Your feet and hands are the first parts of your body to experience cold. This is due to the capillaries in your extremities restricting in response to the cold, pushing blood towards your core and vital organs. Keeping your feet warm is not just a matter of comfort; it is important for smokers, diabetics, and people with peripheral artery disease to prevent injury. One of the best ways to keep your feet warm is with thermal socks.
Whether you are a hunter, hiker, work in cold conditions, or have hardwood or tile floors; it is crucial to purchase comfortable, warm socks that will not slip but are not so snug they cut off your blood circulation. They should keep your feet dry, itch-free, and odor-free. Read this list to learn the best socks for your particular needs and body type, so you do not waste any hard-earned money on inferior socks unsuitable for the job they need to do.
WHAT ARE THERMAL SOCKS?
Thermal socks are designed to trap warmth and are usually made of synthetic materials. Polyester, nylon, and acrylics retain heat well but do not keep your feet dry if you are physically active with sweaty feet. Wool and cotton do a great job keeping your feet warm and also do well in eliminating moisture. The best thermal socks are probably a blend of synthetic and natural wool or cotton materials.
WHAT IS MERINO WOOL?
Merino wool is more than a fancy marketing ploy. Merino sheep originated from Spain in the 1100s, but are now reared in Australia. They provide the ideal wool for socks, as it is strong and durable, does a great job resisting odors, dries quickly, and wicks sweat away from your skin. Merino wool thermal socks have no resemblance to the itchy wool sweaters your grandmother knitted you every Christmas. They will sit comfortably against your skin and keep you warm.
HOW LONG ARE THERMAL SOCKS?
Thermal socks come in a variety of styles. There are ankle socks designed to keep you warm indoors or when wearing running shoes. Some are knee-high athletic socks. Others are crew socks, which come up to your mid-calf trapping warmth up a good part of your leg. These socks are usually worn with work, ski, or hunting boots.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY THEM?
You can buy the best thermal socks at Amazon.com. If you want to try your socks on before you buy them, you can find most of the socks on this list at Walmart, Kohl's, and Dick's Sporting Goods.
The socks on this list ranged from $6 to $20 per pair, but all provided great value.
HOW WE REVIEWED
We reviewed the following products based on thermal qualities, durability, moisture management, anti-odor protection, comfort, and quality of the material, along with affordability.
After carefully researching products which met our criteria for the best thermal sock, we tested in sub-freezing temperatures to ensure they stood up to snuff. We also put these through several wash and dry cycles and walked many miles in them to make sure they stayed comfortable and did not start to wear. After a lot of time and effort in research and quality trials, we are confident we have the most comprehensive list of the top 10 thermal socks of 2018.
OVERALL PRICE RANGE OF THIS PRODUCT
The highest quality thermal sock has high-tech features, such as odor and sweat control. It will be more durable, particularly in the heel and toe box. It will trap warmth in better than other socks and will be made of higher-quality materials.
WHAT WE REVIEWED
- Performance Fit: No slipping, no bunching, and no blisters.
- Fine Gauge Knitting: Unprecedented durability and our unique "put it on, forget it's on" feel.
- Fast Action Wicking: Pulls moisture away from skin. Fast drying; Naturally Antimicrobial: Repels bacteria and odor.
- Merino Wool: The ultimate fiber for breathability and comfort in all conditions.
- Still made in Vermont, USA. Still unconditionally guaranteed for life.
Darn Tough sells the best thermal socks for experienced hunters or hunters who are ready to commit to the hobby. They are odor-inhibiting, fine gauge, and made from shrink treated Merino Wool. They are also itch-free.
- Foilage Green style military compliant
- Half cushion footbed provides comfort without bulk
- Embedded arch supprt helps reduce foot fatigue
- ArmourDry material wicks moisture, accelerates evaporation
- ArmourBlock technology helps prevent growth of odor-causing bacteria
These thermal socks are 97% polyester and 3% spandex. The Moisture Transport System wicks sweat away from your feet and legs, keeping you dry. Anti-odor technology prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes. The embedded arch support reduces foot fatigue, and the seamless toe and contoured "Y" heel ensure a comfortable fit for the foot.
- Made in America (4 pairs of merino wool socks). Thicker socks. *New release August 2017
- 71% Merino Wool ,21% Nylon, 7% Poly,1% Spandex. Reinforced Toe & Heel.
- Fits (Large Mens Shoe size 9-12) (Small-Medium 6-9.5) .Wash cold inside out and then air dry to reduce shrinkage. Men can purchase the womens one for a smaller size (Click on People Socks above item title)
- Merino Wool/Nylon blend is itch-free, anti-odor yarn maintains durability for the lifetime of the socks
- Crew to slightly lower than Calf Height. Mid-weight to Heavy socks. Shaped cushioning in the footbed for extra comfort without bulk. Smooth toe construction.
These well-fitting socks come up to just below the calf. They are temperature regulating, odor resistant, sewn in the United States, and come with a 365-day warranty. They feature a non-abrasive toe seam, elasticized arch; and a long-wearing, reinforced heel and toe that will keep you comfortable all day long.
- Fastdry technology moves away sweat
- Heavy weight wool design
- Non-binding stretch top.
- Reinforced heel and toe
- Odor control keeps socks feeling fresh
These 86% wool socks feature amazing thermal regulation to keep your feet warm, even in sub-zero temperatures. They also feature Fast Dry technology to wick sweat away to keep you comfortable and odor-free.
These quarter length crew socks are perfect for all-day or multi-day hikes, backpacking, or camping. They are made of 67% Merino wool, 29% nylon, and 4% lycra spandex. They are made in the United States, offer a performance fit, and are constructed with high-density knitting. Darn Tough backs these socks with a lifetime guarantee.
- Moisture wicking fibers keep feet dry and warm
- High bulk acrylic fibers provide heavy cushion throughout foot and leg for added comfort
- Boot length provides superior warmth
- Reciprocated heel and toe for superior fit and comfort
- Full cushion comfort with reinforced heel and toe provides added durability
These thermal socks provide superior warmth in the winter. They are engineered with premium, moisture control yarns to provide superior comfort. These purpose-built socks are high quality and ideal for anyone working or playing in cold conditions.
These thermal socks will keep you dry and warm on the coldest, wettest days. The SmartWool Fit System provides arch braces and a tight fit around your ankles.
These socks are made in the United States with local materials. They are overall well cushioned and do not slide down your ankle. They are unisex socks. It was very difficult to find anything wrong with these socks.
- Heat Holders Yarn - Our Specially developed thermal yarn provides high performance insulation against cold with superior moisture breathing abilities.
- Heat Holders Loops - Innovative knitting tehnology produces our unique, extra long looped cushion pile to hold in more warm air, increasing the TOG rating.
- Heat Holders Brushing - Finally, our expert brushing process maximises the amount of warm air held inside each sock for total warmth and all day comfort.
These socks feature specially developed thermal yarn, which provides high-performance insulation against cold with superior moisture and breathing abilities. The innovative knitting technology produces a unique, extra long looped cushion pile to hold in more warm air and increase the TOG rating. Expert brushing process maximizes the total warmth and all-day comfort.
- Extra warm for the coldest winter weather; Padded comfort; great for sports, hiking, skiing; 7x warmer than cotton; softer than wool, non-itchy
- Heavily brushed fuzzy lining soft comfort for feet; Ribbed stay-up top keeps socks from sliding down; Thick thermal yarn; Moisture wicking for dryness; Perfect outdoor trail cold weather gear; Also great for outdoor athletic activities
- Machine wash cold with like colors, tumble dry low; Made in China; 93% acrylic/6% polyester/1% spandex
- Medium: Mens/Boys shoe size 4-8, Womens 6-10; Large: Mens shoe size 9-12
- (2) Pairs Thermal Insulated Thick Socks by Arctic Extreme for men or women. Colors to choose from Include: Black, Black & Gray Striped, Black & Purple Striped, Gray/Blue & Gray/Black.
These thermal socks are softer than wool, non-itchy, and warmer than cotton. They feature padded comfort, are extra warm for the coldest winters; and are great for sports, hiking, and skiing. You can purchase these in men/boy sizes 4-12 and women size 6-13.
In our opinion, the fine Vermont socks by Darn Tough are the best thermal socks a woman can buy. They are quarter-length and perfect for anything. You can wear them under motorcycle chaps or horseback riding boots. You can wear them hiking or camping. You can wear them to work or to the store. Put them through the wringer for years to come and follow the simple care constructions, and they will still be as good as new.
Darn Tough's Scent Lok socks are the best socks for hunting. These crew socks insulate your lower legs so you can comfortably hunt, even in sub-zero temperatures. Never wear sock liners again as these premium socks wick sweat away from your body while trapping odor and preventing it from giving your scent away to your prey. These socks are so comfortable, you won't want to take them off when you get home, and with the durable heel and toe, you don't have to. Try these on once, and you will want to replace your entire winter sock drawer with these high-quality thermal socks.