For those who demand the most out of their ski socks, Smartwool has created a new industry standard for quality. The PhD Medium Ski Sock fits like a glove (but on the opposite appendage) and is built to perform in both wet and cold environments, all season long. This winter and spring we put this sock through a gauntlet of skiing's demands: cross-country, alpine, telemark, backcountry touring, ski mountaineering, and quite a bit of mountain biking too. It not only kept us warm and dry, it had the most life left of any sock we tested at the end of our review. While other socks might claim a specific advantage over the PhD, no sock beat the all-around performance and dependability the PhD provides.
If you were to buy only one ski sock for the entire season, the PhD would be it. The Icebreaker Ski+ Light is similar in comfort, and dries notably faster than the PhD, but the PhD's durability set it apart. The Fox River Wilmot, which took our Best Buy Award, is equally as warm and comfortable as the PhD, but it can't hold a candle to the moisture wicking abilities or fit of the PhD. If you prefer a lighter sock, we recommend the more minimally cushioned PhD Ski Light. It has the ame design with less padding around the shin and underfoot.