Top 10 Best Ski and Snowboard Socks For Men

A Guide To The Best Ski and Snowboard Socks For Men

ski-picture

Wearing appropriate protective ski socks allows for hours of joy on the snow

The most important item on your ski gear checklist? It goes without saying that it is a good pair of ski boots. What some may not realise is that warm socks are not far behind.

Indeed, owning at least one pair of decent ski socks in your outdoor sports gear wardrobe can make a difference to your overall experience. 

This applies specially when temperatures outside fall well below zero, creating perfect environment for your outdoor workout. Don’t spoil the moment with your mates moaning about just how wet your feet got. A little preparation is all what you need. You can relax now as we have handpicked the best performing socks for winter sports to save you time and whining over.

Our reviews have got some of the best ski socks on the market and details all the features in the table below. Additionally, the description below will guide you through the features such as materials, length and the recommended use.

 Smartwool PhD Ski Medium SockFalke SK 2 Ski SocksX-Socks Ski AdrenalineIcebreaker Ski+ Medium OTCBridgedale Vertige Light Ski
smartwool-mens-phd-ski-medium-sock
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falke-sk-2-mens-ski-socks
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x-socks-ski-adrenaline-unisex
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icebreaker-ski-plus-medium
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bridgedale-vertige-light-ski
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Average User Rating (4.6 / 5) (5 / 5) (4.6 / 5) (4.5 / 5) (4.7 / 5)
LengthLong - OTC
Long - OTC
Long - OTC
Long - OTC
Long - OTC
Material composition70% Merino wool
28% Nylon
2% Elastane
45% Polypropylene
25% Acrylic
20% Merino Wool 10% Nylon
35% Nylon
23% Merino wool
13 % Polypropylene
10% Elastodiene
7% Silk
7% Polyester
5 % Acrylic
77% Merino wool
21% Nylon
2% LYCRA
20% Merino fusion wool
20% Polypropylene
51% Nylon
7% Tactel
2% LYCRA
Available coloursBlack
Bright Blue
Grey
Black
Grey
Red
Green
Blue
Orange
Black / OrangeBlackSilver / Black
Black / Green
Available sizes (UK)Small - X-LargeSmall - X-LargeSmall - X-LargeSmall- LargeSmall - X-Large
Mens / UnisexMensMensUnisexMensMens
Insulation / CushioningTick

Medium cushioned shin and foot
Tick

Moderate cushion padding and thermal insulation
Tick

Performance padding
Rod-type padding X-Cross Bandage
Tick

Medium cushioned
Tick

Micro-terry underfoot cushion pads
Tactel shin pad for reduced friction
Best forSkiing

Snowboard
Skiing

Snowboard
Extreme use

Skiing

Snowboard

Ice Climbing
Skiing

Snowboard

Mountaineering
Skiing

Snowboard
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Model for WomenTick

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 Falke SK 4 SkiSmartwool PhD Ski LightCEP Compression Progressive+ Ski Merino SocksWigwam Snow SiroccoTrespass Langdon Thermal Winter Ski 2pack
falke-sk-4-mens-ski
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smartwool-mens-phd-ski-light-sock
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cep-mens-progressive-ski-merino-compression
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wigwam-snow-sirocco
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trespass-langdon-thermal-winter-ski
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Average User Rating (5 / 5) (4.7 / 5) (4.8 / 5) (4.6 / 5) (3.9 / 5)
LengthLong - OTC Long - OTC Long - OTC Long - OTC Long - OTC
Material composition20% Merino Wool
45% Polypropylene
20% Acrylic
15% Nylon
58% Merino Wool
40% Nylon
2% Elastane
67% Polyamide
23% Merino Wool
10% Spandex
40% Worsted Wool 35% Olefin
20% Nylon
5% Polyester with Spandex
85% Acrylic
13% Nylon
2% Elastane
Available coloursBlack
Orange / Black
Red / Black
Black
Blue
Grey / Black
Pattern
Black / Grey
Black / Bright Blue
Black / Grey
Navy Blue
Black
Available sizes (UK)Small - X-LargeSmall - X-LargeSmall - X-Large *


*3-S, 4-M, 5-L,XL
Small - X-LargeSmall- X-Large
Mens / UnisexMensMensMensUnisexMens
Insulation Tick

Moderate padding for warmth and increased protection
Tick

Light cushioning for shin and sole for impact absorption and warmth
Tick

Waterproof padding
Tick

Cushioned padding in the shin and foot
Tick

Light front cushion and arch support
Best forSkiing

Snowboard
Skiing

Snowboard
Skiing

Ski touring

Skimo racing

Snowboard
Skiing

Snowboard
Skiing
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Model for WomenTick

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Cross

How To Choose The Best Ski and Snowboard Socks

If you are winter sports aficionado then you must know the importance of ensuring you get the right gear, i.e. fitted, warm, waterproof and most importantly, allowing you to perform well on the ski piste. Hunting for ski socks is no rocket science, just some terminology that you will embrace fast.

The rule of thumb is to find a pair of warm, comfortable, breathable, and odour-resistant ski socks. If you are looking for possibly the best socks for skiing and need some more explanation, the following explanation should help you choose:

Length

The typical ski socks are tall with some level of cushioning. We recommend the over the calf length (also known as OTC lenght) as tall socks will provide more comfort and essentially, warmth.


Material Composition

Certain fabrics provide higher and others lower degree of moisture wicking ability, softness and thus overall comfort. In order to get best results, manufacturers tend to use blends of different fabrics for sock production. Fabric can be divided into synthetic and natural fabrics, with Merino wool being often used as benchmark for best quality natural wool.

Merino Wool

Merino wool is a high-end textile fibre which comes from the sheep. Its name derives from the Merino breed widely recognised and praised for its finely crimped wool. Merino wool was originally found in Spain and now domesticated and cultivated in Australia, New Zealand and Latin America.

Merino’s very fine microns found in the wool provide superior moisture wicking and warmth without compromising on its fine and very soft feel. Merino wool has found wide ranging application in sport equipment, such as running, cycling, hiking, climbing, snowboarding, skiing and mountaineering.

Features:

  • Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio amongst all wool types thanks to smaller fibres measured in microns.
  • High thermal responsiveness thanks to natural material fibres that adapt to wearer’s body temperature keeping it cool when it’s hot and warming up when the temperature outside drops.
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-odour properties thanks to presence of lanolin in merino wool allowing to wear the item for an extended duration.
  • Active properties found in merino wool allow for retained warmth and prevent hypothermia

Pros:

  • Exceptionally soft and comfortable next-to-skin feel
  • Superior odour-resistance
  • Thermal regulation
  • Highly breathable
  • Premium performance over synthetic fabrics
  • Top quality wool ensures great performance for snow sports
  • Most recommended and sought-after fabric for any outdoor and especially winter sport

Cons:

  • Relatively more to a lot more expensive than non-merino socks

 

Synthetic

The most common synthetic fabrics used for ski and snowboard socks are  Polyester, Nylon, Elastic, Elastane, Polypropelene and Polyamide. Fabrics are often blended with each other in order to give best possible results. Below are the main properties of some synthetic fabrics:

Nylon – offers durability and is used primarily as fortification in the main impact areas such as heel or shin. Thanks to its antibacterial qualities it is often applied for odour-resistance.

Acrylic – thanks to its reliable shape memory, light weight and soft feel properties often find its use in partly or wholly alternation of wool. Good shape memory allows your sock to spring back to its original shape rather than getting bunched up after wash.

Elastic, Lycra and Spandex – provide stretch and desired fit in the sock and keep stitching in place.

Polyester – in charge of moisture management and air flow, it is certainly one of the key fabrics used in snowboard and ski socks.

 

x-socks-ski-adrenaline-unisex-features

Advanced technology used in X-Socks Adrenaline Ski Socks. From top left: X-Cross® Bandage, Air-Conditioning Channel®, Achilles Tendon Protector for superior protection.

Available sizes

Majority of snowboard and ski sock brands offer a wide selection with sizes starting from Small (men 5, women 3 on average) to X-large (45-47 for men). Some manufacturers provide sizing based on calf circumference, with men’s sizing ranging 3-5 and women anging 2-4.

Unisex

bridgedale-womens-alpine-socks

Bridgedale women designs offer feminine patterns

Snowboarding and skiing are winter sports still strongly associated with more men than women.However, the trend has been changing over the past couple of decades with majority of manufacturers now offering more unisex models. 

Thanks to increased demand from women skiers for comfort, safety and quality skiing, many brands now actively manufacture women’s ski and snowboard socks. Models designed for women can be found at the bottom of the table.

 

 

 

Insulation

Anyone even slightly experienced knows how painful falling flat can get. Padding and cushioning are one of the fundamental features you want to examine as they effectively alleviate soreness and reduce risk of injuries. Some areas of your foot and shins are undeniably more prone to injuries than others.

Quality socks for snowboarding and skiing have been designed to protect those susceptible areas in the form of cushioning and padding located in the high impact areas.

Cushioning

Choose a pair of socks with padded cushioning for skiing or snowboarding and you will never look back. Cushioned socks tend to significantly increase your overall satisfaction and comfort during skiing and snowboarding.

Best for

All of our hand-picked socks have been selected based on positive feedback from skiers and snowboarders. Whilst some models may perform better on the slopes, others will also perform well on some challenging hiking trips, mountaineering, ice climbing and other outdoor winter sports.

 

Top Tips for Best Ski Sock Fit

There is an unwritten rule of dos and don’ts on getting the best pair of ski socks for your feet. Go with your normal daily foot size. Despite most sizes being quite precise and easy to choose from, occasionally some of you happen to be on a size boundary. If that’s the case, the smaller size will be tighter and thus, more performance based. However, if you prefer more comfortable fit, then opt in for a larger size. 

superfeet-red-hot-mens-insoles-ski

Red Hot Men’s Insoles by Superfeet for cold feet sufferers

sidas-gel-insoles

Extra cushioning, warmth and shock absorption soles by Sida

Another principle is to always carry an additional pair of ski socks in a bag along with your ski or snowboard gear. That said, remember not to ever use two pairs of socks at once.

The last thing you want is nasty blisters or prickly pinching in some intertwining points.  If you suffer from cold feet, the solution is to get a superior quality and warmer ski sock type than experimenting with multiple pairs of socks.

After all, you want to have the right feel of your feet in the boots when trying some freestyling on more challenging slopes. You can also try removable heat-generating insoles by Supefeet designed for active people. 

 

Ski and Snowboard Socks Vs. Cotton Socks

If you remain unconvinced why a pair of socks specifically designed and shaped for skiing and snowboarding is going to take you by storm, check out the below comparison. We have highlighted some of the important differences between the specialised outdoor socks for winter sports and a pair of regular cotton socks.

FeatureSki and Snowboard SocksRegular cotton socks
SizeMore defined sizing covering
only one to one and a half size for precision and better performance
Usually one-size- fits-all covering wide range of foot sizes
FitLong OTC socks with medium or light fit do not roll down and are easy to readjust Regular fit short cotton socks wrinkle easily and roll down your ankles or below leaving your feet uncomfortable with no access to readjusting
WarmthProperties of Merino wool’s breathability allow to circulate air whilst retaining heat

Feet stay warm and dry throughout the activity
No heat retention or breathability

Even significantly thicker cotton socks will not retain hear and will leave your feet cold and soggy due to locked in moisture
ComfortPadding and smart technology for increased safety at points of possible blisters and injuries (ankles and shins)

Merino wool blends offer snug fit and cosiness including people with sensitive skin
No padding provided leaving foot unsecured to injuries leaving shins rubbing ski boots

Cotton stretching in the wrong areas and crumpling up during outdoor session providing discomfort after short time
Drying PaceVery fast drying timeDepends on the sock’s thickness, takes 2-3 times longer to dry
WickingMerino fibres work like a sponge absorbing dampness from your skin without feeling of dampness, feeling heavy or changing sock’s natural shapeCotton fibres do not pull away dampness making socks and your feet feel instantly wet
DurabilityWithstand many washes and mechanical use without losing original shape

Last days without being washed without making socks soggy

Natural fibre properties continue retaining heat whilst absorbing moisture
Tend to stretch and thin up in most predisposed areas like heel big toe leaving your socks with holes

Need frequent washing due to dampening easily and getting soggy, thus producing cold and unpleasant lingering sweaty feet odour and
Best UseSnow sports, i.e. skiing and snowboadingEveryday activity use