Last Updated: June 28, 2021

Best Cushioned Socks (for Hiking & Running)

Wearing the right pair of socks while being active can make all the difference. No matter what you’re into whether it’s running, hiking, camping, and even fly fishing, wearing the right socks can be the difference between doing it every day for a week or having to take a few days off to rest your feet.


At A Glance: Our Top 3 Cushioned Socks


With the best cushioned socks on your feet, your feet will be properly cushioned, supported, and protected so on day two of your hike or other activity, they’ll be raring to go.

We have put together a collection of the best cushioned socks on the market today for general use, hiking, and running. Join us as we dive into the details of each pair so you can find the best cushioned socks for you.

Top Product Overview

NIKE Unisex Performance Cushion Crew Training Socks (3 Pairs), Black/White, Medium
  • Durable and long-lasting performance
  • Reinforced heel and toe to reduce wear
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Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks 3 pack (Light Grey, US Women 11-13 // US Men 9.5-12.5)
  • Moisture-wicking for dry fresh feet
  • Seamless for no blisters
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Thorlos XJ Max Cushion Running Crew Socks, White/Navy, Large
  • Made with durable and long-lasting materials
  • Wicks moisture for dry feet
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Gold Toe Men's 656s Cotton Crew Athletic Socks, Multipairs, White (6-Pairs), X-Large
  • Soft cotton comfy cushioning
  • Reinforced toe and heel for durability
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Merrell Men's 3 Pack Cushioned Performance Hiker Socks (Low/Quarter/Crew Socks), Charcol Black (Crew), Shoe Size: 9.5-12
  • Zoned arch support to prevent fatigue
  • Cushioned for comfort on long hikes
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Alvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Thermal Warm Crew Winter Boot Sock for Men Women 3 Pairs SM
  • Extra cushioning for comfy hikes
  • Super warm for use in winter
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Hanes Men's Double Tough Crew Socks 6-Pair Pack, Available in Big & Tall
  • Soft and comfortable materials
  • Heavy-duty toe and reel for durability
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Thorlos Unisex KX Hiking Thick Padded Crew Sock, Black, Large
  • Super comfy heel and forefoot padding
  • Cushioned instep and arch for support
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Time May Tell Mens Hiking Socks Moisture Wicking Cushion Crew Socks for Terkking,Outdoor Sports,Performance 2 pack (Black,Blue 6”-9”)
  • Soft and comfy on your feet
  • Wick moisture well for dry feet all day long
SEE ON AMAZON →

Best Cushioned Socks


Best Allrounder

NIKE Performance Training Socks

NIKE Unisex Performance Cushion Crew Training Socks (3 Pairs), Black/White, Medium

When looking for the best cushioned socks, Nike has to be featured somewhere and their NIKE Performance Training Socks are a pretty great all-around pair.

These socks are made soft and feature 70% cotton along with nylon and spandex that make your feet feel like they are wrapped up in the clouds.

The socks fit well for comfort and arch support while running or hiking. They are also well cushioned to absorb some of the impacts from your feet while you’re on the trail.

Both the heel and toe are reinforced for durability so they will go for years and not wear out too quickly, depending on how you treat them.

These socks also feature Dri-FIT technology which actively wicks moisture away to ensure your feet stay dry and comfortable no matter how active you’re being.

These are some of the best all-around cushioned socks you’ll find and great for hiking, running, and general daily use too. But, they do run a bit small and some people find them too tight, so bear that in mind when ordering.

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting performance
  • Reinforced heel and toe to reduce wear
  • Sug and comfortable fit with arch support
  • Dir-FIT tech wicks moisture and removes sweat
  • Well-cushioned for comfort

Cons

  • Can be a little too tight
  • Sizes run small

Product Information

  • Use: Running/Hiking
  • Sizes: S-XL
  • Materials: 70% Cotton, 28% Nylon, 2% Spandex
  • Length: Crew
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Best For Hiking

Danish Endurance Cushioned Hiking Socks

Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks 3 pack (Light Grey, US Women 11-13 // US Men 9.5-12.5)

When it comes to the best cushioned hiking socks, you can go wrong with the Danish Endurance Hiking Socks.

These socks have been tested by Danish Athlete Rasmus Kragh while he was training to climb Mt Everest, so they have been redesigned and put through their paces. 

These socks are made mainly from high-quality merino wool. This means they naturally wick moisture, breath well, keep your feet warm and keep them cool too.

The socks feature a seamless design for zero rubbing and blisters, targeting cushioning and padding for great support and shock absorbance plus mesh ventilation lanes to ensure moisture wicks away as fast as possible.

Who knew there could be so much technology in a sock!

Overall these are some of the best-cushioned socks for hiking on the market but for this kind of quality, they do come with an expensive price tag.

Pros

  • Moisture-wicking for dry fresh feet
  • Seamless for no blisters
  • Warm and cool for all seasons
  • Well-cushioned for hiking comfort
  • Ventilation mesh for extra breathability

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Product Information

  • Use: Hiking
  • Sizes: 9.5 -16
  • Materials: Merino Wool
  • Length: Crew
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Best For Running

Thorlos Xj Max Cushion Socks

Thorlos XJ Max Cushion Running Crew Socks, White/Navy, Large

If you’re into running then some of the best cushioned socks to take a look at are the Thorlos Xj Max Cushion Socks.

These socks are clinically proven to reduce blisters and foot pain, which is saying something.

The socks provide maximum comfort and protection for your feet thanks to their excellent Thorlo padding and anatomical design that work with the contours of your feet instead of against them.

The socks also feature exclusive Thor-Lon fibers that actively wick moisture away to ensure your feet stay dry even on the longest of runs.

These socks are also made from a unique blend of 86% Acrylic, 12% Nylon,2% Elastic which makes them super durable and ensures they last the rigors of a daily trail run.

The only downside to these socks is that they’re quite expensive but if you’re looking for the best-cushioned socks for running, they are worth it in our eyes.

Pros

  • Made with durable and long-lasting materials
  • Wicks moisture for dry feet
  • Thorlo padding for extreme comfort
  • Proven to reduce blisters & pain
  • Great fit for added comfort

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Product Information

  • Use: Running
  • Sizes: S-XL
  • Materials: 86% Acrylic, 12% Nylon,2% Elastic
  • Length: Crew
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Gold Toe 656s Athletic Socks

Gold Toe Men's 656s Cotton Crew Athletic Socks, Multipairs, White (6-Pairs), X-Large

Gold Toe 656s Athletic Socks have long been known as one of the best pairs of cushioned socks around and their secret all comes from the quality of the design and materials used.

These socks are made with 79% cotton which makes them super soft and comfy on your feet. Combine this with a minimal seam design and you have a soft sock with almost zero rub-able areas.

The base of the cotton sock is well cushioned to provide good impact absorption while you’re hiking or running so your feet stay comfortable and don’t get sore.

They also feature a reinforced toe and heel for durability and actively wick moisture way with AquaFX technology so that your feet stay as dry as possible.

They aren’t the best-cushioned socks when it comes to durability though, but they aren’t the worst either. They’ll loosen at the top after about 100 washes and start to wear thinner after a year or so.

Pros

  • Soft cotton comfy cushioning
  • Reinforced toe and heel for durability
  • Moisture-wicking for dry feet
  • Fit well with a good length
  • Minimal seam for minimal blisters

Cons

  • Loosen after 100's of washes
  • Wear thin after a while

Product Information

  • Use: Running/Hiking
  • Sizes: 6-16
  • Materials: 79% Cotton, 11% Polyester, 9% Nylon, 1% Spandex
  • Length: Crew
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Merrell Cushioned Performance Hiker Socks

Merrell Men's 3 Pack Cushioned Performance Hiker Socks (Low/Quarter/Crew Socks), Charcol Black (Crew), Shoe Size: 9.5-12

When it comes to the best cushioned socks for hiking, Merrell is a good contender with their Merrell Cushioned Performance Hiker Socks.

The socks are made mainly from acrylic for durability but with 25% wool that adds a layer of softness and warmth to them.

They’re great at keeping your feet warm in the colder seasons and ideal for layering in the depth of an icy winter.

The socks are well cushioned to protect your feet on long hikes and come with zoned arch support to stop your feet from getting tired while you’re out enjoying yourself on the trail.

The heel and toe are reinforced for durability, like all the best-cushioned socks out there and they do last season after season.

The only issue with these socks is their lack of moisture-wicking technology and your feet do tend to get quite sweaty when you’re being active.

Pros

  • Zoned arch support to prevent fatigue
  • Cushioned for comfort on long hikes
  • 25% wool for warmth in cold seasons
  • Reinforced for long-lasting durability
  • Good for layering in winter

Cons

  • Feet can get a bit sweaty

Product Information

  • Use: Hiking
  • Sizes: 9-15
  • Materials: 60% Acrylic, 25% Wool, 13% Nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex
  • Length: Crew
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Alvada Merino Wool Hiking Socks

Alvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Thermal Warm Crew Winter Boot Sock for Men Women 3 Pairs SM

The Alvada Hiking Socks are made with one of the best materials cushioned winter hiking socks can be made of – merino wool.

If you’re into spending time in the outdoors in the winter you’ll know have valuable merino wool is. It’s warm when you want it to be, cool when you need it to, plus it naturally wicks moisture and blocks odors too. Now imagine it in a sock.

Being made of 80%  merino wool these socks are soft on your feet and super warm for winter hikes too.  They also feature extra cushioning for the consistent impacts of long hikes so your feet stay strong plus they are made to not itch too.

The socks are easy to clean too, just throw them in the washing machine on cold and you’re sorted. But, try to wash them as little a possible if you can as each wash does wear them away a little bit.

Overall these some of the best warm cushioned socks around but they can even get a little too warm and are best reserved for winter only.

Pros

  • Extra cushioning for comfy hikes
  • Super warm for use in winter
  • Soft and delicate on your skin
  • Designed not to be itchy
  • Moisture-wicking and anti-odor

Cons

  • Wear out with washes
  • Can get too warm sometimes

Product Information

  • Use: Hiking
  • Sizes: 5-9.5
  • Materials: 80% Merino Wool, 15% Polyester, 4% Nylon, 1% Spandex
  • Length: Crew
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Hanes FreshIQ Cushioned Socks

Hanes Men's Double Tough Crew Socks 6-Pair Pack, Available in Big & Tall

Next up in our best cushioned socks collection are the Hanes FreshIQ Cushioned Socks.

These socks are made mostly from polyester with a bit of nylon but are still surprisingly soft on your feet. The sizes do run a little large though, so to avoid any blistering make sure to use the size guide well.

The socks come with a double-layered heel and toe box to reduce general wear and tear and ensure your feet stay protected. They are well cushioned too and you can almost feel the bounce with them on.

These socks also feature the Fresh IQ system which is an advanced odor prevention technology. It actively attacks odor-causing bacteria to ensure your socks don’t get smelly and stay fresh throughout the day.

The socks are pretty warm and some of the best-cushioned socks that are suitable for colder seasons. They’re machine washable too. But, they do tend to wear out after a year or so.

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable materials
  • Heavy-duty toe and reel for durability
  • Anti-odor tech for fresh socks
  • Comfort-soft cushioning for extra support
  • Warm for use in colder seasons

Cons

  • Sizes run large
  • Wear out quite fast

Product Information

  • Use: Running/Hiking
  • Sizes: 6-12
  • Materials: 98% Polyester, 1% Nylon, 1% Rubber
  • Length: Crew
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Thorlos Kx Max Cushioned Socks

Thorlos Unisex KX Hiking Thick Padded Crew Sock, Black, Large

The Thorlos Kx Max Socks are a contender for the best cushioned socks for running and general home use.

They are made from a mixture of 87% Acrylic, 11% Nylon, and 2% Elastic which makes them pretty durable and well-fitting overall.

The socks feature Thorlo’s legendary padding for exceptional cushioning and comfort when hiking and running. The padding is clinically proven to reduce pain, pressure, and blisters so your feet stay in great shape.

They are also cushioned don the instead and arch for a more secure fit and even more support so your feet remain protected from consistent impact.

The fibers in the socks are also moisture-wicking to ensure your feet stay dry. But, they don’t do much about stopping odors and these socks can end up quite smelly after a long day of use.

Overall their low-profile and padded design makes them some of the best cushioned socks around but they need to get some anti-odor tech in there.

Pros

  • Super comfy heel and forefoot padding
  • Cushioned instep and arch for support
  • Wicks moisture for dry feet
  • Low profile seam for zero irritation
  • Stay up and help circulation

Cons

  • Sizes run a bit small
  • Odors can build up fast

Product Information

  • Use: Hiking
  • Sizes: M-XL
  • Materials: 87% Acrylic, 11% Nylon, 2% Elastic
  • Length: Crew
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Time May Tell Hiking Socks

Time May Tell Mens Hiking Socks Moisture Wicking Cushion Crew Socks for Terkking,Outdoor Sports,Performance 2 pack (Black,Blue 6”-9”)

The Time May Tell Hiking Socks are another great contender for the best all-around cushioned socks.

These socks look pretty jazzy so they’re great for parties but also fit for hiking and running too.

The socks are made from 80% cotton making them soft and comfortable on your feet. This added softness also reduces rubbing and thus blisters so your feet stay protected while you’re being active.

These socks also wick moisture well so your feet stay dry and feature great arch support and cushioning so that your feet stay supported and protected from any impacts.

The socks come in a range of sizes to fit everyone but the sizes can run a little small to be sure to check the size chart properly.

They are crew cut socks but are quite large in length and quite easily come up over your calf for added warmth and protection when hiking in bushy areas.

Overall these cushioned socks are a solid bet for all-around use from cleaning the house to hiking, running, and dancing at a party.

Pros

  • Soft and comfy on your feet
  • Wick moisture well for dry feet all day long
  • Softness reduces any blisters
  • Great arch support and cushioning
  • Durable and long-lasting

Cons

  • Size can run quite small

Product Information

  • Use: Hiking
  • Sizes: 6-12.5
  • Materials: 80% cotton, 20% polyester
  • Length: Crew
SEE ON AMAZON

What To Look For In The Best Cushioned Socks

You can’t do much running or hiking or anything else with damaged feet now, can you? Socks are there to keep your feet protected and comfortable so you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities day after day without coming home with blisters, fatigue, or pain.

Picking the right pair of socks is an integral part of having healthy feet and these are the features so you need to look out for to ensure you’re using the best cushioned socks around.

Material

As you have probably noticed, all the socks in the article feature a range of materials including polyester, nylon, acrylic, spandex, latex, wool, merino wool, and cotton. The mixture of these materials used in the socks you choose has quite a large impact on their features.

For example, a wool sock will be warm, while a merino wool sock will be warm, cool, moisture-wicking, and handle odors.

Polyester, acrylic, and nylon are great for breathability while cotton is super soft and comfortable against your feet, hence why it’s often used with polyester to create a comfortable balance of softness and moisture-wicking abilities.

If you hike in cold weather, choosing the best cushioned sock material will be merino wool. If you like to trail run then wool will be too warm and cotton/polyester blend is ideal.

Moisture-Wicking

The last thing anyone wants is wet feet. This leads to blisters and discomfort while you’re being active as your sock will slip, slide, and rub your feet more. Picking a sock with moisture-wicking technology is very much advised.

While this feature comes naturally with materials like polyester and merino wool, the socks design also plays a part. Look for socks that feature mesh ventilation and other such features to ensure your feet stay dry and protected while you’re being active.

Durability

How long your socks last comes down to how active you’re being in them but that’s not the only factor. Materials, build and design all have a part to play and a good pair of socks should last you at least a year of heavy use in our eyes.

Design features like a reinforced heel and toe box extend the life of a sock the most. These parts of the sock get more wear than anywhere else and being reinforced not only creates some extra padding and comfort for your feet but also ensures the sock will last a bit longer with heavy use.

Anti-Odor

We have experienced the stench of smelly socks and it’s best avoided if possible. Some of the socks in the review come with anti-odor technology that actively removes the bacteria that cause those terrible smells.

If you tend to have smelly feet, which everyone does to some extent, then it’s worth considering some socks that will stay fresh. A big part of it is the socks staying dry through moisture-wicking but it’s always handy to have that extra layer of protection with some anti-odor tech too.

Our Favorite Cushioned Socks

The all-around best cushioned socks are the NIKE Performance Training Socks. These socks are soft, made from cotton, durable, moisture-wicking, and well-cushioned. They are perfect for hikes, trail runs, and even just hanging out around the house.

NIKE Unisex Performance Cushion Crew Training Socks (3 Pairs), Black/White, Medium
680 Reviews
NIKE Unisex Performance Cushion Crew Training Socks (3 Pairs), Black/White, Medium
  • Dri-FIT technology helps your feet stay dry and comfortable
  • Reinforced heel and toe for enhanced durability in high-wear areas

The best cushioned socks for running are the Thorlos Xj Max Cushion Socks. These socks are about as supportive and protective of your feet as socks can get, so much so, they are clinically proven to reduce blisters and foot pain. They wick moisture away so you always have dry feet, have a durable build for long-lasting performance, and are ideal for running and hiking.

Thorlos XJ Max Cushion Running Crew Socks, White/Navy, Large
2,677 Reviews
Thorlos XJ Max Cushion Running Crew Socks, White/Navy, Large
  • Maximum comfort and protection for the runner on long distances or anyone who wants the most cushioned athletic sock
  • This is the sock that built Thorlos heritage as the original activity specific sock

The best cushioned socks for hiking are the Danish Endurance Hiking Socks. These socks have been tested in training for Mt Everest and feature a seamless high-quality merino wool design with excellent cushioning for impact support. They are comfy, warm, cool, and wick moisture away like no other so your feet are always dry.

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Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks 3 pack (Light Grey, US Women 11-13 // US Men 9.5-12.5)
16,143 Reviews
Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks 3 pack (Light Grey, US Women 11-13 // US Men 9.5-12.5)
  • MERINO WOOL FOR COMFORTABLE & DRY FEET: The natural thermoregulation of the merino wool blend ensures that your feet will be fresh in the summer and warm in the winter due to moisture wicking technology. Ventilation mesh lanes wick away sweat, increasing breathability while promoting odor control. Targeted cushioning and padding reduce the risk of getting blisters, aches and aid in shock absorbance
  • IDEAL FOR HIKING & OUTDOOR: Our unisex socks are great for hiking, trekking, outdoor adventures, walking, travelling or everyday wear. The cushioning of the socks also provides comfort in work boots. Our hiking and outdoor socks make the perfect gift. Available in sizes: X-Small: US Kids 13-3, Small: US Women 5-7 / US Men 3.5-6, Medium: US Women 8-10 / US Men 6.5-8.5, Large: US Women 11-13 / US Men 9.5-12.5, X-Large: US Men 13.5-16.0. We recommend to Size Down if you are in-between sizes