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Misperceptions Of Ski Socks

Update:03 Jan 2020

You only get two feet in life and it makes a lot of sense to take care of them and keep 'em happy. As you gather up your gear for the season, it is easy to forget about ski socks.

Up on the mountain, downhill skiers and snowboarders feet are put through the gauntlet, you should probably try to outfit them in some trusty armor. Cold feet, cold toes, wet feet, sore feet, socks bunching up in ski and snowboard boots, you name it the shenanigans can get pretty bothersome after awhile. What do you need you ask? You need one of the finest pairs of socks designed for athletes.

One pair of ski socks is warmer than two

Two layers in your ski or board boot whether it is an extra sock, leggings, or under layer can cause hot spots due to friction and bunching up. By the end of the day that slight discomfort from a crease in your layers can turn into a bruise. The fit of any athletic boot is designed for one sock, adding an additional layer can compress your foot and cut off circulation and blood flow ultimately making your feet numb and cold.

The thinner the better

It is a common miss conception that a thicker sock will keep you warmer; this is not always the case. In a ski or snowboard boot you want a tight, athletic fit (tighter than your street shoes). A thick sock will take up all the volume in your boot, a thin sock will allow the air between your foot and the liner to warm up. This will ultimately keep your feet warm.

Cotton is the enemy

Cotton is not the ideal material for cold, wet weather. Cotton clothing can absorb water and sweat up to 27 times their weight. Once your socks are wet, they'll take forever to dry out and will cool your body. Merino wool is the ideal material for winter that keeps your body cool in hot temperatures and warm in cold temperatures. Merino wool will wick away water and keep you dry.

Ski socks have a few simple tasks: keep you warm, fit well and stay in place, and wick moisture. A sock's wicking ability is particularly important for backcountry skiers or those prone to working up a sweat. If the sock gets wet and stays wet, your feet can become cold pretty quickly.

This is where wool shines—not only does it wick moisture well, but it continues to insulate even when wet (unlike cotton). And while synthetic materials dry quickly, they can't retain as much of the moisture as merino and working up a sweat will make them smell bad.

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