I know, socks are not as exciting to talk about as high ticket items, but they’re a crucial piece of gear for anyone who spends time outside. And as insignificant as they might seem at first glance, socks can make or break an outdoor adventure as much or more than any other single piece of equipment.

A few months ago, my sock drawer was down to a pathetic, rag tag collection of worn out go-to favorites and emergency only options that should have been hauled to the shop rag bin long ago. I decided it was time to upgrade, and set myself up with some new options for everyday wear and my favorite summer activities, like cycling and running. After putting these socks to the test throughout the summer months, here are some of my favorites.


Darn Tough Chase Micro Crew Ultra-Light

Darn Tough Chase Micro Crew Ultra-Light

Super thin, just the right height, ultra comfortable Merino Wool cycling socks from Vermont’s Darn Tough. And nobody beats Darn Tough’s durability and lifetime guarantee. Available in Gray, Marine (pictured), and White.

$19 / darntough.com

Photo: Darn Tough

Smartwool Phd Cycle Ultralight Pattern Socks

Men’s PhD® Cycle Ultra Light Pattern Crew Socks

Colorado based Smartwool has been at this for a while now, and their activity-specific socks are dialed. Super lightweight, vented, 8.5″ height.

$19.95 / smartwool.com

Photo: SmartWool



Swiftwick Aspire Four

Swiftwick Aspire Four Quarter Crew

I don’t know if compression “does” anything, but I’ve really grown to love running in these socks. Firm compression, light cushioning, very comfortable. Also a good option for cycling. Available in ten (!) colors. Made in USA.

$16.99 / swiftwick.com

Photo: Swiftwick

FITS Running Ultralight No-Show

FITS Ultra Light Runner – No Show

Merino Wool, snug fit, no show, clean, simple, and made in the US of A.

$15.99 / fitssock.com


If I Could Only Have One Pair

Swiftwick Pursuit Seven

Swiftwick Pursuit 7 Crew

Look, crew length is where it’s at. These socks are insanely comfortable, and just exactly the right height. I ride, run, hike, work, and live in these socks. Swiftwick guarantees their socks will be the most comfortable socks you’ve ever worn. I agree. If I could only have one, the Pursuit 7 is my pick.

$21.99 / swiftwick.com

Photo: Swiftwick


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