Q: I hike in a hot climate. What socks should I wear?
A: Fit is your #1 criteria, so it depends on your footwear. Counter-intuitively, midweight socks actually absorb more water than lightweight ones, which allows your feet to stay cooler and drier despite the extra bulk. Wool gets saturated a bit faster than synthetics, but they help regulate temperatures better.
Q: How thick should my socks be?
A: Proper sock thickness depends on the fit of your footwear. If you have a low-volume foot, you'll probably want thicker socks; high-volume feet usually require thinner socks. Always try on socks with your shoes to make sure they fit comfortably.
Q: Does wearing a liner sock under my regular sock prevent blisters?
A: Not necessarily. The most important factor is having your footwear fit right. An REI footwear specialist can help you with this. Consider liner socks whenever additional volume is needed or in combination with slightly thinner regular socks.
Q: What socks should I bring on a weeklong backpacking trip?
A: Save space by bringing several pairs of liner socks and 1 pair of backpacking socks. Your sweat gets absorbed by the liner socks, while your backpacking socks stay relatively clean. With this approach, you need only to replace the liner socks every day with fresh ones. Wash out your liner socks as needed (they dry much faster than thicker socks.)