After writing several articles on the best hiking boots for children with narrow, wide, and flat feet, several parents have contacted me asking about which are the best type of socks that their children can wear with their hiking boots.
Just so you know, your kids’ socks act as a barrier between their feet and the shoes, preventing the buildup of bacteria inside the shoes and protecting your child from getting blisters. There are certain types of hiking socks that provide extra cushion to targeted areas of the feet, which will make your child feel more comfortable.
Any person who has gone hiking before will tell you that a good pair of hiking socks is a must-have if you want to keep your kids’ feet healthy.
The hiking socks that I recommend for children are the ones that are constructed with highly breathable materials, such as merino wool, which means that your kids’ feet won’t sweat during the summer hikes. The other feature that your kids’ hiking socks must provide is underfoot padding, so your child can feel comfortable when hiking.
I know which types of hiking socks provide these 2 key features from having fitted them before. I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now. This experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and socks. From my experience fitting thousands of kids, I have become familiar with the best hiking shoes and hiking socks for children.
There are 3 key places in which your kids’ socks must provide extra padding:
✅ Toe area
✅ Heel area
✅ Across the top of the foot.
When children go on hikes, they will step on roots and rocks, and with every step, the right type of socks plays a critical role in keeping your child’s feet comfortable and blister-free through the hike.
In addition to finding a sock that is breathable and provides the correct amount of cushion, you need to choose the correct sock height.
Hiking socks are available in different heights, from short ones to the ones that go all the way up to the knees. I always recommend getting a hiking sock that is at least as high as the boot cuffs, in order to prevent your child’s skin from rubbing directly against the boots.
Another factor that plays a key role in keeping your kids’ feet healthy is getting the correct sock size. Socks that are too short will cramp your kids’ toes and make them rub against one another. On the other hand, socks that are too long will end up bunching up below your kids’ feet and create discomfort. Always try to avoid excess material since it can bunch up and create blisters.
Let me show you the most effective way that I use to make sure children end up wearing the correct sock size.
I have learned this trick through the years, and it basically consists in what guidelines to follow when reading the sock label. What I mean by this is that you will most likely find these guidelines in the sock label: “Fits Shoe Size”, “Fits Ages from …”, “Fits Socks Size”.
I don’t recommend buying socks based on your child’s age, since every child is different even at the same age. I also haven’t yet figured out what sock companies mean by sock size. Do we actually have a sock size? What does this actually mean?
The most effective way I have found to provide children with the correct sock size is by buying the socks based on the child’s shoe size. If you know your child’s shoe size, you will be able to find your child’s correct sock size. Let me show you an image to help visualize what I mean.
Once you try your child’s socks on, make sure that the heel cup lines align properly with the heel of your child’s foot as shown in the image below:
As far as the sock material goes, wool is the most popular one and the one I recommend the most among any other type of materials. Children’s feet sweat a lot, and wool is naturally antimicrobial so it tends to retain smells less than synthetic fabrics.
There are several other types of materials that your kids’ hiking socks can be made out of, but I wanted to simplify it and make things easier for you by showing you the best type.
Now that you know how to get the correct sock size and what materials your kids’ hiking socks should be made of, you are ready to take a look at the best hiking socks for kids.
The Best Hiking Socks for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
These socks come with a reinforced heel and toe to provide maximum comfort and protection for your child’s feet. The rib knit design gives elasticity and an elastic cuff prevents bunching.
I chose these socks because they pf the high Merino woo content, which is the most breathable fabric and absorbs moisture better than other fibers.
These are the best kids hiking socks that I have fitted before. Please remember about the importance of providing your child with the correct sock size.
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All of these hiking socks are machine washable, so just throw them in the washing machine and your little one will be ready for his or her next adventure.
Please remember that the type of hiking socks that you provide for your child play a key role in keeping your child’s feet healthy. It can be overwhelming to choose the correct type of hiking socks when there is such a myriad of options out there, that’s the reason why I put together a selection of the best hiking socks for kids that are made from high wool content.
Have you found a particular sock style that has worked well for your child’s feet? Please share your findings below so other families can benefit from your experiences.