Nothing ruins the fun of a day on the slopes quicker than freezing cold feet, blisters, and bruised shins. Ski socks are designed to keep these problems at bay These socks cover the entire calf, are made from warm material, and often have extra padding and extra smooth seams. They insulate and can provide a gentle compression to give your legs extra support while you play. These socks can be expensive so to make sure you get the most for your money, consider these features.
Considerations when choosing ski socks
While thick socks are usually warmer for general wear, they may cause your feet to sweat and become cold when skiing. They may also affect the fit of your ski boots so always try them on together. You will want to make sure your socks offer breathability and moisture wicking material to keep your feet warm, but not hot.
While everyday socks run in general sizes and fit most feet, ski socks are an exception. You need to make sure you buy the sock sized right for your foot and calf. You'll only be able to enjoy the benefits of a ski sock if it's fitted correctly. Also, remember different materials will also provide different levels of comfort. Wool is incredibly warm, but it can also be scratchy or even cause an allergic reaction. Synthetic materials are your best bet for lightweight moisture-wicking comfort.
Extra support features
Ski socks are likely to provide two crucial extra support features - arch support and padding. The extra cushioning can be helpful on the shins, heels, and ankle areas. Arch support can keep your feet stable and comfortable in ski boots which tend to be stiff. Some also offer a slight compression through the calves to keep swelling at a minimum.
Ski socks cost more than socks you wear every day. A basic ski sock of decent quality will start at about $10 to $15 a pair. They offer extra support and wicking but may not be as durable. Mid-range socks range from about $15 to $25 a pair. They give you support and protection but may not be the warmest socks available. The best ski socks are likely to cost you $25 or more a pair. These should have a good moisture wicking function. They should have good support through the arches and will be made from a blend of materials designed to last several seasons and keep your feet cozy without the need for foot warmers.
Q. Can I wash my ski socks like other socks?
A. Some ski socks can be machine washed but should never be washed in hot water. All socks will come with manufacturer's instructions for care, which should be followed closely. It will also be helpful to wash your socks inside out. Air drying is the best choice.
Q. How do I choose the right height?
A. Ski socks do come in various heights for different types of skiing. A general rule is to choose a sock that will come up over the top of the boot. A cross country ski sock will be different from downhill ski socks in order to protect your shin from chafing with the front of your boot as you move. However, a cross country ski sock could potentially do double duty as a good hiking sock.
Q. Why can't I just wear two pairs of socks?
A. The biggest problem with wearing multiple pairs of socks is that they often shift during the day. This causes bumps and roughness between your skin and the surface of your socks, which is often a cause of blistering. Regular socks are also not likely to be moisture wicking, which could leave your feet sweaty and cold.
Ski socks we recommend
Best of the best: Pure Athlete/High-Performance Wool Ski Socks
Our take: This high-performing overall sock helps keep your feet dry and blister free during a long day on the slopes
What we like: These socks are made from a mix of materials to both provide warmth and moisture wicking properties. They have added padding in high-pressure points and are designed to stay up.
What we dislike: The calf portion seems a little narrow.
Best bang for your buck: Fox River/Snow Pack Over-The-Calf Merino Wool Socks
Our take: A low price on sport-specific socks for skiing that are warm and will last a long time.
What we like: Added shin protection. Soft and comfortable. Don't pill in the wash. Stay up well. A good value on the price for a two-pack.
What we dislike: Your feet may feel sweaty after a long day of skiing.
Choice 3: Eurosocks/Ski Zone Snow Skiing Socks
Our take: This sock has a lot of added features and comes at a decent price
What we like: It is terry lined, has shin padding and comes in several colors. We like the detailed sizing chart and extra smooth toes.
What we dislike: These socks do not seem to wear as well as other brands.
Karen Roth Ridder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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