Good insulating hiking socks are one of your most essential pieces of gear for backpacking.

The better socks are wool/synthetic (polyester) blends of approximately 90% wool. Wool blends are more comfortable than 100% wool and don’t shrink as much or take as long to dry as straight wool.

Socks with varying degrees of insulation can be purchased. It goes without saying you need more insulation in cold weather backpacking. Some hiking socks also have extra padding at the heel and the ball of the foot, where blisters are more likely to develop.

What you don’t want to do is go backpacking with cotton socks. Cotton is quickly wetted by foot moisture and dries slowly. It provides no insulation when wet and is a good way to get blisters and sore feet.

One of the best things you can do is to bring along extra socks. I usually have about four extra pairs with me on my backpack trips.

On my outing last weekend, I changed my socks twice a day because I was walking around all day in the melting snow.

I came back with sore feet, though, because I should have stopped and switched socks again during the long hike out. I didn’t take the time, and for that, I paid the price. Fortunately, I didn’t get any blisters, however.

Browse through Amazon to find hiking socks that best fit you. Given enough time, you might come across some good bargains.