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Socks for the Slopes: A Beginner’s Guide to Ski Socks

Posted on February 27, 2020

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Socks are often the last piece of gear we think about. But if you’re heading off to the mountains, just any old sock won’t do—unless you literally want to get cold feet.

Here’s what you need to know to find the right ski socks for you.

Materials

Cotton

If you’re going to sweat it out on the slopes, cotton is a big NO. Out in the cold, clothes should pull moisture away from your body. But whether it’s from sweat or snow, cotton will absorb and hold onto all of that moisture. And when that happens, it’ll do the opposite of keeping your warm.

Wool

Many consider wool—specifically Merino Wool—to be the best material for ski socks. It’s breathable and pulls moisture away to help keep you warm. The fabric itself feels soft on the skin so it’s very comfy on and off the slopes.

Best of all, the material naturally resists odor-causing bacteria. The downside is that they’re a bit more expensive and less durable compared to the next option.

Synthetic Fibers

Socks made from synthetic fibers (such as nylon, polyester, and acrylic) share many of the same benefits as their wool counterparts. They both do a good job of keeping your feet warm and wicking moisture away. In fact, wool socks are usually made with a blend of synthetic fibers to give it extra durability and elasticity.

However, synthetics don’t have the same natural odor resistance as wool. But since they’re cheaper, synthetic socks are still definitely worth considering.

Length

Most ski socks go up to about knee length. Longer socks are available but they can affect your mobility since it’ll cover the knee joint. If you’re cross-country skiing, you can use shorter socks since the boots don’t go as high on the leg. As a rule, socks should go past the cuff of your boots to prevent chaffing.

Thickness and Padding

Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you need thicker socks. If they’re too thick, the socks can reduce the circulation to your feet, making them feel even colder. Thick socks can also bunch up, causing discomfort and even blisters.

Should you go for thin socks, then? Not necessarily. While thinner socks are preferred by more experienced skiers, this has more to do with having fitted boots. If your boots are a bit loose, medium-thickness socks would be better.

Many ski socks have extra padding on the shin, heel, toe or balls of the feet. This makes them more comfortable but can also help prevent injuries caused by too much pressure on those areas.

Fit

One of the most important considerations for ski socks is how it fits. Too tight and it will impede circulation and will make wiggling your toes and flexing your foot difficult. Too loose and the socks will bunch up and your feet will move around too much in the boot.

You’re also better off going with ergonomic socks instead of basic tube socks. Ergonomic socks like this pair from Bombas have a designated left and right sock that are shaped to the natural contours of each foot. This helps gives them a snug fit without being too tight.

Socks for You and Those in Need

When it comes to socks, we’re proud to recommend Bombas not just for their impeccable quality but also for their commitment to giving back to the community.

Did you know that socks are the most requested clothing item at homeless shelters? Bombas works with various organizations, including shelters and nonprofits, to deliver brand new clothes to those that need them the most. For every pair of socks sold, the company donates another pair through their more than 2500 giving partners across the US.

As your one-stop-shop for gear, Kit Lender also provides ski socks for purchase. You can include a pair of Bombas socks (for men and women) on top of your rental gear and it’ll be sent with the rest of the kit to your destination. Get kitted out today and help someone along the way!

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