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Quick-Dry Socks for Travel

I travel light (carry-on only). I take 3 pair of socks: I wear one and pack two. I wash them in the sink or shower. But they often take more than 24 hours to dry. I would appreciate suggestions for brands of socks that would dry over night, or at least in 12 hours or less

Posted by
7012 posts

Socks made with merino wool usually dry pretty quickly, as do polyester socks with moisture-wicking abilities. Go to a good sporting goods store like REI or Dicks and ask a salesperson there for quick drying socks.

Don't go with cotton socks, though, as they take forever to dry and if they get wet while you are wearing them, they become very uncomfortable.

Posted by
1174 posts

any polyester socks should dry overnite. On my latest trip I took some from Costco and they dried overnite.

You may not be wringing enough moisture out to let them dry. I find its easier to get leverage by doing two or even four socks at once rather than just one at a time. Another trick I use for socks and underwear is the "burrito wrap". After you've taken a shower for the evening and don't need the towel again do your laundry and then lay the towel flat on the bed. Put the underwear and socks on it, non-overlapping. The surface of your towel should be covered with the clothing. Then roll the towel up like a burrito, stand on one end, and wring. The towel gets amazingly damp, and that is all moisture from your clothes. Then using your travel clothesline hang to dry; if the room has a fan then aiming it at the clothes helps significantly.

Posted by
14249 posts

If you are not used to wearing wool socks get them ahead of time and wear them at home. I had to stop traveling with wool socks because they make my feet itchy....even the merino ones which is not supposed to be itchy.

I agree with the wringing out method and then I kneel on the rolled up towel to squish as much water out as I can.

Posted by
68 posts

Pam, I have the same issue with any type of wool -- I sometimes feel sad that I'm missing out, but even the items that other folks claim are "so soft! not itchy at all" feel unbearable to me. So, just wondering if you've found great lightweight non-merino socks for travel?

Posted by
2713 posts

No wool for me! Itch beyond belief and I’ve tried them all. Fastest drying non wool available from ExOfficio. Best comfort and slightly longer drying time Wright Socks double layered (not cheap available on Amazon). They dry in 12-18 hours.

Posted by
14249 posts

@milgreen - Well, here is where my advice goes off the rails, lol. I wear Injinji toe socks, lol. I wear them because I also wear CorrectToes toe separators for strengthening my feet and increasing toe splay. The Injinji’s are a combo of CoolMax, nylon and lycra. They pretty much dry overnight unless they are a style that has a thicker cuff.

Posted by
1909 posts

I'm interested in this topic as well.

All of my travel socks are synthetic. Main walking socks are Balega Hidden Comfort. This last trip I brought two pairs of those in one pair of tall socks.

This past trip I found myself wanting only one pair of Balega Hidden Comforts. It was quite wet for a lot of my trip and I spent a lot of time outside. Even though the Hidden Comforts are synthetic, they were still easily the slowest drawing part of my clothing.

So I too would like a specific recommendation for a synthetic or wool sock that dries exceptionally fast compared to other synthetic or wool socks.

Bonus points for not super thin, some padding would be nice if not cushy like Hidden Comfort.

Posted by
1468 posts

I pack some version of these Feetures socks, no matter what the season:

However, I am not sink-washing, but using European washing machine that always do a good spin --- after that, the socks do dry when hung up indoors overnight. I don't know how that spinning compares to the towel-roll-stomp technique. At home, I never put these socks in a dryer and they stay good forever.

Posted by
83 posts

I have worn Smartwool socks and other merino wool brands as well, but Darn Tough merino wool socks are my favorite. You can get them with padding--in fact they make so many that you will be confused just trying to figure out which style and length that you want. My Darn Tough have also lasted much longer than other brands.

Posted by
1259 posts

I wear 100% cotton socks for comfort. I sink wash every night, wring them out and hang dry. I carry 3 pairs, so I always have a clean and dry pair to wear even if it may take more than a night to dry. If I need to pack up to move, in the morning, I just stick the hair dryer in the opening and in 30 seconds the socks are toasty dry.