Picture it: You’re ready to hit the slopes and have invested in top-of-the line equipment, outerwear and boots. But on your feet are a pair of cotton sports socks. Tsk, tsk — major mountain faux pas.
For serious snow lovers, technical ski socks are an essential item in their wardrobe. And the performance styles are well worth the $18-$25 price tag because they are crafted specifically for the climate and the activity, and can keep feet feeling cozy and comfortable even after a long day on the moguls.
Sound appealing? Click through the slideshow to see some of our favorite technical ski socks:
And if you find yourself out shopping for a new pair of ski socks anytime soon, here are 4 important features to look for:
1. Merino wool blend
Most styles feature merino wool as their base ingredient because it’s naturally odor- and bacteria-resistant, as well as moisture-wicking, so feet stay dry and warm. Then, to make sure socks are nice and tight, manufacturers also use nylon and elastic materials such as Spandex.
2. Targeted cushioning
Skiers, in particular, tend to put a lot of pressure on their toes and shins, so a good ski sock will have a heavier weave in those area to soften impact. And designers often highlight that feature with color elements, so you can clearly see that your sock is well equipped.
3. Custom ventilation
It probably comes as no surprise, but men and women sweat differently, even in their legs and feet. So Smartwool, for instance, outfits its socks with mesh ventilation zones designed specifically for female skiers.