For skiers, buying thermals socks is just as important as choosing any other piece of the rest of their apparel. Just like ski jackets, pants and boots, ski socks are an integral part of your set-setup, affecting your comfort and performance up on the slopes. Getting them right can make a world of difference between a fun day outdoors and a bad skiing experience resulting in wet and numb/cold feet. Thanks to technological advancements, today ski socks are far more specialized than they were years ago, which means wearing your normal socks is not a good idea. If you’re about to go on a ski clothing shopping spree, here are some tips to help you out decide what kind of socks for skiing you should buy to maximize your comfort and performance.
Ski socks are typically made from synthetic and natural materials.
Synthetic ski socks are made from a combination of nylon and some other material. For example, they can be made from acrylic, polyester or a blend from all three materials. These socks are affordable and a good option for people who are allergic to wool. Plus, they are heat-retaining and better when it comes to keeping bad odours at bay.
Most ski socks on the market made from natural materials are made from wool. These thermal socks provide superb heat retention and are some of the warmest and most comfortable ski socks you’ll ever have on your feet. Two types of wool are used in their design. The first models were made from ordinary wool, but this material can be itchy and uncomfortable for some people. Merino wool is the second option. Socks made from merino wool are considered the coziest and most comfortable to wear on the market.
Thickness and Cushioning
Ski socks come with different cushioning levels and thicknesses. Different models are designed for different users and have their specific advantages.
Socks for skiing with no cushioning whatsoever are made for professionals and those who wear professional boots. These boots usually have a tight fit, meaning wearing socks with heavy cushioning isn’t an option. Some individuals prefer these socks due to the fact that they feel more natural and can help them control their skis better. Although the insulation is still decent, there are no cushions to absorb vibrations or friction. In simple words, these socks are not very comfortable but they are suitable for performance.
Light cushioning is often found on the front part of the socks, above the toes. These models are a good option for people suffering from blisters as well as for those prone to injuries around the toe area. The cushions are low in thickness and can be found around the toes only. There are some exceptions when cushioning is added to the heels as well.
Ski socks with medium cushioning are a popular option due to specific reasons. Skiers love them because they offer much better warmth retention and absorb vibrations and friction. They are also common in the world of snowboarding due to the fact that snowboarding boots are generally looser than ski boots.
Heavy cushioning is much recommended when skiing in a harsh environment. For example, when you’re planning to climb extremely high on the mountain or planning to ride a snowmobile. The thickness of these thermal socks is massive and you can feel it all the time. You will also enjoy superb heat retention and you will know your feet are well protected from any possible threat. Keep in mind, that to use these socks, you will need boots with a looser fit.
Fit and Length
When it comes to length, you will notice that many models are knee-long. This is the standard length and it is very appealing. It will help you ski better while also protecting you from potential injuries. When it comes to size, different brands make ski socks in different sizes. Ideally, you should consider the size of your boots and match it to the size of the socks. For some people, the ideal sock size is something in the middle, between small and medium or medium and large. If that’s your case as well, always choose socks in a smaller size as they are a more secure fit.
There are two main styles of thermal socks: tube and ergonomic. Tube socks are simple in design, which means they don’t have advanced features. They look like a tube, hence the name. They are the preferable option among beginners due to their overall simplicity. Ergonomic socks, on the other hand, are more advanced. They have superior features such as specific reinforcements all over the socks, the angle of the toes, and the shape, which is obviously, ergonomic. The term ‘ergonomic’ means that they fits your feet perfectly by following their natural contours. They are more expensive and more appealing for professional skiers.