The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Icebreaker Ski+ Light Review

A quick to dry well-rounded ski sock that can perform in all conditions, wet and dry.
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Price:  $28 List | $28.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Quick to dry, comfortable, lighter padded construction
Cons:  Lacks durability
Manufacturer:   Icebreaker
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 7, 2019
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82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 8
  • Comfort & Construction - 25% 8
  • Warmth - 25% 8
  • Breathability - 25% 8
  • Fit - 15% 10
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

If you need something that'll dry in a flash, the Icebreaker Ski+ Light may be the ticket. Say goodbye to cold feet in this merino-wool blend. It offers impeccable wicking capabilities that will have you wearing this sock all day…from the slopes to the chalet. We tested it while skiing and snowboarding in both the backcountry and resort in Colorado. Enduring temps that dipped into double negatives while sitting on a chair lift, our feet (with a great pair of boots) stayed warm and comfortable. Even when wet, the higher proportion of luxurious merino wool insulates to keep feet warm.

New Colors

Shown above is one of the latest colorways for the Ski+ Light.

October 2019


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Pros Quick to dry, comfortable, lighter padded constructionWarm, comfortable, durable, reliableVery breathable, fantastic wicking power, thoughtful cushioning, compressive fitWarm, comfortable, thoughtful ventilation, synthetic construction, durableSuper durable, great fit, super wicking ability, lifetime guarantee
Cons Lacks durabilityNo lifetime guaranteeNot as durable, not very warmUnderfoot padding holds moisture, specific fit in toe boxNot very warm, no additional padding
Bottom Line A quick to dry well-rounded ski sock that can perform in all conditions, wet and dry.If you're seeking a ski sock for the season, this is the most reliable with the best overall performance.Our favorite ultralightweight ski and snowboard sock.Our favorite midweight synthetic ski and snowboard sock.A lightweight sock that will keep your feet dry even on the warmest days of winter.
Rating Categories Icebreaker Ski+ Light Smartwool PhD Ski Medium Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski Darn Tough ThermoLite OTC Over-the-Calf Padded Light
Comfort & Construction (25%)
10
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8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
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6
Warmth (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
6
Breathability (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
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9
Fit (15%)
10
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10
10
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8
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9
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7
10
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9
Durability (10%)
10
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7
10
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7
10
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6
10
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10
10
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9
Specs Icebreaker Ski+... Smartwool PhD Ski... Smartwool PhD Pro... Darn Tough... Over-the-Calf...
Material 57% Merino Wool, 40% Nylon, 3% Lycra 65% Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, 2% Elastane, Imported Yarn 56% merino wool, 41% nylon, 3% elastane 57% Thermolite Polyester, 35% Nylon, 5% Lycra Spandex, 3% Other fiber 60% Merino Wool, 36% Nylon, 4% Lycra Spandex
Level of Cushioning Lightweight Midweight Ultralightweight Midweight Ultralightweight
Weight 3.15 oz 3.15 oz 2.2 oz 3.15 oz 2.85 oz
Left/Right specific? Yes No No No No
Overall height 14.25 inches 13 inches 14 inches 13 inches 14 inches
Padded area Shin, calf, foot, ankle Shin, underfoot, ankle Ball, heel, shin Shin, underfoot, ankle Shin
Warranty or Guarantee Lifetime Guarentee Head to Heels Guarentee upon arrival w/ 2 year Guarentee Head to Heels Guarentee upon arrival w/ 2 year Guarentee Unconditional Lifetime Guarentee Unconditional Lifetime Guarentee

Our Analysis and Test Results

As a lightly cushioned option, the Ski+ Light dries quickly and thermoregulates over a vast range of temperatures. This merino wool blend is perfect if you're looking for a little bit of comfort with the perks of lightweight performance.

Performance Comparison


Eddy skins up the trail  pointing out potential descents for the future in quick to dry Ski+ Light.
Eddy skins up the trail, pointing out potential descents for the future in quick to dry Ski+ Light.

Comfort


This sock is super cozy and comfortable. It offers a thin level of cushioning in all the right places. Find it under the foot at the site of the heel and toes. A unique feature that we didn't see in any other product is a slight amount of cushioning in the calf and the shin.

A look at the internal construction of the Ski+ Light. It offers a light design with soft materials that are cozy against the skin and some additional padding on the calf that no other sock features (among our test group).
A look at the internal construction of the Ski+ Light. It offers a light design with soft materials that are cozy against the skin and some additional padding on the calf that no other sock features (among our test group).

The sock is made out of 57% Merino Wool, 40% Nylon, and 3% Lycra, offering a soft to the touch feel against the skin. Since it dries quickly and wicks well, it can be worn all day - from the hills to bed.

A deeper look at the padding and compression panelling that provides an exceptional overall fit.
A deeper look at the padding and compression panelling that provides an exceptional overall fit.

Warmth


Providing warmth on both dry and wet days, many of our testers didn't need additional boot warmers or the like when temps plummeted. Utilizing a high density of merino wool in its thin construction, it retains heat well and insulates even when wet. If you're seeking a thinner sock option that provides ample warmth, this is it. Wear it on cold days, wet or dry.

Good insulation underfoot with great breathability equates to warmth in all temperatures.
Good insulation underfoot with great breathability equates to warmth in all temperatures.

Breathability


Looking for something that can dry quickly and wick effectively? Utilizing 40% nylon in its construction, this sock has some serious wicking ability. For the most part, our feet stayed dry, even when the sock got wet. To boot, when on a hut trip in Aspen, Colorado, we easily wore the sock from the hill to bed. When taking off our boots, the sock dried within a few minutes, providing comfort and the ability to wear all day.

Eddy wore this sock while skiing  then around the hut  then to bed. Quick to dry  its got great wicking ability all around.
Eddy wore this sock while skiing, then around the hut, then to bed. Quick to dry, its got great wicking ability all around.

Fit


Constructed as light sock, it fits very well underneath tight boots. When putting boots on, it doesn't deform, bunch, or roll. While skiing, the sock stays in place, utilizing the integrated compression panels under the arch with a tinier heel cup for a more precise fit. For fabric thickness, it's between light and medium cushioning. A great in-between option that fits nicely underneath boots both tight and loose.

A look at the fit.
A look at the fit.

Durability


While this sock didn't fall the shreds during our three-month testing period, it shows the most wear and tear. The seams have held up fine, but the fabric in high use areas has compacted under pressure. As a result, it's lost a bit of warmth after a season of hard use. The construction looks decent, but not as high quality as more durable options. It does come with a lifetime guarantee which is a huge bonus!

A look at some areas of compression and compaction observed after just a few weeks of use. Not the best durability overall.
A look at some areas of compression and compaction observed after just a few weeks of use. Not the best durability overall.

Value


All around awesome performance! While it is quite expensive, its performance might be worth it to you. Take it on all types of runs through all sorts of weather.

Jo gets ready for descent after hiking uphill for a while. The Icebreaker socks are perfect for this.
Jo gets ready for descent after hiking uphill for a while. The Icebreaker socks are perfect for this.

Conclusion


The Icebreaker Ski+ Light is a perfect go-to if you like a little bit of cushioning, but need a thin sock that will perform in all sorts of weather. If you need to keep your feet warm and dry, this is one of our top choices.


Amber King