Ski Sock Roundup Review
Hitting the slopes or backcountry for a day of skiing or snowboarding is a great experience and can produce one of those ultimate natural highs that can’t be put into words, depicted in a photograph, or shown on your high tech GoPro camera. Ok, well maybe the videos are pretty good at capturing some amazing shots. If you’ve ever hit a foot of fresh powder and feel like you are literally floating on air, you know what I’m talking about. Having the right gear and apparel will only enhance that experience. An often overlooked or mere afterthought are socks. The right pair of ski socks can provide warmth, padding, breathability to prevent sweaty feet, and give comfort from your ski boots.
First thoughts on the Ski Sock Roundup
Socks are just like the ski evolution that literally started with heavy wood planks, and has evolved into a myriad and complex combination of core and surface products. The skis have progressed over time to the skinny sticks in the 80’s, to shaped skis in the 90’s, and the fat pow ski movement is in full effect. The shape and sizing of socks has also evolved over the years. The simple wool socks of the Fifties have been transformed into a highly technical compilation of fabrics, and constructed to shape and form to the foot, ankle, and leg with comfort, fit, and padding.
We have selected a nice range of socks that will keep you active and moving on the mountain. The differences are subtle, but can make all the difference for your precious little toes.
FITS Light SKI OTC – MSRP: $23.99
66% Wool, 26% Nylon, 6% Polyester
The way FITS puts it: “Socks Are Accessories, FITS Are Equipment!” It’s so true that socks are always shoved into that accessory category. I am a fan of thinner socks. These days, thinner doesn’t necessarily mean less comfort or warmth. With today’s opportunities to custom mold your ski boots and insoles, a simpler sock will work beautifully. This is the sock for you if aiming to work a little for your turns. I wore these a number of times, hiked a bit to reach a few peaks, and worked up a good sweat. Upon reaching the top, the winds and snow brought on a quick chill as I started skiing through the trees looking for untracked powder. My feet stayed a moderate temperature throughout my day, and allowed me to focus on the snow and not my feet. A real nice lightweight option, great for Spring skiing or if you’re willing to work for your turns. www.fitssock.com
FITS Pro SKI OTC – MSRP: $22.99
59% Wool, 31% Nylon, 7% Polyester
The FITS Pro Ski OTC is your best value or bang for your buck so to speak. Especially if you have a custom ski boot, the ultra-thin superfine Merino Wool and synthetic blend provide for a great feel with responsiveness. There is extra Terry padding or cushioning around the heel and shin. And when I say ‘extra’, I mean a seriously cushiony part of the sock. One of the thickest I tested. I especially liked the shin padding, since I really press hard into the front of my boots when carving a hard line on the groomers. The price is very reasonable for this oh-so-important piece of equipment that will make your day one of joy or one of cold and discomfort.
Lorpen T3 Ski Light Ski Sock – MSRP: $23.99
38% Primaloft® Eco Polyester Yarn, 37% Merino, 15% Nylon, 10% EA. Lycra®
Lorpen uses T3 technology in their light ski sock. This includes a blend of Primaloft, Merino and Lycra to create a sock that keeps you warm, wicks moisture and provides ample padding. Overall, the Lorpen T3 Ski Light Ski Sock is a good sock that performs well and is competitively priced against other high-end ski socks. Personally, I think this sock is a little too heavy to call it a light weight sock. With the thickness and amount of padding, I would put this sock in the mid-weight category. Given the opportunity, I would personally opt for Lorpen’s T3 Ski Superlight sock. I suppose that’s where personal preference comes into play.www.lorpen.com
Darn Tough Captain Stripe Over-The-Calf Ultra-Light Non-Cushion – MSRP: $23.99
60% Merino Wool, 36% Nylon, 4% Lycra Spandex.
This sock has Fine Gauge Knitting or in other words, it has a very high stitch count which provides for a comfortable and secure fit with a lot less bulk. With today’s ski boot technology providing a more personalized and custom boot fit, the sock needs to be the perfect partner. The Darn Tough Ultra-Light Non-Cushion is a wonderful complement to my ski boot. Thin enough to not provide any uncomfortable rubbing hot spots and the Merino Wool pulls the moisture away to keep my feet dry and warm. The Naturally Antimicrobial features are another bonus to keep your socks stink and bacteria free. Made in Vermont with an unconditional Lifetime Guarantee; you can’t beat that. www.darntough.com
Wigwam Ultimax Snow Cube Pro – MSRP: $TBD – Avail. Fall 2015
44% Stretch Nylon, 38% Merino Wool, 16% Dry-release TENCEL, 2% Spandex
Wigwam has a patented ULTIMAX moisture movement system, and I really noticed the benefits. The seamless toe closure is great for eliminating any bunching which could lead to blisters. I skied and snow hiked in these with considerable effort. I never got sweaty or clammy feet, so my feet stayed dry and warm throughout the day. The cushioned sole is truly a delight. Hard packed conditions forced me to put a lot of pressure on my boot, legs, and feet. I could really feel the softness throughout my entire day of skiing which made for a fun day. The Elasticized arch and ankle provided stretch and movement in those critical areas. The Wigwam Ultimax Snow Cube Pro are a great choice because of their versatility, and ability to keep your feet comfortable, warm, and dry. www.wigwam.com
Balega Falke SK Energizing Wool – MSRP: $55
33% Polyamide 32% Virgin Wool 25% Polypropylene 10% Elastane
Falke ski socks are probably not a product for the casual one day a year skier who will most likely balk at the price; these are a premium product deserving of the word. The SK Energizing Wool socks are exceptionally well made and fit perfectly. Their materials provide the right amount of warmth and get out of your way when you’re using them. I promise you will notice a difference in fit and feel when stepping up to these socks over a less expensive alternative. You name the snow condition, skier type, or temperature variations, and these SK Energizing Wool Ski Socks will make your day. www.falke.com
Helly Hansen Warm Alpine Ski Sock – MSRP: $26
40% merino wool, 40% acrylic, 18% nylon, and 2% lycra.
These socks are made for the all day endurance athlete or skier. Hence, I was dying to find out how comfortable these would be after a long day on two sticks. The Helly Hansen Warm Alpine Ski Socks are comprised of a Merino Wool and Lifa ® fiber technology which combined are supposed to provide for the best possible performance. The socks have several areas of “strategically placed padding”: at the top of the foot to aid in softening the effect of the ski boot, and an additional strip at the front of the foot right above the ankle. Again, to aid in the cushioning and comfort of the ski boot fit. This is a good middle of the road sock because they will keep your digits warm, and have enough padding to keep you going for a long day on the slopes. www.hellyhansen.com
Farm To Feet Snow Sports Waitsfield LW Ski – MSRP: $25 +/-
First of all, a really good “USA USA USA” story. All the materials are sourced in the USA to be very environmentally conscious. Their story, the sock features, etc. are not listed on the “packaging” Their packaging is one small tag about 1” x 1.5” in size which speak to their simple, environmentally friendly, and minimalistic message.
I wore these on a long ski day, and they definitely kept my feet nice and warm. I experienced no tightness, rubbing, or discomfort except for at the top band where my bulkier calves caused for a slightly tighter fit. Not a deterrent for me whatsoever, but I wanted to make note of it because with my somewhat large calves that is what I experienced. These also happened to be the longest socks I tested, so if you are taller or simply like them all the way up to your knee these are the ones for you. The best part of this sock is the shin ‘padding’. The exterior of the socks remain constant throughout, and the fabric/stitching is added on the interior of the sock. I really appreciate this feature as I put a good amount of pressure on the front of my boots. The seamless toe is also nice to avoid any rubbing on the top of your toes. www.farmtofeet.com
Some final Thoughts on the Ski Sock Round UP
No matter your adventure, passion, or choice of outdoor apparel, everyone wants their toes and feet to be warm and comfortable. The assortment and varieties noted above all have excellent features to help you attain that goal. The diversity of fabric blends work to not only keep your feet warm, but also allow them to breath and provide padding and protection in all the important parts. People, please do not forget about your feet when going for a ski or snowboard trip. You have spent a lot of money on flights, hotel, lift tickets, and ski equipment, so do not let something as simple as a pair of socks be your downfall. Your toes, heels, ankles, calves, and shins deserve the best.