What are the Best Socks for Rucking?
Good rucking socks are essential for injury prevention, performance, and enjoyment. We’ve reviewed the top brands to compare the best overall socks for rucking.
- Key Features of Great Rucking Socks
- Other Important Considerations to Compare Ruck Socks
- Review Chart of Top Rucking Socks
- A Note About Fit and Blisters
- Direct Comparison of Darn Tough Vs MudGear Ruck Sock
- Other Outliers: Toe Socks and Sock Liners for Rucking
Rucking is rooted in the tradition of the forced military ruck march, a long training exercise in which enlisted men and women traverse long distances with weighted packs (rucksacks) to simulate and train for such movement in the line of duty.
In recent years, military-style endurance events like GORUCK and the Spartan Hurricane Heat have helped grow Rucking as a popular civilian sport and fitness activity. Many 5K, 10K, and ½ Marathon road races and trail races now offer a rucking division for participants.
Ruck training is enjoyed by many as a way to escalate a good walk with friends into a high calorie-burning cardio workout. The growth has spurred interest in discovering the best gear for the activity, including the best socks for rucking.
Civilian endurance events like GORUCK Challenge have increased demand for rucking gear.
Most beginning ruckers initially focus on selecting the best rucking backpack, and rightly so. A good fitting rucksack with proper support is critical to enjoyment and injury prevention. From there, the focus tends to shift to the feet, which require conditioning and attention to take the brunt of many long miles under the new weight.
Proper socks and footwear are important for avoiding setbacks and injuries while rucking.
While the importance of supportive ruck boots or shoes is widely understood to outsiders, the benefits of high-quality boot socks become more and more clear with miles rucking. Good rucking socks are also critical to enjoyment and for avoiding setbacks from blisters.
Key Features of Great Rucking Socks
- Constructed with durable, high-quality yarns including Merino Wool, Nylon and Polypropylene fibers used in performance running socks. Most importantly, no cotton, which retains moisture and contributes to blisters.
- Adequate cushioning for comfort without heat build-up.
- Design elements that help prevent hot spots and blisters.
- Coverage of the mid-calf for rucking boots.
- Fast moisture wicking with drainage capabilities.
The Merino sheep of Australia produce wool for socks with performance and antimicrobial properties.
Other Important Considerations to Compare Ruck Socks
- Military or other uniform compliance - Know your compliance requirements avoid socks with colors or logos on the top 2 inches of boot length socks
- Company Guarantees and Customer Service
Review Chart of Best Rucking Socks
Our rucking enthusiasts have identified the following brands as the current leaders for the best rucking sock: Darn Tough, Fox River, MudGear, Smartwool, Bombas, Injinji
Tactical Boot Socks
Mid Calf Boot Sock
|Additional Performance Fibers||Performance Nylon, Spandex, Polypropylene||Nylon, Lycra Spandex||Nylon, Spandex, Polypropylene||Nylon, Elastane|
|Arch Support to Reduce Movement||Best||Good||Good||Good|
|Mesh Venting to Control Temperature||YES||NO||NO||NO|
|Channels to Allow Drainage||YES||NO||NO||NO|
|Made in the USA||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Current Low Price||$27.00
A Note About Fit and Blisters
No discussion of ruck socks is complete without acknowledging the importance of proper fit. Wearing a sock that is too large will cause unwanted movement and friction inside. The combination of this heat-producing friction and any moisture from sweat or water will quickly produce blisters.
On the other hand, wearing socks that are too small for your feet will stretch and strain the socks' natural fibers and cause the built-in design elements like heel pockets, arch support, and toe areas to fit irregularly and function suboptimally. In the worst case, they may constrict the natural movements of your foot leading to strain.
Direct Comparison of Darn Tough Vs MudGear Ruck Sock
|MudGear Ruck Sock (Editor’s Choice)||Darn Tough Tactical Boot Sock|
Our top two choices for best rock sock (1-MudGear Ruck Sock and 2-Darn Tough Tactical Boot Sock) share many similarities. Both are well constructed with Merino wool and other high-grade yarn fibers, and both are made in the USA with lifetime guarantees. The price points are close with MudGear only slightly lower at the time of this review.
The differences between the two can be largely traced to each brand’s legacy; performance trail running in the case of MudGear and backpack hiking in the case of Darn Tough. While Darn Tough utilizes a uniform coverage of Merino wool throughout the sock, the MudGear Ruck Sock focuses it in the heel and forefoot area where friction and heat are most common, and the remainder of the MudGear sock reflects a performance running sock in fit and function.
Other Outliers: Toe Socks and Sock Liners for Rucking
Toe Socks, most notably by the brand Injinj, are popular with individuals who suffer from friction between the toes. It may take some time to get used to the feeling of fabric between each of your toes, but they may solve a problem for ruckers who experience blisters between each toe. They are often worn as a 2nd pair of socks under a more traditional boot sock that features better cushioning.
Sock Liners should also get a mention for their popularity among individuals that routinely suffer from foot blisters even with high-quality boot socks. However, most ruckers who are serious about the quality of their footwear will find a single pair of socks sufficient. This is even more important in rucking events like GORUCK in which every piece of gear and ounce of weight is scrutinized.
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