How to Buy Ski / Snowboard Socks
Owning a few quality pairs of ski and snowboard socks can make your day on the mountain far more comfortable and enjoyable. Technological advancements have made ski and snowboard socks more specialized, so wearing the thickest socks you own is not a good choice anymore. This guide will help you decide what ski socks you should buy to maximize comfort and performance.
Unlike your usual everyday socks, ski and snowboard socks are tailored to fit men, women, kids and people of different sizes. They are not as simplistic “one size fits all,” so you must emphasize buying the correct size. Women’s socks are designed to fit the contours of their feet, and men’s are designed differently as well, so be cognizant to purchase the right socks based on your gender.
For starters, a longer sock is preferred, as it will reach above your boots and provide more warmth and comfort. Also, you need to ensure that your socks fit properly. If your socks are too loose, then the excess material will cause blisters. Conversely, if your socks are too tight, your feet will not get the proper circulation and will quickly get cold. A general rule is to be aware of your toe fit. There should not be excess material at the end of your toes, but the sock should also not clamp down on your toes and offer no wiggle room.
As stated above, ski and snowboard socks are specifically made to keep your feet warm and comfortable, so there are slight design differences from normal socks. For instance, ski socks are usually pretty thin because of the insulation your boots offer. For comfort, they are constructed with extra padding on the shins and thinner material on your heels and instep to limit bulkiness and to combat blistering. Ski and snowboard socks are also naturally breathable and promote ventilation. The socks allow sweat and moisture escape, keeping your feet warm and dry.
In terms of weight, you should decide between medium and light weights, as heavier socks coupled with your boots will most likely result in excessive perspiration. Medium weight socks will keep you plenty warm on very cold days, while lightweight socks are perfect for milder climates.
Types of Materials
Ski socks are generally made out of the following materials:
- Wool - These soft, classic socks excel at providing warmth. They are also very good at wicking away the moisture on your feet. Wool socks are long lasting and durable.
- Synthetic - Synthetic socks are made from materials like nylon, acrylic, and polyester. These materials specialize in thermal control and comfort. For example, nylon can be placed on the shin or heel areas of the sock to help fight blisters. Synthetic socks are also successful at wicking moisture.
- Wool and Synthetic Blend - This blend achieves the best aspects of synthetic and wool socks. In reality, most socks are a blend to some extent, and particular blends can fit specific needs that some skiers may desire.
Much of the decision on what type of sock you purchase boils down to personal comfort, as these three socks are all comfortable and keep your feet warm.
Since ski and snowboard socks can be expensive, follow these tips to increase the longevity of your newly purchased ski socks.
- When washing your new socks from The Ski Bum, be sure to turn them inside-out to properly clean them.
- When in the dryer, be sure to take them out before while they are still a little damp. Letting them finish at room temperature preserves their integrity and fit.
- Along the same lines, avoid using powerful commercial dryers, as these can also affect the fit and performance of your socks.
- Do not lend your socks to someone bigger than you, as they can stretch the material, causing them to fit loosely on your next ride.
With these tips, you are ready to buy your new ski socks from The Ski Bum. This should not be a terribly difficult decision, just be sure you buy the right pair and fit that will guarantee a fun and comfortable day on the mountain. Also, do not forget to apply proper care to your new socks, as ski socks are more expensive than normal socks.