Best Ski Socks 2013-2014

Best Ski Socks 2013-2014

Ski socks have come a long way. Some socks are still synthetic, but we’re glad most manufacturers have gravitated back towards wool, specifically the Merino variety. It’s not scratchy like wool socks of old and repels odor extremely well. Modern ski socks also are thinner than in the past—boot liners have improved so much that you no longer need an ultra-thick, itchy wool sock to combat cold and discomfort. A thinner sock also gives you a more precise fit in your boot, resulting in better power transmission and performance.
 
 
Based out of Vermont, Darn Tough has emerged on the sock scene in a big way, challenging market leader SmartWool. We like Darn Tough—they make high quality merino wool socks with great designs that stand the test of time (and they come with a lifetime warranty). For the top overall ski sock for the 2013-2014 season, our pick is Darn Tough’s Over-the-Calf Padded Ultra-Lite. Its official name is the “Darn Tough Merino Wool True Seamless Over-The-Calf Padded Ski Sock,” which pretty much says it all. The seamless design helps to avoid irritation against your foot from a long day on the mountain, and the sock has padding in critical areas (like the shin) for added comfort. The Ultra-Lite is warm—those who want even more warmth should try Darn Tough's Over-the-Calf Padded Cushion version.
Materials: 67% merino wool, 30% nylon, 3% Lycra spandex
What we like: Comfort and color schemes.
What we don’t: Don’t make us repeat that name.



 
This SmartWool PhD does what the Darn Tough above does, including—despite it not being in the title—being seamless. It’s also made of Merino wool and the higher price tag is due to the graduated compression technology that gently squeezes critical muscles in the foot and lower leg to promote blood flow for warmth and recovery. If you suffer from cold toes, the PhD might be just what the doctor ordered. If you don’t need the compression, try the cheaper SmartWool PhD Ski Light.
Materials: 50% merino wool, 45% nylon, 5% elastane
What we like: Compression technology. 
What we don’t: Pricey for a ski sock. 
 
Patagonia takes a simpler route and eschews tons of technology for a simple, great fitting ski sock. One nice feature is it comes up really high—to just below the knee—which prevents the cuff of the sock and the cuff of your ski boot interacting in a potentially uncomfortable way. The Lightweight sock is Patagonia’s medium thickness—this sock is also available in Ultra Lightweight and Midweight
Materials: 57% merino wool, 40% nylon, 3% spandex
What we like: Simple and uses Merino wool. 
What we don’t: No Ultra Lightweight version for women. 
Women’s models: Lightweight and Midweight.
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On a Budget

There might be some new materials in the mix, but these are awfully close to the ski socks your dad wore in the 1980s. And let’s face it, as long as you aren’t out there in your cotton crew socks, you are going to be fine. We still like socks with more merino wool for comfort and fighting odor, but if you just want to stock up on a solid, cheap ski sock, the Sirocco is all you need.
Materials: 40% Wool, 35% Olefin, 20% Stretch Nylon, 5% Spandex
What we like: Padded calf (and keeps your wallet padded).
What we don’t: Bulky and gets stinky quicker. 
Women’s option: Fox River Boyne Ski Socks
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