10 Best Ski and Snowboard Socks
Let’s face it. It’s hard to enjoy a day on the slopes if your feet are cold or uncomfortable. Choosing the right socks, as well as ski boots, is one of the most important, and unfortunately overlooked, gear decisions for skiing or snowboarding. The best ski and snowboard socks will be snug, cushioned, and breathable so that you can keep taking laps on the slopes.
So, how do you choose the right sock? Our buying guide below outlines the different factors to consider, and to make things easier, we’ve already done the research for you with our list of the 10 best ski and snowboard socks out there. But before going any further, let’s first discuss why you should spend money on getting a pair of ski or snowboard specific socks.
Why Should You Buy A Ski or Snowboard Specific Sock?
If you’re planning your first ski trip, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary to buy specific socks. The answer is YES!
Socks designed for skiing and snowboarding have several unique features that are important if you want to enjoy your day on the mountain. The best ski and snowboard socks have all of these features and more.
- Ergonomic design more closely resembles the shape of your foot and provides a snug fit
- Materials are moisture wicking to repel sweat away from your feet and keep them warm
- Padding is strategically placed throughout the socks for added comfort and durability
- Tall fit to provide coverage from your knees to your toes
|Sock||Gender-Specific?||Thickness||Merino Wool %||Nylon %||Price Range|
|Darn Tough Outer Limits OTC||Yes||Lightweight||42%||54%||$$|
|Smartwool PhD Ski Medium||Yes||Midweight||62%||36%||$$|
|Icebreaker Ski+ Light OTC||Yes||Lightweight||55%||42%||$$|
|Wigwam Snow Sirocco||No||Midweight||0%||24%||$|
|Burton Performance Lightweight||Yes||Lightweight||20%||46%||$$|
|PureAthlete High Performance Wool||No||Midweight||25%||54%||$|
|Le Bent Le Send X Cody Townshend Pro Series||No||Lightweight||19%||35%||$$|
|Farm to Feet Waitsfield Lightweight||Yes||Lightweight||60%||36%||$$|
|Fox River Snow Pack Medium Weight OTC||No||Midweight||19%||25%||$|
|Eurosocks Ski Zone OTC||No||Midweight||0%||15%||$|
Best Ski and Snowboard Socks
Darn Tough is one of the best sock brands in the United States, so it’s no surprise they made the top of the list for the best ski and snowboard socks. The Outer Limits sock is soft, breathable and performs well in winter conditions. Designed with fine knitting construction, these socks provide the durability and comfort you need to keep you going all season long.
The mesh panels located on the top of the foot and back of the leg help regulate the temperature of your feet. In addition, the merino wool fiber wicks away moisture to prevent sweat. Not to mention, antimicrobial properties naturally repel bacteria and odor. This means less smelly feet when you get back to the car!
The Darn Tough Outer Limits socks are also very comfortable. The seams are undetectable, providing a smooth, invisible feel. Also, with light cushioning underfoot and on the shin, you won’t notice the rigidness of your ski boots as much. Whether you’re cruising groomers or navigating a mogul field, these socks have your back (or more accurately your feet).
One of the best things about Darn Tough is their lifetime guarantee. If you don’t love your new socks, or eventually wear them out from general use, you can return them for a new pair. Darn Tough is a family owned business located in Vermont. They continue to run 100% of their operations from Vermont because according to their CEO, “Nobody ever outsourced anything for quality.”
Smartwool’s mission from day one has been to create smarter, more capable socks using merino wool. Their PhD Ski line is soft, comfortable, and snug. These socks don’t loosen much, even if you wear them a few times in a row without washing, and have a specific fit that supports your arches. Ride worry-free without your socks bunching up or slipping down in your boots.
Designed with Smartwool’s durable Indestructawool™ technology, the PhD Ski socks should last you several years. The materials provide extra warmth and cushioning to ensure your feet are comfortable even on the coldest of days. With targeted mesh ventilation zones, these socks also deliver optimal moisture management and maximum breathability.
Some women have commented that the women-specific version of this sock can feel restricting around the calves, so ladies with muscular lower legs may want to buy the men’s version to have some breathing room. Also, the midweight option recommended here is best for skiers that tend to get cold feet or like having some cushion (which we do). If your ski boots are already tight, you may prefer Smartwool’s PhD Ski Light Elite.
These are some of the most versatile socks on the market, and you can feel good about buying them. Smartwool responsibly sources their Merino wool from New Zealand Merino Company, an organization that developed the ZQ wool accreditation program, which follows environmentally sustainable practices and promotes safe animal welfare.
Best Lightweight Ski and Snowboard Socks
Combining a high percentage of merino wool with an anatomical fit, the Icebreaker Ski+ Light socks perform well in winter conditions. These socks offer superb wicking capabilities and are very quick to dry. Breathable forefoot zones also increase breathability.
Light, sculpted cushioning provides a snug and comfortable fit. With supported zones in the ankle, heel, and instep, the Icebreaker Ski+ Light socks feel stable and stay in place. The seamless toe box area reduces bulk and blisters and is constructed for unique left and right foot fit.
At the top, there is a wide cuff to provide extra comfort and to prevent the socks from sliding down while you’re riding. The Icebreaker Ski+ Lights are stretchy, supportive, and lightweight and provide the performance you need, whether you’re at the resort or in the backcountry.
Best Budget Ski and Snowboard Socks
If spending over $20 on a single pair of socks makes you cringe, then the Wigwam Snow Sirocco socks may be perfect for you. These socks are fully cushioned with a reinforced shin panel to keep you comfortable and warm on the slopes.
The mix of wool and nylon are soft on your feet, and the seamless construction keeps your toes comfortable throughout the day. This sock is thicker than the first two options on the list, which may be okay if you don’t go skiing often or plan to rent your boots. Rental boots tend to fit more loosely, so having slightly thicker socks may help with the fit.
That being said, the Wigwam Snow Siroccos are not great for performance skiing. These socks tend to lose their shape more quickly and don’t wick moisture as well. In general though, they deliver great value for the price.
The Burton Performance Lightweight socks are comfortable, durable, and perform well in all mountain conditions. Using compression technology to apply pressure in targeted areas, these socks help quicken recovery time and enhance circulation. This means warmer toes, less stops at the lodge, and more fun on the slopes!
To provide a more snug fit, these socks are built with ankle reinforcements to keep your heel from slipping while you’re riding. In addition, they have a low profile welted cuff to ensure they stay up on your calf. The toe seam is also constructed with a flat stitch design, which eliminates chafing and bunching around your toes.
If you’re looking for a lighter, but warm, ski sock, the Burton Performance Lightweights are one of the best options out there. They have all around elastic support and can be used for nearly any winter activity. You’ll also receive two pairs when you purchase them from Amazon. This way you’re ready for an adventure on the mountain, even if you miss laundry day!
Made with a blend of merino wool and polypropylene, the PureAthlete High Performance sock effectively regulates the temperature of your feet while you ski or ride. The wool contains hydrophobic properties that repel sweat and keep you warm without itching.
These socks are soft and comfortable with cushioning in the shin, ankle, and foot areas. In addition, there is an elastic arch support to prevent your feet from getting tired, even on the days you decide to ride until last chair.
With elastic support also at the top, these socks fit snug and stay in place. The midweight thickness provides warmth without impacting the fit of your ski boots. Customers also appreciate the left and right foot designation of each sock, as well as PureAthlete’s 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.
Best Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Socks
Designed in collaboration with Cody Townshend, a free skiing legend, the Le Bent Le Send socks are perfect for backcountry skiers and snowboarders. Silicon strips are strategically placed at the heel and the top cuff of the socks. This helps prevent blisters from forming and the socks from bunching or slipping down as you skin uphill.
To provide an even more precise fit, the Le Send socks have ankle band support so that you can rip turns all day long. These socks also strike the perfect balance between warmth and breathability. A high-impact area, the toe box has extra cushioning to provide protection and warmth. Meanwhile, the material on the top of the foot is constructed with mesh ventilation to allow moisture to escape.
Lastly, Le Bent made sure to add slight compression to the shin and calf areas. Increasing circulation helps to manage muscle fatigue as you work hard to earn your turns. So, what are you waiting for? Enhance your touring gear setup with these carefully designed socks from Le Bent.
Constructed from soft, merino wool, the Farm to Feet Waitsfield socks are lightweight and breathable. The material is itch-free and has antimicrobial properties to keep bad odors away. It also effectively regulates your feet temperature.
With targeted cushioning in high-impact areas, including the shin, instep, heel, and toe box areas, your feet will be comfortable and protected. Since the sock is lightweight, the cushioning is minimal so it doesn’t significantly affect how your feet fit into your boots.
The reinforced construction and low-stress seam placement of these Farm to Feet socks increase their durability. With a variety of colors and patterns on Amazon, you cannot go wrong with these low profile, top performing ski and snowboard socks.
The Fox River Snow Pack socks are fully cushioned to provide insulation and absorb shocks in high impact areas. Light jersey knitting at the instep helps prevent the socks from bunching, and the spandex ankle panel keeps them comfortably in place.
A smooth and flat toe seam ensures your toes won’t get irritated, and the toe box area is reinforced to provide durability. The merino wool and acrylic blend wicks moisture and enhances breathability. Not to mention, the material is very soft to keep your feet cozy!
With insulating fibers, gentle compression, and mesh panels for ventilation, the Fox River Snow Pack socks are built to keep your feet warm, dry, and comfy. They may not last as long as some of the others on this list, but it is a great deal for two pairs of quality ski socks.
The Eurosocks are medium weight socks specifically designed for skiing and snowboarding. Designed with specific comfort zones and a thicker, but soft, external material, these socks will keep your feet warm on those cold, snowy days on the lift.
Thicker cushioning around the shins and soles protects your feet from the rigidity of your ski boots. Some customers have stated these socks are almost too thick and feel bulky, so if your shoe size is in between sizes, choose the smaller.
An elastic arch band and ankle brace provide maximum support. In addition, the smooth, flat knit construction of the toe box keeps the socks from bunching up and causing friction. Ventilation channels are also strategically placed between the padding to wick away moisture.
More Ski and Snowboard Socks
Ski and Snowboard Socks Buying Guide
Fabrics & Materials
Ski and snowboard socks are typically made of a blend of different fabrics and materials that are specifically designed to insulate your feet and repel moisture. Merino wool is one of the highest quality materials because of its warmth, moisture wicking, and odor resistant properties. The top socks on this list, such as the Darn Tough Outer Limits and Smartwool Ski PhD, are constructed with a high percentage of merino wool.
However, this is not to say that other materials, such as synthetics, aren’t good. Socks made of this material have similar thermal and ventilation properties and are often cheaper. The biggest piece of advice we can give here is to avoid cotton. This is because cotton retains moisture and is more likely to absorb your sweat, which will make your feet feel cold and damp. More details on each of the different fabric types can be found below.
The most highly recommended material for ski socks, merino wool continues to deliver the best performance on the slopes. It also tends to come at a higher cost but for good reason. Wool naturally responds to your body temperature, cooling and warming your feet as needed. This makes socks made of merino wool more versatile for different activities and seasons.
It also provides warmth, even when wet, and is naturally odor resistant. Many people think of wool as being itchy and irritating, however, merino wool is much softer and gentler than regular wool. Most of the bigger brands adhere to the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), or equivalent certification, to maintain ethical and environmentally sustainable practices.
For a more budget-friendly alternative, many people opt for synthetic blend ski socks. This option is also great if you have sensitive skin or are allergic to wool. Most synthetics provide a snug fit and moisture wicking properties.
The fibers trap warmth and repel sweat and thus function similarly to merino wool. It’s not quite as breathable though and lacks natural odor resistance. However, many brands implement some other form of odor-controlling technology to mitigate this.
Typically a secondary material, nylon helps increase the durability and retain the shape of your socks. Ski and snowboard socks are meant to fit snugly and shouldn’t bunch up or slide around while you’re riding. Nylon is one of the fabrics that helps make this possible. It gives socks the structure and support they need while also repelling moisture.
Although ski and snowboard socks are meant to be form fitting, there needs to be enough stretch for your feet to breathe. Elastane and spandex provide elasticity and flexibility, which is important for the overall comfort of your feet. These are secondary materials many brands use to promote some flex in their socks.
Thickness & Cushioning
The MOST important (and often misunderstood) factor when looking for the best ski and snowboard socks is that thicker socks do not provide more warmth. Lighter socks are often better because they allow increased blood flow, which in turn keeps your feet warm. Too thick of socks can limit circulation, especially if you have tight fitting ski boots.
Most ski and snowboard socks are thinner than traditional winter socks. They are available in different levels of thickness, or weight. As a general rule, the heavier the weight, the thicker and more cushioned the sock will be.
Very thin with limited padding, ultra lightweight socks are best for skiers with modern, properly fitted ski boots. Racers and backcountry skiers tend to prefer these socks because of the more streamlined fit and enhanced performance they provide.
If you are a recreational skier or have looser fitting boots, however, these socks may not be for you. Ultra lightweight socks are not as durable by design and are less comfortable given the minimal cushioning.
Majority of skiers and snowboarders will enjoy a lightweight sock. They provide just enough cushioning around your foot and shin to be comfortable without adding too much bulk into your ski boot.
With a properly fitted ski boot, lightweight socks should provide enough warmth, even on chillier, snowy days. The Burton Performance Lightweight and Farm to Feet Waitsfield Lightweight socks are great options in this category.
If you can never seem to get warm while on the mountain, then the midweight is probably your best choice as long as your ski boot isn’t too tight. Midweight socks not only provide extra warmth but also extra comfort.
Ski boots don’t exactly feel like pillows on your feet, so midweight socks can help if you struggle with discomfort from your boots’ rigidity and stiffness. Again, just be sure your socks don’t fit too snug. Better circulation means more warmth!
Compression socks are typically only used by ski racers or performance driven athletes for recovery. The goal of a true compression sock is to improve blood flow to your feet to increase warmth and reduce fatigue. They fit extremely rightly and often come at a higher cost. However, some skiers simply prefer the snug fit and increased circulation.
Fit & Length
Similar to ski boots, ski socks should feel snug around your feet and legs without being too restrictive. The socks should be form fitting without any excess or loose material. If you are in between sizes, it’s recommended to size down for a tighter fit.
You’ll notice in the list above that all the socks are over the calf (OTC), meaning they rise to the mid or top of your shin. This is to accommodate the height of the ski boot and prevent shin bang, which happens when the front of your boot puts pressure on the front of your leg. Simply put, wearing a mid-height hiking or winter sock will not cut it.
Washing & Care
We recommend to always follow the instructions given by the manufacturer for ski and snowboard sock care. For washing, this often requires turning the socks inside out and washing them in cool or warm water and tumble drying on low or line drying.
To help them retain their shape, store your socks flat in a drawer, rather than rolling them into a ball. If you start to see some general wear and tear, some brands do provide a lifetime guarantee, such as Darn Tough.
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Ski and Snowboard Sock Tips & FAQs
What is the best material for ski and snowboard socks?
Merino wool provides the most optimal performance with its moisture wicking and odor resistant properties. It also regulates your body temperature to provide the warmth or coolness you may need. Synthetic fabric is also a great alternative. Read more on ski and snowboard sock materials in the section above.
Should you wear two pairs of ski or snowboard socks to stay warm?
No, this is not recommended. Recall that circulation is key to warmth. So wearing extra thick socks or doubling up on your socks limits the amount of space in your ski boots, which restricts blood flow. As a result, your feet will actually get colder. Wearing two pairs of socks could also become irritating and potentially cause blisters.
What’s the difference between men vs. women ski and snowboard socks?
Some brands offer men and women specific versions of their socks, whereas others only provide a single, unisex option. If a sock does have gender-specific versions, the differences are subtle. Women’s socks tend to have a narrower footbed and heel, more space in the cuff area, and may offer additional support for your arches. Men’s socks may be taller in length. Generally speaking though, it’s completely fine for a woman to wear a men’s specific ski or snowboard sock and vice versa.
Ski sock technology has significantly improved over recent years. The best ski and snowboard socks include new design features for better performance, ventilation and comfort. When comparing the socks on this list, you’ll notice the main differences are the materials composition and cushioning levels.
After you purchase your socks, make sure to try them on with your ski boots to check the fit. Many of the socks on this list, including the Darn Toughs and Icebreakers, have warranties or satisfaction guarantees to ensure you get a pair you’ll love. Hopefully this post has helped you get one step closer in making a decision on which ski or snowboard sock is right for you.