If you’re going river rafting in the spring or early fall when water is a little bit cooler, it’s important to wear a good pair of socks that will keep you insulated. Socks that are made from cotton absorb moisture and stay wet for a long period of time. This will keep you uncomfortable and cold on your rafting journey. This is not what you want. Instead, you will want a good pair of socks that will dry fast, keep your feet warm, and keep you comfortable for your whole trip.
Riversearch.com is Reader-supported. When you purchase gear through links on our site, we may earn commissions.
Best Socks for River Rafting
- AIvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Thermal Warm Crew Winter Sock for Men Women 3 Pairs
- Neoprene Socks, 3mm Beach Socks for Water Sports
- Omni-Wool Merino Wool Midweight Hiker Socks 4 Pack
- 3 Pairs Thermal 80% Merino Wool Socks Thermal Hiking Crew
- Thermal Swim Socks
1. AIvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Thermal Warm Crew Winter Sock for Men Women 3 Pairs – Best Wool Socks for White Water Rafting
Brand Name: Alvada
Material: 80% Merino wool, 15% polyester, 4% nylon, and 1% spandex
Colors: Charcoal Grey
Sizes:Women 6-10.5 / Men 5-9.5 or Women 9.5-12 / Men 11-13
Our top pick for socks to wear on the river is the Alvada Merino Wool Hiking Socks. Wool is a great material for river socks when it’s cold because they retain warmth when wet, wick away moisture, and are quick dry compared to something like cotton. These socks are made from 80% merino wool, so you know they will keep you warm. The socks themselves are designed to be itch-free, are calf-length, and have a cushioned footbed for comfort and support. They have two sizes that fit both men and women’s small to extra large feet. Overall these are really great socks that should be good for just about everyone.
2. Neoprene Socks, 3mm Beach Socks – Top Rated Neoprene Socks for River Rafting
Brand Name: Heimarmene
Sizes: Unisex four sizes
Another great option for taking on the river is neoprene socks. The Heimarmene 3mm Neoprene Beach Socks are an excellent choice. These socks are designed for water sports. They are made to be flexible, and breathable while keeping your feet cozy and warm in the water. These are unisex socks that come in four different sizes that should all feet small or extra-large. Overall these are really well-made socks that will keep you comfortable in cold water.
3. Omni-Wool Merino Wool Midweight Hiker Socks 4 Pack – Warm Unisex Wool Hiking Socks
Brand Name: Omni-Wool
Material: 75% Merino wool, 24% nylon, 1% lyrcra spandex
Colors: Assorted pack contains blue, brown, grey
Sizes: Unisex medium and large sizes
Another ultra-warm wool sock that is excellent for taking on the river is the Omni-Wool Midweight Hiking Socks. These socks are made from 75% merino wool, so you know they will keep your feet insulated and warm even in the cold. The socks have a ventilated upper section which helps improve moisture management. They have an elastic banded top so the socks will stay snug even in rough terrain. They also have a cushioned heel and toe for support and comfort. Overall this is an excellent choice for cold weather rafting socks. We really do recommend wool socks because of the great qualities of wool
4. 3 Pairs Thermal 80% Merino Wool Socks Thermal Hiking Crew – Thermal River Hiking Socks
Brand Name: DG Hill
Material: 80% Merino wool, 17% nylon, 2% spandex, 1% elastic
Colors: 3 color pack contains light grey, dark grey, and brown
Sizes: Three sizes, small, medium, and large unisex sizing
The DG Hill Thermal Wool Hiking socks are another excellent option to consider for your white water rafting trip. These socks have all the prized features of a quality merino wool sock. They are extremely warm, moisture working, and temperature regulating. These will definitely keep you warm if you’re going rafting in cold water. They are also built with a cushioned heel and arch support to keep you comfortable while walking around. They have three sizes the very smallest of which can fit kids, which is a plus if you are looking for warm socks for your children.
5. Thermal Swim Socks – Thermal Cold Water Swim Socks
Brand Name: Blueseventy
Sizes: Two sizes: small and large
The final spot on our list is the Blueseventy Thermal Swim Socks. These socks are actually designed for swimming in open water and triathlon training, but they also make a great river sock as well. They are made from neoprene with a zirconium lining that reduces water absorption and insulates your foot to keep you warm. They also have a textured bottom to improve your grip and cushion your feet (though we recommend wearing shoes over these). Overall these are really well-made water socks, though they are somewhat expensive, which is the only real drawback.
River Rafting Socks Buying Guide
When shopping for your socks to take on the river, there are a few different things you will want to look for in a good sock. Here are 3 things to look for in a sock for river rafting:
- Moisture Wicking
How to Choose White Water Rafting Socks
You definitely want to pay attention to the material that a sock is made from. Avoid cotton socks because these will retain water and stay soaked for hours. We recommend wool, fleece, neoprene, lycra, or any other kind of synthetic material.
The next thing you want to pay attention to is how well the socks will keep your feet insulated. When you’re going out on the river, your feet will probably get wet. When it’s cold or rainy out you need something that will keep your foot warm even when it’s wet out. All of the socks we have mentioned here have a good insulation factor.
3. Moisture Wicking
Another thing you want to look for is something that wicks away moisture. Again, this is why you need to avoid cotton socks, because these absorb moisture which can cause blisters when walking around in wet socks for hours. Wool, neoprene, synthetic, or bamboo is good at wicking away moisture. All the socks we have mentioned here are good in this factor.
If you need more ideas and what to wear on the river, check out our full clothing guide.