Swiftwick Pursuit Merino Blend Hiking Socks Review

I recently had the chance to try out a few pairs of Swiftwick Pursuit Hike socks. With a crew-length cuff and varying cushion options, the new design creates a great pair of year-round hiking socks. Their Merino Wool/Olefin combo creates a moisture-wicking and temperature control fabric for the driest sock on the market. They work in any climate, keeping your feet warm in the winter and sweat-free in the summer. And the arch band support and Y-shaped heel are designed to keep the socks in place as you hike to avoid rubbing and blisters.

As a sock fiend, I was excited to see how these socks perform out on walks with my dog and hikes around New England.

swiftwick pursuit socks

Wearing the lightweight Swiftwick Pursuit Hike sock on a New England hike.

Swiftwick Pursuit Hike Socks At-a-Glance

  • MSRP: $21.99 (lightweight) and $23.99 (medium-weight)
  • Weight:  2.2 oz (lightweight) and 2.9 oz (medium-weight)
  • Materials: 63% Merino Wool / 18% Nylon / 15% Olefin / 4% Spandex
  • Fit: The arch band support, Y-shaped heel, and toe box are all designed to hold the socks in place as you hike and prevent unnecessary rubbing and blisters.

Circumstances of Review

I tested these socks in both the lightweight and medium-weight design. I wear an 8.5 in shoes and wore a medium in both pairs of socks. These socks made it out on snowy, subfreezing days, and on mild, 50-degree days in December, January, and February. I wore them on hikes around New England, as well as on strolls on bike paths with my dog.

Wearing my lightweight Swiftwick Pursuit Hike socks on snowy trails.

Features

Merino Wool and Olefin Fiber Blend: This unique blend provides moisture-wicking properties that help prevent blisters and keep your feet dry on hikes. The blend is also vital to making this a year-round sock that keeps toes from freezing in the winter and sweat-free on warmer days.

Arch Band Support and Y-shaped Heel: These structures kept the medium-weight pair in place during my hikes, though I didn’t feel much support in the lightweight pair. The lightweight pair felt looser in my foot to the point where they were fairly roomy in my arches.

Crew Cuff: The cuff length is primarily what differentiates the Pursuit Hike sock from Swiftwick’s other Pursuit socks. A crew length is generally my preferred hiker sock length, and it allowed me to tuck my leggings into my socks on my colder hikes. My only issue was that the cuff on the lightweight pair felt way too tight and left indentations that itched liked crazy when I took them off. Wearing them over my leggings helped a bit, but I couldn’t wear them with loose pants or shorts.

Socks Appeal: 8 of Our Favorite Backpacking Socks from 2020.

Performance

I can attest to the temperature control and moisture-wicking properties of these socks. I’ve been lazy about buying winter hiking boots and have been hiking through the snow in my non-waterproof hiking shoes. Usually, I add a foot warmer to stop my toes from freezing off, but that wasn’t necessary with these socks. I’ve gone on long and short winter walks in these socks and didn’t feel any discomfort. And I was always surprised how my feet were dry as can be when I took my shoes and socks off when I got home.

swiftwick pursuit socks

Wearing my medium-cushion Swiftwick Pursuit Hike socks over my leggings.

Swiftwick Pursuit Hike Socks Pros

Moisture-Wicking: These socks definitely achieved their goal of keeping my feet dry and blister-free. The back of my heel often feels a little tender after hikes due to rubbing on the back of my shoe, but I didn’t have that problem with these socks. I was blister-free when wearing them, my feet were still dry at the end of long hikes.

Climate Control: I really enjoyed how warm and toasty my feet felt in these socks. When preparing for hikes on colder days, I knew that with these socks I didn’t need to worry about my toes freezing on the trials.

Bacteria and Odor-Resistant: As far as I know, these are the only socks on the market that use Olefin fibers mixed with Merino Wool to create a dry and bacteria-resistant sock. And with less bacteria growth, these socks become more odor-resistant, which is a huge perk on multi-day hikes when you can’t wash them between wears.

Swiftwick Pursuit Hike Socks Cons

Fit: I had a bit of trouble with the fit in both the lightweight and medium-weight pairs. I definitely preferred the medium-weight pair as the lightweight pair felt loose in the arch of my foot and tight on my ankle and lower leg. The rest of my socks have always fit me proportionally, so it was weird for the lightweight sock to be loose in the foot but tight on my ankle. The medium-weight pair was definitely a better fit for me, but I still didn’t feel the arch support I prefer from socks. They’re listed as moderate-compression, but they seemed to have light-compression in practice.

The Verdict

I’ll continue to wear the medium-weight pair, but they aren’t my favorite hiking socks. They do the trick of keeping my feet warm and dry on hikes, but the fit is somewhat lacking and I’ll probably wait until my other socks are dirty before pulling these ones out of my sock drawer.

Shop the Swiftwick Pursuit Hike Socks

swiftwick pursuit socks

Comparable Socks

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Sock

MSRP: $18
Material: 54% nylon, 43% Merino wool, 3% Lycra® Spandex

Farm to Feet Damascus Lightweight Crew Merino Wool Socks

MSRP: $23
Material: 52% nylon, 44% Merino wool, 4% Lycra® Spandex

FITS Light Hiker Quarter Crew Socks, Coal

MSRP: 18.99
Material: 70% Merino wool, 23% nylon, 4% polyester, 3% Lycra® Spandex

This product was donated for purpose of review.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

  • Avatar
    TBR : Apr 19th

    “… but they aren’t my favorite hiking socks.”

    One has to ask, what socks are your favorite?

    And thanks for this thorough review.

    Reply

What Do You Think?