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Best Overall: Joyca & Co. Women’s Multi-Color Fashion Socks at Amazon
"The kind of socks you want to curl up near the fire with."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Socks at Amazon
"For active people who aren’t afraid of heading outdoors in the wintry cold."
Best for Everday: People Socks Unisex Merino Wool Crew Socks at Amazon
"Hits the sweet spot between comfort and durability."
Best for Kids: Eocom Children's Winter Wool Socks at Amazon
"Comes with a variety of adorable colors and styles."
Best for Hiking: SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks at Amazon
"Suitable to take out on the trail all day."
Best for Outdoor Activities: Wigwam Men’s El Pine Sock at Amazon
"Great, all-purpose wool socks at a budget-friendly price."
Best for Extreme Cold: J.B. Icelandic Arctic Trail Winter Sock at Amazon
"Designed to keep you warm down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit."
Best Value: Wigwam Hiker Midweight Crew Socks at Amazon
"Breathable with a built-in ventilation channel, while merino loops retain heat."
Best for Running: FITS Light Performance Trail Socks at Amazon
"Keeps twigs, pebbles, and other debris away from your skin."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Joyca & Co. Women’s Multi-Color Fashion Socks
Colorful and stylish, Joyca & Co.’s cozy wool socks are the kind of socks you want to curl up near the fire with. They’re 38 percent wool, with 32 percent cotton, 25 percent polyester, and five percent spandex — the latter two materials help increase durability and get rid of any scratchiness from the wool. Plus, it helps the wool socks stay thin enough to tuck under everyday boots in colder months. One size fits almost all with these, which makes splitting a four-pack with a friend even better (sizes 10 wide and up might not fit these well). They may not be technical trail socks, but sometimes you just need a cozy pair to relax in — and these wool socks are perfect for that.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Socks
Darn Toughs have built a reputation for quality wool socks for active people who aren’t afraid of heading outdoors in the wintry cold — or on a hike where a pair of standard athletic socks just won’t cut it. The seamless construction helps keep blisters and hot spots from forming, while the merino wool keeps feet breathing and dry, even when you start to hit double-digit miles. Alternatively, they may not be ideal for super-hot days because of its cushioning. The thick knit makes these comfortable to wear, with colorful patterns (chocolate, lime, oatmeal, olive, etc.) to choose from. These wool socks also come with a lifetime warranty.
Best for Everday: People Socks Unisex Merino Wool Crew Socks
Not too thin, yet not too thick, these wool socks from People Socks hit the sweet spot between comfort and durability. Made of 71 percent merino wool, 21 percent nylon, seven percent polyester, and one percent Spandex, the socks are made for everyday wear with its high-quality feel and odor/sweat-free properties. The toe and heel have also been reinforced so they won't wear out quickly, ensuring the socks' long life. Despite its premium construction, these U.S.-made socks are relatively affordable compared to other merino wool socks in the market. The four-pair set comes in neutral color options, like Charcoal, Brown, Navy, and more.
Best for Kids: Eocom Children's Winter Wool Socks
Protect your little ones this winter season with these adorable wool socks from Eocom. This six-pair set for both boys and girls come with a variety of kid-friendly colors and styles, including ones with Cats, Dogs, Snowflakes, Cars, Deers, or Foxes. Besides looks, the wool socks are also soft and thick enough to withstand cold temps — they're made from 45 percent wool, 40 percent polyester, and 15 percent Spandex. Better yet, there is a wide range of sizes available: one for ages 1 to 3, 4 to 7, and 8 to 12 years old.
Best for Hiking: SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks
Made from 70 percent merino wool, 29 percent nylon, and elastane (spandex), these SmartWool socks are suitable to take out on the trail all day, thanks to their moisture-wicking properties. Plus, they’re good for all seasons — its wool keeps feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The elasticized arch brace offers extra support and keeps the sock in place, and the flat-knit toe seam avoids rubbing up against the toe of your boots, even during the steepest downhill descent. Even more, they're designed with full cushioning that helps with shock absorption. Unlike some wool socks, you can machine wash and dry these — just keep it all on gentle and low, and they’ll be just fine for many hikes to come.
Best for Outdoor Activities: Wigwam Men’s El Pine Sock
Wigwam has a cult reputation for being warm and stylish, and this raglan pair hits both those marks. With a stylish heathery knit that feels nice tucked into a pair of hiking boots or everyday fall ones, these are great all-purpose wool socks at a budget-friendly price. They’re also machine washable and dryable (just keep them on low) — and even after dozens of washes, the rib knit still clings just as well to the calf without being too tight. To make sure they last you for seasons to come, the El Pines are designed with synthetic-fiber enhanced, fortified heels and toes (two easily wearable and blister-prone areas) to keep the skin safe and the knit intact. They also come with a workmanship guarantee, though that won’t cover normal wear and tear.
Best for Extreme Cold: J.B. Icelandic Arctic Trail Winter Sock
There’s cold, and then there’s teeth-chattering cold. For the latter, these wool socks are designed to keep you warm down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Made from 85 percent pre-shrunk wool and 15 percent nylon, the J.B. Icelandic socks are easy to care for. Wool is naturally breathable, so your feet won’t get clammy in these, even if you go from the chilly outdoors to a cozy fire. Plus, the wool helps to wick away any moisture that does build up, keeping your feet non-smelly, blister-free, and dry. These also come in a variety of heights, from standard calf-height to knee-length, and they’re available in pairs made just for women, too, though the men’s styles seem to be a bit warmer. They do tend to run large, so buy these one or two sizes small to be sure they won’t bunch up in boots.
Best Value: Wigwam Hiker Midweight Crew Socks
Made of 67 percent merino wool, 21 percent nylon, seven percent elastic, and five percent acrylic, these affordable, Wigwam wool socks are breathable with a built-in ventilation channel — yet the merino loops also help retain heat. They also come with extra long-life reinforcement, courtesy of the material blend that makes these shine when it comes to durability. The crew length fits great under boots, and there’s a huge variety of colors to choose from, from tan to fuschia. The wool socks are also machine washable, making these a breeze to care for once you’re back from the trail — or from a day of running errands in the cold.
Best for Running: FITS Light Performance Trail Socks
Created in response to what FITS calls an “industry-wide epidemic of ill-fitting socks,” these wool socks feature extra height around the ankle to keep twigs, pebbles, and other debris away from your skin and the inside of your shoes. The 50 percent merino, 40 percent nylon, seven percent polyester, and three percent Lycra construction means that this sock breathes just as well as its more heavily woolen brethren (also aided by a vented lower), while encasing your foot in a snug fit that won’t slip down in the shoe. Bonus: we love the extra cushioning on the heel, toe, and arch.