Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Ski Socks of 2021

Photo: Jenna Ammerman
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Tuesday December 8, 2020
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Our ski and snowboard experts have tested 16 of the best ski socks over the last 7 years. This 2021 update features 8 of the market's best quality options. Handing them out to men and women, we tested them in backcountry terrain and at the resort, sitting on frigid winter chair lifts and hiking uphill in spring conditions. Locations have varied from the cold climates of Alaska to the sunny slopes of Colorado. We assess each model based on relative comfort and fit, expected longevity, and ability to provide warmth while wicking away moisture from our feet. Whether your hiking uphill or taking frigid lifts to get your turns, we've got advice to help you find the best sock for your needs.

Top 8 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 8
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Awards Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $15.83 at REI
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$20.73 at REI$14.75 at Amazon$17.28 at Amazon
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$14.82 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Warm, comfortable, durable, reliableQuick to dry, comfortable, lighter padded constructionVery breathable, fantastic wicking power, thoughtful cushioning, compressive fitWarm, comfortable, thoughtful ventilation, synthetic construction, durableSuper durable, great fit, super wicking ability, lifetime guarantee
Cons No lifetime guaranteeLacks durabilityNot as durable, not very warmUnderfoot padding holds moisture, specific fit in toe boxNot very warm, no additional padding
Bottom Line If you're seeking a ski sock for the season, this is the most reliable across the boardA quick to dry well-rounded ski sock that can perform in all conditions, wet and dryOur favorite ultralightweight ski and snowboard sockOur favorite midweight synthetic ski and snowboard sockA lightweight sock that will keep your feet dry even on the warmest days of winter
Rating Categories Smartwool PhD Ski M... Icebreaker Ski+ Light Smartwool PhD Pro F... Darn Tough ThermoLi... Over-the-Calf Padde...
Comfort & Construction (25%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
Warmth (25%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Breathability (25%)
8.0
8.0
10.0
6.0
9.0
Fit (15%)
8.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
10.0
9.0
Specs Smartwool PhD Ski M... Icebreaker Ski+ Light Smartwool PhD Pro F... Darn Tough ThermoLi... Over-the-Calf Padde...
Material 65% Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, 2% Elastane, Imported Yarn 57% Merino Wool, 40% Nylon, 3% Lycra 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 Midweight Lightweight Ultralightweight Midweight Ultralightweight
Weight 3.15 oz 3.15 oz 2.2 oz 3.15 oz 2.85 oz
Left/Right specific? No Yes No No No
Overall height 13 inches 14.25 inches 14 inches 13 inches 14 inches
Padded area Shin, underfoot, ankle Shin, calf, foot, ankle Ball, heel, shin Shin, underfoot, ankle Shin
Warranty or Guarantee Head to Heels Guarentee upon arrival w/ 2 year Guarentee Lifetime Guarentee Head to Heels Guarentee upon arrival w/ 2 year Guarentee Unconditional Lifetime Guarentee Unconditional Lifetime Guarentee


Best Overall Ski Socks


Smartwool PhD Ski Medium


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort & Construction 9
  • Warmth 9
  • Breathability 8
  • Fit 8
  • Durability 7
Materials: 65% Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, 2% Elastane | Weight: Midweight
Comfortable and warm
Great moisture management
Will last for years
High price
Tight fit in the calf

If you are a powder hound looking to get out in all conditions, the Smartwool PhD Ski Medium continues to stay in the limelight for its excellent performance. A great option for backcountry and resort skiing, it's loaded with major cushioning underfoot and features compression panels that hug the calf and support the arch. The midweight construction is quite breathable, with ventilation points right where you need them. Its durable composition is achieved with a tightly knit construction, offering fantastic moisture management and warmth, even on winter's coldest days. The thickness doesn't compromise our tight-fitting ski boots and is a favorite for its ultra-cushioned shin. It also performs exceptionally well in our durability tests, still going strong after five years of use.

The biggest caveat we've identified is the super tight fit around the calf of the women's sock. If you're a lady with larger calves, consider the men's version that will offer a little more volume. Aside from that, we're hard-pressed to find anything wrong with it. It's the one we like most for resort skiing and backcountry touring for both men and women—skiers and snowboarders alike.

Read review: SmartWool PhD Ski Medium, SmartWool PhD Ski Medium - Women's

Best Bang for the Buck


Fox River Telluride Medium


57
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort & Construction 7
  • Warmth 5
  • Breathability 5
  • Fit 6
  • Durability 5
Materials: 53% Acrylic, 27% Nylon, 18% Merino Wool, 2% Spandex | Weight: Lightweight
Low price
Comfortable cushioning
Very warm (when dry)
Doesn't insulate well when wet
Construction is mediocre

If you're sock hunting on a shoestring budget, the Fox River Telluride offers excellent performance that has lasted us for over three years. This high-value performer is primarily composed of a synthetic-wool blend that is comfortable and cozy for all-day wear. The material wicks water vapor well, while the thickness of the sock fits a boot that's not as tight quite well. Our testers (both men and women) love the color options and appreciate its additional padding on the shin, ankle, and heel. It's very warm when dry and has kept our feet cozy on even the coldest days of winter.

While this is a great deal, there are some caveats that come with its lower price. Given its synthetic blend composition (only 18% merino wool), it doesn't insulate as well as other merino wool contenders. When wet, the plush underfoot material holds the moisture and doesn't vent as well as other contenders. While it still breathes on most days, if you easily get sweaty feet, this isn't the one we'd recommend. However, for the level of comfort it offers, and its warmth when dry, it's a great budget option for resort skiers that don't have super sweaty feet.

Read review: Fox River Telluride

Best Ultralight Construction


Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski


77
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort & Construction 7
  • Warmth 6
  • Breathability 10
  • Fit 9
  • Durability 6
Materials: 56% merino wool, 41% nylon, 3% elastane | Weight: Ultralightweight
Tight and compressive fit
Awesome wicking and drying power
Breathability
Some pilling
Lacks cushioning

The Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski features an ultralightweight synthetic-wool construction that earns a favorable nod from our ski touring testers. If you like a light and thin sock that boasts excellent breathability, this is the one to buy. It has just the right amount of cushioning in the shin and heel for snowboarders and skiers. After two years of use, it still looks great and is going strong.

Since this is a thin option, don't expect it to be loaded with cushioning or warmth. It's also not the most comfortable compared to highly cushioned options and proves to be a little less durable than thicker contenders. For the hard-chargers and the turn-earners, this is a fantastic, ultralight pair that wicks moisture efficiently.

Read review: Smartwool Phd Pro Free Ski

Best Synthetic Construction


Darn Tough ThermoLite OTC


76
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort & Construction 9
  • Warmth 7
  • Breathability 6
  • Fit 7
  • Durability 10
Materials:57% Thermolite Polyester, 35% Nylon, 5% Lycra Spandex | Weight: Midweight
Great warmth
Very comfortable
Thoughtful cushioning
Breathable
Holds moisture in the footbed

The Darn Tough ThermoLite OTC is a highly durable synthetic sock made without merino wool. It provides ample cushioning in the shin and throughout the bed of the foot. It has options for both men and women and offers good breathability. It comes with burly construction that still looks like new after we skied in it for 150+ days in our extended testing. If you're in the market for a high-quality synthetic sock that'll do a great job breathing, look no further.

While it is comfortable, moisture does collect in the super plush footbed. We also noted that the toe box has a rather specific fit that bunched for some and felt good for others. Aside from these small caveats, this synthetic sock is just as soft as it's merino wool competitors but offers better durability. If you prefer a full synthetic construction, this is the one to buy.

Read review: Darn Tough ThermoLite OTC

Compare Products

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Score Product Price Our Take
84
$27
Editors' Choice Award
A great sock for those seeking an all-around performer that will last for many seasons to come
82
$28
A lightweight sock that provides a wide range of thermoregulation in all weather conditions
77
$31
Top Pick Award
A tight, ultralight ski sock built to simply wick and protect
76
$24
Top Pick Award
The best synthetic sock out there for skiers and snowboarders alike
75
$25
A stellar lightweight option for tight boots and aerobic days on the hill
57
$13
Best Buy Award
The best performance for the price
56
$32
A midweight synthetic sock option best for snowboard and looser ski boots
53
$16
A workhorse that'll keep going year after year

Jared skins up the snowy blanket of the Alaska wilderness on a...
Jared skins up the snowy blanket of the Alaska wilderness on a beautiful bluebird day, testing socks while adventuring to remote places only reached by plane and snow sticks.
Photo: Amber King

Why You Should Trust Us


We put together a ripping team of male and female testers that don't just ski but snowboard, too. We spent over 100 days skiing this year in these socks, and our team has over 40 years of collective sliding experience. Our main tester, Amber King, is a dedicated explorer of backcountry terrain and has been adventuring on a splitboard for the last seven years. She brings over 16 years of snowboarding experience to the table. Bryce Foster has eight years of skiing experience as a resort and backcountry skier and has worked in the outdoor industry for over six years. For these five years, he's worked as a professional boot fitter and typically gets at least 100 days of skiing each season. Joanne Marcyzk works as a ski guide, riding the slopes every day, teaching people how to ski. When she's not working, she's out seeking backcountry stashes in some of the tallest and steepest terrains available in her neck of the woods. She has been skiing for over 22 years, making her an expert at providing comprehensive and comparative feedback that's been pivotal in this review.

Our field testing involves finding a team of testers, both male and female, that snowboard and ski. We test socks while sitting on lifts, hiking up mountains, and charging through powder stashes. We've tested across America, with the iconic Telluride Ski Resort and surrounding San Juan mountains being our main testing ground. In addition to field testing, we evaluate each sock comparatively. We wear each on a different foot, not just while skiing and snowboarding, but also while running and hiking to see how each breathes and insulates. Each sock sees at least 100 days of use, with some that we've been testing for years. Yes, we are sock geeks.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Related: How We Tested Ski Socks

Analysis and Test Results


We chose ski socks that are high quality and top performers for both skiing and snowboarding men and women. We test for both backcountry and resort skiing conditions. After testing each in the field, we assess them across five important metrics. We hope you enjoy the comparisons we've created to find the best ski sock for your needs.

Related: Buying Advice for Ski Socks


Value


High performing ski socks can surprisingly cost a pretty penny, so it's important to decide what you're willing to pay. While all the socks we've tested have proven to be quite durable with great performance, there are some lower-priced options with a decent value. Socks built by Darn Tough all come with a policy that allows you to trade them in if performance starts the wane throughout their lifetime. This is a massive value and well worth the initial cost. The Fox River Telluride is one of the lowest-priced options out there with a technical performance build. While it does pill after a few washes, it does a great job on the hill. Keep in mind that if you drop even further in price, these very low-priced socks on the market are often simple tubes of fabric that can't wick 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.

Getting some sweet turns in in the backcountry near Washington Pass...
Getting some sweet turns in in the backcountry near Washington Pass is just one of the many ways we test our ski socks.
Photo: Amber King

Comfort & Construction


The construction of a ski sock is what dictates its overall comfort. A comfortable ski sock features compressional paneling and strategic cushioning to provide ventilation and support where it's needed. In addition, a comfortable sock shouldn't slip out of place or deform throughout the day. It's no fun to take off your ski or snowboard boots to adjust a sock bunched up at the toes.


In this metric, we look seriously at sock construction and its relative comfort on the slopes. Socks that scored the best are thoughtfully constructed with compression paneling in "sweaty" areas like around the foot arch and at the ball of the foot. In addition, the most comfortable socks have additional zones of padding in potential pressure points like the shin and ankle bones and at the toes. The socks that scored the lowest lack these features and are more like long tubes of fabric without thoughtfully engineered architecture.

Choose a sock that will keep you comfortable all day long. Whether...
Choose a sock that will keep you comfortable all day long. Whether you're skiing in the cold climates of Alaska or the warm Spring days of Colorado.
Photo: Amber King

The SmartWool PhD Ski Medium is hands-down the most all-around comfortable sock because of its additional cushioning construction that intersperses breathable paneling for both warmth, coziness, and breathability. Like the Darn Tough Thermolite, Smartwool PhD Pro, Fox River Telluride, Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Lightweight, and Icebreaker Ski+ Light , it has ample cushioning at the shin with a stretch band at the top with elastic materials throughout to ensure it doesn't slide down. Of all the socks in this review, it offers the most cushioning making it a super cozy option for wear on and off the slopes. It is unlike the Smartwool PhD Pro, an ultralightweight sock that offers no padding underfoot or around the ankle or top of the foot. It only has padding at the heel. The Fox River offers a little bit around the heel of the sock, but not much else. The Icebreaker Ski+ Light scores a little higher than these other options because of its padding that's a little thinner than the Smartwool PhD throughout the underfoot, toe box, and ankle. It is a lot like the Darn Tough Thermolite, which comes plush with synthetic cushioning throughout.

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. The Smartwool offers the most underfoot padding but provides great breathability with it's latticed cushioning on the top of the foot.
Photo: Amber King

Despite this level of cushioning, we didn't notice our feet getting wet or a lack of breathability in the Smartwool Medium PhD. This is attributed to the compression paneling that lives under the arch of the foot, on the top of the foot, and throughout the back of the calf. This helps to promote a more specific fit and ventilation to keep feet warm and dry on the slopes. All socks mentioned above also feature areas of compression paneling around the arch of the foot. The only one that offers a little less compression is the Fox River Telluride, which doesn't have much around the top of the ankle.

In terms of construction, the Icebreaker Ski+ Light stands out for its padding that is a little thinner than the Smartwool Medium PhD. It also has an additional panel of padding-right behind the ankle in the Achilles area for added support and comfort. This is one of the reasons it earns a high score in this category.

Wearing the super comfortable Smartwool PhD Medium (women&#039;s) after a...
Wearing the super comfortable Smartwool PhD Medium (women's) after a long day on the mountain. This sock was cozy enough to wear from the slopes to the hut and off to bed.
Photo: Amber King

While the Wigwam Snow Sirocco and Burton Weekend Sock are great options for wearing after a long day of skiing, these less expensive options are more like big tubes of fabric than a well-engineered skiing option. Neither have compression paneling and have thicker paneling throughout. As a result, we'd opt for the Fox River Telluride if you're seeking a less expensive but comfortable ski or snowboard sock option.

Overall, if you're seeking the best in comfort, check out the Medium PhD for both men and women. The Ski+ Light is a close second that offers a thinner design with additional padding throughout. The Darn Tough Over the Calf lightweight offers the least amount of padding, but still has great compression paneling and fit to make it a comfortable sock. The Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski has a little more cushioning than the OTC Light, but the materials are much lighter and compressive. Overall, the PhD Pro is more comfortable than the OTC light because of this little extra cushioning.

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 feet. We strongly recommend one looks for socks that are midweight to ultrathin. Don't double sock your foot, and we recommend staying away from heavyweight socks for skiing or snowboarding.

Warmth


Ensuring that your feet are warm is of huge importance. You don't want to come back from a day on the slopes with numb feet or early signs of frostbite. To ensure your warmth on the slopes; first, buy a good pair of socks that you can wear with your boots. Second, make sure your boots have good liners that will vent moisture. While it's nice to think just a pair of socks will keep you warm, boot fit and construction is also important. 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 on the slopes.


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 raunchy conditions. First, we evaluate the materials used. Then, we wear each pair throughout the winter. Often, we wear a different one on each foot to see how each compared to the other. We also observed which socks held moisture and which felt the warmest, even when wet.

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.
Photo: Amber King

The Smartwood PhD Medium is by far the warmest sock tested. With ample cushioning underfoot that provides an additional layer of insulation from the cold, our feet are happy all day long. This sock has the highest proportion of wool to other blending materials of any sock tested. Also, the wool is packed together in an insulating and durable package that provides warmth even when temperatures dip into the double negatives. Even though it is thicker underfoot, we didn't have wet feet, even on warmer days. And when the sock did retain moisture, it stayed warm.

A look at the intricate construction that provides ample cushioning...
A look at the intricate construction that provides ample cushioning with great ventilation and moisture management. The addition padding means great comfort that doesn't get in the way of fit. This makes the Smartwool PhD Medium a perfect wear all day option.
Photo: Amber King

A close second is the Icebreaker Ski+ Light. While it doesn't utilize materials as thick as the Smartwool PhD Medium, it does a fantastic job thermoregulating. None of our testers complained of cold feet. But, since insulation isn't as thick underfoot, we found our feet a little chillier than the Smartwool, but not by much. The Fox River is nice and warm when dry, but as soon as it gets wet, the chill seeps in. This is most probably attributed to the large amount of acrylic used in its construction.

The Darn Tough OTC Light and Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski both provide a surprising amount of warmth for its thin design. While they are not the warmest socks to don around the house, it thermoregulates so well that it's never wet and doesn't hold moisture. When you go from high-intensity activities like skinning or hitting the moguls where your feet might sweat, then to the chair lift, these socks keep your feet dry. This ultimately offers better warmth than those with a ton of insulation simply because they breathe well. 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. However, for those who don't necessarily need a thin sock, we wouldn't recommend it for ultra-cold weather.

Sitting on lifts can make for chilly feet. The Smartwool proves to...
Sitting on lifts can make for chilly feet. The Smartwool proves to be the warmest option by far, keeping our feet dry and warm all day long. From cold mornings to warm afternoons at the Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado.
Photo: Amber King

The Burton Weekend Sock and Wigwam Snow Sirroco both provide great warmth when dry and not in ski boots. In a snowboard boot, our testers felt comfortable and warm, even on a super cold during the winter. However, our ski testers felt that their thickness impeded fit and overall warmth throughout the day. This is because neither sock breaths well and holds moisture after sweating, which cools when standing around in the snow, ultimately leading to less warmth. There were times they had to switch them out midday simply because they didn't insulate on the mountain. That said, both are awesome options for wear after skiing when you're hanging out in front of a fire with friends.

Overall, the Smartwool PhD Medium is our go-to for cold weather wear for the average skier or snowboarder. If you're not into ample padding, the Icebreaker Ski+ Light is a great second option. The Darn Tough OTC Light and Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski models are warm when combined with a well-insulated and tight-fitting ski boot as both don't hold moisture and wicks water away quickly.

Eddy tries on the Icebreaker to test in temps that are well into the...
Eddy tries on the Icebreaker to test in temps that are well into the "brrr" inspiring. The Icebreaker provides amazing thermoregulation, keeping us warm even on these cold mornings.
Photo: Amber King

Breathability


Wicking ability and drying speed are important for keeping feet dry. A drier foot is a warmer foot. When skiing, you move, generating heat through muscle activation. But when you stop, for example, to sit on a chair lift, the water vapor that was generated along with the heat from your downhill skiing begins to condense. If it condenses on your skin as a liquid, it can get cold, making 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 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 look at how well each sock kept our feet dry. We hiked uphill in ski touring mode, breaking a sweat on the way. We would ski for hours on end for testing purposes. To look at this metric in the field, we would wear different socks on each foot to compare the amount of moisture held to determine wicking ability and drying speed. We would also note if our feet were "clammy" and then cold on the hill. To finalize this metric, we subjected each pair of socks to objective drying speed tests at home to truly see which fabrics dry the fastest.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, we also test this metric...
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, we also test this metric while hiking in the mountains. Here we notice the field differences that make the Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski (right) more breathable than our previous award winner in this category.
Photo: Amber King

The Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski is our favorite for its lightweight construction. This sock is light with a fabric knit that does a better job than the Darn Tough OTC light at wicking away moisture from the foot. Both offer great breathability, but the lighter and tighter fit of the PhD Pro socks is simply better. The padding on the shin has breathable vents throughout with large loops of fabric in high sweat zones, offering more wicking power than the Darn Tough OTC light.

We flip the sock inside out to reveal its construction. Here we see...
We flip the sock inside out to reveal its construction. Here we see minimal padding at the shin and heel, but thin everywhere else. We also notice the huge loops of fabric that improve wicking power to grab moisture and move it away from the skin.
Photo: Amber King

The Icebreaker Ski+ Light is another sock that offers impressive breathability. While its materials are thicker than the PhD Pro and OTC light, it is thinner than the Smartwool PhD Medium, holding less moisture underfoot as a result of less cushioning and material. Even though the Icebreaker doesn't wick moisture or dry as quickly as our favorites for their ultralight construction, our testers didn't notice wet feet while skiing at either 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.

Another awesome sock with an ultrathin construction. It only...
Another awesome sock with an ultrathin construction. It only features cushioning at the shin and is without any on the foot. This barebones sock is light and durable.
Photo: Amber King

Fit


A good fit is pertinent to warmth and comfort on the mountain. When you slip your foot into your boot and buckle up for the day, you don't want to waste time dealing with socks that bunch of deforming. While rating fit, we look at a few important details. We note sock height to ensure it does provide 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 also consider seam construction and relative thickness. Finally, we note how much volume and stretch is found in the sock to accommodate thicker calves. Overall, we rated each sock on how well it performed when stuck inside a boot for hours on end.


All the socks tested have seamless construction without any odd pinch points of constrictions that would cause chaffing. The Icebreaker Ski+ Light and Smartwool PhD Medium provide the best and most versatile fit. Both come with thoughtfully placed points of compression paneling that keeps the sock in place. The use of elastane and lycra spandex provides additional stretch while the high-quality merino wool feels soft (not itchy) against the skin.

You want to make sure your sock fits correctly with your boot. A...
You want to make sure your sock fits correctly with your boot. A thinner sock is best for a tight ski boot that insulates well, but a midweight sock may be your preference if you like the extra cushioning or your boots are a little looser.
Photo: Amber King

The reason the Ski+ Light earns a higher score is because of its higher level of versatility. It features thinner padding, which allows for a more specific boot fit. The wider hem at the top of the sock is a little more comfortable than the Smartwool, while the length is also longer. Most importantly, it has more volume throughout the body of the sock. The women's version of the Smartwool PhD is a little too tight if you're blessed with bigger calves. When looking at the relative stretch between these two contenders, the Smartwool PhD Medium functions 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.

A look at the difference between a male and female sock. If you&#039;re a...
A look at the difference between a male and female sock. If you're a woman with larger calves, consider the men's sock as it provides more room for a more comfortable fit.
Photo: Amber King

Other contenders that do well include the Fox River Telluride, Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Padded Light,Darn Tough Thermolite, and Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski. The Fox River is pretty standard with some compression, a good level of stretch, and some cushioning. The Smartwool PhD Pro, on the other hand, is the thinnest sock tested and has a tight and compressive fit. Both the Darn Tough options have a really tall fit, best for those with longer legs. Though, the Thermolite has a much more padded construction with a less specific fit than the OTC Light.

The Burton Weekend Sock provides a more snug and specific fit than the Wigwam Snow Sirocco. In fact, given the Wigwam's thicker construction, we found that it would bunch at the top of our boot, causing fit and ride issues throughout the day. Between these two, the Weekend Sock performs much better. In comparison to the rest, it doesn't stand up, given its lack of compression paneling and features.

Whether you&#039;re hanging at the resort or skinning up big mountains...
Whether you're hanging at the resort or skinning up big mountains, with impending weather, making sure your sock fits is paramount. It'll keep stoke high and a smile on your face.
Photo: Amber King

Overall, our favorite go-to choices are the Icebreaker and Smartwool PhD Medium and Smartwool PhD Pro Free Ski. Both provide a snug fit that works well with both tight-fitting ski and snowboard boots. The PhD Pro is much lighter similar to the Darn Tough OTC Light, offering just a wicking layer to go with a tight-fitting ski boot.

Durability


It's important to know that the sock you buy will last you more than just a few days on the mountain. In this metric, we look at overall construction quality and level of wear and tear after a winter of use. All products did okay in this metric, with no products showing major failure or flaws through our testing period.


The most durable and highest quality products in this review prove (so far) to be the Darn Tough Thermolite and Smartwool PhD Medium. True to its name, we put the Darn Tough Thermolite through the wringer, and it still looks like a brand new sock. No signs of wear and tear after wearing for over 100+ hours in ski and snowboard boots. The Thermolite does better than the OTC light simply because of its ultra-durable synthetic construction, but both are options that'll last you for many years. Both also claim to allow you to return your socks if you find a hole or torn seam, even after years of use. It also makes this one of the highest value products that cost on the upper end of the ski sock spectrum.

Even after putting this sock through the wringer, it still appears...
Even after putting this sock through the wringer, it still appears to be brand spanking new. We also love its lifetime guarantee.
Photo: Amber King

Another great contender is the Smartwool PhD (women's & men's). Two of our main testers have used these socks for over six years. In those years, both testers have 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 wash and a tiny bit of shrinkage, this small detail is a minor issue in comparison to the level of quality and craftsmanship it brings to the table.

While the underfoot of the Smartwool does show a bit of pilling...
While the underfoot of the Smartwool does show a bit of pilling, it's still one of the most durable options out there. Tried and tested for over five years, it's kept our feet warm. We stand behind its durability that will last a long long time.
Photo: Amber King

The Fox River Telluride, Wigwam Sirroco, and Burton Weekend sock all showed some packing out and wear after just a few runs. Of the three, the Wigwam proved to bounce back the best after a wash and hasn't demonstrated any compaction or major issues so far. While we noticed this wear and tear in these products, we'd be confident to say these would still last for a season or two.

From hiking on sticks to charging down moguls, your socks really do...
From hiking on sticks to charging down moguls, your socks really do take quite a beating. We tested each while hiking, skiing, and snowboarding for at least 60 hours a piece.
Photo: Amber King

If you're looking for the most durable and, thus, high-value option for its price, the Darn Tough Thermolite is our go-to. If you're not interested in a synthetic sock but prefer an option that's been field-tested for many years and offers a thicker construction, the Smartwool PhD Medium is a very solid choice. Both are great options for nearly anyone, whether you're skiing every day or once a year.

Ladies and gents, these are some of the best ski socks out there...
Ladies and gents, these are some of the best ski socks out there. Enjoy them while getting the goods in the backcountry or at your favorite resort.
Photo: Amber King

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 good-bye to cold feet this winter and welcome a brand new pair of ski socks to your outdoor wardrobe. We hope this has been helpful in your search for a pertinent piece of winter gear.

Amber King