Reviews You Can Rely On

The 4 Best Ski Socks of 2023

We tested ski socks from Smartwool, Darn Tough, Dissent, and more to find out which perform the best on the slopes
Best Ski Socks of 2023
Tested socks, past and present. Which one is best for you?
Credit: Amber King
Wednesday February 8, 2023
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Are you here to find the best ski sock for your needs? Our ski and snowboard experts have tested dozens over the last 8 years, with 11 in our current lineup. Our diverse test team can be found from Colorado to Alaska, lapping the resort in chilling temperatures and navigating ski traverses in the High Sierra. Our testing allows us to evaluate each model based on its comfort, fit, durability, breathability, and overall warmth. Whether hiking uphill or taking cold lift rides to get your turns, we've got advice to help you find the best sock for your needs.

Your quality of experience in the realm of snow sports is widely dependent on the gear you have. Whether that is an top-notch ski jacket paired with photochromatic ski goggles on a stormy day or a comfortable helmet on a fun day out with the family, our in-depth and recommendation-based reviews are designed to help you select the best products for your needs.

Editor's Note: We updated the lineup in this ski sock review on February 8, 2023. We added new socks from Smartwool, Darn Tough, and Fox River. Additionally, we retested some old favorites to update our findings and comparisons.

Top 11 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 11
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Awards Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $33 List$27.95 at Evo$16.22 at Amazon$55 List$55 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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81
78
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Pros Comfortable, warm, great breathability, excellent fitBreathable, strategic cushioning, fitSnug fit, wicks moisture, quick-drying, great for tight-fitting bootsCompression benefits, well padded, well made, excellent quality of fitMoisture management is top-notch, excellent fit and build quality, compression benefits, smell resistance
Cons PriceyA bit spendyWarmth out of a boot is lowChallenging to get on, expensiveSeam on big toe is noticeable, expensive, challenging to get on
Bottom Line This sock provides a spectacular fit on the foot and targeted cushioning for an optimized fit in various bootsA lightweight sock with strategic areas of cushion to increase comfort and improve the fit of moderately packed-out bootsA minimalist and highly breathable sock that offers an incredible and comfortable fit best suited for new performance-fit boots that haven't been packed out yetA high quality sock that manages moisture, resists bunching, and provides a hard-to-beat fitA great lightweight compression sock that wicks moisture and provides an incredible fit when wet or dry
Rating Categories Smartwool Ski Intra... Smartwool Targeted... Smartwool Ski Zero... Dissent GFX Compres... CEP Merino Tall Com...
Comfort and Construction (25%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Warmth (25%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Breathability (25%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Fit (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Smartwool Ski Intra... Smartwool Targeted... Smartwool Ski Zero... Dissent GFX Compres... CEP Merino Tall Com...
Material 56% Merino wool, 16% nylon, 24% recycled nylon, 4% elastane 59% Merino wool, 38% nylon, 3% elastane 55% Merino wool, 41% nylon, 4% elastane 65% polyamide, 25% lycra, 10% Merino wool 67% polyamid, 23% Merino wool, 10% spandex
Level of Cushioning Lightweight Lightweight Ultralightweight Lightweight Lightweight
Weight 2.8 oz 2.5 oz 2.1 oz 2.7 oz 2.5 oz
Left/Right specific? Yes No No Yes Yes
Overall Height 17 in 14 in 14 in 15 in 16 in
Padded Area Toe, ball of foot, heel Toe, heel, shin Zero cushion Toe box, toe joints, arch, heel, achilles, shin Heel, arch, toe, shin, achilles


Best Overall Ski Socks


Smartwool Ski Intraknit OTC


85
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Construction 9.0
  • Warmth 7.0
  • Breathability 9.0
  • Fit 9.0
  • Durability 9.0
Materials: 56% Merino wool, 40% nylon, 4% elastane | Weight: Lightweight
REASONS TO BUY
Decent warmth
Comfortable
Breathable with a good fit
Well made
REASONS TO AVOID
Higher price
No lifetime warranty

The Smartwool Ski Intraknit OTC is our go-to ski sock. This lightweight targeted cushion model provides padding where you need it without influencing the overall fit of your boot. The thickness of this sock is most appropriate for boots that have yet to or are just starting to pack out. The overall fit is snug in key areas like the toe box, arch-heel cup, and upper cuff. Each one of these zones uses compression to ensure the sock will not bunch. Built-in mesh zones also improve breathability, particularly in the instep. Don't be fooled by the lightweight and woven mesh instep; it's kept us warm on cold Sierra ski days. The enhanced fibers of the Intraknit OTC are designed for increased breathability and high-intensity use, and we could tell.

Compared to its competition, the main drawbacks of the Intraknit OTC are its higher price and lack of a lifetime warranty. The price could be prohibitive to some users, especially those looking to have multiple pairs of the same sock. Smartwool does offer a two-year warranty; if you are unhappy with your products, they will work to get you into new gear. Some manufacturers, like Darn Tough, offer lifetime warranties on their socks and even cover holes. Still, Smartwool is a top name for a reason, and this particular sock is best for dedicated skiers and riders looking for a spectacular fit and breathability to keep their feet happy and warm.

best overall ski socks
Cayambe 18,998' was the perfect testing ground for the Smartwool Ski Intraknit OTC. This model performed well throughout all of our test metrics.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Best Bang for the Buck


Fox River Chatter Ultra Lightweight


69
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Construction 7.0
  • Warmth 7.0
  • Breathability 6.0
  • Fit 7.0
  • Durability 8.0
Materials: 53% polyester, 46% nylon, 1% spandex | Weight: Lightweight
REASONS TO BUY
Low price
Reinforced toe box and heel cup
Good construction
REASONS TO AVOID
Toes, instep, heel, and upper cuff could have more compression
Breathability is so-so

The Fox River Chatter Ultra Lightweight is a well-rounded performer to fit the needs of most skiers at an approachable price. While nothing blew us away, the Chatter delivered reliable performance. Our feet were warm and dry for most days, ranging from 15 to 40 degrees. The fit was far superior to models of a similar price point but less refined than its high-priced competitors. Beyond its impressive performance and price, this sock is made in the USA and backed by a lifetime warranty. The company states that if you are unsatisfied with the socks' quality, you can return them for a replacement.

The Chatter Ultra performed well across each category but has shortcomings compared to other models. While the fit is generally good, it could be improved with a more discreet toe seam and more compression zones. The toe seam was more noticeable than on other models when wearing tighter-fitting ski boots. We also noticed the sock's tendency to slide down thinner calves, and the fit of the heel and instep can become loose over a riding day. The full-synthetic construction has slightly less breathability than full wool models as well. These things aside, the Chatter is an excellent selection for anyone looking to enter the ski sock world or continue to build their quiver with a smaller financial burden.

ski socks - best bang for the buck
The Fox River Chatter is a solid option to add to your quiver.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Best Compression Sock


Dissent GFX Compression Hybrid DLX-Wool


81
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Construction 9.0
  • Warmth 6.0
  • Breathability 8.0
  • Fit 10.0
  • Durability 8.0
Materials: 10% Merino wool, 25% lycra, 65% polyamide | Weight: Lightweight
REASONS TO BUY
Compression benefits
Well placed padding
Fast to dry
Superb Fit
Great construction
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Hard to get on

The Dissent GFX Compression Hybrid DLX-Wool is an all-around great sock due to its quality of fit, targeted cushion, and calf-to-foot compression. This sock maps your foot to provide a snug and nearly mirrored fit, and it kept its fit when wet throughout a 5-day ski traverse. The Dissent was also able to dry out rather quickly, thanks to its lightweight and targeted cushion design. The cushion allows it to maintain a low profile that's compatible with performance-fit boots while offering protection and added comfort to the user. Many athletes have been transitioning to compression socks for their stated recovery benefits, such as increased circulation (i.e., warmth), decreased swelling, and injury prevention. We found ourselves reaching for these socks for our biggest days in the mountains because of their added benefits and reliable fit that resists bunching when wet or dry. The model features top-tier construction and has withstood dozens of washes without pilling or changing its shape.

The Dissent GFX minimizes disadvantages. The biggest is the price barrier, as it is one of the most expensive socks we've ever reviewed. However, you get a quality product for your investment. We have multiple ski patrol friends that have reported three seasons of heavy use before a hole began to develop in the heel. That said, a minor drawback of all compression socks is that they are noticeably harder to put on than a traditional ski sock. Overall, the Dissent is best for avid skiers and riders looking to experience the benefits of compression that require a reliable fit when using low-volume boots for ski touring or resort riding.

ski socks - best compression sock
The Dissent GFX was our go-to sock for guiding a high-altitude expedition in Boliva with peaks up to 21,122'.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Best Ultralight Sock


Smartwool Ski Zero Cushion


82
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Construction 9.0
  • Warmth 6.0
  • Breathability 9.0
  • Fit 9.0
  • Durability 8.0
Materials: 55% Merino wool, 41% nylon, 4% elastane | Weight: Ultra lightweight
REASONS TO BUY
Snug fit
Wicks moisture
Quick drying
Great for tight-fitting boots
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks cushioning
Warmth outside of a boot is lacking

The Smartwool Ski Zero Cushion is our favorite zero cushion sock because of its materials and fit quality. This sock uses 55% Merino wool to maximize the warmth the thin material can retain. Nylon and elastane create a compressive fit across the entire profile, and the thin nature and wicking materials promote breathability that's well-suited for multi-day trips and high performance. This thin sock has a reinforced toe box to increase durability alongside a two-year warranty. We feel the Zero Cushion is among the best choices for touring as it regulates temperature well, especially during longer springtime missions.

This sock is designed to be ultralight and foregoes cushioning, which reduces the warmth that padding can help provide. Naturally, it is less durable than thicker socks, and comfort depends on whether you're using the Ski Zero in the settings it's designed for. Bottom line, this is a great option for those looking for a sock to provide the best boot fit for the subsequent performance and sensitivity benefits.

ski socks - the smartwool zero cushion sock is one of the first socks we grab...
The Smartwool Zero Cushion sock is one of the first socks we grab for new boots or ski touring.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
85
Smartwool Ski Intraknit OTC
smartwool ski intraknit otc ski socks
$33
Editors' Choice Award
84
Smartwool Ski Targeted Cushion
smartwool ski targeted cushion ski socks
$28
82
Smartwool Ski Zero Cushion
smartwool ski zero cushion ski socks
$27
Top Pick Award
81
Dissent GFX Compression Hybrid DLX-Wool
dissent gfx compression hybrid dlx-wool ski socks
$55
Top Pick Award
78
CEP Ski Merino Tall Compression
cep ski merino tall compression ski socks
$55
77
Darn Tough Pennant RFL Ultra-Lightweight
darn tough pennant rfl ultra-lightweight ski socks
$28
77
Darn Tough Solstice OTC Lightweight
darn tough solstice otc lightweight ski socks
$28
75
Icebreaker Ski+ Light
icebreaker ski+ light ski socks
$28
69
Fox River Chatter Ultra Lightweight
fox river chatter ultra lightweight ski socks
$17
Best Buy Award
58
Eurosock 1112 Ski Zone Medium
eurosock 1112 ski zone medium ski socks
$24
51
Wigwam Snow Sirocco
wigwam snow sirocco ski socks
$17

ski socks - the best sock is one that you can forget about so you can enjoy the...
The best sock is one that you can forget about so you can enjoy the moment.
Credit: Isaac Laredo


Why You Should Trust Us


Our field testing involves finding the right team and then doing market research. We purchase our entire test fleet at full retail and analyze our chosen socks while sitting on lifts, hiking mountains, and charging through powder stashes. We've tested across America, including the iconic Telluride Ski Resort, the surrounding San Juan mountains, and the world-class Sierra Nevada range. In addition to field testing, we evaluate each sock comparatively performing tests like wearing each on a different foot for true side-by-side analysis. We also wear these socks while running and hiking to see how each breathes and insulates.

Our testing of ski socks is divided into five rating metrics:
  • Comfort and Construction (25% of overall score weighting)
  • Warmth (25% weighting)
  • Breathability (25% weighting)
  • Fit (15% weighting)
  • Durability (10% weighting)

We assembled a ripping team of male and female testers who ski and snowboard hard. Our primary tester, Isaac Laredo, spends over 130 days a season in ski and snowboard socks and works as a ski guide in the Sierra Nevada region, guiding people to the best snow and providing product recommendations to help his clients get the most out of their experience. Amber King also helped set the stage for this review as a dedicated explorer of backcountry terrain who has been adventuring on a splitboard for the last decade. She brings over 16 years of snowboarding experience to the table.

We tested the comfort and construction side by side both indoors and...
We tested the comfort and construction side by side both indoors and on the mountain.
The fit of a sock determines how it will perform throughout the day...
The fit of a sock determines how it will perform throughout the day. A loose sock is bound to bunch up, while a snug sock will map your foot and minimize the formation of blisters.
We take our ski socks into all kinds of terrain and weather to push...
We take our ski socks into all kinds of terrain and weather to push the limits and determine aspects of versatility.

Analysis and Test Results


We chose ski socks that are high quality and top performers for both skiing and snowboarding and tested in both backcountry and resort skiing conditions. After testing each in the field, we assess them across five important metrics: comfort and construction, warmth, breathability, fit, and durability. We hope our rating metrics and comparative evaluation helps you find the best ski sock for your needs.


Value


Ski equipment isn't known for being cheap, but it may be a surprise that high-performing ski socks can cost a pretty penny, too. It is important to decide what you're willing to pay. Some lower-priced options perform nearly as well as their higher-priced counterparts. The Fox River Chatter Ultra Lightweight is one of the lowest-priced options with a technical performance build. These socks represent the lowest-priced option that we recommend. Spend less, and you're not likely to get a ski sock worth taking to the slopes. The Smartwool Ski Intraknit OTC took home our top award for its overall performance and build. It does have a higher price tag but still provides good value because of its warmth, profile, and high-quality materials. As you climb the price ladder into the category of compression socks like the CEP Ski Merino Tall Compression and Dissent GFX Compression Hybrid DLX-Wool, the value statement becomes more personalized and budget-based. These high-quality products should last and keep your feet happy, but the cost is significantly higher. Ski patrollers, instructors, and guides stand by both these products and often find the price tag worth it for the performance they receive.

ski socks - socks can be tempting to try and save a buck on. we recommend you...
Socks can be tempting to try and save a buck on. We recommend you buy pairs from reputable brands that provide the correct fit for your boot and warmth for your climate.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Socks are a quick way to improve or degrade your ski experience. Very low-priced ski socks are often simple tubes of fabric that don't have a precise fit or wick moisture well. They are typically thicker in construction and offer nice warmth when dry, but as soon as you start moving, they don't breathe well. These are not high-value products, so be sure to avoid them if you know you're going to be moving as well as standing still, as one does on the ski hill.

ski socks - ski socks are a worthy investment to help you get the most from your...
Ski socks are a worthy investment to help you get the most from your day in these magical places.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Comfort and Construction


The construction of a ski sock is what dictates its overall comfort. A comfortable model features compression paneling and strategic cushioning to increase comfort and support. In addition, a comfortable sock shouldn't slip out of place or deform throughout the day. Taking off your ski or snowboard boots to adjust a sock bunched up at the toes, ankle, or midfoot is no fun.


In this metric, we take a look at sock construction and its relative comfort on the slopes. Socks that scored the best are thoughtfully constructed with ventilation paneling in "sweaty" areas like around the arch and at the ball of the foot. The most comfortable socks also have additional padding zones in potential pressure point areas like the shin, ankle bones, and toes. The lowest-scoring socks lack these features and are more like long fabric tubes without thoughtful engineering.

ski socks - comparing the toe seam between the smartwool intraknit (left) and...
Comparing the toe seam between the SmartWool Intraknit (left) and the Fox River Chatter (right). Both socks are constructed in one piece and closed with a toe seam. The toe seam on the Fox River sock is a bit bulkier but still hardly noticeable. Darn Tough and Icebreaker use a similar construction process.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

The Smartwool Ski Intraknit OTC is a comfortable sock because of its additional cushioning and construction that intersperses strategic paneling for breathability. Like the Smartwool Ski Targeted Cushion, Dissent GFX, and Icebreaker Ski+ Light, the Intraknit has light cushioning at the shin with a stretch band at the top and compression throughout to ensure it doesn't slide down. The Icebreaker also has an additional padding panel directly behind the ankle in the Achilles area for added support and comfort. Conversely, the Smartwool Ski Zero Cushion and Darn Tough Solstice OTC Lightweight lack padding except for a small section in the toe box. A zero-cushion sock may be ideal for some users seeking the most precise fit in a tight boot, but it won't be for everyone.

ski socks - when flipped inside out, a sock&#039;s true colors are revealed. here we...
When flipped inside out, a sock's true colors are revealed. Here we can see how the shin padding varies sock to sock.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

The CEP Compression and Dissent GFX Compression are standout products in this metric due to the highly effective compression zones around the midsole, toes, ankle, and calf that ensure the sock does not move throughout the day. We had both of these socks quite wet and escaped any blistering thanks to the sock not shifting inside our boots — an appreciated feature when spring ski touring. Additionally, both maintain a low profile feel with effective and strategic padding at the toebox, Achilles, arch, heel, and shin.

ski socks - two full cushion socks side by side: smartwool (left) compared to...
Two full cushion socks side by side: Smartwool (left) compared to the Eurosock (right). The Smartwool has a reduced profile despite its cushioned nature compared to the Eurosock. The Smartwool has more overall use yet has pilled less then Eurosock.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Of all the socks in this review, the Wigwam Snow Sirocco and Eurosock 1112 Ski Zone Medium provide the highest levels of cushioning. While the Snow Sirocco is a great option for wearing after a long day of skiing, these less expensive options are more like big tubes of fabric than well-engineered skiing options. They lack compression paneling and are generally thicker. The Eurosock is also a great apr├Ęs sock primarily because it lacks a snug fit around the ankle, heel, midsole, and toes. The medium weight of this sock is relatively thick and would change the fit of low or medium-allowance boot fits. As a result, we'd opt for the Fox River Chatter if you're seeking a less expensive but comfortable option.

Many beginner and recreational skiers expect that thicker socks are more comfortable because they feel better when worn in the store. However, on the slopes, thicker socks can compromise the fit of a tight boot, making a day at the resort rough on the feet. We strongly recommend socks that are midweight to ultrathin. Don't double sock your foot, and avoid heavyweight socks for skiing or snowboarding.

Warmth


Warm feet are an essential part of a good day on the mountain. You don't want to return from a day on the ski hill with numb feet or early signs of frostbite. Socks are the foundation of warmth. But the majority of the warmth will come from your boot. Many boot fitters will tell you that you should try on your ski boots with the socks you plan on wearing because boots are supposed to fit tightly. If you do these two things, you'll greatly increase your chances of having warmer feet.


When comparing sock warmth, we look at the relative warmth while skiing and snowboarding at the resort and in the backcountry through all sorts of cold and wintry conditions. First, we evaluate the materials used. Then, we wear each pair throughout the winter, and often, we wear a different sock on each foot while riding to directly compare their performance. We also observed which socks retained moisture and felt warm, even when wet.

ski socks - to test warmth, we went north to snow camp and ski on a glacier...
To test warmth, we went North to snow camp and ski on a glacier. Here we snap a pic of our plane as we get ready to pack up after a great trip.
Credit: Amber King

The Icebreaker Ski+ Light is the warmest sock we tested — it does a fantastic job of thermoregulating, and our feet stayed happy all day. The Icebreaker, Darn Tough, and Smartwool socks use high percentages of Merino wool to increase their warmth potential. The Dissent and CEP socks maintain warmth through their wicking properties, which help keep the sock drier overall. The compressive nature of these socks should also increase your blood flow and help keep your feet warmer. One tester with circulation issues in his feet rarely had cold feet when using these socks on multi-day winter tours. The CEP is slightly warmer than the Dissent, likely due to a higher percentage of wool.

ski socks - nothing can negatively influence a day of riding like getting cold...
Nothing can negatively influence a day of riding like getting cold feet. The Icebreaker Ski + Light kept us warm on colder days.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

The Darn Tough Pennant RFL Ultra-Lightweight and Smartwool Ski Zero Cushion maintain warmth because of their wool and wicking properties. These socks will keep your feet warm and dry from high-intensity activities that build up heat, like skinning or carving groomers, to the chair lift. They are recommended if you own a pair of tight ski boots and want a sock that wicks super well to provide better overall warmth.

The Wigwam Snow Sirroco both provide great warmth when dry and not in snow boots. In both ski and snowboard boots, the thickness impeded the fit and subsequent overall warmth throughout the day. Sometimes we had to switch them out at midday simply because they limited circulation in normal-fitting boots. That said, this is is still a great option for wear after skiing when hanging out in front of a fire with friends.

ski socks - the wigwam sirocco is listed as a midweight sock but has properties...
The Wigwam Sirocco is listed as a midweight sock but has properties that emulate a heavyweight construction.
Credit: Amber King

Breathability


Wicking ability and drying speed are important for keeping feet dry. A drier foot is a warmer foot. When skiing, your movement generates heat through muscle activation. But when you stop, for example, to sit on a chair lift, the water vapor generated along with the heat from your downhill skiing begins to condense. If it condenses on your skin as a liquid, it can make your feet cold. A good sock is made of materials that will transport that water vapor from the surface of your skin to the outside of your sock. A boot liner that vents well also transports the moisture out and away from the sock. In the case of wicking ability and drying speed, thinner is better.


In this metric, we looked at how well each sock kept our feet dry after touring and skiing at the resort for hours. We wore different socks on each foot to comparatively assess wicking ability and drying speed. We also noted if our feet were "clammy" and cold on the hill. To finalize this metric, we subjected each pair of socks to objective drying speed tests at home to see which fabrics dry the fastest.

ski socks - the smartwool ventilation panels increase breathability and moisture...
The Smartwool ventilation panels increase breathability and moisture management. The ventilation panels are the white stitching on the instep of the sock.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Smartwool Ski Zero Cushion is a favorite for its lightweight construction. This sock uses a thin wool construction to provide extra wicking power. The lighter and tighter fit of a zero-cushioned sock is ideal for breathability.

ski socks - a sock must be able to manage moisture to keep your foot warm and...
A sock must be able to manage moisture to keep your foot warm and dry. Generally, the targeted cushion and ultralight models perform better than thicker models.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

The Smartwool Ski Intraknit OTC, Darn Tough Pennant RFL, and the Smartwool Ski Targeted Cushion are cushioned socks that offer impressive breathability. All three models have woven-in mesh paneling on the instep to increase breathability. The CEP and Dissent are other targeted cushioned models that are close behind. Even though none wick moisture nor dry as quickly as our wool ultralight favorites, we didn't notice wet feet while skiing at the resort or in the backcountry. Overall, if you're seeking a sock that dries quickly and wicks well, these options are your best bet.

ski socks - the cep and dissent compression sock managed to keep our feet dry...
The CEP and Dissent Compression sock managed to keep our feet dry despite the hot spring temperatures of the Eastern Sierra.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Fit


A good fit is essential for warmth and comfort on the mountain. While rating fit, we look at a few important details. We note sock height to ensure it provides the needed coverage. The level of stretchiness and elasticity is also important to ensure the sock doesn't deform when wet or under stress. We consider seam construction and relative thickness. Finally, we note how much volume and stretch are found in the sock to accommodate thicker calves. Overall, we rated each sock on its performance when stuck inside a boot for hours.


All the socks we tested have seamless construction and are free of problem areas that might contribute to blistering or chafing. That said, the Dissent GFX provided the best fit of any sock within our review. The compressive nature allows the fit to almost identically map to the foot. The socks never bunched or bound up throughout long days in the mountains, even if they got wet. The overall hold and tight nature of the socks are impressive. The CEP Compression sock is not far behind as it provides a tight and mirrored fit with just a bit more room in the toe box. The targeted cushion on both models allows for a great fit in performance or particular boot fits.

ski socks - the fit of a sock can influence the performance of your boots and...
The fit of a sock can influence the performance of your boots and riding.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

The Icebreaker Ski+ Light, Smartwool Ski Intraknit, Ski Targeted Cushion, Ski Zero Cushion, and Darn Tough Pennant provide great and versatile fits. They all incorporate compression panels and elastane or spandex to provide a supportive and snug fit that stretches and maps the foot. The Icebreaker uses thinner padding, allowing for a more specific boot fit. The Smartwool models fit more like a compression sock, whereas the Icebreaker offers a little more room throughout the leg. As a result, we'd recommend the Icebreaker if you're looking for a longer sock with a little more volume throughout the calf. The upper cuff would sometimes slide down on our testers with skinnier legs. The Fox River Chatter offers a decent fit and good shape, but the lack of distinct compression zones in the toe, instep, heel, and shin means the fit is less snug and more prone to movement.

ski socks - smartwool intraknit (right) compared to the fox river chatter...
Smartwool Intraknit (right) compared to the Fox River Chatter (left). The Intraknit offers compression zones around the instep, arch, and ankle which enhances the fit. It also has an integrated mesh ventilation panel on the instep to increase breathability.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Durability


It's important to know that the sock you buy will last you more than just a few days on the mountain. This metric looks at overall construction quality and level of wear and tear after a winter of use. All products did okay in this metric, with none showing major failure or flaws through our testing period.


Years of experience have shown us, anecdotally, that Darn Tough socks tend to last the longest. We have also personally utilized their lifetime warranty, where we returned socks with a hole or torn seam, even after years of use, for a new pair. This makes them one of the highest-value products despite being on the upper end of the ski sock price spectrum.

ski socks - socks follow the &quot;buy cheap and buy twice mantra&quot;.  some brands like...
Socks follow the "buy cheap and buy twice mantra". Some brands like Darn Tough offer lifetime guarantees.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

The Smartwool Ski series also stands out for durability. Two of our main testers have used previous iterations of these socks for several ski seasons before they gave out. In those years, both testers put in over 100 days of use each winter, and they are still going strong after several years. While we did observe a little pilling after the first washes and a tiny bit of shrinkage, this small detail is a minor issue compared to the quality and craftsmanship Smartwool brings to the table. To lessen pilling and shrinkage, air-drying wool or partial-wool socks is recommended.

Both the CEP and Dissent socks are very well made; the inner side is neat with no loose ends, and both models have been washed dozens of times and have shown no signs of pilling.

ski socks - we hope we&#039;ve helped you find the best sock for you and your budget.
We hope we've helped you find the best sock for you and your budget.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Conclusion


Choosing a ski sock might take a little time and research, but we've taken the time to do the leg work for you. Say goodbye to cold feet this winter and welcome a brand new pair of ski socks to your outdoor wardrobe. We hope our review has been helpful in your search for this important piece of winter gear.

Amber King and Isaac Laredo


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