We all must agree with the fact that winter brings in the need for warmth. We look for warm clothes to wrap around. But most of us have never given a thought to ‘how such a small piece of clothing like a pair of best insulated socks can keep you warm?’ The answer is simple. It is because your feet and hands act as the temperature sensor of your body. That is why covering your feet and hands can keep you warm. This is one of the major reasons why one should have a minimum of 2-3 pairs of excellent thermal socks. When you start looking for socks specially designed for cold weather, always try to pick the best fit for you.
A best fitted pair of winter socks not only keep your feet warm, but it also provides a perfect cushion to it. In short, it acts as a proper shield for your feet from the cold weather outside.
How to choose a right pair of warm winter socks?
It might sound funny to you that there are a few complex technicalities associated with your simple looking socks. Buying a random pair of high quality cotton socks are long gone. This doesn’t mean that you should only be looking for the most comfy socks for your feet. Instead, you need to understand your activity level before you go sock shopping. Your activity level decides the fate of your feet on the mercy of your socks. It is important that you choose the right pair of socks that can keep your feet blister-free, odor-free, and can maintain a regular body temperature, even in extreme weather conditions.
This is the first and foremost factor to look for when you are to buy the perfect pair of socks for your feet. Generally, socks are made up of a variety of fabrics. But each of these fabrics does have a list of pros and cons linked to them. Besides that, you must also know the importance of sock material while buying socks.
The presence of over 2 million eccrine sweat glands on your feet makes it one of the sweatiest spots on your body. And thus, it is recommended that you should be aware of all the sock fabrics and thus, you will be able to easily choose the best sock material for your feet.
Cotton: For all the active users, cotton socks is a big NO. 100% cotton socks tend to absorb sweat quickly and dry slowly. This creates the friction between the material of the socks and your feet. Thus, giving a way to blisters to spring up. It also sums up to cold feet and frostbitten toes.
Pros: For regular use, it is fine to use cotton socks as it is affordable too.
Cons: As an active wear, it is highly recommended to avoid cotton socks.
Synthetics: Synthetic material is usually a combination of Nylon with either Lycra® or Elastane. It is considerable to wear when you are looking for features like support and cushioning for your feet. The fabric is known for its stretchable nature which makes it suitable for acquiring the shape of your feet easily. Other than these two, CoolMax®, Wickspun™, and Isolfil® are commonly used fibres that can keep your feet isolated from the moisture and prevent them from blisters.
Pros: It is good when the property of cushioning is considered. It is durable and dries fast too.
Cons: It is not designed for hot weather conditions and its insulation property reduces when wet. Also, it makes your feet smelly.
Merino Wool: This is the best sock material you can look for. It offers thermostatic property which implies that it can self-maintain its temperature. The wool content of this kind of socks provides thermal protection to your feet. Another interesting feature of wool is that it can repel as well as absorb the water at the same time. It is also known that wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water. Also, it has no comparison with the ragg wool as Merino wool reduces the chances of itching, unlike rag wool. In other words, socks made up of Merino wool can be considered as the best breathable socks.
Pros: It can be used in cool and warm weather. It provides perfect cushioning to your feet. And, it absorbs and eliminates moisture to a great extent.
Cons: It is expensive and tends to dry a bit slower than the synthetic fabric.
Silk: Silk offers a soothing texture to your feet. It is also having the tendency to absorb moisture.
Pros: This lightweight fabric feels good on the skin and wicks moisture easily.
Cons: Its durability is the bigger issue.
Ingeo™: This fabric is a bit like polyester but this corn-based polylactic acid (or PLA) fibre is made up of renewable resources.
Pros: It is eco-friendly and is recyclable in nature. It is also good for absorbing moisture and always keeps your feet odor-free.
Cons: It is less durable when compared with the other fabrics.
Sock Length: Usually, people see this feature as a style preference. But it is more than that. The sock length offers abrasion protection from your boots or shoes. So, ankle length socks are for low-top shoes. While crew socks are designed for taller boots.
Cushion and Padding Support: Padding of a sock provides a high-level protection to your feet. Unlike the speculations, it doesn’t make your shoe feel too tight.
Fitting: You should also check for the thickness of your socks as it might not let your feet fit your shoes. The best fitted socks are those which can keep your toe and heel protected from getting hurt.
Arch Reinforcements: The reinforced weave can improve the support on your arch. So, keep the shape of your feet in mind before buying a pair of socks for you.
Other General Yet, Important Tips
The Sock Liner is a perfect choice for those who need their socks to provide extra warmth. It is helpful for those who keep themselves engaged in strenuous activities such as hiking, cycling, skiing, especially during the winter season. The additional layer of support makes them different from the regular wool socks. But keep in mind that the extra cushioning offered by these socks might make your feet feel uneasy in your regular shoes. The best part of the sock liner is that it keeps the moisture away from your feet and literally keeps them dry even in the extreme cold weather like Arctic’s.
Thermal Quality: Even if your budget is low, invest one time on socks that have the capability to provide you the better thermal quality. This should be applicable even when you are spending your whole day out in cold weather conditions. So, always check for the thermal quality of your socks.
Durability: The durability of the socks will help you to save your money from the future investment. The best durable socks should not lose its property after each wash.
Odor-Free Socks: If you are looking for anti-odor socks then go for those which supports antimicrobial properties. In such a way, you can keep your feet, dry, clean, and sweat free throughout the day.
5 Best Cold Weather Socks Review for You
- B. Icelandic -30 Below Classic Winter Sock (2 Pairs)
This is one of the popular brands in sock manufacturing. It is because they manufacture the high quality with 70% of pre-shrunk Merino wool and 30% of Nylon. Merino wool maintains your body temperature and keeps your feet odor free with the help of its breathable feature. While nylon gives a perfect fit to the sock. The unique warmth and softness of this pair of socks made it possible to top our list. The X-Hi cushioning feature adds more comfort and protection factor to this pair of socks.
The length of this Icelandic socks makes it suitable for high-top boots.
Price: $22.00 – $25.00
- Balega Silver Antimicrobial No-Show Compression-Fit Running Socks for Men and Women (1 Pair)
This pair of Balega’s socks are antimicrobial in nature and are unisex too. The sock material is a combination of 75% of Drynamix Polyester, 23% of Nylon, and 2% of Elastane. The fabric of the sock keeps your feet stay dry, clean, and odor free throughout the day. The arch reinforcement of this pair of socks is something you should be looking for. This ankle length pair of socks is designed to fit in your running shoes. It provides compressive arch support for better grip. The seamless toe box of the socks makes sure to keep your feet blister free. Along with that, its durability is another factor which make it keep going even through the extended training and endurance activities.
Price: $8.97 – $22.99
- Wigwam Unisex Merino Comfort Hiker 3 Pack (Toddler/Youth)
This unisex pair of socks by Wigwam is a blend of 70% of Merino wool, 23% of stretch Nylon, and 5% of elastic. This crew sock length perfectly snugs around your calf and thus, making it suitable for high-top boots. It is designed to keep your feet dry and cool by absorbing the moisture and then getting rid of it quickly.
- Darn Tough Mountaineering OTC Extra Cushion Sock – Women’s
These mountaineering socks by Darn Tough keep them going even in worst weather conditions. From extreme cold weather to snow, from rain to sleet, this pair of socks is designed to face every kind of weather condition without any hindrance. The sock material is a unique blend of Nylon, Merino wool, Lycra, and Spandex. It provides high density cushioning to keep your feet protected but, due to this, the socks will not fit in your regular mountaineering shoes. The socks are just not popular for its durable quality, but it also keeps your feet away from getting blisters. The Over-the-Calf (OTC) length makes it suitable for high-top mountaineering shoes. It also offers fast wicking action.
- Carhartt Women’s Cold Weather Force Crew Socks
These highly inexpensive Carhartt socks are a combination of 50% of Acrylic, 23% of wool, 14% of Nylon, 12% of Polyester, and 1% of Lycra Spandex. It possesses the fast-drying property to keep your feet dry and is suitable for cold weather work and outdoor wear. Its antimicrobial property not only fights against the nasty smell, but it also keeps your feet sweat free. It provides an exceptional breathable comfort to your feet.
Price: $5.63 – $11.99
Last Word from Us
Before buying a pair of the best women’s winter socks, look at your activity level then your budget. Make it a one-time investment on something that can provide you the best of its services. As already mentioned, Merino wool is highly recommended for the cold weather conditions. So, pick a pair of best warm socks according to your requirements.