Best Neoprene Socks for Hiking [Pros and Cons]

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TL;DR: If you’re hiking in cold and wet conditions and love to splash through frozen streams or icy lakesides, neoprene socks for hiking can provide extra insulation and protection, but if you’re hiking in warm weather, they may not be the best choice.

When it comes to hiking, having the right gear is essential. One piece of gear that is often overlooked but can make a big difference in your comfort level is your socks. Socks made of neoprene are a not-so-popular choice for hikers, but there are some things you need to know before you invest in a pair.

Are Neoprene Socks Good for Hiking?

However, wearing neoprene may not be the best choice for every hiking situation. By considering the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about whether neoprene socks for hiking are right for you.

Quick Take : Are They Worth It?

Are Neoprene Socks Good for Hiking???

Neoprene Socks Review ⭐️⭐️/5

This type of hiking sock is very specific and most people probably do not need them. 

They are not very comfortable, are difficult to fit inside existing shoes and will leave you prone to blisters.  Most people use them for water sports but they can be used for hiking also.

What Are Neoprene Socks For?

Hikers in extreme cold and wet environments.

Who Are They For?

➡️ Extreme Hikers

➡️ Hunters & Fishers

➡️ Birdwaters

➡️ Raftpackers

➡️ People with Medical Conditions that prevent proper bloodflow to their feet in cold temps.



Alternative to Neoprene Socks?

Perhaps slightly less waterproof but much more functional are "waterproof socks" which include many of the same waterproof properties but much more flexible, breathable and fit better.

🔥 ➡️ Related Reading – Hiking Advice from a Physical Therapist Hiking Addict:

Neoprene Socks Pros & Cons

When it comes to hiking, keeping your feet dry and comfortable is essential. Neoprene socks are a popular choice for hikers because of their unique properties.

Bren SL Store Water Sports Swimming Dive Socks Neoprene Diving Swimming Fin Boot Socks, Black

Why They Are Awesome:

  • Waterproof neoprene socks are highly insulating, making them ideal for extreme wet and cold environments.
  • The material is stretchy and flexible, which allows for a comfortable fit and freedom of movement.
  • Neoprene socks can provide additional support and cushioning for your feet, which can reduce fatigue and discomfort on long hikes.
  • They keep your feet very warm and benefit people with Raynaud’s or other vascular problems with poor bloodflow to the feet.

Why they Suck:

  • Neoprene socks are not breathable, which can lead to sweaty feet and blisters in warmer weather.
  • The material can be thick and bulky, which may not be suitable for all types of hiking shoes.
  • Neoprene socks can be expensive compared to other types of hiking socks.

For some people neoprene socks can be a great investment if you frequently encounter very wet and cold conditions.

7 Surprising Things About Neoprene Socks

In this section, we will discuss what neoprene socks are, their benefits and drawbacks, and when to wear them. Typically people that need these are going far into the wild terrain or on hunting and fishing trips. You may also need a solar charger for hiking that far into the backcountry.

1. What are Neoprene Socks?

Neoprene socks are made of a synthetic rubber material called neoprene. This material is waterproof, flexible, and provides excellent insulation. Neoprene socks are designed to fit snugly around your feet, providing a barrier between your skin and the wet environment.


  • Neoprene material provides excellent insulation
  • Waterproof material keeps feet dry
  • Flexible material allows for a comfortable fit


  • Can be too warm in hot weather
  • May not fit well with certain types of shoes
  • May cause feet to sweat excessively

2. Are Neoprene Socks Waterproof?

Yes, neoprene socks are waterproof. The material is designed to repel water, keeping your feet dry even in wet conditions.


  • Keeps feet dry in wet conditions
  • Great for adventure spots like Madeira beaches that are full of rocks
  • Can be used for water activities like kayaking and swimming


  • May cause feet to sweat excessively
  • Can be too warm in hot weather
  • May not be suitable for all types of hiking terrain

3. When should you wear neoprene socks?

Neoprene socks are best suited for wet or cold weather conditions. They are ideal for hiking in wet environments like streams, rivers, and marshes. They are also useful for hiking in colder weather because of their insulating properties.

When to Wear:

  • Keeps feet warm in cold weather
  • Provides excellent insulation in wet conditions
  • Can be used for a variety of outdoor activities

When Not to Wear:

  • May not be suitable for hot weather
  • May not fit well with certain types of shoes
  • May cause feet to sweat excessively

4. Do you wear socks under neoprene socks?

It is not necessary to wear socks under neoprene socks. Neoprene socks are designed to be worn directly on the skin, providing a barrier between your feet and the wet environment.


  • Provides a barrier between feet and water
  • Fits snugly around the foot
  • Can be worn without additional socks


  • May cause feet to sweat excessively
  • May not fit well with certain types of shoes
  • Wearing neoprene socks are uncomfortable with other socks

5. Chosing the Best Hiking Neoprene Socks

When it comes to choosing the best kind of socks for hiking and camping, there are many options available. You can buy some at REI, amazon and other details.

Some of the best neoprene socks include:

Best on a Budget

Click here ➡️ Seavenger Zephyr 3mm Neoprene Dive Socks

Seavenger Zephyr 3mm Neoprene Socks | Wetsuit Booties for Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Swimming (Black, Large)

Best Midrange

Click here ➡️ NRS HydroSkin 0.5 Wetsocks

NRS Hydroskin 0.5 Socks-Black-L

Overall Best

Click here ➡️ Zone3 Neoprene Heat-Tech Warmth Socks

ZONE3 Neoprene Heat-Tech Warmth Swim Socks (Black/Red,Large)

My Favorite “Waterproof Hiking Sock” Alternative

You can read my entire review of waterproof socks for hiking here. This particular model is most notable for its suitability for hiking, as opposed to being simply a standard neoprene sock.

Click ➡️ Randy Sun Waterproof Socks

RANDY SUN Mud Sports Socks, High Waterproof Warm Summer Socks for Men Hiking Trail Running Socks 1 Pair (Blue,Large)

RANDY SUN waterproof socks are designed with a 100% waterproof lightweight membrane that keeps external water molecules out while also featuring a breathable membrane and COOLMAX fabric to wick sweat away from the skin.

The socks offer a performance comfort fit with a smooth toe seam, deep heel cup style, and ultra-light cushion sole for comfort and blister protection when using hiking boots. The non-slip ribbed top keeps the socks in place. They are made of 100% high-tech material, are wear-resistant and lightweight, and are suitable for various outdoor activities and harsh environments.


  • Outer: 74% high waterproof nylon, 23% lycra, 3% elastane
  • Interlayer: high-performance lightweight function of waterproof and breathable membrane
  • Lining: 64% coolmax, 3% lycra, 33% elastane

Neoprene Socks for Water Activities

When it comes to water activities, neoprene socks are a great addition to your gear. They can provide you with warmth, protection, and comfort, making your experience in the water more enjoyable. In this section, we will discuss the pros and cons of using neoprene socks for hiking in water, swimming, and kayaking.

6. Hiking Socks in or Near Water

Neoprene socks can be a great addition to your hiking gear, especially if you plan on crossing streams or walking in wet areas. Here are some pros and cons of using water socks:


  • Provides warmth and insulation in cold water
  • Protects your feet from sharp rocks and debris
  • Can improve your grip on slippery surfaces


  • Can be too warm and uncomfortable in hot weather
  • Can be too bulky and restrict your movement
  • May not be as durable as other hiking shoes or boots

7. Neoprene Socks for Swimming

Neoprene socks can also be used for swimming, especially in colder water temperatures. Here are some pros and cons of using neoprene socks for swimming:


  • Provides warmth and insulation in cold water
  • Can improve your swim performance by reducing drag
  • Can protect your feet from rough pool surfaces or ocean debris


  • May not be allowed in some swimming pools or competitions
  • Can be too warm and uncomfortable in hot weather
  • May not fit as snugly as traditional swim fins or shoes

BONUS: Neoprene Socks for Kayaking or Raftpacking

Neoprene socks can also be a great addition to your kayaking gear, especially if you plan on kayaking in cold water or rough conditions.

In summary, neoprene socks can be a great addition to your water activity gear, providing you with warmth, protection, and comfort. However, they may not be suitable for all water activities or weather conditions. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether to use neoprene socks for your next water adventure.

Final Verdict : To get or not to get?

We’ve covered the most important things you need to know about wet weather socks for hiking. Let’s summarize the main points:

  • Neoprene socks are not breathable and can cause your feet to sweat, leading to discomfort and blisters.
  • They may not fit well with all types of hiking sandals, leading to discomfort and instability.
  • They can be expensive compared to regular hiking socks.

In conclusion, they can be a great addition to your hiking gear, but they are not without their drawbacks. It’s important to consider the pros and cons before deciding whether to invest in a pair.

Ultimately, the decision is yours, but we hope this article has helped you make an informed choice.

Alternative Socks

When it comes to hiking socks, neoprene socks are not the only option available. In fact, there are quite a few other types of hiking socks that are worth considering. Here are a few of the more unusual options:

1. Merino Wool Socks

DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks for Women, Men & Kids, 3 pack (Light Grey, US Women 11-13 // US Men 9.5-12.5)

Merino wool socks are a great alternative to neoprene socks for hiking. They are made from natural fibers that are soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking, which means your feet stay dry and comfortable even on long hikes. Merino wool also has natural antibacterial properties, which helps prevent foot odor.

One downside to merino wool socks is that they tend to be more expensive than other types of socks. However, the investment is worth it for the added comfort and durability they provide.

Here’s my favorite Merino Wool Hiking sock on Amazon.

2. Synthetic Blend Socks

Darn Tough Merino Wool Micro Crew Sock Cushion,Black,Large

Synthetic blend socks are another great alternative to neoprene type socks. They are made from a combination of synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon, which are durable and moisture-wicking. Synthetic blend socks are also often treated with antimicrobial agents to help prevent foot odor.

One downside to synthetic blend socks is that they can be less breathable than other types of socks, which can lead to sweaty feet on long hikes. However, many brands have developed advanced synthetic blends that offer improved breathability and comfort.

Overall, both merino wool and synthetic blend socks are great alternatives. They offer superior comfort, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial properties to keep your feet happy and healthy on the trail.

🧦 Here’s my favorite moisture wicking Hiking Sock on Amazon.

FAQ Cold Weather Hiking Socks

Is neoprene good for hiking?

Neoprene socks designed for hiking offer excellent insulation, keeping your feet warm. Additionally, they minimize friction and rubbing between your skin and shoes, providing more cushioning than standard socks. These socks are particularly suitable for hiking in wet conditions, such as crossing creeks or on super wet trails.

What do you wear under neoprene socks?

To keep your feet warm in cold temperatures, it is recommended to wear wool socks underneath your neoprene booties. If the temperature drops even further, consider layering athletic socks with wool socks on top. For additional warmth, insert “Hot Hands” packs into your neoprene socks. These packs are designed to warm your hands and will keep your feet warm for hours.

Final Verdict

Why Trust?

woman hiking

At Crave the Planet, I’m all about honest and relatable reviews of outdoor products. As a physical therapist, hut to hut hiker, downhill skier and mom, I’m constantly trying new gear to make my outdoor experiences more comfy and fun but with science in mind.

I’ll be real with you, I don’t do every outdoor activity. But, who does? I’m just a regular person who loves exploring the planet. Perfectionism is my enemy and I hope to help you ditch that vibe too.

My review process involves testing each product in real-life outdoor situations, but if it’s a really horrible day I’ll probably find a hotel in the valley. I’ll let you know what worked for me and what didn’t, so you can make informed decisions about your gear choices.

I don’t do sponsored reviews or take payment for my reviews. All comments are based on my personal experience. Sometimes I’ll test something and then send it back for a refund. Usually there’s a hefty fee. Bummer. So, if you’re looking for a relatable and honest take on outdoor gear, you’re in the right place.

More Hiking Resources

Here’s more awesome gear to empower your journey.

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Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.

Depending on your needs and preferences, there may be other types of socks that are better suited to your hiking style but there are a few instances where neoprene socks for hiking makes sense.