7 Best Socks for Traveling Compared

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Travel Writer

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This guide will compare the best socks for traveling in addition to providing a buyer’s guide. Keep reading to learn more.

I’ve made the same mistake many times. That’s buying crappy, low quality socks. To prevent you from making the same mistakes, I’ve compiled many of the best socks for traveling.

7 Best Travel Socks Compared

NameMaterialCushioningCompression LevelBest For
Darn Tough CoolmaxCoolmaxHeavyNoneQuick dry
Smartwool No ShowMerino woolLightNoneNo show
Darn Tough Light HikerMerino wool, lycra, & nylonLightNoneWalking
Darn Tough Solid CrewMerino woolNoneNoneBest wool socks
BAMS Plus SizeBamboo, polyester, & elastaneNone15–20 mmHgPlus size compression socks
Feetures High PerformancePolyester, nylon, & spandexNone15–20 mmHgRunning
Wellow JetsetterNylon & spandexNone18–25 mmHgDVT
Best socks for traveling compared.

1. Darn Tough Coolmax: Best Quick Dry Socks (Wool-Free)

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They are best suited for travelers who prioritize durability, moisture-wicking properties, and temperature regulation in their socks.


    • Lasts long due to their high-quality materials.
    • Coolmax fabric keeps feet dry by moving sweat away.
    • These socks help maintain a comfortable foot temperature.
    • The seamless design reduces friction & prevents blisters.
    • Lifetime product guarantee.


    • These socks cost more than other travel socks.
    • You may find fewer color & design options.
    • They might be too thick for some footwear or preferences.
    • Not as widely available as other sock brands.

Darn Tough Coolmax socks are high-quality travel socks made of Coolmax polyester, nylon, and Lycra spandex.

Darn Tough does honor their lifetime guarantee. So long as you don’t [1]:

  • Lose it in the laundry
  • Burn it
  • Use the excuse “my dog ate it”

I was stupid and accidentally threw my Darn Tough socks in the dryer (don’t do it). I told them, sent them my socks, and got new ones quickly. No questions asked.

2. Smartwool No Show: Best No-Show Travel Socks

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They are ideal for travelers seeking breathable, odor-resistant socks that stay hidden in low-cut shoes.


    • Offers a soft, cushioned feel.
    • Merino wool helps regulate temperature & wicks moisture.
    • Natural properties of merino wool minimize foot odor.
    • No-show design hides socks in low-cut shoes.
    • 2-year 100% satisfaction guarantee.


    • Smartwool socks are more expensive than other brands.
    • They may wear out faster than some alternatives.
    • Limited size options could be an issue for some.
    • No-show design may cause slipping inside the shoe.

Smartwool no-show socks are comfortable, low-profile travel socks made of merino wool, nylon, and elastane.

3. Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Lightweight: Best Travel Socks for Walking

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They are best suited for travelers who value durability, comfort, and a lifetime warranty in their socks.


    • Darn Tough socks boast a long lifespan due to their quality materials.
    • Fine-gauge knitting provides a soft, cushioned feel.
    • The socks offer arch support & a snug fit for added comfort.
    • Darn Tough backs their socks with an unconditional guarantee.


    • These socks are more expensive than other travel socks.
    • They might be too warm for hot climates.
    • Fewer color & design options are available.
    • The socks may be too thick for some travelers’ preferences.

Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Lightweight socks are comfortable, supportive travel socks made of merino wool, nylon, and Lycra spandex.

4. Darn Tough Solid Crew Lightweight Lifestyle Sock: Best Wool Travel Socks

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Ideal for travelers and adventurers, Darn Tough socks cater to those who value performance, durability, and comfort in a single package.


    • Made with merino wool for natural breathability & odor resistance
    • Durable construction backed by a lifetime guarantee
    • Seamless design reduces blisters & irritation


    • Pricier than other sock options
    • Limited style & color options
    • May be too warm for hot climates

Darn Tough Solid Crew Lightweight Lifestyle socks are a high-quality, durable choice designed for comfort and longevity. Made from a blend of merino wool, nylon, and spandex, these socks offer the perfect balance of breathability, and support.

5. BAMS Plus Size: Best Plus Size Compression Travel Socks

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They are best suited for travelers with larger feet or calves who value softness, breathability, and odor resistance in their socks.


    • BAMS Plus Size socks cater to larger feet & calves.
    • Made of bamboo, these socks provide a silky, smooth texture.
    • Bamboo’s natural properties help reduce foot odor.
    • They promote airflow to keep feet cool & dry.


    • These socks may wear out faster than other brands.
    • Fewer color & design options are available.
    • BAMS socks can be more expensive than other travel socks.
    • Some travelers might experience slipping inside the shoe.

BAMS Plus Size socks are inclusive, comfortable travel socks made of bamboo, polyester, and elastane.

6. Feetures High Performance Cushion: Best Travel Socks for Running

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They are best suited for travelers who prioritize comfort, moisture-wicking properties, and a no-slip design in their socks.


    • Feetures socks have a cushioned sole for added comfort.
    • Targeted compression zones improve arch support & fit.
    • The socks’ fabric helps keep feet dry.
    • They stay in place with a seamless toe & heel tab.
    • Lifetime guarantee.


    • Feetures socks are pricier than other travel sock options.
    • Fewer color & design choices are available.
    • Some travelers may prefer thicker socks.
    • They may be harder to find in stores.

Feetures High Performance Cushion socks are comfortable, supportive travel socks made of polyester, nylon, and spandex.

7. Wellow Jetsetter Blacks: Best Flight Socks for DVT


    • Wellow Jetsetter socks offer graduated compression for better circulation.
    • Soft fabric & cushioned sole provide added comfort.
    • These socks help keep feet dry during travel.
    • Their fabric promotes airflow for cool, dry feet.


    • Wellow Jetsetter socks are more expensive than other options.
    • Fewer color & design choices are available.
    • Some travelers might find them too thick.
    • Limited size options could be an issue for some.

Wellow Jetsetter socks are travel socks designed with graduated compression, made of nylon and spandex. They are best suited for travelers seeking compression, comfort, and moisture-wicking properties to reduce fatigue and enhance comfort during long trips.

Don’t Buy Cheap Travel Socks: I Made That Mistake

While shopping for the best travel sock, avoid buying cheap socks.

Low-quality socks often lack durability, wearing out quickly and leading to holes. They might also provide insufficient support and cushioning, causing discomfort during long walks.

Cheap socks may also retain moisture, increasing the risk of blisters and odor. Investing in high-quality socks ensures a better travel experience and long-lasting wear.

I’ve had plenty of situations where cheap socks I bought led to blisters. Once I started wearing higher-quality socks (like Darn Tough), my feet felt much better during long walks or hikes.

How to Buy the Best Socks for Traveling: Buying Guide

Consider these factors when shopping for socks for traveling

  • Materials: choose socks with moisture-wicking and odor-resistant materials for comfort & hygiene during travel
  • Guarantee: opt for brands that offer a guarantee or warranty to ensure long-lasting quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Sock fit: a well-fitting sock prevents slipping & bunching, which can cause discomfort and blisters
  • Sock height: consider the sock height based on your footwear & personal preferences for style and coverage.
  • Sock cushioning: sufficient cushioning provides extra comfort and support during long walks or extended travel
  • Sock compression: graduated compression helps improve circulation & reduces fatigue during long flights or periods of inactivity

The following sections will further emphasize on each point. Keep reading to know what to look out for.

1. Materials for Travel Socks

The material that you purchase depends on what scenarios call for what sock.

Here are the most common materials:

Sock MaterialBenefit & Best Use
Merino WoolWarmth, moisture-wicking; ideal for hiking
CottonSoftness, breathability; everyday wear
BambooEco-friendly, odor-resistant; casual wear
NylonDurability, quick-drying; sports activities
PolyesterLightweight, moisture-wicking; gym workouts
AcrylicWarmth, cushioning; winter sports
CoolmaxMoisture management, cooling; running
Lycra/SpandexElasticity, support; compression socks
SilkSmooth, lightweight; dress socks or layering
Different sock materials compared.

Compression socks boast a blend of stretchy materials. You’ll find a mix of spandex or Lycra, which provides elasticity, and nylon or polyester for durability and comfort. This combo ensures a snug, supportive fit that hugs your legs just right.

2. Guarantee: A Sign of Quality

A product guarantee on socks indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in their quality.

It shows they stand behind their product, which often means better materials and construction. As a result, you’ll likely enjoy greater durability and comfort during your journeys. A guarantee also offers peace of mind, knowing you have support if issues arise.

3. Sock Fit

A well-fitted sock prevents blisters and discomfort during long walks or sightseeing. It also ensures proper support and cushioning in the right areas. Prioritize finding socks with a snug fit that match your shoe size and foot shape for the most enjoyable travel experience.

4. Sock Height

The height that you go for with your socks will make a huge difference. Explore each option, and you’ll see how each height will benefit your potential situation:

  • Crew: a few inches above your ankle, which protects them from abrasions caused by wearing high-cuffed boots
  • Knee-high: best for mountaineering since they protect your legs when wearing giant boots
  • Ankle: best for low- to mid-cut boots
  • No-show: doesn’t offer protection, but they’re suitable for low-cut footwear
  • Over the calf (OTC): for compression socks—that way, the socks can compress your legs and help push blood back up to your heart

5. Sock Cushioning

You’ll want to ask yourself a couple of questions before considering this factor. How warm do you want your socks? And how much protection do you want?

Here are the different types of cushioning that you’ll find in socks:

  1. No Cushion: best for form-fitting shoes and a minimalist feel.
  2. Light Cushion: provides a thin layer for comfort in casual or athletic shoes
  3. Medium Cushion: adds extra padding for activities with moderate impact, like hiking or running
  4. Heavy Cushion: offers maximum support for high-impact sports and extended use

6. Sock Compression Level & Why It’s Important

The level of compression that you want in your socks only applies to compression socks. 

Moreover, there are four different levels of compression that include:

Compression LevelmmHg PressureBest For & Treatment Purpose
Mild Compression8–15 mmHgPeople with mild swelling, tired legs; helps improve circulation
Moderate Compression15–20 mmHgTravelers, pregnant women, active people; prevents varicose veins
Firm Compression20–30 mmHgModerate varicose veins, after surgery; reduces moderate swelling
Extra Firm Compression30–40 mmHgSevere varicose veins, lymphedema; helps manage serious conditions
Medical Grade40–50 mmHgPrescribed by doctors; treats severe swelling and venous issues
Different compression sock levels, pressure, & purposes compared.


I’ve aggregated a list of commonly asked questions about socks to help you decide whether you need to invest in a pair of socks for traveling to prevent any confusion.

What’s the Difference Between Flight Socks & Compression Socks?

Compression socks and flight socks are the same, since they both provide compression to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

When Do You Put on Compression Socks for Flying?

Put on compression socks before starting your flight, preferably while still at home or before boarding the plane.

Who Should Not Wear Compression Socks?

You should not wear compression socks if you have a peripheral vascular disease that affects your lower extremities. Also, don’t wear compression socks if your doctor doesn’t say it’s okay.

Are Compression Socks Necessary for Air Travel?

Yes, compression socks are necessary for air travel to reduce your risk of DVT and other conditions that come with sitting in one spot for a long time [1].

How Many Hours a Day Should You Wear Compression Socks?

While many say that it’s safe to wear compression socks all day, you should wear them for around a few hours a day. Unless, however, you’re on a long flight, then you should wear them the whole time.

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About Theo

Theodore began first experienced the wonders of traveling when visiting Vietnam. Afterward, he went crazy and ventured to at least… More about Theo