The warmest socks for extreme cold weather need to keep your feet super warm even in absolutely freezing temperatures so you can go about sightseeing without disruption. You don’t want to be out and about, only to have to cut your travel short while you go in search of some warmth due to cold feet.
Deciphering, which are the warmest socks for winter travel, can be a bit tricky. While some men’s and women’s warm winter socks claim to keep your feet cosy and warm, some extreme cold weather socks do little to reduce the chill factor while others will keep your feet perfectly warm during your travels.
This guide on the best socks that keep your feet warm takes you through everything you need to consider when purchasing the best thermal socks for extreme cold weather. First up, I’ll take you through a few things to consider when buying thermal winter socks and then take a closer look at some of the best extreme cold socks currently on the market.
Whether you’re looking for the best warm socks for women and men for a winter European ski trip, a cruise in Alaska or the best socks for snow for a white Christmas in New York City, I have no doubt you will find just what you are looking for in this guide on the best warm socks for winter travel.
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My Pick for the Best Warmest Socks for Extreme Cold Weather: Pembrook Wool Socks
Don’t have time to read my entire warmest socks for cold weather travel guide? I love the Pembrook Wool Trail Socks because they have a fantastic design that delivers ultimate comfort while the blend of merino wool, elastic, nylon and acrylic will keep your feet warm and dry.
The price of this four pack is excellent value for what you get, and they are easy to care machine washable and tumble dry safe and will last you several extreme cold weather seasons.
Comparison Chart for the Warmest Socks for Winter Travel
Check out the table below for a quick and easy comparison of the thermal socks (ladies and men) in this guide. For further information about these best socks for extreme cold weather, keep reading the reviews below.
|EDITOR’S CHOICE||1. Pembrook Wool Trail (4 pack)||60% Merino, 10% Elastic, 15% Acrylic and 15% Nylon||4.6||Check Price|
|RUNNER UP||2. People Socks (4 pack)||71% Merino, 21% Nylon, 7% Polyester & 1% Spandex||4.5||Check Price|
|3. Pure Athlete High Performance (single pack)||25% Merino, 25% Nylon, 16% Polypropelene & 5% Spandex||4.6||Check Price|
|4. Alvada (3 pack)||80% Merino, 15% Polyester, 4% Nylon||4.6||Check Price|
|5. SOLAX (3 pack)||72% Merino, 16% Polyester, 10% Nylon & 2% Spandex||4.8||Check Price|
|6. Darn Tough Hiker Boot (1 pair)||66% Merino, 32% Nylon & 2% Lycra||4.7||Check Price|
|7. WIGWAM (1 pair)||65% Merino, 20% Nylon, 10% Silk & 5% Spandex||4.5||Check Price|
|8. SmartWool (1 pack)||66% Merino, 33% Nylon & 1% Elastane||4.7||Check Price|
|9. Pure Athlete Ski (1 pack)||Acrylic, 17% Polyester & 3% Spandex||4.9||Check Price|
|10. Meriwool (3 pack)||75% Merino, 15% Nylon & 10% Elastic||4.6||Check Price|
Things to Consider when Purchasing Extreme Cold Weather Socks
If you’re looking for the best below zero socks for your next cold weather trip, consider the following factors:
The most important factor when it comes to extremely warm socks for cold weather is the material used to make them. In most cases, warm socks are made from either wool or synthetic materials. Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages.
In most cases, the best wool socks for extreme cold weather are made with a high percentage of merino wool, rather than materials such as cotton or nylon, or even lower quality wool. Merino wool socks are super soft and itch-free while providing plenty of warmth.
Merino wool socks are thermostatic meaning they are temperature regulating so can keep your feet comfortable in a range of different temperatures. Thermal insulated socks made from merino are superior in their breathability as well as their ability to wick sweat and other moisture away from your feet.
The downside of merino wool socks is that despite being some of the best socks for freezing temperatures, they do take some time to dry and they tend to be more expensive.
Socks made with synthetic (man-made material) are relatively common and usually include a combination of materials to provide not only a great fitting sock but also super comfortable too. Socks made with synthetic materials are generally reasonably inexpensive, fast drying and wick moisture away to keep your feet nice and dry.
The downside of synthetic socks is that they don’t tend to be as breathable as wool socks, nor do they keep your feet warm if they get wet.
Socks come in a range of lengths from ankle length to knee length and various lengths in between. Before purchasing your socks, it’s essential to consider the shoes or boots you will likely wear with them. If you are planning on wearing your socks with a pair of boots then you will want to ensure your socks come to at least mid-calf height, or even knee height in super extreme cold conditions. This length will not only keep your feet and calves warm, but it will also prevent any abrasions from your boot tops.
Not only do you want a warm pair of socks, but you also want a great fitting pair of socks. A properly fitting pair of socks won’t slip, pile or bunch up or cause blisters and discomfort.
Some socks come with padding on the heel and ball of your foot to provide additional cushioning. For hikers, this can be a godsend, but not necessary for other travellers. Padding is often provided in the form of increased density of the weave in the area of the heel and ball of your foot.
So, look for this if you plan on wearing your socks for hiking, but skip it if you want socks for city sightseeing.
5. Arch Reinforcement
For those travellers who need added support in the arch, look for socks that provide arch reinforcement. Arch reinforcement in socks usually comes in the form of a tighter weave in the arch area.
6. Consider a Sock Liner
In extreme weather, even the warmest 32 below socks are not going to be enough, and you may want to consider a sock liner. A sock liner is a thin sock that adds additional insulation and wicks away any sweat to the sock which ensures the feet stay dry and warm.
The Best Men’s and Women’s Warm Winter Socks Reviews
The Pembrook socks are an excellent option for travellers looking for a merino sock at a great price. Like the People Socks below, these socks come in a four pack bundle but contain a smaller percentage of merino but also come at a lower price.
These warm winter socks (men’s and women’s) are made with 60% merino wool and a combination of elastic, acrylic and nylon. This balance of materials ensures the socks retain their shape well after washing. The blend of materials also ensures your feet will remain beautiful and warm during the colder months, while also having the versatility to be suitable for the warmer months too.
For longevity, these socks have reinforced toes and insoles. They are also comfortable being made from non-itchy fabrics and have superior breathability and integrated support and cushioning for your comfort.
Coming in a range of sizes for both men and women as well as colours, these low priced socks are perfect for travellers looking for the warmest thermal socks to keep their feet warm during their winter travels.
Made with 71% premium merino wool imported from Australia and a combination of nylon, polyester and spandex these merino People socks, will keep your feet toasty and warm in the coldest of conditions.
These socks have a medium to heavy thickness and are super comfortable to wear being itch free. The combination of both merino and nylon will ensure any sweat is wicked away from your feet, and they are also odour resistant, which is excellent for those long travel days.
Other great features of these below 32-degree socks include a reinforced heel and toe to increase durability, elasticised arch and a non-abrasive toe seam for increased comfort.
People Socks are perfect if you’re looking for the warmest women’s sock for winter or men’s socks and provide excellent value coming in a four-pack bundle.
These Pure Athletic High-Performance socks are in the higher price range, but if it is comfortable and super warm socks that you are after they are worth the hefty price tag.
Made from an innovative blend of 25% merino wool, 54% Nylon, 5% spandex and 16% polypropylene, these socks will quickly wick away moisture at the same time as maintaining a natural temperature for your feet to stop them getting too hot and uncomfortable.
These socks have advanced knitting techniques that help to provide extra cushioning to the ankle, shin and foot areas providing ultimate comfort – especially when wearing shoes that are quite uncomfortable themselves such as ski boots.
Other great features of these outdoor wool skiing socks are the elastic that helps to keep them from slipping down while you are wearing them and the arch support that provides extra comfort and stops the feet from getting fatigued.
These ski socks are high quality and are machine washable so they will last you many winter seasons and are available in black, grey and silver so are suitable for both men and women.
If you are looking to make hiking as comfortable as can possibly be, then check out these unisex Alvada merino hiking socks!
Made with 80% merino wool, these socks contain the biggest percentage of merino wool in these reviews. These socks are perfect for medium to heavy cold conditions, and with the nylon blend, these are ultra-comfortable socks which are also itch-free.
These socks are ideal for rugged terrain as they provide you with excellent support during activities such as hiking. The super cushioning in the footbed helps to reduce fatigue and pain in your feet after a long day hiking. These socks do a fantastic job of keeping out moisture while also keeping your feet nice and warm.
These socks are great for men and women who suffer from sweaty feet and are easy to wash and dry quickly in the colder weather, making them perfect for travellers.
These SOLAX merino wool socks are super warm and comfortable perfect for men and women who are looking for winter socks that will guarantee warm feet all through the colder seasons.
Made from 72% merino wool, 16% polyester, 10% nylon and 2% spandex, you can be sure to have maximum comfort with minimum itching in these socks. They are available in 11 different colour assortments and come in a pack of 3 with colour options for both me and women.
These socks are so comfortable and are made with lycra fibre to provide excellent compression, and the cushioned sole helps with shock absorption giving premium comfort to your feet. The properties of the merino wool help with wicking sweat away from your feet and keep them breathable, so they don’t overheat and become uncomfortable.
The lycra elastic and no slide down feature is another unique aspect of these socks so you won’t have to worry about them sliding down while you are hiking or doing any other activities in the colder weather.
These socks are machine washable and super easy to care for and will last you through several winter seasons.
If you are looking for a warm and comfortable pair of socks that are suitable for weather all year round, then make sure you check out these Darn Tough Hiker boot socks.
Made from merino wool (73%), lycra, nylon spandex and wool, these comfortable socks will keep your feet warm in the cold and cool in the heat. The merino wool is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial and will help to wick sweat away from your feet and keep moisture out.
The seamless construction of these socks gives it a performance fit meaning there is no slipping, bunching or blisters and the fine gauge knitting and undetectable seam give them a unique “put it on, forget it’s on” feel which is super important when looking for comfortable socks.
Other great features of these men’s socks are the high density cushioning throughout the sock, boot height length for added comfort and protection and the lifetime warranty that comes with them.
Although these are the most expensive socks in our reviews, they are a great value, and you will be able to make use of them all year round for several different activities.
The WIGWAM Men’s Hiker Crew Socksare a great option if you are looking for hiker heavyweight crew socks.
Made from 61% merino wool, 20% nylon, 10% silk and 5% spandex these socks will keep your feet super warm and comfortable. They are made with a blend of natural and synthetic fibres, which will help to extend the life of the socks, giving you the best value for your money.
These socks feature are a seamless toe closure and a stay-put top and leg to ensure ultimate comfort while wearing as well as the cushiony all over and foot-hugging fit.
These socks are available in four different colour options and can be machine washed and tumble dried on low. They also have a lifetime guarantee.
If you are looking for some socks that are slightly more unique, then check out the SmartWool men’s hike medium crew socks. These socks are available in twenty different colours and styles so you will be able to pick whichever option best suits you.
They are made from 66% merino wool, 33% nylon and 1% elastane and have a medium cushioning to absorb impact while you are hiking or backpacking. The arch brace helps to add additional support and hold the sock in place, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping down your ankle.
These socks can be machine washed and tumble dried on low, so you will be able to get them washed and dried quickly and get them back on your feet to keep them warm on your next adventure.
Pure Athlete Ski Socks for men and women are a great option to consider when looking for socks to keep your feet warm in freezing weather.
These socks are made from 50% cotton, 30% acrylic, 17% polyester and 3% spandex (the only socks in these reviews not to feature merino) providing warmth and comfort for your feet. Although these are great socks for the first time or entry level skiers, if you are an experienced skier, then one of the other best-selling socks are going to be better suited for you.
They have elastic at the top of the sock to prevent them from slipping down inside your ski boot or other boots, and the advanced knitting techniques cushion your shin, ankle and feet to ensure ultimate comfort.
Various reviews on these socks say they are a great winter sock for a great price and will certainly keep your feet nice and warm. You can purchase these socks as a single pair, three pairs or six pairs.
These Meriwool merino wool hiking socks for men and women will not only keep your feet nice and warm during your winter travels, but they will keep your feet comfortable too.
These socks are made from 75% merino wool blend to ensure maximum warmth and reduce itching for your feet. The breathable insulation keeps your feet warm and cosy in winter but won’t let them become overheated and uncomfortable either.
The natural wicking of the merino wool keeps moisture away from your feet to keep them dry, and the odour-resistant properties stop them from becoming smelly, which is an important feature to have in socks.
These socks are machine washable and safe to tumble dry on low, so you can quickly get them washed and dried and ready to wear the next day again. They are available in blue, brown, grey, pink or a combination of those colours when you order them.
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