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The 6 Best Ski & Snowboard Socks of 2020-2021

There’s a switch that flips at some point in everyone’s life where we go from dreading opening a Christmas present and realizing it’s just socks and underwear, to somewhere along our arc as adults when new socks are the most exciting thing you could ever be given. Seriously, new socks are the best. But there’s one thing that’s even better: new ski socks.

Skiers and snowboarders have a tendency to be a little gear obsessed, we can argue the intricacies of a rocker profile or stance angle till the cows come home, but sometimes we neglect our humble socks. And that’s really too bad, because socks are the most intimate piece of the foot-to-plank interface, and they’re worth taking seriously. The best ski or snowboard socks just disappear over a long day of skiing or riding, they keep your feet warm, dry, and supported. But you’re always thinking about bad socks, they bunch up, your toes freeze, and your boots just feel bad. So next time you’re making your Christmas list, maybe get a little more specific. That value-sized pack of Fruit of the Loom is fine, but what if you got a few pairs of great ski socks too?


Smartwool PhD Ultralight

The best ski socks of 2020-2021
 

Smartwool calls their flagship ski sock the PhD because it’s so dang smart it went and got a doctorate. All jokes aside though, Smartwool knows socks, and they know skiers. The PhD Ultralight has been carefully crafted from the finest materials to give your feet the warmest, most precise fit in your boots as possible. Of course, the ultralight weight of these socks won’t be for everyone, instead they’re designed as thin as possible so that you there’s no extra bulk in your race-fit boots. Thin socks also do a better job of keeping you warm. It’s counterintuitive, but having a thinner sock means there’s less pressure on your feet, which aids in circulation.

On top of all that, the Phd is made mostly from Merino wool, so you know it’s silky smooth, and won’t get too stanky, and will keep you warm even if it gets wet. Throw in some strategic mesh zones to help your foot breathe, and it’s easy to understand where that doctorate came from. Don’t be dumb, try Smartwool PhD, and give your feet the love they deserve.

MaterialThickness Original Price
55% Merino Wool / 41% Nylon / 4% ElastaneUltralight$24.95

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Burton AK Endurance

The best snowboard socks of 2021
 

Burton doesn’t slap their “AK” label on just any products. Burton’s AK Endurance socks are their highest-end socks, with the features to match. These are designed to work for Burton’s athletes who are climbing and riding some of the tallest and least hospitable peaks in the world, so while they might be overkill on the bunny hill, you can rest assured that they won’t let you down even if a blizzard rolls in.

The AK Endurance have special compression zones built in to help aid circulation and keep your muscles and fluids where they’re supposed to be. They’ve also got strategic padding to help with shin bang, and special air channels to help them breathe. Yep, we know that sounds like the spec list for a high-end helmet or something, but there’s a lot of science in these socks. So whether you’re looking to conquer first descents in Alaska, or just take on your first black diamond run, the AK Endurance won’t let you down - they’re simply some of the best snowboard socks you can buy.

MaterialThickness Original Price
64% Nylon / 19% drirelease® Polyester / 7% Acrylic / 7% Spandex / 3% Merino WoolMedium$34.95

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Smartwool PhD Medium

The best ski socks of 2021 
 

If you were to guess that Smartwool’s PhD Medium socks took the same tech and features of their PhD Ultralight and adapted them for the skier or rider who wants a slightly thicker sock, you’d be exactly right. Gold Stars for everyone! There’s the same Merino construction, the same strategic mesh, and the same commitment to quality and comfort. The only difference is the socks are a little thicker, so they’re perfect for anyone who likes to fit their boots a little looser, and let the sock take up the space.

But they aren’t just fancy and comfortable, these things are pretty too. Smartwool’s Alpenglow pattern might not be visible when you’re skiing, but head to the apres bar and you’ll have everyone’s attention when you roll up your cuffs to show off their beautiful graphics on the dance floor.

MaterialThickness Original Price
66% Merino Wool / 32% Nylon / 2% ElastaneMedium$26.95

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Darn Tough RFLC Ultralight Cushion

The best ski socks of 2020-2021
 

Darn Tough knows that there’s no bigger bummer than taking off your favorite socks and finding that you’ve worn a hole in them. That’s why they make their socks so darn tough, and why they stand behind that durability with a lifetime warranty. Manage to somehow put a hole in these socks? Darn Tough has the easiest no-strings-attached returns in the industry, they’ll swap your socks out immediately and get you back on the slopes with a fresh pair in no time.

But these socks aren’t just tough, they’re comfortable too with their Merino/Nylon blend that wicks moisture well and resists odor. The ultralight thickness is perfect for folks who value a precise performance fit, and their “true seamless” construction means there are no weird seams to get bunched up and uncomfortable. The great fit and durability make these some of the best ski socks, season after season.

MaterialThickness Original Price
51% Merino Wool / 43% Nylon / 6% Lycra® SpandexUltralight$25.95

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Burton Performance Midweight

The best snowboard socks
 

Burton knows snowboarders, and they know that most riders just want a pair of set-and-forget socks. Something that you can put on everyday, knowing exactly what you’ll get. That’s the Performance Midweight. Their medium weight construction will appeal to a wide range of riders, and does a nice job of keeping your feet warm. There’s plenty of Merino wool in the blend to help ward off odor, and there’s padding throughout the instep and shin to keep you from bruising sensitive parts of the foot. The Performance Midweight is a workhorse of a sock. It does what it needs to do, without ever faltering, which is exactly what most snowboarders need.

MaterialThickness Original Price
38% Nylon / 30% Acrylic / 30% Merino Wool / 2% ElastaneMedium$26.95

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Lenz Heat 50 RCB

The best heated ski socks
 

For some snowboarders and skiers a traditional sock/boot combo just won’t ever cut it. They need something warmer, either because of circulation issues, or the fact that they’re skiing in radically cold environments. Whatever the reason, we get it, sometimes your feet just get too cold to function. Enter the Lenz Heat 50 RCB. These things bring electric heat to your feet. The batteries are discreet and stash above your boots comfortably, and pack enough juice to keep your feet toasty all day. And the socks aren’t bulky or weird at all, they feel like traditional ski socks, except your toes never get numb.

The high-tech blend of the Lenz Heat 50 does a good job of wicking moisture and trapping the heat they create, and their lithium battery packs are lightweight and work with a whole range of accessories. If you’ve tried it all, and just can’t get your feet to stay warm, you owe it to your toes to try these heated ski and snowboard socks.

MaterialThickness Original Price
50% Polyester / 25% Polyamide / 15% Merino Wool / 5% Silk / 3% Spandex / 2% PolypropyleneMedium$364.95

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