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Three types of hiking socks are: light weight liners, heavier outer socks, and medium weight, single layer socks. While cotton is popular for everyday use hiking socks are generally a blend of wool and nylon or all synthetic. Silk is also used in lightweight liner socks.
The right hiking socks will depend to a large extend on the type of hiking shoe or boot you choose. Many hikers using sandals choose not to wear any socks at all unless it is cold out. A popular choice for hikers wearing shoes are thin, synthetic socks while those wearing boots tend to go for heavier socks.
A popular choice when wearing heavier boots, is to wear two layers - a thin inner sock and a thicker outer sock. The idea being the friction of each step of one surface moving against another will take place between the two layers of socks instead of next to your skin forming blisters.
The Hiking Socks I Use
For the light weight hiking boots I prefer or even in hiking shoes I like to wear a medium weight hiking sock with a soft inner surface without a liner. Wool or a wool/synthetic blend seem to work better and last longer for me than all synthetic ones.
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