What Are The Best Cold Weather Socks?

Text by: Cian Byrne

. What Are The Best Cold Weather Socks?

Every year around this time, I ask myself “What are the best cold weather socks?” In our defence against the cold, a bad pair of socks can often be the chink in our armour.  Here I take a look at the best socks for your winter activities. 

Best Ski Socks

I once wore the wrong socks for a mid-winter backcountry ski trip. And I mean once! Trying to stay warm and ignore the cold ruined my whole trip. As soon as I got back to town I bought a proper pair of ski socks. 

The Icebreaker Ski+ Light socks are made with a merino-blend. Merino socks have been a godsend for the outdoor industry, I love the fact that they’re quick-drying and odour-resistant, and most importantly, warm! 

If you love waking up to a fresh pair of socks, look no further than the Burton Weekend Sock Two-Pack. Two is always better than one, right? Knowing that I’ve got a backup pair of socks at home lets me get on with the important things, like skiing kneedeep powder. 

Icebreaker Ski+ Compression Ultralight Over the Calf socks are another smart choice. The compression helps improve circulation which means blood can get to our toes to help keep them toasty.

Icebreaker

Ski+Light

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Burton

Weekend Sock

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Icebreaker

Ski+Compression Ultralight OTC

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Best Hiking Socks

If you’re like me, you’ll love getting out on the hiking trails before the blanket of winter snow arrives. When I’m out on the trail I need my hiking socks to be warm, comfortable and help prevent blisters – the essentials for comfortable feet. 

Darn Tough socks are known for their incredible build quality and one of the best warranty policies in the industry. The Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Sock prevents blisters by having an undetectable seem on the heel. If you have any issues their unconditional lifetime guarantee will make sure that you find your perfect pair.

Smartwool socks are known for being warm and comfortable hiking socks. They’ve been making wool socks for women and men for over 25 years now. I love how they manage to include merino wool in lots of their products. The Smartwool Hike Light Margarita Crew Socks have flat-knit toes. This means no more uncomfortable bunching, leaving you to focus on the trail. 

Lightweight hiking socks like the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew are a great choice to stay warm and dry on the trail. The moisture-wicking merino blend will keep your feet dry when the trail gets tough. They also use ‘Indestructawool’ on the high wear areas. This technology helps prevent wear and tear and increases the lifespan of the sock.

Darn Tough

Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Sock

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Smartwool

Hike Light Margarita Crew Socks

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Smartwool

PhD Outdoor Light Crew

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Best Snowshoeing Socks

Snowshoeing is one of the most accessible ways for people to get outdoors in winter. Just grab a set of snowshoes or crampons, throw on some winter gear and get out there! When snowshoeing I need my feet to be dry and comfortable because nothing sucks more than cold and wet socks.

The DexShell Camouflage Waterproof Socks are lightweight socks that are fully waterproof and fully windproof. They offer really high protection against the elements. These work great if your footwear isn’t quite up to the task at hand.

Wigwam has been making some of the best wool socks since 1905 in Wisconsin. So they know a thing or two about comfortable socks. The Wigwam Snow Altitude Pro Sock is cushioned in all the right places, giving you comfort and support when snowshoeing.

DexShell

Camouflage Waterproof Socks

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Wigwam

Snow Altitude Pro Socks

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Best Cross-Country Skiing Socks

Socks that are lightweight and boost performance are the best choice when it comes to cross-country skiing. Compression is one of the main design features that helps improves the performance of a sock. The Icebreaker Ski+ Compression Ultralight OTC aims to increase blood flow which helps reduce swelling when out on the trail. I even like to put a pair on after a big day on the mountain as they can help with recovery. 

1177 make their socks from Dryarn. This unique material is 30% lighter than wool and has incredibly low thermal conductivity, keeping you warm when it’s cold. The Ribby Performance Gambaletto Sock by 1177 combines Dryarn with elastic edge construction. This keeps you warm and comfortable when cross-country skiing.

Icebreaker

Ski+Compression Ultralight OTC

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1177

Ribby Performance Gambaletto Socks

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Best Everyday Socks

Winter socks are not just limited to outdoor sports. Sometimes my morning march to the metro can be just as challenging as conquering mountains. It’s great to see so many brands making stylish, thermal socks that are perfect for city life

Stance made a name for themselves in the skate world for making highly functional and stylish socks. They are now the official sock supplier of the MLB and NBA. The Stance Neapolitan is made with Butter Blend ultra-soft fibres which are super soft and keep you comfortable all day long. Keep up with the pros and grab yourself a stylish pair of Stance’s.

Kombi was born in Montreal in 1965, so they’re seasoned pros when it comes to surviving harsh winters. As well as making some great ski gear, they also make accessories that are perfect for cozying up at the chalet. This is personified in their Cabin Sock. This sock is plush, warm and has a distinctly Canadian design.

Stance

Neapolitan Socks

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Kombi

The Cabin Sock

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Socks are a key part of our Fall and Winter wardrobe and they should become a focus of your cold-weather wardrobe. There’s nothing worse than cold feet caused by poor circulation, and as Canadian’s, we know frostbitten toes can completely ruin your winter ski trip or iceskating date. Staying warm is essential for every activity and these are the best cold-weather socks to get the job done. 

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Author: Cian Byrne

Born and bred in Ireland, Cian Byrne is a former professional soccer player turned writer for the outdoor sports industry. Moving to Whistler in 2012, he quickly fell in love with skiing and mountain biking. His clients include Bianchi, KOMBI Canada, and Tourism Whistler. Read more of his work at www.cianwrites.com.

Posted on Categories Buying Guides·Outdoors·Uncategorized

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