You want to be as comfortable as possible in cold weather conditions. Especially if you plan on hitting the slopes. If you're new to skiing or winter sports, you might overlook the importance of a pair of ski socks. But, you'll quickly learn that having the appropriate gear is essential for your skiing enjoyment.
Nothing can ruin your sporting enjoyment faster than frozen toes, or chafing blisters. Although many overlook the importance of ski socks, they should not undervalue their significance when packing for a ski trip. The right socks will keep you warm, protect your feet, and some even include features like built-in heating elements. Why suffer painful blisters in the cold when you don't have to?
Why Skiers Should Wear Ski Socks
Although many people believe all socks are ideally suited for skiing, this isn't the case. Ski socks offer proper levels of comfort and warmth, plus, they improve performance on the slopes. Inadequate socks can hinder a skier's abilities on the hills, even if they own the best ski boots and skis. Ski socks feature a specially engineered design to keep your feet safe in their ski boots and give you the best performance possible.
When choosing ski socks, a snug fit is the best fit. Socks shouldn't be too loose as this allows airflow to penetrate to the feet and additional friction between the boots. If the socks are too tight, this restricts movement and blood flow. It also causes discomfort when skiing. Using size guides, and choosing the socks which correspond to the purchaser's shoe size, is the best approach to take when buying socks.
Another issue with sizing and fit is deciding how many pairs of ski socks to wear. Some believe that doubling up, or wearing more than one pair, will increase warmth and comfort. However, this isn't the case. One pair is more than enough. That is, as long as skiers purchase the right ski socks in the first place.
Types of Ski Socks
Some skiers, especially those who are new to the sport, think it's “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to choosing ski socks. Sizing can vary significantly from one manufacturer to the next. There are primarily two types available which are ergonomic socks and tube socks.
Ergonomic ski socks
As the name implies, these socks are perfect for those who want socks which have an anatomical fit. The socks are made to provide the highest levels of comfort and conform to the wearer's feet. Some features of ergonomic ski socks include:
Tube ski socks
The second common type of ski sock is the tube sock. These socks feature a long tube, an elastic finish, and a sewn-on toe cap. The bottom of the socks also features a more elasticised stitching so that the socks will fit tighter around the feet and ankles. Tube socks aren't gender specific, and they don't have a particular left/right design like ergonomic socks do.
Best Materials for Ski Socks
Comfort, material, and warmth, are factors consumers should consider when purchasing ski socks. There are a variety of materials to choose from when buying ski socks.
This material is highly elastic and stretchy. Ski socks made of this material don't bunch up when worn with bulky ski boots. Skiers who choose this material experience a high level of mobility and comfort when wearing them.
Comfort, warmth, and the wicking properties present in the yarn makes wool a favorite material for ski socks. The material wicks sweat away while keeping the feet warm and dry. The fabric maintains its shape well, is comfortable, and this high-quality fabric repels odor.
Softness and the thermal capabilities present in polyester make it an excellent choice of material for ski socks. It also wicks sweat from the feet and is comfortable on for long periods of use.
One of the most commonly used materials for ski socks is nylon. It is durable and helps reduce friction between skier's boots/feet when skiing. It has anti-bacterial capabilities which also help reduce odor when wearing the socks for long periods of time.
This material is a quality synthetic-wool substitute. For those who are allergic to wool or want an alternative to wool, this is a great solution. Acrylic is soft, lightweight, and extremely comfortable. The material is also stain and wrinkle resistant.
The Appropriate Weight
Like the material, the proper weight for new ski socks will create the best balance for an enjoyable ski outing. Ski socks are available in light, middle, and heavyweight blends.
This option is perfect for warmer days. Pro skiers chose lightweight socks because of the high levels of flexibility and mobility they afford wearers.
Midweight socks fall in the middle. They provide high levels of comfort and warmth, without getting too hot on the feet. The material blend is typically thick enough for most skiing conditions, and won't weigh skiers down.
These socks are the thickest and provide the highest levels of cushioning between the feet and ski boot. Beginners like thicker socks because they are perfect for cold weather. They also help stabilize balance for newer skiers looking to improve form. For more advanced skiers, these socks might hinder performance and mobility a bit.
Our Review Process
Our review compares average ratings for each pair of ski socks on the list. Additionally, we rely on aspects like the material, quality, comfort, and levels of warmth the socks afford skiers. We also consider pricing in the review process and take a close look at customer reviews.
Average Price and Where to
Purchase Ski Socks
Ski socks are available at nearly any outdoor sporting goods store. Consumers can also find these socks on Amazon and sites like REI.
The Best Ski Socks Available
Before choosing a pair of ski socks, it's a good idea to compare several pairs. Not only to find the best fit and comfort but also to pinpoint the most durable socks for outdoor conditions. And, consumers will also see the best deal for ski socks when comparing top-rated pairs before purchasing.
Pure Compression Midweight Socks
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Made with premium Merino wool, these socks keep a skier's feet warm and dry, all while keeping them comfortable when skiing. The socks feature anti-odor and moisture wicking capabilities, so feet remain dry in the cold. Shin padding also prevents injuries to the shins and minimizes friction between the boot and bone.
Some aspects consumers like is the no-slip design. The socks remain in place and don't slide down the legs when skiing. Midweight thickness keeps the feet warm and dry, without weighing skiers down too much.
Some complaints about these socks are that they aren't ideal for all-season use. The midweight material is a little warm during certain times of the year. In addition, the midweight material does limit mobility for the most experienced skiers a bit.
Pure Athlete High-Performance Wool Socks
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An innovative blend of Merino wool and polypropylene fabric helps keep skiers warm while keeping their feet dry. These socks feature key comfort areas with a special stitching pattern throughout the toe box and heel areas. Thick cushioning throughout the socks helps reduce friction, minimizing bruising or rashes around the feet, ankle, and shins.
The non-slip design is a feature that buyers highly value. The socks don't slouch down, so they don't cause discomfort and keep skiers warm. Built-in arch support also helps reduce fatigue to the feet. Wicking capabilities help prevent overheating with the midweight material blend.
Some customers complain that the socks aren't as thick as the manufacturer claims in the description. Some also complain that the higher calf-length design somewhat restricts mobility. The cuff around the calf is a little tight according to some reviews as well.
Pure Athlete Elite Race Ski Socks
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This pair of ski socks is one of the most affordable on the list making them a popular choice for skiers. These socks are breathable. They are made of a wool blend to help keep skier's feet at the perfect temperatures. They feature a non-slip cuff, so they won't slide down the legs when moving at quick speeds going downhill.
The socks are moisture-wicking and feature anti-bacterial capabilities, to help minimize odor. The yarns used in this sock have a distinct feature to eliminate itching around the feet and ankles as well. These elite socks are perfect for full-day use and skiing.
Complaints that the socks aren't warm enough in colder temperatures is a primary area of concern for skiers. Some reviews state that in temperatures below 40 degrees, the socks aren't warm enough for outdoor use. Many also claim the socks are not midweight, although the manufacturer lists them for sale as midweight socks.
Sockwell Graduated Compression Ski Socks
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These socks are a blend of Merino wool, nylon, acrylic, spandex, and bamboo fabrics. With moderate graduated compression, these socks are great for outdoor activities like skiing. Purchasers can also wear these socks when sitting for extended periods of time to help increase circulation and blood flow.
They feature a protective shin cushion and Achilles cushion. The Acu-fit technology consists of spandex throughout, which helps preserve the same fit throughout the day. The socks won't stretch out regardless of how long skiers are on their feet. An ultra-light cushion also ensures high levels of comfort when skiers wear them for long periods of time.
Although the socks are highly-rated, some reviewers note they are a bit warm for summer months. The longer length also covers the entire calf area, which limits mobility a bit for some skiers. The combination of material blends might not be the best option for individuals who are allergic to specific materials either.
CEP Progressive Ski Socks
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Compression and thermogenic capabilities built into one pair of socks. A polyamide and nylon blend is highly breathable, comfortable, and soft to the touch. Skiers will barely feel the socks on their feet, ensuring high levels of mobility and range when skiing in challenging conditions.
Skiiers like the temperature regulation feature of these socks. The temperature regulating fabrics guarantee high levels of comfort. The spandex base conforms to the wearer's feet and legs, resulting in an anatomical fit for all users. Compression also increases levels of blood flow and circulation to relieve pain and fatigue.
Purchasers note some areas of improvement which would increase the quality of the socks. Some complain the socks are too tight and the high levels of compression are somewhat uncomfortable. This is especially true when the socks are worn for longer durations. Some reviews also add that the socks aren't intended for freezing weather and skiing conditions.
WigWam Ski Socks
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These socks are available in multiple colors, for skiers who want to add their personality and flair to their ski outfit. The sock is made of wool and nylon fabrics. They are knee-high socks, providing a high level of warmth and protection in icy skiing conditions.
A stay-put knee, heel, toe, and shin design minimizes the chances these socks will move while skiing. This feature guarantees comfort while protecting skiers in colder temperatures. The socks are a midweight blend so that they won't weigh skiers down, but still provide sufficient levels of warmth in mild to cold temperatures.
A few reviews claim the socks unravel at the heel and seams easily. Reviewers claim poor construction and design flaws are an issue with these socks. Additionally, some reviewers note that the socks aren't intended for temperatures below 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit, as they aren't warm enough.
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Don't find yourself on the slopes when you realize that you underestimated the importance of ski socks. Beginners and novice skiers will significantly benefit from owning them, and expert skiiers already do.
The CEP Progressive Socks are a great option for skiers of all experience levels. They are light, pliable, and will keep your feet warm in cooler conditions. The socks also feature beneficial compression features. They help increase blood flow and circulation throughout the legs and feet. With shin protectors, non-slip design, and soft fabric blends, these are the perfect pair of ski socks for an upcoming ski trip. And the affordable pricing is also an added bonus.
Did we cover your favorite brand here, or will you choose one that we have? Let us know down in the comments.