The 9 Warmest Winter Socks You Can Buy

We love the eco-friendly Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Socks.

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Best Winter Socks
Courtesy of the retailers

When looking for new socks, Ashleigh McClary from outdoor retailer Backcountry recommends travelers first consider the height of their shoes to make sure there aren't any gaps in coverage. You also need to determine your cushioning level. "Cushioned socks are going to usually be warmer, so make sure you find some that fit your foot but don't cut off circulation when wearing the boots/shoes you plan to wear," McClary said. "Make sure to try on the socks with the boots/shoes you are planning to wear before you take the tags off, and make sure the fit is snug with no bunching."

Merino wool is usually best as it's soft rather than itchy, and its temperature regulation, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial properties mean it will keep you cozy both by the fireplace and out in the snow.

We love that the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Socks are made in the USA and offer medium-level cushion under the foot and heel.

Synthetic materials can help add elasticity and a better fit to wool socks or build a full sock that will dry quickly and wick moisture but may not breathe as well if conditions warm up. Cotton, however, absorbs moisture quickly but dries slowly and will pull heat away from your skin, making it a fabric to avoid when there might be snow involved.

Most of the brands we've chosen offer a variety of thickness and height levels, so whether you're looking for a warm athletic style, thick boot sock, or somewhere in between, these brands have you covered.

Here are the best warm socks to keep your feet nice and cozy this winter:

Best Overall

Darn Tough Women's Hiker Micro Crew Socks

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight with Cushion - Women's

Amazon

Why We Love It: Darn Tough is a sustainable sock brand that ensures all the wool they use is ethically sourced and produced.

What to Consider: Wool can shrink if it's washed in hot water.

Made of 100 percent Responsible Wool Standard-certified Merino wool, Darn Tough sources wool from farmers that meet the animal welfare and production expectations set by the RWS. These socks are not only odor-resistant and moisture-wicking but they are made with thick, breathable wool that is designed to keep your toes cooler in the summer and toasty in the winter. This makes them versatile travel companions in the mountains and for the beer garden afterward. They are made in Vermont, so rest assured they are well tested to withstand all weather conditions. And, with plenty of women and men's styles to choose from, all that's left to do is pick your favorite pair of all-weather socks.

Sizes available: S-L | Materials: 100 percent RWS-certified Merino wool

Best for Hiking

Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Socks

Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Socks

Amazon

Why We Love It: The medium cushioning is ideal for keeping feet warm while still providing a flexible and breathable fit for foot movement.

What to Consider: The socks could be too thick if your hiking boots run small.

Smartwool socks often tie with Darn Tough at the top of testers' lists, with solid merino wool construction and other thoughtful designs with hikers in mind. The PhD Outdoor Medium Crew is one of the most popular pairs thanks to Smartwool's 4 Degree fit system where the socks are designed to fit snugly in all the right places to prevent bunching and create flexibility for the ankle to bend. With medium-thickness cushioning, the sock absorbs impact and provides extra warmth for hiking in colder climates.

Sizes available: S-L | Materials: Merino wool, nylon

Best Socks for Walking

Fits Socks Medium Rugged Crew Socks

Fits Socks Medium Rugged Crew Socks

Fits Socks

Why We Love It: The socks have extra cushioning on the arch, toe, and feel for added comfort while walking.

What to Consider: They are made with 69 percent wool and 31 percent nylon and polyester blends.

Fits socks offer a deeper heel pocket than most other designs, which stops them from sliding down no matter how much walking you're doing and the socks target active zones on the foot with extra padding on the arch, heel, and toe. The Medium Rugged Crew socks have inner merino cushioning for keeping your feet warm and a nylon exterior adds an extra layer of durability for prolonged use. Plus, the fabric blend is odor-resistant and moisture-wicking so you won't have to worry about stinky or clammy feet after a full day of sightseeing.

Sizes available: S-XXL | Materials: Wool, nylon blend

Best Winter Sport Socks

Under Armour HeatGear Tech Crew Socks

Under Armour HeatGear Tech Crew Socks

Amazon

Why We Love It: They are made of flexible polyester material that's moisture-wicking and quick-drying.

What to Consider: The sock might not be tall enough for some ski or snowboard boots.

The UnderArmour HeatGear Tech Crew socks are customized with specific left and right feet for full arch support and a better footbed fit. Made of a polyester blend fabric, these socks are lightweight and breathable while having enough cushioning in the toes, heel, and arch to prevent cold feet. The material provides flexibility which is ideal for snow sports where the ankle bends in a ski or snowboard boot. And with packs of two or three pairs to choose from, you can stock up before ski season arrives.

Sizes available: M-XL | Materials: Polyester blend

Best Socks for Staying Up

Bombas Men's Merino Wool Calf Socks

Bombas Men's Merino Wool Calf Socks

Bombas

Why We Love It: The crew socks have a snug Y-stitched heel to prevent abrasion.

What to Consider: The wool might be too thick and warm for summer activities.

Sock brand Bombas was created when its founders set out to design the perfect sock after learning that socks were the most-requested item in homeless shelters. Their quest resulted in a company that donates one pair of socks for every pair purchased and offers detail-focused everyday merino wool socks specifically designed to stay up even within your fussiest pair of boots. The men's and women's crew socks have Bombas' Honeycomb Arch System where the sock fits extra snug at the arch to provide ample support whether you're walking or hiking. And, the Y-stitched heel wraps around the back of your foot for another snug fit to prevent the sock from slipping and moving around.

Sizes available: S-L | Materials: Merino wool, polyester, spandex

Best Compression Socks

Vim & Vigr Unisex Cotton Compression Socks

Vim & Vigr Unisex Cotton Compression Socks

Amazon

Why We Love It: These compression socks offer a snug fit that is tight around the ankles and slowly releases the intensity of pressure up the sock.

What to Consider: Cotton is one of the most breathable fabrics and might not provide the most warmth.

If you want compression and warmth on a long flight, these merino compression socks should do the trick, and they're created with help from vascular surgeons. These compression socks apply pressure at the ankle and slowly have a looser fit up the shaft of the sock. Made of cozy cotton and breathable nylon and spandex materials, these socks are designed with functionality and warmth for travelers. Although the sizing guide is one through five, there is a clear sizing guide in the photos explaining the variety of sizes to ensure a comfortable and snug fit.

Sizes available: S-XL | Materials: Cotton, nylon, spandex

Best Supportive Socks

Farm to Feet Damascus Midweight Crew Merino Wool Socks

Farm to Feet Damascus Midweight Crew Merino Wool Socks

Amazon

Why We Love It: It has a snug fit and tons of padding for extra support.

What to Consider: The socks must be machine-washed with cold water and air-dried.

The Farm to Feet Damascus Midweight wins praise for its slew of technical designs for advanced comfort and warmth. The sock has ample cushioning from the seamless toe to the calf to create a comfortable and warm sock for outdoor activities. To prevent bunching or slipping, the top of the sock is compressed all the way down to the arch and the flat stitch work avoids unwanted abrasion and blisters. If you're looking for a cozy sock with plenty of padding, this sock is a solid option.

Sizes available: M, XL | Materials: Merino wool, nylon, spandex

Best Toe Socks

Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Crew Nuwool Socks

Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Crew Nuwool Socks

Amazon

Why We Love It: The socks separate each toe with a thick and moisture-wicking wool blend fabric.

What to Consider: It can be hard to put on toe socks.

If your toes just don't play nicely together, Injinji offers wool toe socks ranging from the Everyday Crew to the Snow for full-foot engagement and individualized toe sweat-wicking, just in case your pinky toe's been slipping. And, if you're prone to getting blisters on your feet, the separation of the toes prevents friction between the toes and shoes which can sometimes cause unwanted pain.

Sizes available: S-L | Materials: Wool, acrylic, nylon

Best Sock Liners

Fox River Outdoor Wick Dry Alturas Ultra-Lightweight Liner Socks

Fox River Outdoor Wick Dry Alturas Ultra-Lightweight Liner Socks

Amazon

Why We Love It: The socks are made of a thin fabric blend that is designed to keep feet dry and add extra warmth if needed.

What to Consider: They likely wouldn't provide ample warmth without another pair of socks worn over them.

If you want to extend the life of your socks on a long trip, adding a pair of lightweight liners will help wick sweat away from your feet — wear a new pair of thin liners with the same chunky sock for multiple days, helping cut down on packing volume. These Fox River sock liners will add an extra layer of warmth if your toes are prone to getting extra chilly thanks to the lightweight but smooth polypropylene fibers that provide just enough support without feeling bulky under another pair of socks.

Sizes available: S-XL | Materials: Polypropylene, nylon, spandex

Tips for Buying Warm Socks

Choose materials designed to keep you warm

Wool, polyester, cotton, and spandex are common fabrics used to make warm socks. Merino wool is one of the best options for warm materials thanks to its natural moisture-wicking and insulating abilities, even if the sock gets wet. Socks made out of cotton, spandex, and polyester are great options for breathability and flexibility, but they can be less moisture-resistant. Socks with blends of wool and synthetic fibers can offer the best of all materials to combine breathability, durability, and warmth.

Consider when you'll wear the socks

Depending on the activity you want to use socks for, some fabrics and styles are better than others. For sports, you'll want a pair of socks with excellent moisture-wicking abilities and breathability to prevent your feet from retaining sweat. If you're looking for an all-weather sock, consider a pair with thermal regulation that can keep your toes warm in the winter with extra cushioning and cool in the summer with ample ventilation.

Why Trust Travel+Leisure

Travel + Leisure writers are experts when it comes to researching and recommending products to make traveling easier. Rena Behar has been writing and editing for over eight years and has traveled to 18 countries. She thoroughly researched and vetted warm socks to recommend the best ones on the market to keep your toes extra warm this winter.

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