The 11 Best Comfortable Socks for Travel of 2022

We love the Icebreaker Lifestyle Fine Gauge Crew Socks' luxurious feel.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Comfortable Socks for Travel

Back Country

Socks play a key role in our level of comfort. Whatever kind of traveler you are, there’s a right pair (or two) of socks to match your activities and preferences. From cozy plane socks to quick-drying pairs for outdoor pursuits as well as socks that can hack it during a full day in the city, having the right kind of sock is paramount. They can do anything from help keep your painful blisters away, keep your feet warm in cold conditions, provide extra support, and so much more.

In the wide world of socks, it can be tricky to find the pairs that match your needs. To help narrow down your search, we researched dozens of options for various categories of travel usage in order to find the best balance of comfort, breathability, cushion, and style. Our favorite are the Icebreaker Lifestyle Fine Gauge Crew Socks, which are also available in a men’s style. Trust us, they’ll be worth the splurge.

Keep your feet happy in these 12 best comfortable socks for travel:

Best Overall

Icebreaker Lifestyle Fine Gauge Crew Sock

Icebreaker Lifestyle Fine Gauge Crew Sock

Backcountry

Why We Love It: They’re lightweight and versatile.

What to Consider: Icebreaker socks come with a lifetime warranty, so even if they do develop holes from wear, you can get them replaced with proof of purchase.

We love the everyday comfort and durable design of the Icebreaker Lifestyle Fine Gauge Crew Socks, which are available in women’s and men’s styles. Don’t be fooled by the thin fabric style; reinforced toes and heels will keep holes or tears from forming for long-lasting wear. The sleek style is proof that you don’t need a thick sock to keep your tootsies warm. This packable pair shines in the soft-feel department too, making them ideal for use in a myriad of situations. Whether you slip your feet into these for a long flight, touring a new city, light outdoor activities, or a work dinner, they’ll satisfy you. They’ll keep your feet warm, but not too warm with the merino wool fabric, which does a stand-up job at keeping them dry and cool as well. If you’re prone to feet-sweating, these are a great choice for moisture-wicking throughout the day.

As a major bonus, these socks stay put once you pull them up so you don’t have to deal with annoying bunching on the bottom from slippage. Two size options of small/medium and large/extra-large are available to obtain the correct fit. The Lifestyle Fine Gauge Crew Sock is the “day to night” accessory equivalent for sock wearing in almost any situation.

Price at time of publish: $14-$20

Material: 57 percent merino wool, 41 percent nylon, 2 percent elastane | Sizes: S/M, L/XL | Length: Crew

Best for Running

Feetures Merino 10 Cushion No-Show Tab Socks

Feetures

 Courtesy of Feetures

Why We Love It: Zero toe seams equals maximum comfort.

What to Consider: Men’s sizing doesn’t come in small, and women’s doesn’t come in extra-large.

For such small socks, these no-shows sure pack a punch with their multiple features. When you want to wear shorts or simply don’t want to sport crew socks, no-show socks are fantastic. Add in the well-loved tab feature, and you don’t have to worry about rubbing or blisters on the back of your foot. Made of breathable and lightweight merino wool, these socks keep your feet cool and dry. The minimalist design doesn’t mean you have to trade comfort, either. Cushioning will have you feeling like you’re walking on a cloud, and the targeted compression areas help to support in spots where you really need it. Whether you’re going for a leisurely stroll, a run, or a hike, these socks were made to accompany you on any adventure, big or small.

Price at time of publish: $20

Material: 35 percent nylon, 32 percent merino wool, 30 percent tencel lyocell, 3 percent spandex | Sizes: S-XL | Length: no-show

Best for Hiking

Icebreaker Hike+ Women's Medium Crew Sock

Icebreaker Hike+ Medium Crew Sock

Icebreaker

Why We Love It: The special “breath zone” keeps air flowing.

What to Consider: The women’s sizes tend to run a bit on the bigger side.

Our feet deserve to be comfortable and dry on the trail when we’re hiking. We like how both the men’s and women’s versions of the Icebreaker Hike+ Medium Crew Sock step up to the plate with those features. In a hiking sock, comfort, durability, and moisture-wicking abilities are crucial. These check all those boxes and more. For every drop of sweat your feet produce as you trek to the summit, these hiking socks will be working twice as hard to keep your feet dry and odor-free, because no one likes damp (or smelly) socks. Cushioning provides support and extra comfort so you can go that additional mile…or five.

Price at time of publish: $16-$25

Material: 65 percent merino wool, 33 percent nylon, 2 percent Lycra | Sizes: S-L | Length: Crew

Best Compression

Sockwell Men's Circulator Moderate Graduated Compression Sock

Sockwell Men's Circulator Moderate Graduated Compression Sock

Amazon

Why We Love It: They offer a good low-to-mid-range amount of compression, particularly for those who haven’t used compression socks before.

What to Consider: The height might not work as well for taller wearers.

The Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks, available in both men’s and women’s, were made for long-distance travels, and for that, we are grateful. In addition to traveling, compression socks are celebrated for helping with circulation, swelling, and overall blood flow for those who need to be on their feet or sitting all day. These feature a gradient-style compression, where they are tighter near the ankle and less so as you near the top of the sock. Rated as moderate (15-20 mmHg) on the compression scale, they’re ideal for everyday wear without feeling too tight. Easy to pull on and with firm support for your lower legs as well as arch support, the Sockwell Circulators tick all the boxes of a great compression sock.

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: 32 percent merino wool, 32 percent stretch nylon, 31 percent rayon from bamboo, 5 percent spandex | Sizes: S/M, M/L, L/XL | Length: Knee-high

Best Ski Sock

Darn Tough Function 5 Over-the-calf Midweight Ski & Snowboard Sock

Darn Tough Function 5 Over-the-Calf Midweight Ski & Snowboard Sock

Darn Tough

Why We Love It: The comfort pads protect pressure points for long days on the slopes.

What to Consider: Depending on how tall you are, they may not completely stretch over your calf as intended.

Treat your feet to a pair of socks specifically designed to keep you comfortable when skiing and snowboarding. The Function 5 Midweight Ski & Snowboard Socks (also available in men’s) are sleek enough to squeeze into your boots while still providing cushioning and padding in the areas you need it. Shin, Achilles, and top-of-the-foot padding protect your most vulnerable spots from painful rubbing and pressure. Underfoot support will keep your arches happy too, even on your last couple of runs down the mountain for the day. The midweight Merino wool means sweaty feet will also stay dry. For warm winter socks tailored to complement your ski and snowboard boots that won’t fall down, the Function 5s are a solid option.

Price at time of publish: $31

Material: 66 percent Merino wool, 31 percent nylon, 3 percent Lycra | Sizes: S, M, L, XL | Length: Over the calf

Best Insect-repellent

Insect Shield Unisex-adult Lightweight Hiker Socks

Insect Shield Unisex-adult Lightweight Hiker Socks

Amazon

Why We Love It: You can wear insect repellent on your socks, not your skin, and they’re also cushioned for comfort.

What to Consider: They run a bit on the smaller side.

We love that the Insect Shield Unisex Lightweight Hiker Socks can withstand 70 washes before losing their ability to repel pesky bugs. Good for hiking in places prone to having mosquitos, biting flies, ants, and ticks, these permethrin-treated socks are a great extra level of security against potential disease-carrying insects. Footbed cushioning and bamboo-based material makes the Insect Shield socks comfortable as well as effective. Throw these on for a hike, a day in the garden, or when working outside in places you might need protection. After use, put your pair in the laundry for regular cleaning, no special treatment needed.

Price at time of publish: $10-$15

Material: 70 percent viscose from bamboo, 25 percent polyester, 3 percent rubber, 2 percent spandex | Sizes: M - XL | Length: Crew

Best Cashmere

Alo Women’s Cashmere Jet Set Socks

Alo Women’s Cashmere Jet Set Socks

Alo Yoga

Why We Love It: They’re as soft as can be, bringing comfort to new levels.

What to Consider: These socks are hand-wash or delicate cycle only.

We can’t get enough of these super soft Alo Women’s Cashmere Jet Set Socks, especially on flights or when we’re ready to get cozy at our accommodations after a long day of activities. This luxurious pair of socks are warm yet breathable and made of a thick ribbed knit cashmere blend. Wear them tall or scrunched down, whatever makes you most comfortable — these socks aim to please. From cozy cabin nights by the fire to a little mid-flight nap, it doesn’t get much more relaxed than this: Cashmere socks were created to cuddle your feet, and the Jet Set socks nail it.

Price at time of publish: $36

Material: Cashmere blend | Sizes: S/M, M/L | Length: Crew

Best for Business Trips

Bombas Women's Lightweight Calf Socks

Bombas Women's Lightweight Calf Socks

Bombas

Why We Love It: They blend casual and dressy all in one sock.

What to Consider: The women’s version runs a tad small.

We love Bomba’s mission to donate one pair of socks to the homeless community for every pair purchased, and business travel just got a lot more comfortable with these dress calf socks for both men and women. Dress to impress without sacrificing comfort. But, no need to save these strictly for work dinners and outings…they’re cozy enough to wear on the regular. Bombas is known for their sock technology (yes, it’s a real thing) which results in a pair that won’t slip down, a Y-stiched heel that hugs just right, and their honeycomb support system, for which your foot arch will thank you. The high-quality crafting of these socks mean that they’ll be happy to accompany you on travel work events for years to come, too.

Price at time of publish: $15

Material: 63 percent cotton, 19 percent polyester, 15 percent nylon, 3 percent spandex | Sizes: S-XL | Length: Mid-calf

Best Toe Socks

Injinji Trail Midweight Mini-Crew Socks

Injinji Trail Midweight Mini-crew Socks

REI

Why We Love It: They are designed to fit within all types of shoes.

What to Consider: They may wear easily, depending on level of intensity for use.

Long-distance runners will find relief in the Injinji Trail Midweight Mini-Crew Socks with reduced friction between toes so you can remain blister-free. Specifically designed for trail-running, they handle shock and impact all while keeping dirt and rocks from getting into your sock with the sturdy double-elastic cuff. Moisture-wicking material and footbed cushioning will keep you comfortable as well so your focus can stay on navigating the terrain. The mesh top helps to keep air flowing to cut down on moisture and heat. Enjoy the benefits of their anatomical five-toe design, which keeps your toes separate and in line without any annoying seams known to cause hot spots. If blisters are an issue for you, these socks might be your long-awaited solution.

Price at time of publish: $16

Material: 58 percent nylon, 39 percent Coolmax EcoMade polyester, 3 percent Lycra | Sizes: S-XL | Length: Ankle

Best Odor-repellent

Kodal Copper Infused Ankle Socks with Tab

Kodal Copper Infused Ankle Socks with Tab

Amazon

Why We Love It: Odor protection is built right into the fabric.

What to Consider: They run about half a size too big.

Say goodbye to that embarrassing feeling that comes with taking off your shoes. These socks have copper infused yarn woven into them that naturally keeps sweaty feet and smells at bay. Mesh-venting and a breathable fabric combination aim to battle moisture and amp up ventilation. Whether you’re on your feet exploring a new destination all day, going for a scenic run, or challenging yourself on a hike to an epic summit, you can rest easy knowing your socks and feet won’t clear a room afterward. Targeted light compression helps to support ankles and the heel tab is a major score for preventing blisters too.

Price at time of publish: $21-$23

Material: 80 percent combed cotton; 20 percent copper yarn | Sizes: 6-10 (S), 10-14 (M) | Length: No-show

Best for Long-distance Walking

Balega Blister Resist Quarter Socks

Balega Blister Resist Quarter Socks

REI

Why We Love It: They have all-around comfort and warmth.

What to Consider: Ankle socks are too short for higher shoe shafts.

We love the Balega Blister Resist socks and their capacity to prevent painful blisters with mohair fabric and design. The seamless toe box and deep-cut heel space push the boundaries of comfort when combined with the blister-free abilities. Drynamix and mohair team up to wick moisture and regulate temperature no matter what conditions your travels throw at you. They’re a walker’s dream, ideal for travelers who like to go the distance when exploring a sprawling city or vast countryside. From walking a coastal trail to seeing every inch of an ancient medieval-era city, this pair of socks will keep your feet fresh and blister-free.

Material: 32 percent Drynamix polyester, 32 percent polyamide, 30 percent mohair, percent microfiber, 2 percent elastane | Sizes: S-XL | Length: Ankle

Tips for Buying Comfortable Socks

Choose warmth and breathability based on your intended use

Narrowing down your sock search has a lot to do with where you plan to wear them the most. If you will be traveling to a warmer destination, lightweight or midweight socks will be best. A colder place will demand thicker and warmer socks. No matter what, having a pair with good ventilation and breathability is important for comfort and airflow to prevent sweaty feet. Merino wool, bamboo, and polyester blends are good materials to look out for when shopping. It’s recommended to avoid cotton socks for any sort of active pursuits as they absorb sweat versus wicking it away from your skin, making blisters a real possibility.

Consider wash needs 

When shopping for socks that you’ll wear while traveling, it’s key to think about how you’ll launder them based on what you’ll have access to as well as how high-maintenance the sock material is. For instance, cashmere socks are delicate and may need to be hand-washed and air-dried, making the cleaning process more lengthy than other materials.

Know the pros and cons of different fabrics

Synthetics offer the benefits of blending various fabrics such as nylon, spandex, Lycra, and polyester for durability, fit and flexibility, and moisture-wicking properties. The downside to synthetics is that they don’t provide the best breathability or airflow, making them less than ideal in hot conditions.

Merino wool is fantastic as it provides the benefits of wool like warmth and absorbance without the itch. Your feet will have a greater chance of staying dry and temperature-regulated while being an active traveler, though they are more of splurge. Mohair is a luxurious fabric known for its soft, fine feel and top-notch insulative properties. When blended into a sock, you’ll notice the difference, though they are a bit pricier as well. Socks with a high percentage of bamboo fibers allow you to relish in the fact that it's an eco-friendly choice as well as a comfortable one with their soft feel. They’re also naturally non-allergenic and antibacterial, giving bamboo extra bonus points. Those made with thicker bamboo fibers will find that they take a little longer to dry though.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How thick should my socks be?

    Thickness relies mostly on the shoes you’ll be matching your socks with on a regular basis, as well as temperature. It comes down to comfort; if your hiking boots are a little roomier, you can go with thicker socks, but if not, you’ll likely need a thinner pair. Thicker socks usually offer extra padding and cushion to your footbed, and more fabric to absorb moisture. Find the best balance of breathability, warmth, and comfortable fit with your shoes when choosing thickness and you’ll have happy feet.

  • Should I use compression socks when I travel?

    Many people choose to wear low-level compression socks such as 15-20 mmHg when sitting, standing, or traveling for long periods of time. They are helpful for circulation when flying and prevent swelling, fatigue, and even blood clots. Having a pair in your carry-on or personal item luggage to easily put on before take-off is a great idea to promote circulation by squeezing your veins and muscles, keeping blood flowing effectively.

  • How do I fold socks?

    There’s really no wrong or right way to fold your socks at home (most people roll them together from bottom to top), but if you’re trying to save space for traveling, consider this method, deemed the “Ranger Roll” after the US Army Rangers who perfected it: start by laying your socks on a flat surface, one on top of the other, with the bottom sock facing toward the ceiling. Then, roll them from the toe to the top; once at the top, squeeze the rolled portion together while keeping the opening free before folding that top layer around the roll. After you tuck in anything left out, you’ve successfully folded your socks into a neat little package ready to be shoved into leftover tiny spaces in your suitcase.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

A travel, hiking, and running enthusiast herself, Lauren Breedlove used her personal experience with finding the right socks for all types of travels in order to curate this list. She also scoured the internet, researching and selecting the best socks for every type of traveler, climate, activity, and destination.

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles