Planning a Ski Trip: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next Ski Boots Snowboard Boots Skis Snowboards Ski Poles Helmets Balaclavas Goggles Gloves Boot Bags Top Ski Resorts in North America U.S. Resorts by Region Destinations in the Northwest Destinations in the Southeast Best Family-Friendly Ski Resorts Romantic Ski Getaways Save Money on Ski Wear Budget Tips for Families U.S. Resorts Where Kids Ski Free Best Ski Clothing Brands Women's Ski Jackets Women's Ski Pants Men's Ski Jackets Snowboard Pants Socks Planning a Ski Trip: The Complete Guide close Overview Outdoors Winter Sports Here Are the Best Ski Socks to Wick Away Moisture and Keep Your Feet Warm Keep your feet toasty and blister-free with the right pair of ski socks By Justin Park Justin Park Syracuse University Justin Park has been working as a sports, fitness, and hunting/outdoors journalist for 20 years. He reviews outdoor gear for TripSavvy, like ski equipment and inflatable paddle boards. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 10/28/21 Share Pin Email We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. The Rundown Best Overall: Swiftwick Pursuit Twelve Ski Socks at Amazon Ski-specific socks made from merino and synthetics that are built to last. Best Budget: Smartwool PhD Ultralight Ski Socks at Sierra A long-standing ski sock model that delivers performance for less. Best Ultra Lightweight: Falke SK4 Ski Socks at Amazon A minimalist option for those with race-fit or custom-fit boots who don’t want extra bulk. Best Midweight: Minus33 Mountain Heritage Lightweight Ski Socks at Amazon A plush wool sock with a bit more warmth and volume for looser-fitting boots. Best Heated: Hotronic XLP One Surround Ski Socks at Amazon A high-tech option for those needing a circulation boost. Best Synthetic: Euro Socks Ski Supreme Socks at Backcountry Wool-free wicking at a reasonable price point. Best for Extreme Cold: Voormi Ski Sock at Amazon A high-tech wool ski sock that stays warm even when wet. Best for Backcountry Touring: Dissent Labs Pro Fit Compression Nano Tour Ski Socks at Cripple Creek A ski sock designed for the unique extremes of backcountry skiing. Best American-Made: Farm to Feet Waitsfield Ski Socks at Amazon A performance merino wool ski sock fully sourced and manufactured in the US. Few skiers put much thought into their ski socks compared to how they might agonize over a new pair of skis. But the socks might have just as much influence over the quality of one’s ski day. Ski socks help your feet stay warm, but not in the way most people think. A good ski sock is low-volume and doesn’t provide much insulation. Rather, the sock is designed to wick away moisture and maintain circulation, while the ski boots themselves provide insulation and cushioning. Look for socks that are tight-fitting without being restrictive. They should use material blends of wool, nylon, elastane, lycra, and others to create a snug, elastic fit that wicks moisture. You can read more about what to look for in ski socks at the bottom of this article. Different types of skiers may want different types of ski socks, so we make several recommendations below to help you select the right pair for you and your skiing style. Table of contents Expand Our Picks Final Verdict What to Look for in Ski Socks Why Trust TripSavvy? Best Overall: Swiftwick Pursuit Twelve Ski Socks Swiftwick View On Amazon View On Swiftwick.com What We Like Built for durability Padding where you need it Medium compression and padding make for a good all-around sock What We Don't Like Expensive The Swiftwick Pursuit Twelve ski socks are a purpose-built sock that puts padding where you need it in the toes and heels and keeps material thin and flexible where you don’t around the ankle and top of the foot. They’ve got medium compression and medium padding, making them a good sock for most skiers. (Tip: Those with custom-fit boots may want to look at Swiftwick’s Aspire Twelve or one of our other ultralight recommendations below.) Swiftwick makes two synthetic ski sock options as well, but the Pursuit is their Merino wool blend which offers odor resistance, temperature regulation, and moisture-wicking properties. Tested By TripSavvy I got to test the Pursuit Twelves in the very early ski season in the Colorado Rockies where temperatures were fairly warm for ski season and I was concerned about foot sweating which would likely turn into cold feet. Despite having decent cushioning underfoot, my feet never got too hot and my performance-fit boots weren’t affected by unnecessary bulk inside the boots. While my testing period wasn’t long enough to truly assess durability, the socks felt well-made and didn’t sag after a long day of use. They’re also reinforced in the toes and heel which are usually the first areas to wear thin on a pair of ski socks. — Justin Park, Product Tester Materials: 61 percent Merino wool / 36 percent Nylon / 3 percent Spandex | Weight: Lightweight Best Budget: Smartwool PhD Ski Ultralight Cushion Socks Sierra View On Sierra.com What We Like Built for durability Proven model Budget-friendly What We Don't Like Some might want a heavy- or medium-weight sock Smartwool has a great reputation for making high-quality merino wool products and the PhD ski socks are no exception. The socks have a performance weight and fit, but what might be most surprising about them is the sub-$20 price tag. The performance ski sock category is made up mostly of socks that start at $25 and go as high as $50 per pair. Like most good ski socks, Smartwool uses a blend to maximize fit and breathability. The merino wool provides natural moisture-wicking and odor reduction. Nylon and elastane provide stretch and maintain fit throughout the day and over the life of the socks. There’s padding in the shins, but otherwise, this is a very lightweight sock that’s meant for close-fitting performance boots. Tested By TripSavvy These have been my go-to socks for multiple seasons. First, I love the cost. Why pay more when you can get a quality sock for less? Second, I love how well these socks wick moisture. I naturally run warm (read: I can be a sweaty dude.) and have never had an issue with over-heating feet in these socks, even during springtime afternoon skin laps. But, my favorite aspect of these socks—and others like them—will be the majority Merino wool material. During multiple seasons in Steamboat Springs, Colo., I rotated a few pairs of these socks on daily dawn patrol laps from the base to the top of Thunderhead and went two to three weeks in-between washes. I might've also worn them into the small office where I worked. — Nathan Allen, Outdoor Gear Editor Materials: 56 percent Merino Wool, 41 percent Nylon, 3 percent Elastane | Weight: Ultralight Best Ultra Lightweight: Falke SK4 Ski Socks Amazon View On Amazon View On Falke.com What We Like Performance fit Padding in the toe, heel, and shin What We Don't Like Expensive The official ski sock provider of the Austrian ski racing team lives up to its on-piste pedigree with an ultra-lightweight performance ski sock that still provides padding in the toe, heel, and shin where you want it. Falke is a German hosier that’s been making socks since 1895 and the craftsmanship shows. Tested By TripSavvy I’ve skied close to 100 days on the SK4s and they have shown no signs of wear, which is more durability than I’ve previously found in a ski sock. They’re also not a liability in my extremely tight-fitting resort ski boots where a thicker sock results in fit and circulation issues. Their ultra-thin zones allow my feet to breathe and despite being so thin in some areas, the socks have held their shape over time. They also endure multiple days of use, though, like most ski socks, they do stiffen up and require a wash after two or three uses. — Justin Park, Product Tester Materials: 45 percent Polypropylene, 20 percent Acrylic, 20 percent Wool, 15 percent Polyamide | Weight: Ultralight Best Midweight: Minus33 Mountain Heritage Lightweight Ski Socks Minus33 View On Amazon View On Minus33.com What We Like Warm, but moisture-wicking What We Don't Like Too thick for performance fit boots The L.W. Packard Company in New Hampshire was one of the top textile plants in the world for nearly a century before global outsourcing stole their client base. Minus33 is a merino wool-focused company run by the same family that has begun bringing manufacturing back in-house in an effort to control quality and design for products such as their Mountain Heritage Lightweight Ski Socks. These socks are closer to a midweight despite the name thanks to a generous amount of warming and wicking merino wool, so they’re best used in looser-fitting boots. The Mountain Heritage socks do come in a lighter “microweight” version if you have tighter-fitting boots. Tested by TripSavvy I tested the Mountain Heritage Lightweight ski socks early in the ski season in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains in the backcountry. I chose these socks because my backcountry touring boots (like most touring boots) have a looser fit and more room in the toe box and can accommodate a slightly thicker sock. These socks are described as “lightweight” right in the product name, but in the world of ski socks, I would call them closer to “midweight” when compared to other ski-specific sock options. There’s a place for midweight socks such as when you have a looser boot fit as when your boots are a bit older and “packed out” or just have a looser fit such as many beginner boots and backcountry touring boots. Despite the thickness, I didn’t experience excess sweating in the boots on the uphill thanks to the high merino content which kept the socks feeling dry. They also helped cushion and fill the boots which I keep slightly looser on the uphill. The plushness of the thicker sock was a welcome addition to my extremely stiff, lightweight touring boots, as well. — Justin Park, Product Tester Materials: 68 percent Merino Wool, 20 percent Nylon, 11 percent Stretch Nylon, 1 percent Spandex Weight: Midweight Best Heated: Hotronic XLP One Surround Ski Socks Amazon View On Amazon What We Like App-controllable What We Don't Like Expensive Thicker weight Cold feet are the easiest way to cut a ski day short and, given the cost of lift tickets these days, skiers with circulation issues are willing to pay almost any price to avoid them. While heated boots are fairly widely adopted, heated socks are newbies and Hotronic has one of the most popular systems. The socks run off lightweight Lithium-Ion batteries stored in a pack that’s held in the sock above the boot cuff top. The pack powers a heating element that focuses on the toes and footpad where foot circulation issues manifest first. The batteries are estimated to last at least three hours on the highest of the four settings and up to a maximum of 13.5 hours on the lowest setting. Keep in mind, this isn’t extreme heat, but a small heating element that delivers warmth between 82 and 156 degrees to specific areas of your feet. "I can’t always tell when I have my heated socks on, but I can always tell when I don’t," Hotronic Sales Director, Ryan Eittreim points out. A Bluetooth-enabled connection allows your phone to control the socks via an app which means you can adjust the temperature on the chairlift when reaching down to the boots would be difficult and dangerous. Because they have to accommodate the heating element and wiring, these socks are thicker than most high-performance ski socks and won’t be an ideal fit in custom-fit boots. Materials: 74 percent Nylon, 20 percent Lycra/Spandex, 6 percent Merino | Weight: Midweight Best Synthetic: Eurosocks Ski Supreme Socks Backcountry View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On Zappos What We Like Wool-free What We Don't Like Not for custom boots Nowadays, most ski socks incorporate some amount of merino wool for its moisture-wicking and odor-control properties. However, some folks are allergic to wool and need to seek out a fully synthetic ski sock. Luckily, the Euro Socks Ski Supremes are both 100 percent synthetic and reasonably affordable. These socks provide the usual features of a ski-specific sock such as extra padding in the toe box, heel, and shin, plus thinner zones on top of the foot and ankle. They also come in a wide range of bright colors and patterns. Consider the Euro Socks Superlite socks if you have close-fitting or custom boots. Materials: 80 percent Microsupreme, 15 percent Nylon, 5 percent Lycra | Weight: Lightweight Best for Extreme Cold: Voormi Ski Sock Voormi View On Amazon View On Voormi.com What We Like Double-layer wicks moisture and insulates What We Don't Like Pricey Voormi is a Pagosa Springs, Colo.-based clothing company that takes wool to places it’s never been before with high-tech weaving and blending processes. An example is their Dual Surface wool taken from outerwear and into their only ski socks, aptly named “Ski Socks.” The Dual Surface keeps fine merino fibers on the outside to provide a light layer of warmth. The inside fibers are designed to pull moisture away and keep feet dry, essential for staying warm. Reinforcements in the shin, heel, and toe with a strip on the top of the foot provide cushioning and durability in key areas. The elastic double cuff at the top of the full-height sock holds it in place and keeps the sock from moving which helps prevent rubbing and blisters. Materials: Not listed | Weight: Lightweight Best for Backcountry Touring: Dissent Pro Fit Compression Nano Tour Sock Cripple Creek Backcountry View On Cripplecreekbc.com What We Like Designed to minimize friction What We Don't Like Pricey Dissent Labs was formed to fill a need for socks specifically designed to protect feet against the unique stresses of a long day of ski touring. Compared to resort skiing, backcountry skiing creates a lot of abrasion potential since your feet spend most of their time moving uphill where the boots are flexing back and forth. This ultra-thin, compression-style sock is meant to minimize opportunities for rubbing and blisters. There are specific fabrics and zones around the heel, ankle bones, and toes, and what Dissent calls their Nanoglide treatment is designed to minimize friction when and where the socks do rub. Materials: Not listed Weight: Ultra-lightweight Best American-Made: Farm to Feet Waitsfield Ski Socks Farm to Feet Waitsfield Ski Sock. View On Amazon What We Like 100 percent American-made Performance fit Affordable What We Don't Like None In a global marketplace, Farm to Feet has a unique model: 100 percent US materials, manufacturing, and workers, all the way down to the packaging and displays. In the past, that might've been a feel-good, environmentally friendly story. But in the new pandemic world, it’s also a great way to avoid supply chain issues from abroad. The Waitsfield socks are also serious ski socks with a performance fit and which use a blend of Merino wool, nylon, and Lycra, all of which are 100 percent American-made. The socks are thin and breathable, plus the Merino wool offers moisture-wicking and odor-control, while Farm to Feet’s Friction-Free nylon eliminates hotspots by preventing bunching or sticking. Despite being a performance ski sock, they’re also soft and comfortable thanks to modern Merino wool processing that leaves the scratchy wool of old behind. Materials: 60 percent Merino Wool, 36 percent Nylon, 4 percent Lycra Spandex Weight: Lightweight Final Verdict For an all-around, dependable performance ski sock it’s hard to beat the Swiftwick Pursuit Twelve ski socks (view at Amazon), though you can get similar performance for less in the Smartwool PhD ski socks (view at Sierra). If you have custom-fit boots, check out the minimalist Falke SK4s (view at Amazon). What to Look for in Ski Socks Size and Fit Fit is the most important spec in a pair of skis socks since an off-fit can hurt boot fit, circulation, and ultimately result in cold feet. Luckily, good ski socks are almost always sized to fit with sizes such as small, medium, and large covering a range of shoe sizes each. Height-wise, ski socks are almost all over-the-calf to avoid any conflict with the top of the ski boot cuff. So there’s no choice to be made there, but you may find certain sock brands or models fit you personally better than others. I have slightly larger than average calves and have discarded ski socks before that never felt elastic enough at the top for my calves. Materials Most ski socks are a blend of fabric types, often wool mixed with one or more synthetics, though there are all-wool socks and all-synthetic socks available. Merino wool and advances in technology have made wool’s reputation for feeling “scratchy” an anachronism and modern wool blends are usually very soft and smooth to the skin. They also have natural odor-control and moisture-wicking properties that are the main reasons they’re so popular in ski socks. There is a wide range of synthetic fabrics used in ski socks, but they’re often materials such as lycra or elastane which provide resilient stretch that’s missing from wool. Any ski-specific sock (and most any modern athletic sock, at that) should eschew cotton, but it’s still worth noting that you should avoid any ski sock that includes more than a tiny fraction of cotton in the blend. Cotton absorbs rather than wicks away moisture and as a result, is a terrible idea for socks that need to carry moisture away from your feet. Weight Another important spec to look for is the weight of the sock which can range from ultra-lightweight to heavy and is an indication of the thickness of the sock. These terms are subjective, to be sure. One brand’s lightweight may be heavier than another brand’s midweight sock, but you at least get a sense of where it is in that brand’s lineup. There’s no substitute for actually handling a sock and, even better, trying it on if you’re able. If you have a ski shop locally, try on as many options as you can and you can even bring in your ski boots to see how different weights affect the fit of your boots. Joanna Marianna, chief marketing officer for Swiftwick says, “The key features to look for in a good ski sock are the fiber content and quality of the fit around your foot and in your boot.” The part about the fit in the boot is especially important because if a sock bunches or is too thick for your boots, it won’t matter how good it feels on your foot outside the boot. Generally, race-style boots and custom-fit boots are extremely tight fits that require the lightest-weight socks possible. Beginner boots, softer touring boots, and older boots will have looser fits that may actually benefit from a heavier-weight sock. Why Trust TripSavvy? Author Justin Park is a lifelong skier based in Breckenridge, Colo. He owns about a dozen different pairs of ski socks which he rotates through his boot bag somewhat at random, though he’ll choose certain socks for specific types of skiing. Since he wears a race-tight, custom-fit pair of boots for the resort, he prefers the ultralight Falke SK4s to keep pressure points to a minimum. In backcountry touring boots, he’ll use a thicker merino wool sock such as the plush Minus33 Mountain Heritage socks. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 9 below. Continue to 9 of 9 below.