Best Ski Socks

From the socks up, your skiing base layers are just as important as the slope itself. A great pair of ski socks will be breathable, moisture-wicking, warm, and comfortable. Moisture wicking is arguably the most important quality because your feet could easily become wet from sweat, and then cold from being wet in a cold climate. With that being said, we are here to help you stay out on the slopes for as long as possible. We have rated each sock on this list in terms of comfort, insulation, wicking abilities, and fit.

Standout Picks

Darn Tough 5 OTC
Is there such a thing as a sock that is too thick or too warm? If so, you may not be pleased with Darn Tough. However, this does not insinuate that your feet will be unbearably overheating as the merino wool has a natural tendency to wick away moisture.
Smartwool PHD
If you glance around the internet, you will most likely see this ski sock on many editor’s top lists. While it is not quite number one here, you will see why so many columnists rave about the PhD Ski Socks from Smartwool.
Icebreaker
Speaking of a critically acclaimed ski sock, how about this one from Icebreaker? While nearly everything is off the charts here, specifically, the breathability of this sock is utterly superb and maybe the best of any.
Eurosocks Zone
The Ski Zone Socks are comfortable, they are warm in severe temperatures and they do a superb job of not bunching up during skies. But, they just tend to fray quicker than you would like, which does hurt their value in the long run.
Amazon Link
$20.00
Fox River Wilmot
Any time you see Merino wool in a garment that is designed for cold weather, you know you are promised exceptional warmth and moisture management (most of the time). But, what makes the Wilmot Socks so terrific is the URfit System that is implemented that provides the perfect fit for skiers.
Burton Weekend
Burton may not have necessarily designed these socks to be specifically for skiers, but they work fantastically for the sport. As a small bonus, Burton packages their socks with two pairs so you get double the offer.
Pure Athlete High Performance
These “high performance” socks definitely live up to their billing as they are simply superb in areas you need the most; including the elasticity, comfortability, and breathability.
Amazon Link
Flambeau Heated
If you're looking for something more than a pair of socks with great materials, this is it! Aside from implementing great materials, these socks also come with carbon fiber heating elements. The warmth builds right under your toes and can keep you warm for up to eight hours.
Minus 33
Minus 33 is headquartered in New Hampshire and is no stranger to cold temperatures. They have over 100 years of experience with wool and their team of outdoor enthusiasts works together to create functional and affordable cold weather gear. This Merino Wool Ski Sock is no exception to their philosophy. It is so exceptional that it is actually the official sock used by the USA Luge team.
Amazon Link
$14.99
Hot Chillys Mid Volume
For skiing gurus and aficionados who are looking to spend hours on the slopes in one sitting, you may not be interested in this pair of ski socks. Hot Chillys designed this admirably, but after around one or two hours, they lose their ability to properly insulate your feet.
Amazon Link
$23.95

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

The entire purpose of socks of any nature, beyond ski socks, is to provide your feet with comfort. When you wear shoes without socks, you are prone to blisters and general discomfort for your feet. But, ski socks are a little different than traditional socks. Because skiing is such an intense sport, one in which requires a lot of stress on your body (especially your feet), there are specific areas of emphasis when it comes to comfort. One is cushioning which can significantly aid in impact absorption. During skies, when you ride over a slope, you will slam onto the ground. Without proper cushioning, your feet will absorb most of the blow and if this happens an excess amount of times, injuries could result.

This padding, which does need to be placed in specific areas such as underneath your foot and near your shin, is vital. But, it goes beyond cushioning as the toe seam also matters. Typically, you would like to see a seamless toe design as this will reduce the amount of bulkiness and could prevent blisters over time.

Insulation

If comfort is the entire purpose of ski socks, then the warmth is comfort’s brother. In other words, it is just as (if not more) important as comfortability. The last time we checked, skiing was done in the snow and if it is snowing outside, nine times out of ten it is very cold outdoors. Granted your ski boots will provide warmth for you, your socks need to just as much. There is nothing that could ruin a ski trip quicker than your toes freezing up as not only will it become painful, you need your feet for skiing.

So, what do you need to look for in warmth? First off, and probably the most important, is the fabric that is utilized. Many times, throughout this list, you saw Merino wool or some sort of wool. This is not a coincidence as wool is an incredibly warm material and is made specifically for cold, winter weather. But, one thing to look out for is how long the socks will keep your feet warm. A few socks on this list, for example, are great at delivering warmth for a certain amount of time but past that, may lose its insulation capabilities.

Responsiveness

Along with warmth, may come sweat. How your socks respond to this and wick moisture is also important. If you wear your normal socks while skiing, you could probably get away with comfort and warmth. But, this area (most likely) would end up being your biggest downfall as it is vitally important. Even though you would think it would be about providing the most warmth possible, there is such a thing as overheating. No matter the weather outdoors, when your body builds up heat it is going to perspire. This also includes your feet and when they do so, your socks need to have moisture wicking technology.

Without this, the perspiration will build-up and soon, you will be left with drenching socks that feel clammy to the touch. Plus, this can also result in blisters in the long run. Again, this is why so many manufacturers choose Merino wool for their socks as it has a natural tendency to wick away moisture. But, mesh paneling is also a design feature to look out for as this will allow your feet to breathe when they begin to overheat.

Fit

Probably the most annoying aspect of wearing normal socks with boots is that a majority of the time if you are partaking in any physical activities they are going to slip around your ankles and bunch up altogether. Then, you must stick your hand behind your heel to pull up the sock. But, this will keep happening and this process will be repeated several times throughout the day. So, why not choose a sock that is designed with elasticity or spandex compression zones that will stay in place all day long?

Not needing to worry about this will ease your mind tremendously and be much less of a hassle. Above all else, this is the main reason why ski socks are designed differently than traditional socks. However, in most cases, you will also be given multiple sizing options to choose from. Typically, you should go with your normal size but if you notice many users complaining about the size, you can either go up or down a size.

Buying Guide

1. Darn Tough 5 OTC

Where to buy
Darn Tough 5 OTC
Amazon Link

Is there such a thing as a sock that is too thick or too warm? If so, you may not be pleased with Darn Tough. However, this does not insinuate that your feet will be unbearably overheating as the merino wool has a natural tendency to wick away moisture.

Read more

Comfort
Cushion and high-density padding are integrated into the areas where you need it most, such as under your foot and in the shin, to deliver comfort for the entire ride.

Insulation
Thanks to the merino wool, these socks are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Although, with the thickness at play here, they may not be very suitable for the summer (which is fine because who skies in summer?)

Responsiveness
Merino wool is designed to wick away moisture so when your feet begin to sweat vigorously, your socks will not be drenched.

Fit
With its performance fit, you will not have to worry about the socks bunching up or slipping down. Plus, without any seams, it almost feels like the sock is not on your foot. Size-wise, you can select from medium to extra-large, as well as three color options: black, red, and cobalt.

2. Smartwool PHD

Smartwool PHD
Amazon Link

If you glance around the internet, you will most likely see this ski sock on many editor’s top lists. While it is not quite number one here, you will see why so many columnists rave about the PhD Ski Socks from Smartwool.

Read more

Comfort
To ensure that your feet are protected against impacts and sudden foot strikes, which can happen in violent skies, there is a medium cushion that is located in the shin that will absorb most of it.

Insulation
Because Smartwool utilizes merino wool in their PhD Ski Socks, they are incredibly warm. But, other technology that is integrated into the socks also aids in warmth.

Responsiveness
Smartwool designed this sock with creativity in mind. They specifically designed mesh ventilation in certain areas that need it the most. What this achieves, in conjunction with merino wool that wicks away moisture, is a very breathable membrane.

Fit
Integrating a 4-Degree Elite Fit System that uses two elastics, there is enough stretch and recovery for the sock to stay in place all day long no matter what the slopes have in store for you. Plus, there are size options for either small or medium.

3. Icebreaker

Where to buy
Icebreaker
Amazon Link

Speaking of a critically acclaimed ski sock, how about this one from Icebreaker? While nearly everything is off the charts here, specifically, the breathability of this sock is utterly superb and maybe the best of any.

Read more

Comfort
The seamless toe design reduces the amount of bulk with the socks and, in turn, prevents blisters in the long run. Besides this, there is enough cushion for an ideal amount of comfort.

Insulation
Yet another manufacturer that uses merino wool in their sock is Icebreaker. Again, this material is incredibly warm and combines a soft touch with thermal insulation.

Responsiveness
Here is where Icebreaker knocks it out of the park. There is, what Icebreaker calls, a breathing zone and this improves the overall ventilation and breathability. Plus, as you already know, merino wool naturally repels odors and wicks moisture.

Fit
With support for your Achilles to keep the sock in place, an anatomical toe box for an ideal left and right fit, and an instep for stability, the fit is practically flawless (outside of some claiming it is a bit too tight). For size options, you can select from small to extra-large. As far as color options, there is black, gray and red, oil black and silver, and red, navy and black available.

4. Eurosocks Zone

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$20.00
Eurosocks Zone
Amazon Link

The Ski Zone Socks are comfortable, they are warm in severe temperatures and they do a superb job of not bunching up during skies. But, they just tend to fray quicker than you would like, which does hurt their value in the long run.

Read more

Comfort
The comfort zone that is featured in these socks adapts perfectly for skiers and in conjunction with the dynamic thickness which provides a fantastic amount of cushioning and impact absorption, these could not be any more comfortable to wear and use.

Insulation
Micro-Supreme technology manages to keep you warm and comfortable, no matter how bitterly cold it is outside or how hard the wind is howling.

Responsiveness
Not only does the Micro-Supreme technology aid in warmth but it also comes into play with managing the moisture. As this will wick away moisture when it is released from your feet, the result is drier feet with less of a chance to develop blisters.

Fit
When you are busy focusing on the slopes ahead of you, you will not have to worry about these socks bunching up as the elastic arch band and flat-knit construction ensure that the fit and feel remain uncompromised. Also, you can choose from small to extra-large. As well, there are quite a few different color options that you can choose from. Some of them include black, black and mint, black and red, dark blue, and gray.

Amazon Link
$20.00

5. Fox River Wilmot

Where to buy
Fox River Wilmot
Amazon Link

Any time you see Merino wool in a garment that is designed for cold weather, you know you are promised exceptional warmth and moisture management (most of the time). But, what makes the Wilmot Socks so terrific is the URfit System that is implemented that provides the perfect fit for skiers.

Read more

Comfort
Due to the toe seam being both flat and smooth, it will not rub against or irritate your skin. This also comes into play with durability as it stretches without unraveling.

Insulation
The most important factor to note here is the Merino wool that is integrated into the sock. As such, a considerable amount of warmth is provided for you straight from the get-go.

Responsiveness
In conjunction with the Merino wool itself is Fox River’s exclusive technology that wicks away moisture. Unfortunately, some users have claimed that it poorly wicks away moisture.

Fit
Thanks to the URfit System that is utilized here, the fit is ideal for skiers. This system uses specific spandex compression zones to prevent the sock from sagging, a responsive fit with the memory knit compression, and a contoured rib top. As far as size options, you can select from small to extra-large. As well, a decent selection of colors is available and this includes pink, teal, charcoal, gray and lime.

6. Burton Weekend

Where to buy
Burton Weekend
Amazon Link

Burton may not have necessarily designed these socks to be specifically for skiers, but they work fantastically for the sport. As a small bonus, Burton packages their socks with two pairs so you get double the offer.

Read more

Comfort
Featuring chafe-free toe seams, a reinforced heel, and toe, and medium-density cushioning, there is enough comfort and support for a full day of skiing. In addition, there is padding underneath the arch and around your ankle for enhanced comfort.

Insulation
While there is not wool fabric within this sock, it still does an admirable job of warming your feet with its midweight nature.

Responsiveness
The membrane of this sock is made from acrylic, nylon, and elastane. This unique combination of fabrics aid in not only breathability but also with its drying capabilities as it will dry quickly.

Fit
The addition of elasticity is what gives these socks the ability to stay up near your knees while you are skiing all day long. With options for canvas, mood indigo, stout white, and true black, there are not only a decent amount of selections to choose from but they all add a unique sense of style. However, for some odd reason, these can be a pain to wear when you are trying to slide your boots over.

7. Pure Athlete High Performance

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pure Athlete High Performance
Amazon Link

These “high performance” socks definitely live up to their billing as they are simply superb in areas you need the most; including the elasticity, comfortability, and breathability.

Read more

Comfort
There is comfort in all the key areas you need. This includes cushioning for your ankle, shin and under your foot to ensure that your feet remain comfortable when you put your boots on over these socks.

Insulation
Some have claimed the warmth is terrific while others have complained that others are clearly more insulated. Either way, these are made partially from Merino wool so if nothing else, your feet will not freeze.

Responsiveness
A unique combination of Merino wool and polypropylene prevents your feet from overheating as it will adequately wick away moisture. But, all in the meanwhile, it will not compromise the natural temperature of your foot.

Fit
To ensure that the socks stay up where they are designed to be, there are elastic bands designed into the socks. As such, they will not bunch up or sag down on vigorous skies. One thing is for sure, the visual design is impressive. With options for black, gray and blue, black, gray and green, black, gray and orange, among others, there are several to choose from.

Amazon Link

8. Flambeau Heated

Where to buy
Flambeau Heated
Amazon Link

If you're looking for something more than a pair of socks with great materials, this is it! Aside from implementing great materials, these socks also come with carbon fiber heating elements. The warmth builds right under your toes and can keep you warm for up to eight hours.

Read more

Comfort
This medium weight sock is mostly designed for warmth. While reviewers tend to agree that they are generally comfortable, there is no extra padding designed into them. The built-in battery compartment sits below your calf, not imposing any discomfort. Unfortunately, some users have had issues with the side seam stitching opening up and exposing the wires.

Insulation
Insulation is where these socks shine. First of all, they are made from a wool, polyester, and cotton blend. On top of this warm trio, these socks are electric! With each pair, there are two 3.7 Volt Li-ion batteries included, an AC charger, and a dual mini USB cord included. When inserted into its specific pocket in the socks, the battery supplies warmth to carbon fiber heating elements under the toes. You can choose from a low or high setting and enjoy your day on the slopes long after your friends have turned in because of cold feet.

Responsiveness
The two main materials of these socks are (41%) Merino Wool and (44%) Polyester. Both of these materials are well-known for their moisture wicking abilities. The only concern with these socks is the small amount of cotton that takes away from the breathability. However, in recent reviews, there have been no complaints.

Fit
These socks are available in sizes Small to XL. A size chart is not listed on Amazon, but upon further research, we deduced that (men’s sizes) size 4-5 is Small, 5-9 is Medium, 9-12 is Large, and 12-15 is Extra Large. Following this sizing guide, they should fit just about true to size.

9. Minus 33

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$14.99
Minus 33
Amazon Link

Minus 33 is headquartered in New Hampshire and is no stranger to cold temperatures. They have over 100 years of experience with wool and their team of outdoor enthusiasts works together to create functional and affordable cold weather gear. This Merino Wool Ski Sock is no exception to their philosophy. It is so exceptional that it is actually the official sock used by the USA Luge team.

Read more

Comfort
Minus 33's Merino Wool socks feature a seamless toe that prevents blistering and makes it easier to slide your boots on and off. This pair is a midweight pair of socks and doesn't feature as much cushion as some of our other options. This sock is full-length and you won't have to worry about your skin showing as you cross your legs and your pant leg hikes up.

Insulation
These socks are made from 78% Merino Wool and also feature spandex, nylon, and polyester. Reviewers claim that these socks are indeed warm and cozy, but don't recommend them for temperatures under 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Responsiveness
As all Merino Wool products, these socks feature amazing wicking power, are anti-microbial, odor-resistant, fire resistant, and still insulate when wet.

Fit
These socks are available in sizes Small to Extra Large and in four different colors, featuring black, blue, grey, and green. The Merino Wool features a decent amount of stretch and flexibility, but not enough to recommend sizing down. This socks will not lose shape or shrink in the wash, but you must remember to never use bleach or fabric softener. While there aren't many complaints about the socks staying up, some reviewers wish there was a tighter elastic along the top of the sock.

Amazon Link
$14.99

10. Hot Chillys Mid Volume

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$23.95
Hot Chillys Mid Volume
Amazon Link

For skiing gurus and aficionados who are looking to spend hours on the slopes in one sitting, you may not be interested in this pair of ski socks. Hot Chillys designed this admirably, but after around one or two hours, they lose their ability to properly insulate your feet.

Read more

Comfort
Overall, these are very comfortable against your skin. Though they will not keep you warm throughout the entire day, the comfort will never be compromised and all day long your feet will not suffer from pain.

Insulation
While these are warm for a certain period of time, around one or two hours, they simply do not hold up in the long run. If you plan on skiing all day, you may need a different pair of socks.

Responsiveness
Utilizing advanced moisture transferring fibers and antimicrobial technology, not only will these socks wick away moisture but they will also prevent odors from building up.

Fit
There are three size options that you can select from (medium, large and extra-large) and the socks themselves are engineered to be worn with ski boots.

Amazon Link
$23.95

Sources

  1. Pirates of Powder, 15 Best Ski Socks for Warm and Dry Feet 2018-2019 Season, Winter Sports Blog
  2. SWITCHBACK TRAVEL STAFF , BEST SKI SOCKS OF 2018-2019, Buying Guide