Best boot socks aren’t vital for survival. They won’t fill up the belly, nor will they provide protection. But you’ll still want to have them in virtually any outdoor survival scenario, and this article will teach you why.

When it gets ugly, you should always have an ace up your sleeve. If you’re familiar with a prepper concept, you have probably stored food and water already. Your bug out bag is ready, as well as your vehicle. When you run through your prepper gear checklist, you probably don’t think about socks. Seriously, how pedantic you need to be to think of socks when SHTF?

But the best boot socks can make a world of difference. They will neither protect you from angry mob nor provide food and shelter. Yet, socks are important and underrated gear. Alongside walking boots, they provide comfort and warmth to help you get through the tough times easier. So, it’s a good idea to think about it and get a couple of high-quality pairs before disaster strikes.

Socks tend to wear out faster than the rest of our clothes. While they’re usually not lifesavers, roaming around without socks is not the scenario you’re looking for. Especially if you live in colder climates. So, be really prepared and buy the best socks in advance.

Why Do Socks Matter?

While most of us are ready to put in a lot of time and thought to find excellent boots, we often disregard socks. Yes, boots are vital, but socks are important, too.

Socks Are Your Feet’s Last Line of Defense

First of all, they offer protection for your feet. Your boots will be more comfortable when paired with high-quality socks. Boots won’t save you from extreme cold unless you have a pair of warm socks. So, good socks will help you to keep your feet warm while avoiding blisters, friction, and excessive moisture

Socks Help with Hygiene

Hygiene should never be underestimated in survival situations. The last thing you need is some ridiculous infection to make everything harder than it needs to be. When you wear your boots all day long, sweating can be quite a problem. Moisture can cause all kinds of troubles from bad odor to infections. A good pair of socks will keep your feet dry and clean longer. This is especially important for men, as they sweat a little bit more than women.

Socks Improve Comfort

Comfort is not our top priority in disaster scenarios, but it is helpful to stay comfortable. SHTF situations are fundamentally uncomfortable, but preserving a certain level of comfort helps us to be more relaxed and responsive. I am not saying that comfy socks will make you smarter, but you’ll feel better and less distracted. And you’ll be more likely to avoid pure judgment or normalcy bias.

best survival socks

What to Look For in a Decent Pair of Boot Socks

Buying socks is not rocket science, but getting the best pair is not as easy as it looks. As I have already said, socks won’t last you a lifetime, but a great pair of socks can offer much more than an ordinary pair. 

Comfort

I’ve already talked about comfort, but it is probably the most important feature of a good pair of socks. When you think about comfort, it’s important to determine how you intend to use them. The same pair of socks won’t provide the same comfort in snowy conditions and in a hot desert. So, it’s a good idea to have at least a pair of socks for both cold and hot weather.

Extra paddings on heels and balls will improve the comfort level. You may also look for socks that provide better arch support. A pair of breathable and moisture-wicking socks will keep your feet comfortable and dry.

Material

Choosing the best material is the tough part. Each material has some benefits and shortcomings.

Cotton is soft, breathable, and great for sensitive skin. However, it absorbs water and loses insulating properties when wet

Synthetic materials can wick moisture, dry quickly and they are very durable. On the downside, they also lose insulating properties and become pretty uncomfortable when wet.

Wool is the most superior material and it will keep your feet warm even if it’s wet. However, it can be itchy and irritating for sensitive skin. Also, it distorts over time and it needs delicate care.

At the end of the day, blends of natural and synthetic materials can get the best of both worlds.

Fit

This is obvious, but I have to mention it. Focusing on crucial features can make you forget about basics. No matter how great your socks are, if they don’t fit they are pretty useless.

Durability

Durability is a desired quality for any item. While no socks can last forever, you’d still like them to be as durable as possible. After all, you probably won’t have a chance to buy new socks in survival scenarios. Blends of wool and synthetic will provide the best tear-and-wear resistance.

Military Boot Socks

Whenever you’re in doubt about survival gear, consult military handbooks. Soldiers must cope with all kinds of conditions, so they need the best possible equipment to be efficient. Military boot socks are designed to withstand any climate, activity, and abuse.

Best Boot Socks – Our Top Picks Reviewed

1. Darn Tough Merino Wool Boot Sock Full Cushion

best survival socks

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These socks have it all. They are very comfortable and extremely durable. They are cushioned, wick moisture, and naturally regulate temperature. High density knit provides great comfort and perfect fit. With ribbed support and seamless toes, you can hit the trail and leave worries behind.

Oh, and did I mention that they repel bacteria and odor?

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • Super comfy
  • Warm in winter and cool in summer
  • Made in the USA
  • Excellent quality control
  • Lifetime warranty (!)

Cons

  • They don’t dry as fast as some other models

2. Smartwool Crew Hiking Socks

military boot socks

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If you’re looking for ultralight and thin boot socks, a pair of Smartwool Crew socks are an excellent choice. They are very thin indeed but don’t let it fool you. 67% of merino wool will keep your feet warm in cold weather as well. Furthermore, they are durable, breathable, and they can be machine washed.

Pros

  • Ultra light and thin
  • Durable
  • Mesh zones for extra breathability
  • Comfortable
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Cuffs are a little bit too tight for stronger calves

3. Fox River Wick Dry Boot Socks

best boot socks reviewed

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It’s another military-style sock ready to take all you can throw at it. Fox River uses its own technology to minimize friction and hotspots. These socks are made of polypropylene, nylon, and spandex. Extra layers of soft lining provide comfort. However, these socks stand out for their amazing perfect fit technology. URfit System and memory knit compression provide a perfect and personalized fit.

Pros

  • Excellent for hot and humid weather
  • Durable
  • Excellent breathability and moisture wicking
  • Snug personalized fit

Cons

  • Not the best choice for cold weather

4. Wigwam Merino Comfort Hiker Socks

military style boot socks reviews

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Military men and hikers need the best possible socks, so if you follow their choices you can’t go wrong. Wigwam Merino Hiker socks are great overall. But no one can beat them when it comes to comfort! They feel so cozy and luxurious that it’s almost ridiculous. They are also warm, durable, and breathable.

Pros

  • Ultimate comfort
  • Durable 
  • Machine wash
  • Snug fit
  • They’ll keep your feet dry and warm

Cons

  • Not the best for hot weather

5. Fruit of the Loom Heavy Duty Full Crew Socks

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Designed to thrive in the toughest conditions, these socks are a great choice for those working all day on their feet. Thick and soft cotton provides comfort, breathability, and warmth. The addition of spandex and polyester improves durability and moisture wicking. 

Pros

  • Made for heavy-duty use
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Cushioned

Cons

  • Slow drying

6. Thorlos Mcb Max Cushion Combat Over The Calf Socks

best hiking socks reviewed

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These socks are an excellent choice for military and survival situations. Thorlos is well-known for perfect cushioning and maximum protection. They are made mostly of acrylic and a little bit of nylon and elastic. Thorlos is probably the leader in moisture management, so your feet will stay dry and comfortable through the toughest challenges.

Pros

  • Durable
  • You can wear them year around
  • Excellent padding
  • Outstanding moisture wicking
  • No pilling, no stretching over time

Cons

  • Not the best for very hot weather

Conclusion

Small things can make a world of difference. While socks are not your first line of defense, there’s a reason why soldiers, mountaineers, and hikers choose them carefully. And so should you! Now you know what to look for and even though the best socks are a bit pricier than ordinary ones, they are worth every penny. And the best thing is that you don’t have to stash them until SHTF. You can enjoy their benefits in your everyday life.