Head to Toe Hike Guide

Hiking has become one of my favorite weekend activities over the last few years. Just because the temperatures may be dropping, that doesn’t mean I am going to stop enjoying the great outdoors. When it comes to cold weather hikes, it is all about the layers to keep you protected from the elements. Here at GoBros, we have your base covered from head to toe.

As you begin your hike, you will quickly start to warm up. This is where breathable, moisture-wicking layers become so important. We recommend wearing lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics such as polypropylene or Merino Wool. You want to avoid having moisture build up against your skin – this could lead to cold weather illnesses or injury. It is also important to note that while thick socks will provide more insulation – you want to make sure that you have the right socks for your boots. If you cannot wiggle your toes, those shoes are a no-go. Check out our top cold weather hiking gear to help you brave the cold so you can enjoy the winter wonderland outside your door.


Gear for Cold Weather Hiking


SmartWool Merino 250 Cuffed Beanie – Dark Blue Steel Heather SW0SW956

The SW956 Cuffed Beanie rapidly wicks moisture away as you sweat, so you stay dry and comfortable when active. The SmartWool beanie showcases anti-microbial construction to eliminate unwanted odors and ensure freshness making it ideal for everyday use.

SmartWool Neck Gaiter – Black SW0SC953

Protect your face, nose, and neck all with one lightweight Neck Gaiter. SmartWool’s 100% Merino Neck Gaiter will keep your neck warm and dry, and is as unfussy as they come. The SC953 Neck Gaiter is made from SmartWool’s premium Merino Wool, so it is uber-efficient at managing moisture and body temp. And the best thing? If you no longer need the SC953, you can easily take it off and store it in your backpack with minimal bulk and weight.

SmartWool Striped Liner Gloves – Glacial Blue Heather SW0SC301

Layer up with the SmartWool Liner Glove. On warmer days, wear the SC301 by itself. When conditions are a bit more blistery, wear the liner comfortably under a pair of waterproof glove shells. This flat knit designed glove is extremely light and breathable. Added Touch Screen capability on thumb and index finger means your digits stay warm while you’re dialing someone else’s.

SmartWool Men’s NTS Mid 250 Crew – Deep Navy SW0NP600


When layering up for the cold, you want to consider three layers – the base, mid layer, and outer layer. For your base layer, you want to ensure that it is adequately wicking away sweat. The SmartWool NP600 is a good value for your money. This 255 g. (9 oz.) thermal is exceptionally warm when layered-up. With all the benefits Merino Wool has to offer, this top works hard to keep you warm and dry. The Men’s Midweight Crew features flatlock seam construction to eliminate chafing.

Naturally, anti-microbial merino yarn helps keep you stink-free. Layer the NTS Mid Crew, or wear on its own. Never scratchy and slim-fit, so it won’t bunch under your second layer.

For the Women’s Version, shop here.

SmartWool Men’s Echo Lake Full-Zip – Charcoal Heather SW0SP638

The SmartWool Men’s Echo Lake Fleece is perfect for your mid layer. While the base layer should be wicking away moisture, the mid layer should help insulate you from the cold. Made from carefully sorted discarded premium wool scraps, the fleece is blended with performance fibers to ensure fit, long-wearing durability, and moisture and temperature management. The Men’s Echo Lake Full Zip is our favorite recycled wool fleece with handy chest and hand pockets and perfect, casual fit.

SmartWool Men’s PhD Light Bottom – Deep Navy SW016106

Made with SmartWool’s PhD® fabric for ultimate temperature regulation, moisture management and shape retention, these bottoms use the best of our body mapped technology to place materials where they help you perform your best. No-chafe seaming helps you stay comfortable on the move.

For the Women’s version, shop here

Fox River Unisex Wick Dry Alturas Liner Socks – Darn Navy 4478

Your feet are not excluded from layers – we suggest wearing a sock liner to help wick away moisture and topping it with a thicker sock to protect you from the cold. Fox River’s classic Hiking Liner crew sock, known as the Wick Dry Alturas, promises to keep feet dry and blister-free.

Darn Tough Men’s Hiking Boot Sock Full Cushion – Black 1405

Thicker socks are going to provide more insulation and protection from the cold temperatures. However, it is important to note that if your socks are too thick for your shoes, it will cut off circulation. The Darn Tough 1405 provides full cushion protection, but with a little less bulk than the following styles. All Darn Tough hiking and trekking socks have high density cushioning on the lower foot, Merino wool, reinforced heel and toe, and ring toe construction for a comfortable invisible seam.

Wigwam Socks – 40 Below Thermal Boot Socks – Gray Twist F2230

Wigwam’s F2230 40 Below is an extra cushioned thermal boot sock. The 40 Below features an extra-smooth reverse toe closure and is fully cushioned throughout the entire sock. Excellent for cold climate use.

Darn Tough Mountaineering Hike OTC Extra Cushion Women’s Socks – Midnight 1954

Thick and padded throughout, this sock comes up high and has a reinforced heel and toe and ring toe construction for a comfortable invisible seam. Merino Wool means your feet will stay warm and dry all the way up the mountain, and back.

Thorlo Thick Cushion Extreme Cold OTC Socks – Light Gray EXCOU

Thorlos Extreme Cold Over-the-Calf sock is ideal for keeping warm in sub-zero environments. Thorlo’s EXCOU Extreme Cold Over-the-Calf Boot Sock features dense cushioning and mesh vents to keep your feet protected, warm, and dry. Showcasing heavyweight padding at the ankle, ball, heel, and toe, this sock protects and insulates even under the most extreme conditions.

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