Ski socks may seem simple, but getting the just-right pair for your feet is paramount. Too thick and they can interfere with the feel of your boots and cause your feet to sweat. Too tall and they might overlap with your base layer. I’ve tested dozens of ski socks over the years and picked five standouts for this review. Never have I had as hard of a time choosing a favorite as I did here.
I spent at least one full day at my local resort and took at least one backcountry touring lap in each pair of socks using the same setup: Dynafit TLT 7 boots paired with Sego Bighorn 96 skis. I assessed the socks’ breathability and moisture-wicking abilities, how well it stayed put, whether it bunched up in my boots, and overall next-to-skin comfort.
Winner: Dissent Labs Ski Pro Fit Compression Nano Tour ($50)
Moisture Wicking/Breathability: 5/5
My first note on this sock says it all: “Absolutely the best touring socks I’ve used.” I struggled a bit to pull it on, and it was by far the tightest-fitting around my calf. But my doubts disappeared when the Nano Tour kept my feet moisture-free and didn’t cause any hot spots. The sock didn’t slip at all, thanks to the smooth Teflon yarn at high-wear points like the heels and ankles. Coupled with just the right amount of compression, this made my feet feel good enough that I didn’t stop skiing on a powder day until my quads gave out.
#2. Le Bent Le Sock Snow Ultra Light ($25)
Moisture Wicking/Breathability: 4.5/5
If comfort is your priority in ski socks, Le Sock is your best bet. I was blown away at how silky it felt and more than a little embarrassed by number of times I used the term “silky” to describe it to friends. Blame the rayon-bamboo material with merino wool, nylon, and elastane woven in. Le Sock didn’t constrict yet was tight enough to not slip around as I bootpacked to backcountry pow stashes. It got nudged out by the Nano Tour in the end because I had some friction on my heel when I turned up the speed while skinning up a slope in the backcountry. Not a deal-breaker, but I had to split hairs in this stacked field.
#3. Farm to Feet Jackson ($20)
Moisture Wicking/Breathability: 5/5
The Jackson and the Film (below) were exceptionally close in performance. I decided to give Farm to Feet the edge for its slightly lower price point. It also tied with the Nano Tour for most breathable sock in this test—the nylon-spandex construction is thin enough to be see-through in spots like the top of the foot. The Jackson’s only minor weakness was fit—it didn’t conform quite as well to my heel as the others here.
#4. Fits Film OTC Ski Sock ($24)
Moisture Wicking/Breathability: 3/5
The Fits Film long held the top spot in my drawer. At the start of the test, I expected it to retain the championship belt. The extremely deep heel cup and stellar fit along both the arch of my foot and toes hugged my foot like an old friend. Even when I was side-stepping up a steep climb to a backcountry stash, my feet were snug. However, they got knocked a few pegs from the top spot here because they didn’t breathe or move moisture as efficiently as the above three socks. While my feet never got full-on clammy, the tops did get sweaty.
#5. Darn Tough Paradise Over-the-Calf Light ($24)
Moisture Wicking/Breathability: 2.5/5
The Paradise would have worked its way up this list if I were skiing only at a resort and wanted a little more insulation that didn’t constrict blood flow. It had just the right amount of padding for ski touring and held onto warmth well, which I appreciated while riding lifts and drinking après beers in the parking lot. The biggest reason the Paradise landed in last place was that it didn’t vent as well the other socks, leaving my feet feeling clammy at the end of a 23-degree powder day.