The best socks for rucking and ruck marching are:
If you’re looking to buy socks for rucking for your workouts, stick to socks made from Merino wool, have good compression, and are comfortable.
If you intend to use socks for army ruck marches, be sure to check out our recommendation for the best army ar670-1 rucking socks as per the US Army Guide to the Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia.
What to Look For in Good Rucking Socks
Rucking is great for both cardio and resistance training. While the benefits of rucking are endless, you want to avoid all the setbacks that may impede your ability to constantly ruck. A common complaint among athletes, when they began rucking, was that their feet were aching after the workout and felt disgusting during the workout (especially when it rained or if they simply sweat a lot that day).
When picking out socks, whether moisture-wicking or otherwise, they should fit as well as possible. There should be no bagginess around the heel as this allows the sock to slip, slide and potentially lead to chafing while walking. While some people who ruck out there recommend putting on double socks or changing them every 3 or 4 miles, it can be really inconvenient, especially if you’re in the zone and feeling the burn of the workout. The best rucking socks typically have these 3 qualities:
- Merino Wool
- Odor Free
Merino wool is derived from Merino sheep, its softer and thinner than your average everyday wool. Merino wool helps to regulate body temperature due to its composition of the fiber. When its cold out, the fiber bends and traps the air which helps to preserve the heat. On the other hand, when its hot out, it helps to move the sweat away from your feet. This material is a necessity for rucking socks
Socks with good compression help to improve blood circulation. Better circulation will lead to less fatigue and help give you more energy, energy you will definitely need when rucking. Not only that, but according to a study by Kintec, socks with compression aids in recover after your workout and helps to reduce post workout soreness. Plus, do you really want to keep on dragging those socks up in the middle of your workout? Check out Smartwools unisex socks made for rucking.
This one speaks for itself. With the intense workouts you’ll be going through, you should at least feel comfortable in those socks!
Good quality merino wool are designed to prevent sweat and bacteria from accumulating around your feet. This is key to prevent your feet from smelling bad and keeping them odor-free.
When you’re rucking, you’re typically going for hours and hours on time, especially if you’re in the military. A big part of any military ruck march is taking care of your feet.
To prevent your feet from over heating, it is important to make sure that the socks you’re wearing a breathable. This ensures that any buildup of sweat or heat moves away from the skin and outwards away from your foot.
If you’re rucking constantly with wet socks, this can cause a lot of different problems other than discomfort:
Wet feet increases the friction between the foot and sock. This is why the military has soldiers checking on their socks (and pack an extra pair) during their footwear checks. Fast drying socks are very important to prevent ruck march blisters.
2- Rashes or Athletes Foot
Damp environments are breeding ground for bacteria, rashes, or fungus development. The longer you ruck with wet feet, the chances of them developing are much higher (source).
3- Trench Foot
This is an extreme foot condition, yet more common with soldiers. It’s named after soldiers who had their wet feet constantly exposed to cold and wet environments.
Common in colder climates, the constant use of wet socks and boots lead to damage of the skin, blood vessels, and nerves in the feet (source).
Heat isn’t always the cause of wet feet problems associated with rucking.
Investing in good quality socks will help your rucking session be much smoother. Furthermore, packing an extra pair in case you’re rucking in wet terrains. Furthermore, don’t forget to check on your feet, just take your shoes and socks off and check to see if everything is looking fine or not.
Rucking in different terrains can also cause wet socks so its not always from excessive heat. Nevertheless, having a fast drying sock ensures that you can avoid or lessen the impact of the consequences that come from rucking with wet socks.
1. Darn Tough Tactical Boot Cushion Sock
Made in the USA, Darn tough tactical socks are popular among ruckers. Made from merino wool, comfortable, and will definitely protect your feet. Check Price on Amazon (Link to Amazon)
Check out our recent post to learn more about the difference between the Darn Tough and Fox River Socks.
2. Carhartt Merino Wool Stretch Socks
The Carhartt Merino Wool Stretch Socks is a perfect example of socks that are made for extreme weather, both cold and hot. It’s made from merino wool which will keep you warm during the colder months while keeping your feet breathable and cool during the warmer months.
Their goal is to prevent you from changing your socks, that’s why their socks are designed for:
- Sweat wicking: The material is also made from powerful Fast Dry technilogy which focuses on moving sweat away from your feet. This prevents common rucking problems that we previously mentioned that comes from rucking with wet socks.
- Odor-resistant: Their proprietary technology helps to keep the socks smelling fresh all day long.
- Abrasion Resistant: The fibers in these socks are abrasion resistant and prevents friction caused blisters, especially if you’re wearing steel toe shoes.
We also liked that they can be stretched up nicely so that if you’re wearing the typical 8 inch high rucking boots, you wont feet the upper part of the boot touching you.
3. Smartwool Trekking Crew Socks
Check Price on Amazon (Link to Amazon)
4. DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks
Check Price on Amazon (Link to Amazon)
5. Fox River Military Wick Dry Mid Calf Socks
Great fit if you’re in the army. They are comfortable and Protect your fee. The Fox River Military socks have proper compression, keep your feet dry in cold or hot weather conditions, and are very comfortable (Link to Amazon).
6. Darn Tough Hiker 1/4 Cushion Sock
Made of 61% Merino Wool, 37% Nylon, and 2% Lycra Spandex, and more important its made in the USA. Breathability and comfort is key here. (link to amazon)
7. Smartwool PHD Ski Light Elite
Dont let the name fool you. While they are great for skiing, they are even better for rucking. They’re over the calf and therefore provide even more protection. This USA made socks are made from merino wool, Mesh, Nylon, Wool. (link to Amazon)
- They have cushion in the shin area
- Cushion for the sole of the foot
- ELITE FIT SYSTEM features bi-elastic fit bands which allow for flexibility
8. CloudLine Merino Wool Crew Socks
Made from 63% merino wool, these socks are made for rucking, hiking and many more outdoor activities. Made in the USA, these socks are lightweight durable, and come in many different colors. Here are some things you can expect with the CloudLine Merino Wool Crew Socks
- Blister prevention
- Arch Support
- Quick Dry
- Reinforced Heel & Toe for durability
Check out our full guide on how to avoid ruck march blisters.
9. KAVANYISO Men’s Merino Wook Socks
Made From 70% merino wool, paired with proper compression and comfort features make these pair a good choice. Its a good bang for the buck as well! it comes in 4 pairs!
10. Time May Tell Merino Wool Socks Pack
Time May Tell Socks are made from 80% merino wool, 14% Nylon, 5% Poly, 1% Spandex. These comfortable socks are not just made for rucking, they’re great for other outdoor activities like trekking, hiking, and more. The texture is soft and is completely breathable.
11. MERIWOOL Merino Wool Socks
Made from 75% merino wool, the Meriwool socks comes in 3 pairs. These unisex socks are definitely thicker than some of the other socks on the list but since its made from merino wool, you can be assured that your feet will stay dry in the heat and keep you warm in the winter.
Thanks to the high quality material, these socks are very breathable. Meaning that not only will you feel comfortable, your feet will be odor free.
They also have a 90 day free return policy. So even if you dont feel like they live to your expectations, you can easily return them.
12. MERIWOOL Merino Wool Kids Socks
Planning to ruck with your kids? why not wear matching socks?! The Meriwool Merino Wool Kids have the same features as the Meriwool Merino Wool socks except for the size of course
And yes, these also come in a set of 3 pairs.
13. EnerWear Women’s Merino Wool Socks
The EnerWear Womens Merino Wool Socks are made from 86% merino wool. Furthermore, they come in a set of 4 pairs. They stand out from the crowd because:
- They come in different colors,
- Reinforced heel and toe (for durability)
- Good cushioning
- Ankle Arch (Keeps the socks in place during highly active times)
Frequently Asked Questions
The US Army uniform guidelines, consider socks as ” clothing bag issue items or optional purchase items”. The required colors are tan, green, or black. The socks should also have a cushion sole. Therefore, we do recommend getting the Fox River Military Mid Calf Boot Sock (link to Amazon). They do come in all three colors.
As mentioned above, there’s no secret formula to it. Just make sure it has the 3 main qualities; Made from Merino Wool, have good compression, and are comfortable. The Fox River Military socks are a great choice (link to Amazon).