There are few things more unpleasant than wet socks first thing in the morning. That’s why every traveler should have at least a few pairs of quick dry socks. It’s a lifesaver to be able to confidently wash your socks at night knowing that they’ll be clean and dry the next morning.

After a lot of research and testing, we’ve put together this guide to the best quick dry socks on the market. Regular socks, compression socks, boot socks- you name it, we’ve got you covered.

Note: We felt that ranking every pair of socks didn’t make much sense since there is so much variety. Instead, we decided it was best to simply list all of our favorite options from shortest length to longest length, no show to over-the-calf.

All of the socks on this list are available in both men’s and women’s styles.

Our Favorite Quick Dry Socks for Travel

No Show Quick Dry Socks for Travel

Smartwool Men’s No Show or Smartwool Women’s Secret Sleuth

The Smartwool Men’s No Show sock is a perfect solution for pairing with any low profile shoe. These are true “no show” socks, so they work really well with slip ons, loafers, boat shoes, etc. Moisture control is excellent and the Merino/Nylon/Elastane blend dries very fast. High-quality construction and a stylish, sockless look make this a minimalist winner.

For women, the Smartwool Secret Sleuth is the ideal choice for wearing with flats and low sneakers. They are very thin, but don’t bunch. The heel is also designed to stay in place and prevent slipping. Quality is high and the sock is very durable for being so thin.

Quick Dry Socks for Travel - Smartwool Run Light PHD

Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro

The Smartwool Men’s PhD Run Light Elite Micro sock isn’t quite as “no show” as our first entry, but they’re the next best thing. They are still very low cut and will come just below the top of your average pair of sneakers. These socks are very thin, but sacrifice nothing in the way of construction. Technically specialty running socks, their virtually seamless build and performance fabric make them a perfect quick drying travel sock.

Lorpen T3 Quick Dry Travel Socks

Lorpen T3 Ultra Light Mini

The Lorpen T3 Ultra Light Mini sock is a unique option with its specialty blend. Its two primary fabrics, Tencel and Coolmax, are both high-quality, man-made materials. Tencel is considered to be a cotton alternative. It’s stronger, dries quicker, and does not wrinkle. Coolmax is a polyester-style synthetic that is designed to be both moisture-wicking and breathable. A bit of cushion in this sock makes it a comfortable option for those who need some extra support.

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Socks

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion

The Darn Tough Men’s Hiker Micro Crew Cushion sock is our first entry with full cushion. Generally, we tend to prefer thinner socks over thicker cushioned socks for anything low cut, but we prefer full cushion for micro crew-length and up. This particular sock is a micro crew length, which comes in right below a traditional crew. We think this is a better fit for most of the shoe styles with which you’d consider wearing a crew-length sock. The extra cushioning means that it will take a bit longer to dry, but that’s definitely an acceptable trade-off here. Darn Tough makes a great product.

Darn Tough Full Cushion Socks

Darn Tough Coolmax Boot Cushion

The Darn Tough Men’s Coolmax Boot Cushion sock is a great choice for wearing with boots (or any other higher shoe) in any weather. It features a high quantity of Coolmax fabric in its construction, guaranteeing breathable, moisture-wicking performance. The beauty of this sock’s fabric blend is that it does very well in both heat and cold. It’s also very easy to air dry, even with its comfortable full cushion design.

Smartwool Compression Travel Socks

Smartwool PhD Graduated Compression Ultra Light

The Smartwool PhD Graduated Compression Ultra Light sock is a godsend for travelers who regularly deal with swelling, varicose veins, or lymphoedema. A 20-30mmHg graduated compression rating gives these socks the right amount of squeeze for the job. They are very comfortable and don’t bunch up or fall down even though they are a true over-the-calf length. Lightweight, cushionless construction makes them both quick-drying and extremely comfortable with just about any pair of shoes or boots you own. It’s also worth noting that these compression socks are equally useful on long flights, assisting to decrease swelling or, in the worst case, deep vein thrombosis. We highly recommend them for travelers of all types. Anyone who deals with pain and swelling in their legs should absolutely give these a shot.

Sock Tips for Travel

  • Washing and drying socks while traveling: If you don’t have access to washing machines/dryers during a trip, your hotel sink or bathtub will work just fine. Read the care instructions for your socks and do your best to emulate the conditions. When you’re done with washing, wring out the socks to remove excess water. Then, wrap the socks in a dry towel and apply some pressure. Finally, find a well-ventilated spot to leave your socks for the night. Try to make it a routine to wash your socks at the beginning of the evening. The sooner you lay them out, the more likely it is that they’ll be perfectly dry when you wake.
  • Material matters: Always choose a sock with high-quality material for travel. For the quickest drying and most comfortable performance, opt for wool or quality synthetic blends. Cotton should be totally avoided if you need the best possible performance in these areas.
  • Don’t go too thick: Many travelers opt for socks that are far thicker than they actually need. A thicker sock is often less comfortable than a thinner sock, especially in warm weather.
  • Match your socks to your shoes: If your shoes or boots already have a ton of cushion, consider whether or not you actually need fully cushioned socks. The best fit for a pair of highly cushioned shoes is often a thin sock that doesn’t get in the way. On the flip side, shoes or boots with little to no padding may benefit from a sock that can absorb some pressure.
  • Don’t cheap out: In today’s world, there are plenty of unnecessary things on which to spend your hard earned money. Socks are not one of them. Your socks have the potential to makes you miserable for days or even weeks, so don’t scoff at the idea of paying $15, $20, or even higher for a pair. It’s a worthy investment, even though they’re “just socks”. It’s really not that much money in the grand scheme of things, especially when you’re traveling. Bulk cotton socks are just really not an option if you want something quick-drying, comfortable, and long-lasting.