As a hiker, you’re always looking for ways to make hiking easier and more comfortable. Especially when out on multi-day treks where you may have sandals as a backup or camp shoes. They might even be your primary hiking shoe. But now you may be wondering: do you wear socks with hiking sandals?
Is that really a thing? And if so, what are the benefits?
Reasons For Wearing Socks With Hiking Sandals
Cuts down on hot spots or rubbing. Especially with new sandals that aren’t quite broken in. This actually happened to me during a section hike on the Appalachian Trail.
I had a new pair of Chacos. It was even a brand-new minimalist model and not their classic sandal. I failed to break them in before the hike. And after my first day wearing them, thinking I’d be good to hike just in these new sandals without any type of protection or break-in, was a bad idea.
My feet were killing me. At least 3 or 4 rubbing spots, one on the heel and then others where there was some connector piece or tightener for the straps.
Duck tape definitely helped with the current injuries but then wearing socks once I realized it to be a good idea really helped. Something I should’ve done from the beginning.
Socks can help prevent small sticks and debris from getting stuck between your sandals and your feet or in between your toes.
It’s a small but helpful function and well worth it on really dry trails.
Dry Out Your Socks
Maybe you want to dry out your socks while also allowing your feet to breathe a bit more than when wearing shoes or definitely more than boots. Maybe you’re hiking on the Appalachian Trail and your primary shoes are soaking wet, but now the sun is out. And you’re fed up with sloshing around all day in the shoes.
Strap them to your pack, rock your Chacos, Bedrocks, Luna’s, or whatever else you got. Your shoes will dry while on your pack and your socks can dry while you wear them with your sandals. So they’ll be ready to rock n roll the next day!
Can also help if your feet are cold. And maybe you only have your sandals or your shoes are soaking wet again. Wearing wool socks is great for this due to their natural ability to keep heat in, even when wet.
What Type Of Socks Could I Wear With Hiking Sandals?
It greatly depends on what type of hiking sandals you have. If you have a pair of Chacos with the big toe divider or Luna’s with their toe thongs, it’s probably best to wear Injinji toe socks. So dividers and thongs can still fit between the sock’d up toes.
I have the Chacos with the big toe divider but I never really used it. I just slide my toes into the sandals above it. So I might not necessarily need toe socks for my sandals but still do because they’re the best lol.
With no toe divider/thong thingy or maybe you have a pair of Keen Newports, you can use just about any sock. Although I’d recommend a synthetic-based sock or wool as I mentioned above. If you’re up for supporting a smaller local brand (local to me at least lol). You should check out Easy Wind Outfitters’ line of merino wool socks. I’m an ambassador for their brand and have been rocking their gear for a little while.
Darn Tough is another merino wool-based hiking sock brand that offers a lifetime guarantee for their sock, so that could work if you’re looking to use them a lot with sandals.
Reasons For Not Wearing Socks With Hiking Sandals
Increases risk of damaging sock
Although yes, the sock may provide some protection for your foot, there will be an increased risk of damaging your sock. Having a stick caught on the toe section, then ripping a hole in one of your only two pairs of socks while out on a section hike is not the most ideal situation.
You may be more at risk of being judged. You may even be judging yourself for doing it.
But the reasons listed above should be enough to cancel out the judgment. Plus you shouldn’t care what others think about it.
Simply Not Your Thing
Maybe there’s no judgment doled out and you think it’s simply not your thing. That’s cool. Hike your hike.