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.

Finding the best socks for ruck marching is essential for injury prevention, performance, and enjoyment.


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 the strenuous movement required 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.

GORUCK Challenge participants learn the value of good rucking socks. Civilian endurance events like GORUCK Challenge have increased demand for rucking gear.

Most beginner 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 endless miles under increased weight.

Rucking requires special care for feet starting with the best socks.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 as the ruck goes on. Good rucking socks are also critical to keeping your ruck bearable by avoiding blisters and other foot injuries.


Key Features of Great Rucking Socks

  1. 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.
  2. Adequate cushioning for comfort without heat build-up.
  3. Design elements that help prevent hot spots and blisters.
  4. Coverage of the mid-calf to protect against rub from rucking boots.
  5. Fast moisture wicking with drainage capabilities.


Wool from Merino sheep in Australia produce yarn for the best socks for ruckingThe Merino sheep of Australia produce soft, tough, breathable wool for performance attire with 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- what is offered other than the sock itself?


Review Chart of Best Rucking Socks

Our rucking enthusiasts have identified the following brands as the current leaders for the best rucking sock: MudGear, Darn Tough, Fox River, Smartwool, Bombas, Injinji.

(Editor's Choice)
2nd 3rd 4th
Ruck Sock
Darn Tough
Tactical Boot Socks
Fox River
Mid Calf Boot Sock
Boot Sock
MudGear Ruck Sock Darn Tough Tactical Boot Sock Fox River Wick Dry Boot Socks Smartwool Boot Socks
Merino Wool YES YES NO YES
Additional Performance Fibers Performance Nylon, Spandex, Polypropylene Nylon, Lycra Spandex Nylon, Spandex, Polypropylene Nylon, Elastane
Compression Level Medium Light Light Medium
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
Lifetime Guarantee YES YES NO NO
Current Low Price $30.00

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 sub-optimally. In the worst case, they may constrict the natural movements of your foot leading to strain.

Poor Fitting Boot Socks Cause Blisters

Direct Comparison of Darn Tough Vs MudGear Ruck Sock

MudGear Ruck Sock (Editor’s Choice) Darn Tough Tactical Boot Sock
MudGear Ruck Sock Darn Tough Ruck Sock
  • Performance Trail Running Fit and Feel with Merino Wool in high friction areas
  • Added compression around foot arch to reduce movement
  • Vented top to increase airflow
  • Full coverage Merino wool with fine-gauge knitting
  • Reinforced heel and toe
  • Medium cushioning


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 higher 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. This strategic placement of the heavier material allows for improved drainage, comfort, and coolness (temperature and vibe). MudGear's team includes military and ex-military members whose personal expertise in rucking fuels increased focus on constructing gear that truly works for the sport. 

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.


Affiliate Disclosure - MudGear.com receives compensation from affiliate partners for placing links to their products on our website. This sometimes influences our decision on what products we recommend and to which products we link.

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