While a sturdy pair of snow boots are essential to get through winter, if you find your feet are still getting cold, it might be time to invest in some thick wool socks. The fabric’s built-in insulation keeps your feet much warmer than their cotton, polyester, or bamboo counterparts, making them the perfect compliment to your winter footwear.
If you’re afraid wool socks will be rough and scratchy on your feet, don’t be. Most companies use Merino wool in their designs. Merino is not only softer than regular wool, but it’s also known for its moisture-absorbing capabilities and odor-resistant properties — so it will keep your feet dry and smell-free even as you work up a sweat. Plus, Merino wool is often mixed with other materials like nylon and elastane to give the socks extra stretch and comfort.
All wool socks will keep your feet nice and toasty, but some are designed with special features that make them perfect for outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a pair to wear while skiing, you should opt for a thinner, seamless option, so your heavy ski boots won’t cut off your circulation.
Meanwhile, hikers might want to opt for a pair that features mesh vents for added breathability. And if you’re just looking for a pair to keep your feet warm in cold climates on your daily commute, consider an extra-thick pair that has built-in cushioning.
To help you figure out which pair of wool socks is best for your needs, we scoured through thousands of customer reviews to see which ones they love the most. Whether you’re looking for a durable men’s pair of wool socks to wear while hiking or a breathable women’s option, these are the 12 best pairs of wool socks that shoppers say will keep your feet warm all winter long.
With an average 4.6-star rating from over 4,000 reviews, Alvada’s Merino wool thermal socks are clearly one of the most popular pairs of wool socks on Amazon. Along with ample cushioning in the footbed, these socks boast a no-slip cuff so they won’t slide down your calves as you walk around. Their soft fuzzy interior makes them extra cozy, while their mesh ventilation channels provide airflow to your feet. “I have been wearing Merino wool socks almost every day for a long long time. I think these Alvada socks are the best,” one shopper wrote. “They wear well and do not get the annoying strings inside that catch your toes when you are putting them on. They are my favorite sock when walking or riding my bike.”
To buy: amazon.com, $20 for three pairs
While many wool socks on the market are more expensive than your average cotton pair, not all of them will cost you a fortune. For just $19, you can score three pairs of this popular Meriwool option. The ultra-comfy socks are made with a Merino wool blend that shoppers say is incredibly soft and not itchy at all. The socks are odor-resistant, moisture-wicking, and machine washable. Plus, there are ten different colors to choose from, so it will be easy to find a pair that suits your style. “Absolutely love these socks,” one customer raved. “Best money ever spent. Enough cushion for hiking. [They don't] make your feet sweat but also keep them warm when it’s cold outside.”
To buy: amazon.com, $19 for three pairs
If you plan on hitting the trails this winter, make sure you have a top-notch pair of wool hiking socks on hand, like this pair by Smartwool. The socks use the brand’s patented Virtually Seamless toe and a slim fit design that work together to keep your feet comfortable and your circulation flowing in tight hiking boots. “Great for hiking and trail running. Went for a trail run and while the rest of my body was sweating, my feet weren’t. I didn’t have to worry about getting blisters or anything. They aren’t as lightweight as other options but that’s why they’d be perfect for longer hikes because they are extremely comfortable," one reviewer wrote.
To buy: smartwool.com, $19
Darn Tough has developed a cult following for producing high-quality wool socks that are both warm and comfortable. In addition to being temperature-regulating, this popular pair from the brand also features mid-level cushioning and a performance fit for added support. Even better, the brand offers a lifetime guarantee on its socks, so if yours tears or develops holes, it will send you a replacement pair, no questions asked. One happy customer wrote, “Honestly these socks have outperformed all other brands I’ve tried. I’m very hard on socks, wearing them out in the heel in no time. I’m a hardcore hiker, and the socks are worn with hiking boots, water shoes, and everything in between. I’ve had these for six weeks now, and they show NO signs of wear. Not even pilling like some brands of socks I’ve tried. As for comfort, probably the best socks I’ve ever tried in that department.”
To buy: amazon.com, from $22
If your calves get just as cold as your feet, opt for a pair of knee-high wool socks like this option from Smartwool. The socks are lightly cushioned and have mesh pockets for added ventilation. While these socks were originally made as ski socks, many shoppers say they love to wear the lightweight pair around the house or while they are traveling. “I bought these socks primarily for travel,” one reviewer wrote. “With these socks I could and did travel light by wearing one all-purpose hiking sandal with a closed toe. They were a great addition to my packing list and take up very little space, and are lightweight too!”
To buy: smartwool.com, $25
These wool socks by Ugg have a near-perfect rating at Nordstrom because they are lightweight, breathable, and have moisture-wicking capabilities. Reviewers love how soft and cozy the socks are, but their favorite part seems to be their textured design that makes them dressier than other options on this list — making them a great pair to wear to work. “These socks are amazing. They feel like cashmere and fit great. They are warm, but not too warm or bulky,” one customer said.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $24
Over 3,300 Amazon shoppers have given these Darn Tough wool socks a perfect five-star rating, and it’s easy to see why. Along with a non-slip performance fit, the socks feature mid-level cushioning in the footbed and antimicrobial properties that help remove bacteria and odor. Sizes range from small to XXL, and there are nine different colors to choose from. “I took these out and broke them in on a five mile hike in the spring in the Colorado wilderness, and let me say I am impressed,” one customer wrote. “I will absolutely buy another pair. Temp was about 25 in the morning and 45 in the early afternoon and my feet were so comfortable. The socks did a good job of wicking away sweat and they have cushioning in the right places. They are thin on the top and thicker on the toe and heel, but not too thick as to be uncomfortable in a boot.”
To buy: amazon.com, from $23
These Wigwam socks are handcrafted in Wisconsin using a super soft Merino wool blend material. In addition to being specially designed to not shrink or itch, the socks also come with a lifetime guarantee. Customers love that the socks are thick and warm but not too bulky, so they can comfortably wear them with boots. “I bought these socks for my kid...I ended up ‘stealing’ them from him, and buying myself two more pairs,” one shopper said. “They are so comfy and warm at night! If you’re looking for socks you can wear as slippers around the house, these are IT.”
To buy: amazon.com, from $14
These hiking socks by Smartwool will help you avoid frozen toes and painful blisters thanks to their thick, cushioned design. The socks are made with premium Merino wool, nylon, and elastane yarns to provide ample warmth, comfort, and stretch. “I am converted,” one reviewer wrote. “These are really well made, nicely cushioned, socks. I’ve worn them on overnight 15-16 mile hikes and they have performed really well. I plan on wearing them during a 10-day Machu Picchu, Peru, hike and have no fear that they will not hold up!”
To buy: smartwool.com, $30
Not only do these socks from People Socks have a soft toe bed and elasticized arch, but they also boast a reinforced heel and toe for maximum durability. Each pair is made in the USA using Australian Merino wool. Customers love them for their high level of comfort and the fact that they last for years. “I’m rough on these socks, even after wearing them inside my boots I walk around with them in the house which should wear the heel down and leave holes after awhile,” one shopper said. “Still, after six months and many wash and dry cycles, these socks look just as good as they did when I first got them. No holes, great fit, and now I want to replace my entire sock drawer with them.”
To buy: amazon.com, from $15
Planning a ski trip this winter? Be sure to pack a pair of wool ski socks like this pair from Smartwool. Customers say the thin socks fit comfortably inside tight ski boots and will keep your feet nice and toasty during a long day on the slopes. What’s more, the socks are 14-inches high, so they’ll keep your legs warm too. “After using many other great ski socks, I chose these over any others,” said one shopper. “Very thin to allow for max feet/boot contact. No wrinkles and tight fit from toe to calf. Same great fit after many, many washes.”
To buy: smartwool.com, $25
Looking for a pair of wool socks that are both super warm and breathable? Zappos shoppers recommend checking out this pair from Carhartt. They feature the brand’s patented FastDry technology that wicks away moisture and prevents odor from occurring. In addition to a non-binding welt top that keeps the socks from slipping without digging into your skin, the socks also feature performance mesh panels that keep your feet from overheating. “I bought these as a gift for my dad and he cannot get enough of them,” one shopper wrote. “He says they are the warmest and most cozy socks. The price is great, and I will definitely be purchasing more.”
To buy: zappos.com, $18
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