skier putting on Smartwool socks and ski boots
(Photo/Smartwool)

The Best Ski Socks of 2022

Winter is in full swing, and if you’re like us, that means you’ll be spending a lot of time in the snow. These are the best ski socks that will keep your feet happy and warm all winter long.

Socks are critical to keeping feet warm and comfortable. Whether you’re skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, or sledding with the family, socks perform a critical role in your winter comfort. We’ve got you — and your feet — covered.

We looked for socks that offer a good balance of breathability, cushion, stretch, and durability. Then we checked each brand’s sock performance through online reviews across multiple platforms. To choose the best of the best, we ranked each sock both on the quality and volume of positive reviews and feedback.

Remember, socks are tricky. No one sock is going to fit and serve everyone’s needs, but the ones on our list are by far the most popular and most trusted. Scroll through our picks for the best winter socks of 2022 or jump to a category below. To learn more about how socks differ from one to the next, check out the bottom half of this article for the buyer’s guide and FAQ:

The Best Ski Socks of 2022

Best Overall: Smartwool PhD Ski Medium Socks — Men’s & Women’s

Smartwool PhD Ski Medium socks

Why we like it: Smartwool built its PhD series for performance. And these socks have garnered multiple reviews from customers touting them as the “best ski socks ever.” The Ski Medium socks ($27) have body-mapped mesh zones for added breathability, a seamless toe for enhanced comfort, and men’s- and women’s-specific fits.

What customers said: These socks are awesome for both comfort and warmth. Customers love them for skiing, and lots of customers commented on having multiple pairs. Other features reviewers liked about this sock were its durability even after washes, performance in the backcountry, and comfort in ski boots.

“I am 55, been skiing most of my life. Ski 50 days plus a year. The most critical part of boot fit besides properly fitting boots is how well socks fit. These socks fit perfectly, and besides that, it takes a couple of hundred days of skiing before they wear out.” — Ski addict from Kirkwood, CA, reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 64% merino wool, 34% nylon, 2% elastane
  • Thickness: Light/medium
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Men’s Price at SmartwoolCheck Women’s Price at Smartwool

Runner-Up: Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Captain Stripe & Yeti Cushioned Socks

Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Captain Stripe & Yeti Cushioned Socks

Why we like it: Darn Tough’s over-the-calf, cushioned ski sock (specifically the men’s Captain Stripe and women’s Yeti) is a great sock recommended by lots of skiers across the board. The cushioned sock ($27) has a performance fit with naturally microbial properties thanks to the sock’s large percentage of merino wool.

What customers said: Customers loved these over-the-calf socks’ support and performance while skiing, especially the warmth in colder conditions. Almost all the reviews mentioned that with these socks you get both awesome quality and fun style. Note: A few customers commented that the socks have a tighter fit.

“[My] first pair of Darn Toughs and first foray into a slightly thicker ski sock. I won’t go back. These socks are warm, durable and look great.” — Sully, reviewer 

Specs
  • Fabric: 64% merino wool, 32% nylon, 4% Lycra spandex (men’s); 68% merino wool, 28% nylon, 4% Lycra spandex (women’s)
  • Thickness: Medium
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Men’s Price at AmazonCheck Women’s Price at Backcountry

Best Budget: Wigwam Snow Sirocco Ski Sock

Wigwam Snow Sirocco Ski Sock

Why we like it: Don’t let the long list of fabric materials fool you — this sock still delivers. The Wigwam Snow Sirocco sock ($16-24) has a seamless toe and is fully cushioned to offer as much warmth as possible. The sock also has a reinforced shin panel with extra cushion. If you’re looking for a sock that will deliver on warmth and not break the bank, this is it.

What customers said: A huge number of customers raved about the comfort and warmth of the Snow Sirocco socks despite the sock not being too thick. And most customers were very pleased with these socks’ performance in cold winter climates, although a few thought they weren’t warm enough. Regarding quality, most customers were happy, though a few mentioned the sock will suffer in the wash.

“I tried these on a recent ski trip. They worked great. I had old socks that always slid down in my boots. These stayed up all day. Very comfortable and warm.” — J. Rice, reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 42% wool, 24% stretch nylon, 21% polypropylene, 7% stretch polyester, 5% Olefin, 1% spandex
  • Thickness: Medium
  • Length: Mid-calf

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Best for Nordic: Darn Tough Oslo Nordic Boot Sock — Men’s & Women’s

Darn Tough Oslo Nordic Boot Sock

Why we like it: New in 2021 and updated this year is Darn Tough’s merino-forward, cross-country-skiing specific ski sock. The Darn Tough Oslo Nordic ($25) is made with a 52% nylon, 45% merino wool, 3% spandex blend — fairly standard compared to other ski socks on this list.

We appreciate the near 50/50 split of synthetic with merino wool (to help wick away sweat and fight odor). But the feature of this sock that really shines is the crew height and style. The sock is comfortable in the toebox, but not too plush/cushioned, and it retains a stay-in-place, athletic fit.

We’ve only been testing for 3 weeks this season but already love the look, height, and feel. We also tried it on with two different nordic boots. If the majority of your winter is spent on the XC trails, definitely add this sock to your list.

Check Men’s Price at BackcountryCheck Women’s Price at Backcountry

Best for Backcountry and Uphilling: CEP Ski Touring Compression Socks — Men’s & Women’s

CEP Ski Touring Compression Socks

Why we like it: CEP’s expansion of the Ski Collection and ski touring sock ($55) has been a blessing to our hardworking feet. Constructed with a honey-pot of graduated compression that’s not too tight (a moderate 20-30 mmHg), these backcountry-centric socks stay put no matter how many vertical feet we’re climbing and descending each day in ski or snowboard boots.

We’ve experienced no blisters, fabric clumping, odors, or shifting underfoot, even on sunny, calm days that reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

This sock is a good choice for backcountry travelers that prefer nice padding on the shin and around the ankle bones but an otherwise light, quick-drying sock that hugs like a hero. Sock sizes are also tailored to the calf circumference.

What customers said: “There’s great padding points on the socks. The shin padding on front of the sock is the greatest, not to mention the sock compression.” — Douglas W., reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 76% polyamide, 13% merino wool, 11% spandex
  • Thickness: Light
  • Length: Calf height

Check Men’s Price at AmazonCheck Women’s Price at Amazon

Best Ultra Thin: Dissent GFX Compression Hybrid

Dissent GFX Compression Hybrid

Why we like it: If you’re looking for a performance sock with ultimate breathability and an as-close-as-it-gets fit inside your boots, look no further. The Dissent GFX Compression Hybrid ($58) is thin with low-profile padding, and the polygiene material does a good job masking odors.

The addition of NanoGlide fibers helps to prevent friction, despite being thin, while also enhancing hydrophobic (quick drying) ability: We’ve never experienced blisters or hot spots with these socks. We like the slight cushion over the shin and around the ankle and the tight-fitting seamless toe. After testing for several seasons, there’s only a bit of pilling but no holes, either.

What customers said: Customers celebrated the anatomic design of the socks, the excellent breathability (especially for sweaty, hot feet), and lack of slippage.

“Yes, that’s right: actual left and right socks. Sounds simple but no one else does it. And look down, do your feet look symmetrical? No, of course, not. Why does every other sock I’ve ever owned look like it’s made for a stumpy foot? These socks are form-fitting with, yes, left and right socks, so they fit perfectly! Definitely the best socks I’ve ever owned.” — Shane Robinson, reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: Polygiene
  • Thickness: Light
  • Length: Calf height

Check Price at Dissent Labs

Best for Recovery: STOX Energy Recovery Compression Socks — Men’s & Women’s

STOX Energy Recovery Compression Socks

Why we like it: STOX Energy Socks ($49) is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and recently launched in the United States, which we greatly approve. After a big day on the slopes or in the backcountry, it’s nice to pull on these to-the-calf socks for a compression-supported recovery session.

We definitely wouldn’t sleep in this tight pair or wear them when our feet are cold, but they deliver 23-32 mmHG of graduated compression, which is a slightly stronger hold than performance-oriented pairs meant for ski or snowboard boots.

What customers said: Wearers of this compression sock noticed that the design is high quality and effective yet not tight enough to cause pain or discomfort. Several athletes use the socks for recovery and to reduce swelling, inflammation, cramping, and post-activity fatigue.

“These socks are comfortable and instantly helped relieve the inflammation on my ankle. They’re a must-have if you have tired, swollen legs and feet!” — Sarada, reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 84% polyamide, 16% elastane
  • Thickness: Ultralight
  • Length: Over the calf/knee height

Check Men’s Price at AmazonCheck Women’s Price at Amazon

Best Men’s Sock: EURO Socks Ski Zone Socks

EURO Socks Ski Zone Socks

Why we like it: While this sock is made from hollow-core microfibers, it’s still durable enough for long days on the slopes. The flat-knit sock ($20) has medium cushioning and does a great job of offering ventilation and breathability. Overall, this is a great choice for the price point, especially if you’re looking for a sock with not too much padding.

What customers said: Lots of reviewers liked these socks for both skiing and snowboarding ($20). The majority of reviews also mentioned the Ski Zone socks’ coziness and performance in cold temperatures and on long days. Some customers note they run a little big.

“They stayed unbelievably dry in different wet conditions, I believe due to the way the wool is woven. Highly recommended!” — Karim Afeiche, reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 80% MicroSupreme fiber, 15% polyamide nylon, 5% Elastane Lycra
  • Thickness: Medium
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Price at Amazon

Best Women’s Ski Sock: Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Yeti Cushioned Socks

Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Yeti Cushioned Socks

Why we like it: These socks are of great quality and have a good over-the-calf length and fit, not to mention the women’s-specific sizing and fun designs. But one of the best things about Darn Tough’s socks ($27) is the lifetime guarantee — if after a couple of seasons they need replacing or if they aren’t the sock you were looking for, you can just send them in. Though, we’ve been using these socks (a few pairs) for several seasons in a row, and love the quality and durability. There’s more cushion than some of our other favorite socks, making them great for longer ski missions and those looking for a more comfortable fit.

What customers said: Skiers love these socks — everything from the fit to the support and durability. According to several customers, the socks don’t bunch up or fall and are comfortable for all-day use in ski boots. One of the only negative reviews we could find mentioned they weren’t warm enough for ice climbing.

“I love, love, love these socks. The print is a riot … They’re warm, they’re supportive, they reach up high … I wore them all weekend on a cross-country skiing trip. They didn’t let me down!” — Lisa V., reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 68% merino wool, 28% nylon, 4% Lycra spandex
  • Thickness: Medium
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at evo

Best Ski Sock for Kids: Smartwool Kids’ Ski Racer Socks

Smartwool Kids' Ski Racer Socks

Why we like it: For kiddos, you can’t beat the Smartwool Ski Racer socks ($17). Important for kids is a soft feel, but also elements like the socks’ flat-knit toe seam, light cushion, and true-to-size fit. When you’ve got kiddos out on the slopes, comfort is really important, and these socks deliver. Note: These socks work for kids with children’s shoe sizes 6-13.5 and youth sizes up to 6.

What customers said: The majority of reviewers said these socks were perfect for kids on the slopes and kept them warm. One reviewer did not like the length of the sock for skiing but did like the quality.

“Finally a great pair of ski socks for my son. Most are too long, too bulky or poor materials. These work and fit superbly!” — FrizbeeLuke, Reviewer 

Specs
  • Fabric: 66% merino wool, 32% nylon, 2% elastane
  • Thickness: Light
  • Length: Tall crew

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Smartwool

Crowd Favorite: icebreaker Ski +Light OTC Sock — Men’s & Women’s

Icebreaker Ski +Light OTC Sock

Why we like it: icebreaker’s Ski+Light over-the-calf sock ($21-28) is a good option for those who don’t want or need a thicker sock. This wool sock is lightweight and stays dry and odorless even if you’re out on the slopes all day.

What customers said: Many users commented that they love these socks for downhill skiing, backcountry skiing, and snowboarding. The socks won lots of purchasers over for their performance in cold weather and well-constructed cushioning.

More than one reviewer described these as the “Goldilocks” of ski socks. That being said, a couple of cons mentioned were the sock’s length on the user’s calf as well as sizing issues for some.

“Perfect for skiing, nice fit and comfortable, kept my feet warm the whole time. Nice fit in my boot too, not too thin, not too thick.” — MontrealSkier, reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 55% merino wool, 42% nylon, 3% Lycra spandex
  • Thickness: Light
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Men’s Price at BackcountryCheck Women’s Price at REI

Best of the Rest

Smartwool Athlete Edition Ski Race Sock — Men’s & Women’s

Smartwool Athlete Edition Ski Race Sock

Why we like it: New in 2021, these Smartwool ski race socks really impressed us in testing. Tested and vetted by pro skier Mikaela Shiffrin, the socks have similar tech as other styles, like Smartwool’s Indestructawool construction and elite fit system, but also new design specs as well.

The Pro Ski Race socks ($31) have a slimmer fit, extra-contoured shin cushioning, as well as a wider welt for better comfort. We noticed that they are definitely lighter and stretchier than other Smartwool styles we’ve tried. If you want a sleek sock with no bulk and that’s easy to layer, check these out.

What customers said: Customers noticed the leaner silhouette of these performance-oriented socks, which some winter enthusiasts prefer while others do not, as well as the sock’s ability to provide warmth while being durable.

“These are my go-to socks for hockey! They are thin, comfortable, and pliable even when I forget to wash them, and they are durable. They are great in ski boots, too, if you like a thin sock.” — Jeremy, reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 57% merino wool, 40% nylon, 3% elastane (women’s: 56% merino wool, 41% nylon)
  • Thickness: Light
  • Length: Calf height

Check Men’s Price at evoCheck Women’s Price at Amazon

Le Bent Core Light Snow Sock

Le Bent Core Light Snow Sock

Why we like it: We’ve never had a ski sock be so buttery smooth against our feet. This low-profile sock ($28) is athletic luxury and we’re here for it. The fibers cover odors well and the fit doesn’t slide around but isn’t restrictive.

The caveat for ultimate comfort: We’ve noticed that Le Bent socks tend to wear down a tad faster, especially in the heel, compared to other blends. But being below the priciest ski sock on our list, we still think it’s worth having them in our drawer.

Note: There’s a Core Ultra Light Snow Sock if you’re looking to go even leaner with this softie.

What customers said: Folks who’ve worn these socks note how they rose to their favorite pick, how comfortable they are to wear all day, and that the design helps to prevent blisters while managing sweat.

“How is it possible to make socks feel this good? Is it witchcraft?” — Darren, reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 41% rayon from bamboo, 39% nylon, 18% Merino wool, 2% elastane
  • Thickness: Light
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Amazon

CEP Ski Merino Compression Socks — Men’s & Women’s

CEP Ski Merino Compression Socks

Why we like it: The CEP Ski Merino Tall Compression Socks ($55) are similar to the ski touring sock and equally deliver an excellent boot fit and support. The blend features a greater quantity of merino wool, which generally helps manage our foot warmth better between runs and lift rides. The moderate graduated compression sits at 20-30 mmHg, which makes the sock feel snug from bell to bell.

Even on warm days or after intense powder riding, we don’t notice a smelly aroma, either, thanks to the fabric’s antibacterial treatment. Sock sizes are also tailored to the calf circumference.

What customers said: Skiers have noticed that this performance-tailored sock doesn’t sag with use and throughout the day, remains snug, yet isn’t too tight like a recovery compression sock. The design offers ample warmth and comfort, too.

“As a Mountain Safety Patrol, I’m in this sock for up to 10 hours a day, and my feet feel great at the end of day. My feet used to get cold in other brands, but I haven’t had that issue with these socks.” — Timothy S., reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 67% polyamide, 23% merino wool, 10% spandex
  • Thickness: Medium
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Men’s Price at AmazonCheck Women’s Price at Amazon

Smartwool Ski Targeted Cushion Sock — Men’s & Women’s

Smartwool Ski Targeted Cushion Sock

Why we like it: Smartwool’s Indestructawool construction in these socks places reinforcement fibers for durability, which is one reason we think they work so well and are so highly rated by skiers across the nation. We also like this sock style’s addition of mesh ventilation zones for breathability and the light cushion for comfort without the bulk.

What customers said: Skiers had a lot to say about these lightweight socks ($26) from Smartwool. The majority of reviewers had positive feedback about the socks’ combined comfort, durability, and warmth, even during long days on the mountain. Some customers noted the socks weren’t soft enough, and one noted the socks slipped on the calves, but most found they stayed up and were comfortable in their ski boots.

Specs
  • Fabric: 59% merino wool, 38% nylon, 3% elastane
  • Thickness: Light

Check Men’s Price at evoCheck Women’s Price at evo

FITS Pro Ski Over-the-Calf Sock

FITS Pro Ski Over-the-Calf Sock 

Why we like it: Firstly, these FITS Ski socks ($24) are well-fitting and soft, but they also have a great price. FITS over-the-calf socks are made with merino wool for softness and wicking, and feature FITS’ Dynamic Toe Cup design, which contours to the shape of your foot.

We like the variety of styles and colors as well as this sock’s focus on shin padding and awesome compatibility with narrower feet. In fact, several of our snowboarders on staff especially love having this sock in rotation, due to its cushioning, midweight fabric, breathability, and soft feel thanks to the merino wool.

What customers said: Online reviewers love this sock’s fit inside boots and comfort throughout the day. Overall, these socks were most described as warm, comfortable, and practical — great qualities to have in a sock. Of all the reviews, only a couple noted that they didn’t like the sock’s thickness.

Specs
  • Fabric: 57% super-fine merino wool, 32% nylon, 8% polyester, 3% Lycra
  • Thickness: Medium

Check Price at FITS

Voormi Ski Sock

Voormi Ski Sock

Why we like it: The ratings on Voormi’s ski socks ($45) are high, and the positive feedback is definitely echoed by some of our skiers on staff. The brand’s ski sock is made of low-friction wicking merino wool fibers that keep feet warm and dry. The sock delivers just the right amount of thermal insulation needed on the uphill and downhill. Plus, the Voormi sock has specific left- and right-foot construction.

What customers said: This sock delivers. For the price, users loved the warmth and comfort the Voormi ski sock provided. For a lightweight sock, reviewers were impressed. The only con was that some customers commented that they run a bit large, so be sure to check sizing before you order.

Specs
  • Fabric: Fine-micron merino wool blend
  • Thickness: Light
  • Length: Knee height

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Burton Performance Midweight Socks — Men’s & Women’s

Burton Performance Midweight Socks

Why we like it: Burton’s Performance midweight socks ($21-40) have some cool features: ventilation panels on the toes and an odor-resistant footbed to give your feet much-needed breathability while skiing. The socks are slightly thinner than other midweight socks but still get the job done — with Sock Lock to prevent slipping and enough warmth for powder days.

What customers said: Customers liked this sock for both backcountry and front-country use, which is great. Reviewers also called out this sock’s delivery on warmth, durability over time, and that this sock runs true to size (because accurate sizing makes both sock and boot comfort so much better).

Specs
  • Fabric: 38% nylon, 30% merino wool, 30% acrylic, 2% elastane
  • Thickness: Medium

Check Men’s Price at AmazonCheck Women’s Price at Amazon

Bridgedale Ski Light Merino Endurance Sock — Men’s

Bridgedale Ski Light Merino Endurance

Why we like it: Bridgedale’s Ski Light sock ($27-35) doesn’t have many reviews, but all of them are positive. The men’s-specific-fit ski sock is lightweight, with medium cushioning on the footbed and shin. We like this sock’s nylon and wool blend as well as the comfort it provides. Bridgedale recommends these socks for all-mountain and freeskiing pursuits.

What customers said: Multiple reviewers commented that they liked the men’s Bridgedale Ski Light socks’ performance fit and thinner construction — thin enough to prevent rubbing or chafing, but thick enough to stay comfortable in a boot. Judging by the reviews, these are a good, all-around ski sock, especially for those looking for socks with a reliable fit.

Specs
  • Fabric: 51% nylon, 20% merino wool, 20% polypropylene, 7% Tactel, 2% Lycra spandex
  • Thickness: Light
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Price at Amazon

Spyder Sweep Kids Sock — Boy’s & Girl’s

Spyder Sweep Kids Sock

Why we like it: Another fan favorite for mini rippers is the Spyder Sweep kids ski sock ($15). This sock is great because it has light cushioning, but remains warm enough for kids’ toes if out all day. The ski sock also comes in a range of sizes (XS-XL) — accommodating kids ages 5 up to 15.

The Spyder Sweep sock is made with an all-synthetic blend (more durable for kids), and light cushioning (great for kids in ski clubs or kids who ski race). The Sweep also has a cushioned toe and heel, and compression at the arch.

What customers said: For parents and kids, these socks are hard to beat. They offer a wide range of sizing and run true to size, and fit well. Plus, they won’t break the bank. The true test: Are they comfortable? Kids said yes.

“Perfect for my 5 year old shredder! He loves it.” — Lucinda A., reviewer

Specs
  • Fabric: 77% acrylic, 22% nylon, 1% elastane
  • Thickness: light
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Boys’ Price at BackcountryCheck Girls’ Price at Backcountry

Farm to Feet Park City Midweight Sock

Farm to Feet Park City Midweight

Why we like it: These Farm to Feet ski socks ($26) tick a lot of boxes for us: They’re made from U.S.-sourced merino wool, have a seamless toe construction and, according to lots of customers, work for different types of skiers. They also come in men’s- and women’s-specific styles.

What customers said: These midweight socks are some of Farm to Feet’s most popular. The Park City Midweights offer excellent performance during rigorous ski days, according to many reviewers, and provide a good level of warmth. A few customer ratings also mentioned their loyalty to the durable brand.

Specs
  • Fabric: 61% merino wool, 36% nylon, 3% elastane
  • Thickness: Medium
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Farm to Feet

Norrona Lofoten Mid Weight Merino Sock Long

Norrona Lofoten Mid Weight Merino Sock Long

Why we like it: Norrona probably doesn’t make the top of your winter sock list, but here’s why it should. We like the consistent fit and the combination of both style and quality. They hold their shape and are functional, even on colder days. Norrona also uses uber-soft, traceable, mulesing-free wool in this sock.

What customers said: The majority of users liked these midweight socks‘ ($39) comfort and looks. People who have used them for a season or more commented on the great-lasting quality and perfect mix of warmth and fit. However, a few noted that they are too hot for ski touring and better for skiing in front- or side-country terrain.

Specs
  • Fabrics: Merino wool, nylon, and elastane blend
  • Thickness: Medium
  • Length: Calf height

Check Price at Norrona

Le Bent Le Send x Cody Townsend Touring Sock

Le Bent Le Send x Cody Townsend Touring Sock

Why we like it: This sock ($37) was designed by freeskier Cody Townsend as a backcountry-specific technical touring sock for high-performance users. We like the fact that 2 years of research went into the design, plus the sock has a snug heel fit and silicone Sock Lock for no-slip performance.

What customers said: Customers raved about the sock’s comfort and compatibility in boots (no rubbing or blisters). Users like this sock for ski touring and conquering uphill terrain, although a few users also commented on wearing this cozy ski sock around the house. If you ski tour frequently, this is definitely a sock to consider.

Specs
  • Fabrics: 44% bamboo rayon, 35% nylon, 19% merino wool, 2% elastane
  • Thickness: Light
  • Length: Over the calf

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Amazon

Why You Should Trust Us

Our two authors have more than 37 years of combined experience skiing and snowboarding. We also had a half dozen other GearJunkie staff weigh in on their favorite ski socks for testing. We tried on, wore, skied in, stretched, and washed over 30 models of socks, distilling it down to the best of the best on this list.

How did we test? By putting the socks to work in negative up to balmy winter temps, while uphill skinning, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, splitboarding, and more.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Ski Socks

Materials

Wondering if you should invest in wool or synthetic? When it comes to ski socks, a blend of both is best. But there are still dozens of types of fabrics out there. Our favorite socks in testing all had a blend of merino wool, nylon (or polymide nylon), and elastane or Lycra spandex for stretch.

The other important thing to look for in ski socks is not just the fabric itself, but how it’s woven: are there flatlock seams, seamless toes, reinforced zones, or extra padding or cushioning in the shins. Our editors (a mix of intermediate to expert skiers and snowboarders) all leaned toward preferring lighter-weight socks.

Fit and Thickness

If you are mainly touring, you’ll probably want a lighter sock that won’t rub or slide around, and that wicks sweat super well. If you ski in very cold climates, you may want a midweight for warmth. In general, performance-oriented skiers often reach for a leaner sock that allows a more precise feel.

You’ll also want to consider how a sock fits within your boot — and make sure that the sock-boot combo is not too tight — this can play a role in circulation and heat management, too. If you run cold, you’ll also want to consider a midweight (or even heavily cushioned) sock.

In our reviews above, we listed each socks type of thickness: this refers to ultralight, lightweight, midweight, or heavyweight fabrics. We’ve also called out whether the socks have added cushioning.

Durability, Price, and More

The most important thing when it comes to buying socks is arguably buying ones that will last you the longest. And that largely depends on how much you ski or ride. Even if you are an aggressive skier, if you are riding 80-100 days per season, it’d be foolish to pick an ultralight sock.

Ensure that if you plan on putting your socks through the wringer, you opt for ones with stronger (synthetic fibers), reinforced seams, or ones that hold up to lots of washes.

Ski socks can be expensive, we know — 20 or 30 bucks for one pair. But if you buy based on the tips and picks we’ve laid out here, know that you will get a great sock when it comes to keeping your feet comfortable, warm, and secure in your boots.

ski socks smartwool

FAQ

What Are the Best Ski Socks?

There are hundreds of ski socks on the market, curated into dozens of types and styles. We’ve found the best ones for beginners have a balance of support and cushion, a warm yet breathable blend, and come at a lower price.

Some of our expert skiers’ favorites include the Smartwool PhD and Smartwool Ski Race, Le Bent, and Voormi Ski Socks — socks with lighter or ultralight cushioning, merino wool fibers, and tailored zones that help balance breathability and warmth.

What Are the Warmest Ski Socks?

The warmest ski socks will depend largely on the blend of fabrics and thickness of the sock. Some of the warmest ski socks we tested and best for temps below zero were the Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Sock and the Burton Midweight Socks.

Should Ski Socks Be Thin or Thick?

Sock thickness is usually very dependent on what type of skier you are, as well as personal preference. And depending on how your ski or snowboard boot fits, as well as the shape of your feet, you may want a thinner or thicker sock for comfort.

We’ve found most of our expert skiers on staff prefer a lighter-weight sock, while snowboarders on staff are split between light and midweight varieties.

Are Merino Wool Socks Good for Skiing?

Merino wool is a natural fiber with a lot of great properties: breathability, odor-wicking, and moisture-wicking, to name a few. And each of those factors really come into play when your foot is stuffed inside an insulated, rigid boot all day. But, merino’s not the most durable over time.

So, if you prefer merino over synthetic blends, we’d recommend looking for a sock that has at least 50-60% merino wool — like the Smartwool PhD Ski Sock series or FITS Pro Ski Socks we reviewed above.


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Whether heading into the backcountry or looking for an all-mountain winner, we found the best snowboard boots of 2022. Read more…

the author wearing a Phunkshun balaclava underneath a helmet, she is gazing out over the snow
The Best Face Coverings for Skiing & Snowboarding in 2022
We've tested the best face coverings for downhill skiing and snowboarding in 2022 to keep you warm and safe all winter long. Read more…