Outdoor activities are tough on your feet, so a pair of high-tech socks is your first line of defense to have dry, comfortable, blister-free feet. Although the term "technical socks" might sound funny, they cannot be compared to your old cotton socks.
This article compares your options when choosing a pair of socks.
Athletic/multi-sport socks: This wide category ranges from traditional white gym socks (upgraded with moisture absorbing fabrics) to technical socks for multi-sport and jogging training. Most provide some cushioning on the sole of the foot, but they generally have a minimum volume.
Running Socks: These socks range from a thin liner with very little padding to those with dense cushioning in the heel and sole. Some runners prefer less padding for a better fit to the shoe, while others prefer more padding for added cushioning and reduce foot fatigue.
Walk Socks: These offer to cushion and moisture-absorbing properties for a more comfortable walk.
Casual Socks: Although distinguished by its casual style (colors, stripes, etc.), these lightweight socks are generally made of high-performance fabrics, such as merino wool.
Light hiking socks: These relatively thin socks provide a good fit for hikers with high-volume feet (i.e. feet are wide or have a high instep). They absorb moisture and offer modest cushioning in the heel and sole. They are thinner, especially at the top, than medium weight socks and can be worn with or without liner socks.
Average hiking weight socks: Its extra thickness gives a good fit for hikers with low-volume feet (i.e. with narrow feet or having a low instep). They offer more padding on the heel and sole than lightweight mountain socks. In addition, they have more cushioning in the upper part of the foot and the spring in the leg to improve the comfort in the long trails. They can be used with or without liner socks.
Mountaineering Socks: These socks are your thickest choice, with extra volume and padding to withstand the toughest conditions.
Ski & Snowboard Socks: These have more padding in the bobbin area and usually underfoot as well. They are thin and do not claim to provide significant heat, rather they are meant to protect the feet from pressure points inside the boots. Its design also serves not to interfere with the energy needed to make quick turns.