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Smartwool Expedition Trekking Socks

rated 5.0 of 5 stars

The Expedition Trekking Socks has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best hiking/backpacking socks for 2024.

photo: Smartwool Expedition Trekking Socks hiking/backpacking sock

My standard, go-to hiking sock the past several years. I use these with ankle-high, all-leather boots, sometimes on their own, sometimes with a thin wicking liner. i also occasionally wear this sock under a mountaineering sock when I'm wearing plastic mountaineering boots in sub-zero weather.

these socks are very warm, but I have found they are fine for the summer too because they do such a good job wicking. they provide a lot of cushioning and are very soft. They have a higher wool content than most merino socks. it is a very comfortable, durable sock - i haven't ripped a toe or observed any meaningful wear in the heel or toe areas in any pairs of these. It is also a fairly thick sock, so it's worth trying them out with your boots/shoes to make sure they fit.

because this sock has a relatively high wool content, it can lose its shape a little between washing. i haven't had a "bunching" problem with them, but they can get stretched out somewhat over the course of longer trips. also, this sock doesn't do particularly well in the clothes dryer. though smartwool says this sock can be machine-dried, i have found the sock gets somewhat tighter and slightly less elastic over time if you use the dryer. i nearly always line-dry them now.

Materials: merino wool/synthetic blend
Use: heavy hiking
Break-in Period: none
Weight: negligible
Price Paid: $16

Have been my “go-to” hiking sock for years! Quality is top-notch and they last for A LOOONG TIME!


  • Durability (especially when compared to other brands...that’s right, I see you, “Stoic”
  • Dry relatively quickly
  • Work well with or without a liner sock


  • Price when you don’t catch them on sale is a little high...but you do get what you pay for and they outlast almost all other socks I have had. (I know...I bet I need to check out Darn Tough.)

I have both the Smartwool branded, as well as the now extinct L.L. Bean branded version of these socks. If you compare them side by side the ONLY difference is the branding on them. Smartwool in white. LL Bean written in red.

They are fantastic socks. They offer enough padding to protect your feet, while also taking up a little additional space in your boots if you need it. They keep my feet warm in cooler temps and are not too hot, even in summers down here in Georgia.

They wick moisture well and I’ve literally put hundreds of miles on each pair. Other than some slight fading, they still perform the same great way they have since I bought them. The Bean pair was purchased in Freeport nearly 15 years ago.


Lots of miles on and off the trail in these.

Source: bought it new

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Price Historic Range: $14.96-$21.95
Reviewers Paid: $16.00

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