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If there is one thing that drives me crazy about skiing it’s the pain of cold feet. I know many people use regular socks or even tuck their pants into their boots, but this doesn’t always work. So today we are going to take a look at some of the best ski socks on the market and see what they have to offer!
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 a comfort level with bulkiness underfoot.
Let’s jump in!
Top 10 Best Ski Socks
- Smartwool PhD Light (Best Overall)
- Wigwam Snow Sirocco (Best Budget)
- Pure Athlete Copper Compression (Best Compression)
- Fox River Bristol Ultra-Lightweight Over-The-Calf (Lightest Ski Socks)
- Darn Tough OTC (Thickest Ski Socks)
- Bridgedale Merino (Best For Kids)
- Hot Chillys Men’s Mid Volume (Best Padded)
- Snow Deer Heated Socks (Best Heated)
- Bamboo Sports Antimicrobial Odor Resistant (Best Odor-Resistant)
- Icebreaker Ski Plus Light OTC (Best Fit)
1. Smartwool PhD Light
The Smartwool PhD Light is a great pair of socks because they’re made with a wool blend that’s lightweight and warm. They also have an anti-odor treatment to keep your feet smelling fresh all day long, even after you’ve been out on the slopes for hours in cold weather!
The Merino wool boosts its wicking ability. It helps keep moisture away from your skin yet still keeps you warm.
- Breathable and odor-free material
- Not too bulky
- Tend to shrink
- Light padding doesn’t provide the best of support
2. Wigwam Snow Sirocco
Have an anti-microbial treatment to help keep your feet dry by wicking away moisture which can lead to bacteria growth in the sock’s fabric.
The Wigwam Snow Sirocco is a great pair of socks because they are made of a soft, stretchy material that is comfortable and warm.
The Wigwam Snow Sirocco socks have an anti-microbial treatment to help keep your feet dry by wicking away moisture which can lead to bacteria growth in the sock’s fabric. This helps prevent foot odor as well! The elastic cuff on the top of the socks provides a snug fit that will help keep your feet warm.
They come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee which means if they wear out or get damaged for any reason, you can get a new pair!
- Affordable price
- Full padding
- Available in many colors
- Lose their elasticity after several washes
- Don’t keep moisture away from the skin as well as other brands
3. Pure Athlete Copper Compression
The Pure Athlete ski socks are the first of their kind because their wool is infused with copper which helps promote blood flow.
The copper is woven into the wool, so it doesn’t wear off like other treatments and can be washed with your regular laundry detergent without any worries of damaging or weakening its effectiveness.
- Low-profile padding
- Comes with Polygiene anti-odor treatment
- Maintains its shape
- Copper infused material promotes blood flow
- Can be too tight for some users
- Elasticity wears off after several washes
4. Fox River Bristol Ultra-Lightweight Over-The-Calf
Lightest Ski Socks
These socks use a memory-fit system design that helps the socks maintain their shape even after numerous washes.
The secret to the 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.
These socks use a memory-fit system design that 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.
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.
- Thermolite boosts warmth and comfort
- Reinforced heel and toe for added support
- Wick dry technology
- Padding isn’t as reinforced as in other brands
- Comes up too high over the knee
5. Darn Tough OTC
Thickest Ski Socks
The Darn Tough socks are made of a wool blend and have reinforced toes. 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 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.
- Unconditional lifetime guarantee
- Come with 5 comfort pads
- Can overheat your toes on warm days
- Can be a bit harsh on the skin
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.
- Terry loop construction
- Exclusive Merino Fusion technology
- Come in a pack of 2 pairs
- They shrink when washed
- Sock sizes don’t accurately match kids’ feet sizes
7. Hot Chillys Men’s Mid Volume
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.
- Over the calf design for added protection and support
- MTF cushioning
- Elastic ribbed cuffs
- OBP system
- Can feel a bit tight
- Synthetic fibers don’t keep your toes warm for long
8. Snow Deer Heated Socks
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 a rechargeable lithium battery
- The 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
Their materials are a combination of Merino wool and synthetic fibers to keep moisture away from your skin.
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.
- Eliminate odors
- Antifungal and antimicrobial
- Feature cushioning on heels, shins, and toes
- Don’t provide the same level of warmth as wool ski socks
- Threads snag easily
10. Icebreaker Ski Plus Light OTC
They’re anatomically designed to contour to the shape of your feet providing you with the perfect mix of comfort and support.
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.
- Flex specific design for a perfect fit
- Great moisture wicking abilities
- Compression isn’t as tight as other brands
- May not provide optimal protection against temperatures below -20 degrees
Why Wear Special Ski 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 is in 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 sock’s 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 protects susceptible areas like your shins. There are others that have compression zones to help reduce muscle fatigue. You should avoid wearing cotton traps in the cold which 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
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.
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.
Ski socks fall into 3 different categories. Each one has its own features and uses.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are a few tips on what you can do to keep your socks in great shape for many years to come.
- Avoid balling them up like regular socks. This makes them lose their elasticity faster.
- Turn them inside out when you wash them.
- Wash them in cold or warm water.
- Use a gentle cycle when washing them in the machine or, preferably, hand wash them.
- Stay away from fabric softeners when washing your socks.
- Allow your socks to dry in a well-ventilated space instead of putting them in the dryer.
After reviewing as many ski socks as we could find, we chose these top 10 as our favorite.
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.
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