Your feet put up with a lot when it's cold outside — they allow you to cram them into oversized boots, trudge outside into the snow, and hoof it around town in 30 below weather. After all that, you might as well do them a solid by getting the best wool socks you can find to keep them warm in the frigid temperatures.
The truth of the matter is that when it’s horrendously cold outside, only wool will do. Unlike cotton — the great villain of wintertime apparel — wool dries super fast. That means when you step off the curb into that giant mud puddle, you won’t spend the rest of the day listening to squishing sounds sloshing around in your shoes. On top of that, wool has the ability to maintain its warm, insulating properties even when it's wet so you won’t feel your toes going numb while you wait for your socks to dry.
If you can find yourself a pair of socks with a temperature-regulating wool such as merino, you'll get the additional benefit of being able to wear them during every season.
Merino wool has the magical ability to keep you cool when it's hot, and hot when it's cool, so you can wear those socks in the spring, fall, and winter.
Furthermore, wool has natural anti-bacterial properties (aka it's "odor resistant") which means that if you work up a sweat hiking across town to the supermarket, your feet won’t explode with aroma when you get back home and take your shoes off. Plus, wool is ultra comfy and cozy, making it the perfect material for curling up in front of the fire with a book, or settling in for a well-deserved Netflix binge. If you’ve got the
best wool socks, you’ll be snug and happy all winter long. 1 The Best For Freezing Temperatures
warm wool socks will help your feet stay toasty and warm when you go outside to brave the cold. Featuring a whopping 85% pure wool, the -40 degree Fahrenheit sock is engineered specifically for the most freezing, sub-zero temperatures around. The trade-off is that the high wool content makes it slightly scratchy so you may want to wear a liner underneath; however, if your bottom line is staying warm, this is the sock for you. According to one reviewer: "I was looking for some seriously warm, heavy wool socks, and these certainly fit the bill. I spend a couple hours every day walking my dog in the Chugach Mtns. outside Anchorage, AK, and not surprisingly it can get cold. My feet are by far my weakest link, and thick wool hiking socks weren't doing the trick. Now my feet stay warm down to -5F (-20C) with 200 gram winter boots.” Available in sizes: Shoe size 5-16 2 The Best Cable-Knit Socks
On top of the fact that this ultra-soft
wool fashion sock is plush and flexible, it also comes in 15 different adorable animal patterns including foxes, wolves, elephants, cats, owls, and tons more. It is moisture-wicking so you can get sweaty in front of the fire without your feet feeling sticky and the fabric is odor-fighting, too. The material, made from a wool-cotton-polyester-spandex blend is breathable and airy, leaving you warm and fresh. According to one reviewer: "First let me say, I am a sock person in the winter time, hardcore. While socks do not touch my feet during the summer months, I have issues with anemia and once the snow begins to fall my poor toes get cold rather quickly. I happened to grab these on a lightning deal and they are FANTASTIC! Soft, warm and the patterns are adorable! These shall be my 'go to' winter socks for years to come. Available in sizes: One size only (Women's sizes 5-9) 3 The Best Wool Dress Socks
If you're looking for a pair of lightweight (but warm) wool socks that you can wear to work, these are your best bet. Made with merino wool,
these socks — which comes in gray and black color options — feature a soft, breathable design with superb thermal regulation. They are warm without being too hot, slim enough to fit snuggly in your shoes, and the gentle elastic at the top offers excellent grip so they doesn't slip down. These come in a bunch of neutral colors, as well as two-pack and four-pack options. According to one reviewer: "These socks are good quality and just the right weight to wear with any type of shoe. They come up far enough past the ankle that my bare leg doesn't show when I sit down. They do not ride down, but the band isn't overly tight. I bought the recommended size and they fit perfectly.” Available in sizes: One size only 4 The Best Wool Athletic Socks
The perfect ankle sock for winter sports, this
wool sock from Darn Tough is ultra-light and impressively breathable. It makes a great activity sock if you do any wintertime running or cycling, as well as a cozy slipper sock to wear around the house. The all-weather choice features a convenient tab on the back to keep it from slipping down, as well as comfy seamless construction that prevents hotspots and blisters. Lastly, the high stitch count makes it durable and soft to the touch. According to one reviewer: "Love, LOVE these ultralight weight Darntough no show socks. They don’t ride down my shoes like so many lightweight wool socks. If you’re looking for a breathable lightweight wool socks these might fit the bill for you whether you run or walk. I’ve now walked a hundred plus miles in these and they’re holding up very well.” Available in sizes: Small, Medium, and Large 5 The Best Wool Hiking Socks
If you tend to be the active type, this awesome
wool hiking sock will make a great walking companion. Made with a blend of merino wool, nylon, and lycra, it's temperature-regulating and great for all seasons. The sock is superbly insulated while still being flexible and comfy so you can move around. Plus, it's custom fit to stay in place while you're moving around, ensuring that you won't get blisters if you're skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, or running outside. According to one reviewer: "I bought my first pair of these socks about 9 months ago, and I love them so much that I now have a pair for every day of the week... and then some. I have two pairs that have light cushioning, and the rest have medium cushioning. Both types are very comfortable and come in fun colors and patterns [...] They really are darn tough, too. All of my pairs, including my oldest pair, still look good, work well, and are in like-new condition. Available in sizes: Small, Medium, and Large 6 The Best Cashmere & Wool Socks
Sometimes you've gotta spoil yourself a little and this ultra-soft, luxe
cashmere wool sock is the perfect way. Made for crawling into a cozy bed or curling up by the fire, this comfy sock will keep you feet warm and so soft. It's made of a 70% merino wool and 30% cashmere blend with fine, delicate fibers that feel wonderful against your feet. With a cable-knit design, the luxurious calf-length sock is the missing piece to the perfect movie day. This sock comes in four different colors, including beige, light blue, and gray. According to one reviewer: "These feel super on my feet. They keep my feet so warm, I just love them." Available in sizes: One size only 7 The Best No-Show Wool Socks
no-show wool socks add a little extra layer of warmth to a pair of low-cut shoes in colder months, and during warmer ones they are great for wicking sweat. Providing an ultra-thin layer of merino wool and nylon-elastane, the sock has a light cushion to provide comfort without adding any bulk that will interfere with tight-fitting shoes. Hundreds of reviewers have tried out these socks with many saying these are a pair of no-show socks that won't slip or slide down in your shoes. According to one reviewer: "These are amazingly soft. I thought wool would be hot, but these were not. My podiatrist recommended SmartWool when I asked what she used. My fleet are short and I usually have problems with the heel of this style sock slipping down and under my foot. These do not. They stay in place! Eureka!” Available in sizes: Women's sizes 4-13 8 The Best Knee-High Wool Socks
If you're obsessed with boots and have 70 pairs you wear in the spring, winter, and fall, this machine-washable
wool-blend boot sock is the perfect fit. It's insulated enough to keep you warm if the weather is chilly but not so hot that you can't bust it out in the springtime too. The colorful sock, which comes in a three-pack for only $17 — making it a bargain choice too — fits snugly so it stays up without leaving behind uncomfortable marks by your knee. One note: These are a wool blend, and they're constructed with 30% wool and a blend of spandex, acrylic, and polyester fabrics. According to one reviewer: "These knee socks are soft cozy and fit perfectly. The assortment of colors makes it possible to switch them out with any particular wardrobe color. The fabric is mid weight which means: not so heavy they don't fit into shoes and not opaque and thin. I'm really glad I fund them and the pricing is right for the quality.” Available in sizes: One size only (Shoe size 6-10) 9 The Best Thigh-High Wool Socks
If you're looking for a
winter sock that comes all the way up your leg, this over-the-knee wool sock from STYLEGAGA is a fantastic option. Made with mostly wool with a splash of spandex and nylon, the stylish sock comes in gray, black, and white color choices and has over 700 reviews on Amazon with 4.5-star overall rating. The only drawback is that is it hand-wash only. According to one reviewer: "I know life must be sad when I get excited about socks but I love these! They are a *tiny* bit big on me, but I still love them. I love that I can wear them in different ways and they definitely keep my legs warm for when I want to wear leggings. Love them so much that I plan on getting more colors.” Available in sizes: One size only 10 The Best Wool Slipper Socks
This super comfy
100% wool slipper sock is hand-knit in Tibetan villages by women, featuring a colorful pattern and cozy style. Every sock is unique — the photos are just to give an example — so you'll be able to say you're wearing literally the only sock of its kind in the world. The comfy house sock has a hand-stitched wool felt sole for extra durability and a fleece liner that prevents it from feeling scratchy. For extra warm fuzzy feelings, a portion of each sale goes to charities in India, Nepal, and Tibet. According to one reviewer: "LOVE these! I was tired of buying cheaper, tall slipper boot/socks that would fall apart in a less than desirable timeframe. Put out a little extra and took a chance on these and Soo happy! My feet stay warm, don't sweat and they're so comfy!” Available in sizes: Women's sizes 5-12.5 11 The Best Turn Cuff Socks
cozy wool socks have a unique contrasting-color turn-cuff design that lets you wear them a bunch of different ways. Made from a blend of wool, cotton, polyester, and spandex, they’re soft, stretchy, and super warm. The material on the inside is brushed to give it a fuzzy feel, and if you turn down the cuff, you can add an extra color to your outfit. They’re sold in a pack of five, and come in a variety of color combinations as well as a few cute patterns. According to one reviewer: “I have bought tons of socks trying to find some to keep my feet warm. I've tried wool, acrylic, and other yarns. These are the first socks I have found that actually keep my feet warm all day. They are comfortable and easy to wear with all my shoes [...] I highly recommend these socks and will be buying more for myself.” Available in sizes: One size, fits US women’s 6-10 12 The Fan-Favorite Multipack
Amazon shoppers are obsessed with these
colorful wool socks, which boast a glowing overall 4.6-star rating from over 18,000 shoppers. They’re made from cotton and wool in a cozy jacquard weave, and come in a wide variety of patterns including fair isle knits, striped, and marled options. They’re sold in a pack of five, and have elastic in the cuff so they won’t get stretched out over time. According to one reviewer: “I treated myself to 20 pairs of these socks for Christmas. I took a gamble since they are partly wool, thinking they might be itchy, but they are not! I wear them all the time. They are high quality, warm, comfy socks that keep their shape and don't shrink in the wash. I bought 4 different sets, which have different patterns and colors, so I have a nice variety.” Available in sizes: One size, fits US women’s 6-10 13 The Best Wool Compression Socks
compression socks are made from a blend of merino wool, nylon, rayon, and spandex, offering the perfect combination of stretch and warmth. They offer a moderate level of compression that’s perfect for long flights or activities that keep you on your feel all day, requiring some extra support. These socks come in a bunch of cute colors with thin rainbow stripes, so you won’t mind showing them off, either. According to one reviewer: “I've been looking for a comfortable pair of compression socks for a few years for travel on airplanes. Even a short flight causes my feet to swell something fierce. However, I have not been able to find a comfortable pair until now. And they look good too! [...] I couldn't be more thrilled.” Available in sizes: Small-Medium, Medium-Large 14 The Best Novelty Socks
Just because you like to wear
cute socks doesn’t mean you have to give up all the great qualities of wool. These novelty socks are made from a blend of wool, cotton, polyester, and spandex, and come in five adorable patterns (like the owls shown above) as well as two options with solid colors and subtle speckles. They’re sold in a pack of three, and the fabric is colored with nontoxic dyes. According to one reviewer: “You would think that buying socks would not be one of life's great challenges but it felt like it was for me [...] I had to go pretty deep in an Amazon search to find these for some reason and when I found them I thought - what's the catch? As far as I can tell there isn't one. They feel great on and in all my shoes (no slipping, no blisters), wash well (a little bit of pilling on the heels but nothing crazy and easily remedied), and they look so good no matter how I'm wearing them. I used to be a barefoot in the house person and now I want to be wearing these socks.” Available in sizes: One size, fits US women’s 6-10 15 The Editor’s Pick
merino wool socks from Icebreaker are made from merino wool, nylon, and elastane, so they’re both warm and lightweight. They boast reinforced heels and extra support around the instep and Achilles, which means they’re great for long hikes or days when you walk around a lot. They’re also super breathable, so your feet won’t get sweaty, no matter what the weather is like. Editor’s note: “These are my favorite socks for hiking, camping, or days when I walk all over the city and log several miles on my feet. I can really feel the difference that the added support zones in these socks provide, and I love that they’re high-performance with a sleek, minimalist look. They can also be worn for a few days on a camping trip without needing to be washed, which is a huge plus.’’ — Carina Finn Available in sizes: Small — Large
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This article was originally published on
Feb. 8, 2018