fabric helps wick away sweat from bare skin and can keep you dryer and reduce infection causing bacteria around the foot."

"Socks with arch supports help the socks stay in place reducing 'slipping' in the shoe and therefore reducing rubbing and blisters and keeping the wearer more comfortable for longer periods," he says.

Gemma Lavers is a Health & Fitness Writer for What's The Best. From understanding nutrition to practising yoga and Pilates to delving into the psychology of motivation. She enjoys demystifying the latest fitness trends and staying on top of the dynamic health landscape, whether that's the best gym leggings, fitness trackers or the benefits of yoga.

When Gemma’s not writing, she can be found attending Pilates, yoga and Zumba classes. She’s also a bit of a home workout aficionado, constantly trying out new ways to keep her moving at home. Between writing, exercising and shopping, there’s nothing she loves more than hopping on a plane and exploring new cultures.

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