CEP Hiking Merino Mid Cut Compression Socks review: comfortable hiking, no matter how soggy your feet get

These hiking socks combine the wicking properties of merino with the benefits of compression for a comfortable, no-rub fit

CEP Hiking Merino Mid Cut Compression Socks
(Image: © Julia Clarke)

Advnture Verdict

Whether or not you believe in the benefits of compression clothing for hiking, you’ll like the great fit and wicking properties of these supportive, comfortable socks


  • +

    Comfortable, no rub design

  • +

    Zone-specific padding

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    Contoured, stay-put fit

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    Sweat-wicking merino/synthetic blend

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    Decent odor control


  • -

    A little tough to get on and off

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    No small sizes available

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CEP Hiking Merino Mid Cut Compression Socks: first impressions 

CEP describes these hiking socks as “built for the outdoors” and we’re inclined to agree, given that they marry the performance benefits of wicking materials and supportive compression with padding just where you need it. Proponents of compression clothing for hiking claim that it increases circulation, reduces swelling and improves recovery, and while it’s hard to prove this in the field, we definitely feel great hiking in these socks which stay put, don’t rub and dry quickly, even when we’ve been walking through a bog. Made using a blend of merino wool and synthetic materials, these socks keep your feet warm on chilly days, but wick sweat nicely and breathe well when it’s warm out.


• List price: $24.95
Gender specification: Men’s and women’s sizing available
Sizes: Men’s M / L / XL, Women’s S / M /L
Materials: 71% Polyamide, 19% Merino Wool, 10% Spandex
Weight: 2.1 oz / 60g
Colors: Peacoat, Sand, Stone, Green
Best use: Hiking

The compression technology isn’t so severe that you’re worried about losing circulation or breaking a finger pulling them off (though do take care) but the contoured fit certainly feels really supportive and didn’t rub anywhere during our field tests. Zone-specific padding cuts down on hot spots and tired feet, even when worn with brand new hiking shoes. We wish there were some smaller sizes available, but even a half size too big didn’t rub, and we like the price of these too.

CEP Hiking Merino Mid Cut Compression Socks: in the field

CEP Hiking Merino Mid Cut Compression Socks

Zone-specific padding cuts down on hot spots and tired feet (Image credit: Julia Clarke)

The first time I wore compression socks was when I was on a long haul flight a few weeks after knee surgery and it was under doctor’s orders, so I understand that they can help circulation, though I’m not sure I can honestly say I notice that they make a difference for hiking when it comes to reduce swelling or improving recovery. That said, I have been wearing these for day hikes in the mountains of Scotland this summer.

Here’s how they performed:  

Sizing and fit 

The smallest size of these socks available is a size bigger than my feet, so these socks are a hair’s width too big, but still wearable and I’d say fit true to size. That said, it would be nice if they’d venture to smaller sizes. 

Anyway, they have a contoured design, and asymmetric toe box, so they really hug my feet with just a little spare room in the toe box that wouldn’t be there if they were the right size. I have another pair of CEP compression socks that are longer and they’re so tight that they don’t feel amazing round my calves, but these come up to nearly mid calf and are snug without being too tight, though if you have really big calves you may feel differently.


I’m a little careful when it comes to pulling compression socks on and off since I know someone who broke a finger doing so, but these are reasonably easy to get on and off and are really comfortable once they’re on. As I said, they’re supportive without feeling too tight and I was impressed to see that there was absolutely no rubbing, even though I ended up getting my feet absolutely drenched very early on on a recent long hike.

They’re medium weight with zone-specific padding, so they definitely help me with tired feet on a long hike.

CEP Hiking Merino Mid Cut Compression Socks

They’re supportive without feeling too tight (Image credit: Julia Clarke)

Breathability and temperature management

For any hiking sock, I want a blend of merino wool with synthetic material like this so that I can rely on moisture-wicking when my feet get sweaty, but they still keep my feet warm when I get chilly. These fit the bill in both warm and cold temperatures and I can see myself wearing these year-round.

Odor control

My favorite thing about merino wool is that it doesn't get stinky, but these are blended with synthetic fabrics so I thought they might be a bit ripe after a six hour hike, however they smell fine.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.