This is the ski sock with the highest percentage of merino wool, at 75%. It was the overall favorite of at least one of our testers, but lost out in the final standings due to just a few details. The Icebreaker showed signs of use much quicker than anticipated, greatly decreasing its comfort. However, it always came home dry at the end of the day, something no other sock was able to do.
The Icebreaker Ski + Light, with 75% merino wool, is very warm and was found to be the most efficient sock at wicking away moisture. Throughout the day this sock allows you keep your mind on your objectives and off of your toes.
Right out of the box, these socks are hard to beat. The Ski+ Light has a nice, snug fit for most, though some testers found them far too tight around the foot. Compared to the SmartWool PhD Ski Medium, this sock's padding is much less in the shin and similar in the foot, but its design to conform each sock to a specific foot makes this sock extremely comfortable for some. However, its comfort deteriorated over time as the wool began to break down, and left them feeling thin and beaten.
The top contenders for most comfortable sock: the Icebreaker Ski+ Lite (left) and the SmartWool PhD Ski Medium (right). Ultimately, the Icebreaker is better at wicking, but the Smartwool is far more durable.
The last thing you want to be cold while skiing is your feet. The Ski+ Light is among the warmest we tested. Despite being on the thinner side, these socks stood up to frigid temps and when they got wet, were the most efficient at maintaining that heat. While other socks like the Fox River Wilmot may feel warmer by the fire, these socks are what you need out in the trenches when performance is second to none.
Wicking Ability & Drying Speed
This is where these socks are at their best. Better than the SmartWool PhD, this sock wicks away moisture quickly due to its high percentage of merino wool. When the PhD was getting wet late in the day, the Ski+ Light was dry and ready for more. If moisture is in the equation, no sock can beat it.
Ski Boot Fit
The construction of these socks is like no other. This is the only sock we tested with a specific right and left foot, which makes for a perfect fit for most feet. (Though if you have a high volume foot, consider the SmartWool PhD). Like the SmartWool model, this sock has elastic around the feet and shins to keep the sock in place, and we found this to work beautifully. It's among the thinnest socks we tested and slipped into a performance fitting ski boot quite well, though if thin is your demand, consider the Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Ultralight, as it is the sleekest sock we tested.
The Icebreaker Ski+ Lite (left) compared with the taller and thinner Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Ultralight (right). The Icebreaker model wins for best wicking capability.
Merino wool isn't the hardiest of materials, and The Ski+ Light is no different. This sock is susceptible to thinning in high friction areas and wore out much faster than all other socks tested. On the upside, it doesn't require as much washing since it doesn't absorb or hold odors like synthetics materials do.
The Icebreaker Ski+ Lite wore out quickly in the heel, much faster than any other sock we tested.
The Icebreaker Ski+ Light is at its best in demanding conditions, warm, cold, and wet. Long, hard days out in the snow where you want a sock that will dry quickly are perfect for the Icebreaker. Equally at home at the resort as in the backcountry, this sock is built to ski and that is what it does best.
Warm feet = happy feet. The right sock makes the difference. Here the Icebreaker Ski+ Lite getting it done on a powder day.
At $23, this sock is not cheap. Though there are cheaper options, like the Fox River Wilmot, for the price, this sock outperformed the field. Also with a lifetime guarantee, you can destroy this sock and know that it will always be replaced upon your request.
All ski socks are not created equal. Though there are better all-around socks, like the SmartWool PhD, the Ski+ Light is a high-performing sock that is built to handle anything you can throw at it. It wins our Top Pick award for best wicking ability.