Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The Best Ski Socks to Hit the Slopes With This Season

With winter in full swing, you’re probably pulling out your ski jacket, throwing on the snow tires, and watching the weather forecast for the next bluebird powder day. By now you’ve probably already got your ski or snowboard set up dialed in. If not check out our guides on the best ski and snowboard jackets, bags, and read up on some essential tips for first-time skiers.

Skier doing a flip in the air.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

But let’s assume you’re already ready to hit the slopes. You drive to the mountain, get your lift ticket, throw on your ski gear, and…your feet are cold. And there’s a whole day ahead of you. It’s a bad situation to find yourself in. One of the biggest problems people face during winter activities is actually their feet. Uncomfortable and poorly fitted boots aside, feet being too hot or too cold can totally take the fun out of your day. Avoid that by investing in a quality pair of ski or snowboard socks and you’ll enjoy riding for longer.

What To Look For in Ski Socks

The winter sock market is a little crowded. Brands include Smartwool, Darn Tough, Wigwam, Stance, REI, Le bent, FITS, Burton, DC, Barts, Roxy, MONS, Vans, Icebreaker. We could go on. How does one choose then? Well, here are a few factors to consider:

  • Cushioning: Depending on how your boots fit, your style of riding, and, well, your feet, you might prefer a lot of cushion in your sock, or very little. Generally, the word “performance” is synonymous with less cushion. If your boots fit snugly, or you want that “boot feel” a thinner sock might be for you. That said, a thinner sock isn’t as warm. If you’re feet run cold, your boots are slightly on the roomy side, or you just like cushioning in a sock, there are plenty of options out there.
  • Material: Because skiing and snowboarding are active pursuits, you’re going to sweat. This includes your feet. Wet feet = cold feet. Don’t have wet feet! Cotton socks are a no-no. But super warm socks, like a full-wool padded sock, will be too warm. When looking for socks for any active pursuit you’ll want a blend of synthetic fibers mixed into a wool sock. Why wool? Well, because wool continues to insulate even when damp. A wool sock blended with nylon and poly will wick moisture away from the foot while still keeping your foot warm when the inevitable dampness accumulates inside your boot.
  • Sick Prints: We all know the #1 rule of any outdoor activity is looking good (that’s not actually true). Thankfully, there are many ski and snowboard socks that look as good as they feel.
  • Warranty: This may not be the first thing you think of, but socks have a tough job. Whether you’re hiking, running, or in this case skiing and snowboarding, your socks have to work hard. Which means they eventually wear out. Many companies have excellent warranties. Considering that all of the brands listed above carry socks with different levels of cushioning, materials, and prints, a great warranty can actually be a differentiator.


Smartwool Ski Socks
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Smartwool makes great socks. Their ski and snowboard-specific socks won’t let you down. There are many different options out there. The Smartwool PhD socks are a great option. Smartwool offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee for the first two years of owning your socks. If for any reason, you aren’t happy with your Smartwool socks, they’ll get you a new pair.

Darn Tough

Darn Tough Ski Socks
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Darn Tough makes some seriously good socks. Best of all, Darn Tough offers an unconditional lifetime guarantee. If you ever have an issue with your Darn Tough socks mail them back to Darn Tough and they’ll send you a fresh pair. Pretty sweet, eh? For skiing and snowboarding, the RFL OTC ski socks are a great option.


Wigwam Socks
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Wigwam Sirocco socks are a great option. Made from a blend of wool, stretch nylon, stretch polyester, and spandex, these socks will stay snug. Will a full cushion, your feet will feel comfy all day, as well. Wigwam’s warranty is not as great as some of the other brands listed here. They’ll help you out if there are issues in the manufacturing of the sock, but if you simply don’t like how they fit or feel, you’re out of luck.


Stance Ski Socks
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Stance Steal Your Face snow socks have a medium cushioning, come up to just below the knee, and win big points in the design category. If you have any issues or aren’t completely satisfied with your Stance socks, they will refund you for your first pair. Anything after that and you’re on your own.


blue icebreaker snow sock
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Last, but certainly not least, is Icebreaker. Made with merino wool for great comfort, and blended with nylon and spandex, the Ski+ Medium OTC Socks are a great option. Icebreaker guarantees their socks to be the most comfortable in the world. If you don’t think so, return them within 60 days for a full refund or exchange. How sweet is that?

So there you have it, our list of five great snow sock brands to keep your feet warm and comfortable in the snow this winter. Skiing and snowboarding are great cold-weather pursuits, full of adventure, excitement, and enjoyment. Get yourself a pair of these socks, buy a pair for friends and family, and go enjoy yourself!

Benjamin Buckingham
Former Digital Trends Contributor

Ben lives in Portland, Oregon where he works as a freelance writer and outdoor guide.

The 7 Best Ski Backpacks for Late Winter Ski Trips
Three hikers with ski backpacks scaling a snow-capped mountain.

With the ski season in full swing, we found some of the best ski backpacks to carry all your gear. Whether it's a holiday you have been planning for months or a spur of the moment trip, now is the time to make sure you have all the right skiing and snowboarding equipment. There is still time for last-minute purchases before you head off on the slopes. If you’re an avid skier, you no doubt already have the basics -- skis (or a snowboard), goggles, a ski helmet, and winter laters. But what about a good backpack to stash all that gear?

The right snowboard or ski backpack is lightweight, durable, and weatherproof. A versatile bag will lend itself to days on the slopes, alpine touring, and those lofty summit attempts. What makes these bags so special is the snow-specific functionality they offer. Special pockets keep your shovel and probe at the ready in case of an avalanche. An inflatable airbag will help you float high in the snow in case you are caught in an avalanche yourself. While spendy, this life-saving technology should seriously be considered for anyone venturing into the backcountry.

Read more
6 Spectacular National Forests for Cross-Country Skiing
A man cross-country skiing on a groomed forest trail.

America's national forests have been enticing lovers of the outdoors for more than a century. Today, some of the country's most spectacular ski spots are stashed away in national forests – especially for cross-country skiers.

With everything from groomed trail systems to high country meadows to fully staffed Nordic centers offering lessons and gear rentals, the country's national forests are all brimming with winter adventures for cross-country skiers of all abilities.

Read more
The Best Cold Weather Cycling Gear to Buy
A man cycling in winter surrounded by snow.

Credit: Cheap Snow Gear Pixabay

While there are plenty of fair-weathered cyclists out there on the roads, those who love the sport and form of exercise too much to give it up during the harsh winter months know special gear is needed. Whether you are commuting to work or riding your favorite route to keep in shape so you are ready to ride when the weather turns in the spring, there are a handful of essential cold-weather cycling pieces no one should be without. From your fingers to your toes, these exceptional items will make crushing the pedals all the more comfortable this winter.

Read more