A proper ski sock is one of the easiest and most economical ways to keep your feet comfortable and warm inside your ski boots. Having multiple pair of ski socks is essential, especially if you plan on skiing at least a few days in a row. No one wants to be doing laundry on their ski vacation. Clean ski socks always wick moisture away more efficiently and feel better on your skin.
How are Ski Socks Different?
Unlike a cotton tube sock, ski socks are made with a shape and contour that matches the shape of your foot. Having a defined heel and toe with elastomers in all of the right places prevents the ski sock from getting bunched up and sliding down in your boots while you ski, which can cause a great amount of discomfort.
Ski socks are made from synthetics like polyester, nylon, Lycra, acrylics or double-spun merino wool. These materials are designed to wick moisture away from your body. Did you know that the bottom of your foot is the sweatiest part of your body? Even when you are out skiing in cold temperatures, your foot is sweating. If this moisture becomes trapped close to your body, your foot will become cold, regardless of the type of insulation in your ski boot. One thing to stay away from is cotton. When it comes to skiing, cotton is rotten. When Cotton becomes wet with moisture, it will stay wet; a very uncomfortable experience.
A ski specific sock also has padding in specific areas to improve comfort on the slopes. Padding in the shins adds extra cushion to help prevent bruising in the shin. Reinforcements in the heel will help keep your heel locked down inside your ski boot. Additional padding in the toe area adds extra warmth on cold days.
Ski socks will also have a thinner material across the top of the foot. This allows blood to flow towards your toes easier, keeping you warmer. Some ski socks are designed to add a little extra elastomer material in the arch to add a snug fit.
Ski socks for men are slightly different than ski socks for women. Women’s specific socks typically have a slightly shorter and wider cuff volume to add more comfort for the shorter, fuller female leg shape. Ski socks for kids are also very important to keep little skier’s feet warm and comfortable on the mountain.
Different Weight Ski Socks
Ski socks are typically available in a variety of different weights. Most ski bootfitters will always recommend the thinnest sock possible to provide the most accurate fit of your boots. A thinner sock creates more space inside your ski boot, allowing your blood to flow to your foot easier. Most bootfitters will recommend an ultralight or lightweight ski sock for this reason. Midweight ski socks have a slightly thicker padding in the toes and heels, while maintaining a thinner construction across the top of the foot to promote blood flow. Heavyweight ski socks are rarely recommended, due to how they restrict blood moving towards your toes.
Heated Ski Socks
Heated Ski Socks are quickly becoming one of the greatest luxuries you can have in skiing. These types of socks typically have a slightly thicker volume underneath the ball of the foot that accommodates a heating element. This heating element has a few discrete wires that leads to a rechargeable battery pack connection up near the calf of the sock. Three or four different heat settings controls the amount of heat sent to the element.
Heated ski socks are incredibly comfortable and are a must have for any skier who has diabetes, Reynaud’s Syndrome or those who simply get cold feet. Every hour you are out skiing below 32 degrees you start to lose some of your muscle dexterity and balance. Keeping your feet warm not only has its comfort benefits, but also performance advantages.
Ski Sock Sizing
Ski socks are typically sold in sizes like small, medium, large, extra large or XXL. Each size can cover up to three different US shoe sizes thanks to their elasticity. Please consult the brand's sizing chart to find what size ski sock will be the best fit for you.
How Do I Wash Ski Socks?
Taking proper care and regularly cleaning your ski socks will keep them comfortable and improve their longevity. The best way to wash them in to flip them inside out and wash with light detergent. Always hang them up to allow them to air day to prevent any shrinking or damage to the sock.