A Buyer’s Guide to the 10 Best Ski Socks (2021)

by Simon Naylor | Updated On: January 23rd, 2021
two skiers

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Ski socks are a necessity for winter sports. They help to keep your feet warm and dry, which is important because the cold causes your body to release less blood flow there in order to conserve heat. Ski socks also provide cushioning between your foot and the boot of the ski or snowboard so that you don’t get blisters on your toes from rubbing against it all day.

There are many different types of ski socks available, but they generally fall into three categories: thin, medium thickness, and thick. The type of sock you choose will depend on how much insulation you need as well as personal preference when it comes to comfort level with bulkiness underfoot.

Let’s jump in!

Ski Socks



Best Overall

Smartwool PhD Light

  • Breathable and odor-free material

  • Not too bulky

  • Durable

Best Budget

Wigwam Snow Sirocco

  • Affordable price

  • Full padding

  • Available in many colors

Best Compression

Pure Athlete Copper Compression

  • Low-profile padding

  • Comes with Polygiene anti-odor treatment

  • Maintains its shape

Lightest Ski Socks

Fox River Bristol Ultra-Lightweight

  • Thermolite boosts warmth and comfort

  • Reinforced heel and toe for added support

  • Wick dry technology

Thickest Ski Socks

Darn Tough Vermont 5 OTC

  • Unconditional lifetime guarantee

  • Come with 5 comfort pads

Best For Kids

Bridgedale Merino

  • Terry loop construction

  • Exclusive Merino Fusion technology

  • Come in a pack of 2 pairs

Best Padded

Hot Chillys Men’s Mid Volume

  • Over the calf design for added protection and support

  • MTF cushioning

  • Elastic ribbed cuffs

  • OBP system

Best Heated

Snow Deer Heated Socks

  • Come with rechargeable lithium battery

  • Battery pocket tightly closes to prevent the battery from falling out

  • Designed with a COOLMAX blend of Polyester fibers

Best Odor-Resistant

Bamboo Sports Antimicrobial Odor Resistant

  • Eliminate odors

  • Antifungal and antimicrobial

  • Feature cushioning on heels, shins, and toes

Best Fit

Icebreaker Ski Plus Light OTC

  • Flex specific design for a perfect fit

  • Great moisture wicking abilities

Top 10 Best Ski Socks

  1. Smartwool PhD Light (Best Overall)
  2. Wigwam Snow Sirocco (Best Budget)
  3. Pure Athlete Copper Compression (Best Compression)
  4. Fox River Bristol Ultra-Lightweight Over-The-Calf (Lightest Ski Socks)
  5. Darn Tough Vermont 5 OTC (Thickest Ski Socks)
  6. Bridgedale Merino (Best For Kids)
  7. Hot Chillys Men’s Mid Volume (Best Padded)
  8. Snow Deer Heated Socks (Best Heated)
  9. Bamboo Sports Antimicrobial Odor Resistant (Best Odor-Resistant)
  10. Icebreaker Ski Plus Light OTC (Best Fit)

A Review of Our 10 Favorite Ski Socks

1. Smartwool PhD Light

Best Overall

They’re made with 2 types of elastic to allow them to fit your feet snugly, especially around the instep and forefoot areas. They have a seamless toe for increased comfort. They’re made with 2 types of elastic to allow them to fit your feet snugly, especially around the instep and forefoot areas. They have a seamless toe for increased comfort.

The Merino wool boosts its wicking ability. It helps keep moisture away from your skin yet still keeps you warm. These gender-specific socks are great at maintaining their shape after washing and dry quickly.



2. Wigwam Snow Sirocco

Best Budget

Featuring a seamless toe and complete padding, the Wigwam Sirocco unisex ski socks provide comfort and support. These socks contour to the shape of your legs because of their elasticity.

They’re made from 42% Merino wool, 24% stretch nylon, and 34% other synthetic fabrics. The wool feels soft and reduces irritation and scratchiness. It also keeps your toes warm and cozy.



3. Pure Athlete Copper Compression

Best Compression

The Pure Athlete Copper compression gender-specific ski socks are designed with innovative compression technology that boosts circulation while keeping your toes dry and odor-free

These socks are made with a blend of Merino wool, copper, and some synthetic fabrics. They’re anatomically designed to fit the shape of your feet. They’re padded in vulnerable areas, such as your shins, ankles, heels, and midsoles. Yet the padding isn’t too bulky. They also have a seamless toe to reduce friction and blisters.

The Pure Athlete ski socks are the first of their kind because their wool is infused with copper. It’s incorporated with Merino wool to eliminate friction and heat build-up while boosting warmth and comfort.



4. Fox River Bristol Ultra-Lightweight Over-The-Calf

Lightest Ski Socks

The secret to these unisex Fox River ski socks is Thermolite. This synthetic fabric acts as an insulator. It prevents your socks from getting soggy and helps them dry faster.

Their exclusive URfit system provides you with the best fit. Its memory-knit design helps the socks maintain their shape even after numerous washes. These socks are made of 61% thermolite polyester, 37% nylon, 2% spandex. They have a ribbed top made of spandex that keeps your socks in place. The flat toe seam offers support and comfort.

They also feature Wick Dry technology that keeps your feet warm and dry all day long. They’re fully padded to protect your shins, ankles, and feet.



5. Darn Tough Vermont 5 OTC

Thickest Ski Socks

These socks are one of the best kinds of ski socks available on the market. They were designed to protect your feet during -40-degree Vermont winters. They’re gender-specific and come in a variety of colors and sizes.

The Darn Tough Vermont ski socks have 5 comfort pads in the front, as well as around your ankles. There’s also mesh in the back for added breathability.

They’re made with premium fabrics, such as 62% Merino wool, 34% nylon, and 4% Lycra spandex. The Merino wool pulls the moisture away from your skin. It regulates the temperature and keeps your toes warm and comfortable. The combination of wool with other material prevents them from falling around your ankles.



6. Bridgedale Merino

Best For Kids

When your kids are enjoying their time on the slopes, the last thing you want to worry about is how cold and wet their feet are. These ski socks are made of 40% Merino wool, 40% acrylic, 10% nylon, and 10% Lycra.

The Merino wool keeps their toes warm and dry by managing their body’s moisture levels. These socks are made with reinforced terry-loop knitting. This type of knitting design ensures their feet are comfortable and cozy.

These socks come just under their knees. They’re padded to protect their calves, ankles, and feet. The padding also reduces friction, which can occur when their legs rub against the boots.



7. Hot Chillys Men’s Mid Volume

Best Padded

These snug and comfy ski socks provide you with arch support, and MTF (Moisture Transfer Fibers) cushioning. These paddings are on the outside linings of the socks. They keep moisture away from your skin and boost breathability and comfort.

Hot Chillys are made with 50% acrylic, 30% Bio-Silver polyester, 15% nylon, and 5% Lycra. These socks contour to the shape of your leg to give you the best fit. The Hot Chillys has a seamless toe and heel closure for maximum comfort and best fit. Plus, the ribbing is made of elastic to prevent your socks from slipping and bunching up.

Another great feature is their OBP (Odor Blocking Properties). They’re incorporated with the fabric to keep your socks smelling fresh and odor-free.



● Can feel a bit tight
● Synthetic fibers don’t keep your toes warm for long

8. Snow Deer Heated Socks

Best Heated

These Snow Deer socks heat up your toes with rechargeable lithium battery power packs at the cuffs. These heated socks are best for those who suffer from arthritis and chronically cold feet. The battery can be charged for 3-4 hours before you can enjoy its far-infrared heating elements. These socks boost blood circulation to keep you cozy and comfortable.

There are 3 temperature control settings, which you can change with the help of a push-button located on the cuff battery pocket. They’re made from 80% cotton, 12% polyester, and 8% elastane, and come in 4 different sizes (S-XL).

The Snow Deer unisex ski socks are knitted with high-quality thick material. They have a high wicking ability to keep our toes dry and odor-free with the help of their COOLMAX blend.


● Come with rechargeable lithium battery
● Battery pocket tightly closes to prevent the battery from falling out
● Designed with a COOLMAX blend of Polyester fibers


● Can be quite bulky because of battery pockets
● May cause blisters and minor burns
● On the expensive end

9. Bamboo Sports Antimicrobial Odor Resistant

Best Odor-Resistant

Bamboo Sports designed these unisex ski socks with extra moisture-wicking abilities. Their materials are a combination of Merino wool and synthetic fibers to keep moisture away from your skin.

Bamboo socks are naturally antimicrobial and antifungal. This eliminates odors and skin irritations, keeping your feet smelling clean and fresh. These socks are breathable and quick-drying. They’re padded to provide you with warmth and support.

They’re made with 80% bamboo, 15% polyester, and 5% spandex. They maintain their shape even after several washes. They have a seamless toe and heel closure to reduce friction and prevent blisters.



10. Icebreaker Ski Plus Light OTC

Best Fit

Made from 75% Merino wool, 18% nylon, and 7% Lycra, these gender-specific Icebreaker ski socks offer the ideal fit. They’re anatomically designed to contour to the shape of your feet providing you with the perfect mix of comfort and support.

These socks are thin and extremely soft with a seamless toe and heel closure. This helps prevent friction and reduce blisters. They offer the best foolproof wicking ability.

The Icebreaker ski socks also protect your toes from icy temperatures by adjusting your body temperature.

The materials work together to provide you with a quick-drying pair of ski socks. They maintain their shape and elasticity after many washes. They’re also great at keeping your feet odor-free, even after hours on the slope.



Why Wear Special Ski Socks?

ski with socks

Some ski socks don’t provide moisture-management or are too tight that your toes start feeling numb. Some are made of materials that don’t do a good job of keeping your toes warm at all.

That’s how important wearing the right socks are an important part of a skier’s gear. They keep your feet warm and dry, which is essential for having fun on the slopes.

Ski socks also provide cushioning to help protect your feet from injury. If you’re new to skiing, it can be easy to forget about what type of socks you should wear until it’s too late. They prevent your feet from getting numb from the cold and moisture by keeping them dry and snug. They also provide support for your shins and ankles and help reduce muscle fatigue.

What are Ski Socks Made of?

Ski socks are made of different materials, but the most common type is wool and synthetic mix. Wool is a natural fiber and has excellent insulating properties that keep your feet warm while synthetic materials like nylon increase the socks longevity.

When these materials are combined, they offer durability and can last for several ski seasons.

They also come in varying degrees of thickness to keep you warm without feeling too bulky in your boots. They provide a good amount of stretchiness. This prevents them from slipping down because they’re too loose, or from being too tight that they cut off your blood circulation.

Some come with special features to make your time on the slopes comfortable and enjoyable. There are ski socks that come with padding that protect susceptible areas like your shins. There are others that have compression zones to help reduce muscle fatigue. You should avoid wearing as cotton traps in the cold and quickly becomes soggy as they trap in the moisture.

The 4 Main Types of Ski Socks

Ski socks are an important part of keeping your toes warm and dry all day while you’re on the slopes. They come in different types to suit your boot size, style preferences, color, and your choice of winter activity.

1. Traditional Socks

Traditional basically refers to socks that are mainly made of wool. The best type of wool for ski socks is Merino wool. This type of high-quality wool provides comfort and durability. It gives your feet space to breathe. It’s also soft on the skin and doesn’t cause skin irritations or soreness.

2. Compression Socks

Compression socks are usually thin. They’re designed to stretch to a perfect fit on your feet to improve blood circulation. This keeps you warm while decreasing muscle fatigue.

To maintain their tight fit, manufacturers make them mostly from synthetic materials, like polyester and nylon. There are some that may provide you with adequate wicking abilities. But if the weather is too cold, they may not be able to offer you the proper degree of warmth you need.

3. Outdoor Socks

ski beginner

These types of ski socks are the perfect choice for anyone who spends fairly large portions of their day outside in the snow.

Outdoor ski socks are thick and soft on your skin to offer you the highest levels of warmth and comfort. They’re also made with material that has high wicking properties to keep moisture away from your skin and keep your toes dry. They usually reach only to your calves.

4. Heated/Electric Socks

If you feel that outdoor ski socks aren’t enough to keep you cozy and warm, then you should check out heated ski socks. These are also a great option if you have poor blood circulation.

They come with built-in rechargeable lithium batteries that can last for several hours or up to an entire day, depending on the brand. The socks contain built-in side pockets with controllers to help you adjust the desired degree of warmth.

These socks usually feature 3 temperature levels. Some socks can even be controlled via a smartphone app.

Which Ski Socks are Right for You?

Finding the right kind of ski socks for you depends on what the weather will be like on the days you wear them. How low the temperature drops also plays a huge role. Then there’s also the most important factor, your personal sense of style and comfort.

Here are a few tips on how to pick the best ski socks for you.

1. Durability

Choose ski socks that are mainly made of Merino wool or other materials that give them a bit of a stretch. This helps socks keep their shape and allow for better contouring of your feet. Plus, they don’t bunch up inside your boots, or lose their elasticity and end up falling to your ankles.

The best ski socks maintain their shape after repeated washes. They should also be good for several ski seasons.

2. Weight

Ski socks fall into 3 different categories. Each one has its own features and uses.

* Ultralight

Ultralight socks are made specifically for skiing on mountains. They’re very thin and allow your skin to breath. Yet they provide tight compression to stabilize your ankles and support your shins. They provide a perfect anatomical fit to give you optimal comfort and support. But their price can be a bit high.

* Lightweight

Lightweight ski socks offer compression as well as a high wicking ability. Yet, they’re different from ultralight socks as they’re not as anatomically designed for that perfect fit. They’re also a bit thicker, which makes them not as expensive, but just as effective.

* Mid-weight

Mid-weight socks offer more cushioning than the previous two types of ski socks. They’re also the thickest of the three. Their thickness is an advantage, however, because it provides you with maximum protection of your most vulnerable areas, such as your shins, heels, and ankles.

3. Comfort

kids on ski

There are several factors that go into how comfortable a pair of ski socks can be. The actual material plays a big part. They’re responsible for the degree of your socks’ softness, thickness, and level of support. Some fabrics, such as Merino wool, are great for those with sensitive skin because it’s not harsh on the skin like other types of wool or synthetic fabrics.

You can pick ski socks that go up over your knees to provide even more warmth and comfort. Some socks are specifically tailored to fit your right and left foot.

Another great comfort feature is padding. Padding, or cushioning, is strategically placed within your ski socks to protect your shins, ankles, and heels. Padding helps reduce soreness and muscle fatigue from a long day out on the slopes.

4. Warmth

When your toes are cold, it means they’re not insulated from the cold and moisture. Wearing several layers of socks won’t help you either. The trick to avoiding this terrible feeling is to pick socks that are made from a breathable material, yet at the same time, keep the heat in. Merino wool is an excellent example.

Compression socks also boost the warmth factor. And, of course, there are heated socks that can keep your toes toasty for the whole day.

5. Wicking Ability

The term ‘wicking’ refers to a fabric’s ability to react to your body’s moisture. Our feet sweat even when the weather is cold. If that moisture remains on your skin, your toes will get cold. Sometimes even numbness and throbbing might follow.

warm ski sock

So it’s important you choose ski socks made of fabrics that can keep that moisture away from your skin. Some fabrics are also breathable to keep your feet dry and odor-free.

The best types of fabrics that have the highest levels of wicking abilities are Merino wool. It dries quickly and is very durable. There are also synthetic fabrics, such as acrylic, nylon, and polyester, which are also very good at keeping moisture away from your skin while keeping your snug and cozy.

6. Thickness

Matching the perfect ski socks with your boot size is something that’s often overlooked. Wearing thick socks might feel bulky and make your boots feel tight.

On the other hand, you might choose light socks and have too much room inside your boots. Both scenarios will lead to an uncomfortable feeling.

Care and Maintenance

A good, reliable pair of ski socks should stay with you for several ski seasons. This depends on the quality of their material, and how well you take care of them over the years.

ski socks

Here are a few tips on what you can do to keep your socks in great shape for many years to come.


After reviewing as many ski socks as we could find, we chose these top 10 as our favorite.

ski set on snow

Our best pick is the gender-specific Smartwool PhD Light ski socks. They’re made from super soft Merino wool that keeps you warm and dry because of their extreme wicking ability. They have 2 different types of elastic to prevent them from slipping. Plus, their seamless toe feature reduces friction and prevents skin inflammations.

If you’re looking for durable ski socks at an affordable price, then why not try the Wigwam Snow Sirocco ski socks? Made from premium Merino wool, these unisex socks keep your toes warm, dry, and comfortable all day long on the slopes. Their fabric is soft and prevents friction and skin inflammations. These ski socks are a great value for their price.

Simon Naylor, the founder of New To Ski, started skiing in 2005. He has continued to practice his skills and wanted to share his journey and knowledge with other new skiers. He launched New To Ski in 2018 to help first-time skiers have more fun on the slopes and get out and explore the mountains safely.