A good pair of snowboard socks is like a car’s transmission. When everything works well, you’re in for a smooth ride. But when it doesn’t work as it should, it can quickly ruin your day.
There are a number of reasons why it’s worth investing in a good pair (or several pairs, for hygiene’s sake) of snowboard socks. They offer warmth, comfort, and traction to one of the hardest working parts of your body while snowboarding: your feet. But get socks that bunch up, freeze your toes, or simply make their presence known too much while riding, and it can be a major bummer.
Here at The Inertia, we want you to have the best riding experience possible and have gone through the painstaking process of finding and testing the best snowboard socks on the market, to give you our recommendations for a variety of situations. Read on to see the results. Or, feel free to skip ahead to our Comparison Table to see how they match up. If you’d like to know more about choosing the right snowboard sock for you, skip ahead to our Buyer’s Guide.
The Best Snowboard Socks of 2024
Best All-Around Snowboard Socks: Darn Tough Function X Midweight
Best Heavyweight Snowboard Socks: Smartwool Full Cushion
Best Cushioning: Burton Performance Midweight
Best Lightweight Snowboard Socks: Evo Ultralight
Best Bang For Your Buck: Stance Freeton Snow Midweight
Best Spring Snowboard Socks: ThirtyTwo CoolMax
Best All-Around Snowboard Socks
Materials: 59% merino, 38% nylon, 3% lycra
Pros: Lifetime guarantee, comfortable and responsive
Cons: Underfoot cushioning doesn’t add for arch support
With so many great socks available, it was really hard to crown a winner as the best all-around. However we kept going back to the Function X by Darn Tough due to it being in somewhat of a Goldilocks zone of being “just right” in a number of instances.
The sock has just the right amount of thickness and warmth, just the right amount of cushioning, and just the right amount of wool to be warm and keep feet dry. Add in the fact that Darn Tough gives a lifetime warranty, and these socks were enough for us to pull them out of the drawer more often than not.Check Price on Evo
Best Bang For Your Buck
Materials: 94% Polyester, 4% elastane, 2% nylon
Cushioning: Arch, heel, lower shin
Pros: Great value
Cons: No wool
For those who don’t like the idea of using animal products, we’ve got you covered. Well, Stance has your feet covered. Their Freeton socks have just the right amount of cushioning and use a synthetic blend that is well-designed to not have any seams getting in one’s way of having a good time.
The arch support on these was one of our favorites, and the sock as a whole had excellent comfort, especially considering it was made from all synthetic materials. With these socks coming in a two-pack, they have some great bang-for-buck value, and if you’re riding with any regularity, why not save a couple bucks and buy a couple at once? Or, if you prefer more style, Stance could have easily won our “Best designs” award if we offered that thanks to the multitude of colorful arrays they provide. Those are worth checking out for yourself.
Best Heavyweight Snowboard Socks
Materials: 66% merino, 32% nylon, 2% elastane
Pros: Warm and soft
Cons: Can get heavy when wet
Snowboarding legend Brian Iguchi helped design this sock, and that might be enough for us to believe it’s something to write positive reviews about. But after trying it on and riding with it, the feeling is what counts, so we had to give these a top nod.
A thicker sock isn’t for everyone, but those who are out in the elements all day and every day will appreciate a thicker construction. The Smartwool Full Cushion Snowboard Sock has the highest concentration of merino wool of any of the socks we tested, and while that does add to thickness, it also helps with warmth. For big days out in the backcountry, especially if you’re staying overnight, this is the sock that will stay warm through thick and thin. And speaking of thick – the added thickness helps to keep the foot and leg snug when going big. And really, in the grand scheme of things, a larger sock doesn’t add a huge amount of weight. The only exception for that, is if it gets wet. Merino wool absorbs moisture, which keeps your feet dry, but also holds the moisture. So as long as you have decent boots that keep moistur out, you should be fine.Check Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight Snowboard Socks
Materials: 34% Merino, 34% Acrylic, 30% Polyamide, 2% Elastane
Cushioning: Heel, toe
Pros: Super minimalist but still feels warm
Cons: Toe seams stick out
Some people naturally run warm. Others have really toasty boot liners and don’t need a thick sock. Still others might want to double-bag their feet and two thick socks are overkill. Whatever the reason to need or want a lighter sock, the Evo Ultralight will satisfy that desire.
With just the right amount of cushioning in the heel and toe, the rest of the sock has a “barely there” feel while still keeping warm and absorbing moisture thanks to the merino blend. It’s an ideal sock when you don’t want to feel socks. We did notice the toe seam a bit more than other socks on this list when moving around, but no more than one would expect given the thinner construction, and it caused no hotspots or other problems for us while out riding.Check Price on Evo
Best High-Tech Features
Materials: 53% merino, 45% nylon, 2% lycra
Pros: Well designed, unique details
Cons: Minimal shin padding
Burton knows snowboarding. Anyone who has used any of their gear over the past 40 years would likely agree. So when it comes to a performance sock catered specifically to snowboarding, it should be no surprise that they lead the charge for knowing what a snowboarder needs. With just the right amount of material in just the right places (the sock makes use of “super low-profile cushioning on the instep, shin, and calf”), you can tell that there was a lot of thought put into the design for these socks. Add in warmth and comfort, and this is a sock that can go the distance.
Are all the different cushion zones necessary? Depends on who you ask. But for people who want optimum movement in the foot and ankle, and padding where you need it, but not where you don’t, this sock is worth the few bucks extra. There isn’t much shin padding, so if that’s of importance, other socks might be a better choice, but for movement in the foot, this is one of our top picks.Check Price on Evo Check Price on Amazon
Best Spring Snowboard Socks
Materials: 41.5% Coolmax, 41.5% cotton, 15% nylon, 2% spandex
Cushioning: ASI – Custom integration with Thirtytwo Boots
Pros: Excellent breathability
Cons: Can feel cold when wet
We love spring days for the goggle tans, booters, and aprés patio sessions where the afternoons blend into the evenings. What we don’t like is having thick winter socks that end up being a little too much sock for the sunshine. Thirtytwo has created their own wool blend called CoolMax that does live up to the name. It has a nice breathability to it that definitely wasn’t as insulating as other socks we tried. This is great news when the temperatures are above freezing and you’re hiking a jump to get that cover shot… or simply a really cool profile picture that will make your mother wish you stayed in college.
ThirtyTwo socks also have a custom cushioning system that works with their boots to form a solid fit in their liner, which also has a jigsaw-puzzle like array to match the socks. It’s not super noticeable, but that said, we didn’t move around as much with the socks on. So there’s that. Since it does have cotton, though, it’s at risk for getting cold when wet, which is why this is more of a spring sock than something to wear in sub-zero temps.Check Price on ThirtyTwo
Best of the Rest
Materials: 53% merino, 45% nylon, 2% lycra
Pros: Great warmth and cushioning
Cons: A tad bulky
Making products out of merino wool long before it became en vogue, Icebreaker is one of the leaders in the undergarment scene for a reason – they make quality products that work well. Their ski (and snowboard) socks feel great from beginning to end, and the cushioning is well-placed on the shins and heel to give you a little extra padding where it’s needed most. The medium weight sock is in the Goldilocks zone of comfort: just enough to provide ample warmth, but not so much that you can’t feel the responsiveness of the boot. It’s a great all-around choice, and one where you won’t regret the purchase.
It’s important to note that their warranty has changed to be one year, and you’ll need a receipt to go with it. So make sure you file the receipt away but there’s a good chance you won’t need it as these socks are built to last.Check Price on Icebreaker
Materials: 55% nylon, 41% merino, 4% lycra
Pros: Great body-mapped cushioning
Cons: Material feels thin underfoot
Darn Tough has been known to make a solid sock and we were pretty stoked on everything its Outer Limits had to offer all-around. While it doesn’t have as high of a percentage of Merino as some other socks on this list, the blend seemed to work well enough to not have any complaints in the warmth or moisture department, meaning after a long day of riding they still felt comfortable underneath.
Another standout feature of the socks is in their guarantee – Darn Tough backs its socks for life. So if you’re the type of person to really take socks through the wringer and want a bit more of an assurance that you won’t have to keep buying new socks all the time, this is a great option. And the Outer Limits socks were some of our favorites thanks to its multiple cushioning zones: extra on the bottom and shin where it’s needed most, and a medium zone in the next most-prone areas, with the top of the sock being made of lighter materials for added breathability. It also provided some excellent compression, helping aid circulation, which naturally gets the feet warmer in itself.Check Price on Evo Check Price on Amazon
Materials: 55% merino, 42% nylon, 3% lycra
Pros: Cushioning where you need it most
Cons: Not as warm as other socks
These socks have just enough cushion where you need it, and lightweight comfort where you need some room to breathe. The lighter version is better suited for the days where you’re going hard, or when it’s not as wet or cold out and performance is more what is needed for a good time. The padding in the shin goes full-length underneath the boot, and never bunched up or rubbed, allowing for excellent mobility in all conditions. This is an ideal sock for touring in the spring, or resort days when you want to ride fast and hit the park with a bit of extra padding.Check Price on Icebreaker
Materials: 66% merino, 32% nylon, 2% elastane
Pros: Well-engineered for both comfort and performance
Cons: Not as warm as full cushion
The targeted cushion sock, in contrast to the full cushion sock we mentioned earlier, is a bit lighter and allows you to feel the boot much more easily. This is good when you really need to feel the boot and every little bit of pressure – think charging at high speeds, popping airs, and getting into the trees.
While it doesn’t have the extra warmth as the full cushion, this sock will be more than adequate on the majority of days out there. But you will lose out on warmth when the sock is sweaty and wet in comparison. However, with less weight, you’ll be able to fly through the snow a tad more easily. Is it noticeable? Maybe not for most, but if you have a heat-molded liner you may want that closer feel to really have a good mold to the foot and have the extra responsiveness.Check Price on Evo Check Price on Amazon
Materials: 50% Merino, 30% Nylon, 20% Acrylic
Cushioning: Heel, toe, shin
Pros: Fewer seams for a more uniform style
Cons: Less play than other socks
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense sock with fewer seams yet built to keep you in comfort, we enjoyed the simplicity of Coal’s lightweight sock. It’s got extra padding where needed, which is important, but doesn’t have any extra bells and whistles. It harkens back to a day when socks were socks and we didn’t need any trademarked features.
The sock is still made of 50% merino, so it’ll keep you warm and dry like the rest of them, yet unlike most others, there isn’t any lycra inside to stretch. So it’s a sock that works like a sock. As such, it may be prone to stretching out if you don’t take care of it, so be cautious of getting one that doesn’t fit right or it might move out of place. But we appreciated how it does what it’s supposed to do and it still rides well and feels comfortable enough for us to give it our approval.Check Price on Coal
Materials: 41.5% Merino, 41.5% acrylic, 15% nylon, 2% spandex
Cushioning: ASI – Custom integration with Thirtytwo Boots
Pros: Well-thought-out cushioning
Cons: A few bucks more than other options
ThirtyTwo knows a thing or two about snowboarding. Since the beginning, they have always put the rider experience front and center above anything else, and it shows. With nearly three decades of innovation in their boots, it’s worth giving credit to their line of socks that feature the ASI integration with ThirtyTwo boot liners. It’s not a huge noticeable difference, but it’s always the details that matter.
The cushioning for these socks are so well-placed that the comfort goes up several notches without even realizing it. And that’s what a good sock should do, shouldn’t it? We didn’t notice anything that caused discomfort, and the Merino blend was just enough to help with moisture management and keep things cool in the boot.
Bottom line: This is a well-engineered sock from a company of snowboarders, trying to innovate the best they can for other snowboarders. And they’ve done a great job with their Signature Merino sock.Check Price on Amazon
Snowboard Socks Comparison Table
|Darn Tough Function X Midweight
|59% Merino, 38% Nylon, 3% Lycra
|Stance Freeton Snow Midweight (2-pack)
|94% Polyester, 4% elastane, 2% nylon
|Arch, heel, lower shin
|Smartwool Full Cushion Snowboard Sock
|66% merino, 32% nylon, 2% elastane
|34% Merino, 34% Acrylic, 30% Polyamide, 2% Elastane
|Burton Performance Sock
|38% Nylon 30% merino, 30% acrylic, 2% elastane
|41.5% Coolmax, 41.5% cotton, 15% nylon, 2% spandex
|Arch, custom for boot fit
|Icebreaker Ski+ Medium
|53% merino, 45% nylon, 2% lycra
|Darn Tough Men’s Outer Limits
|55% nylon, 41% merino, 4% lycra
|Darn Tough Women’s Outer Limits
|55% nylon, 42% merino, 3% lycra
|Icebreaker Ski+ Light
|55% merino, 42% nylon, 3% lycra
|Smartwool Targeted Cushion Snowboard Sock
|66% merino, 32% nylon, 2% elastane
|Coal Lightweight Sock
|50% Merino, 30% nylon, 20% acrylic
|Heel, toe, shin
|ThirtyTwo Signature Merino
|41.5% Merino, 41.5% acrylic, 15% nylon, 2% spandex
How We Tested The Best Snowboard Socks
Testing socks that are all great is more difficult than it seems. In other categories, it’s easy to find distinctions, but for socks we really had to look to the small details. In doing so, we truly found that it’s the little differences that set socks apart from one another. With this in mind, we did our best to highlight these distinctions, and speak to what makes each pair of socks better (or worse) for unique conditions and riding styles.
Steve Andrews was the lead tester. As a snowboarder of over 25 years, and a majority of that as a bit of a dirtbag, he had to find out the hard way that good socks can be a huge game changer in the riding experience, and are not worth skimping on. Back in the day, there weren’t too many performance-oriented snowboard socks, and riding in cotton resulted in a wet, stinky mess where boots would get soaked through with sweat and feet would wrinkle up from saturation.
Now, with so many great snowboard socks available, the tide has turned and feet have the ability to ride all day in comfort and with precise movement. This is a win for everyone – however, when trying to review the gear, it can become a nit-picky job to find the differences. The main questions we posed were:
Do the socks bunch up? This will result in discomfort and potential issues while riding if the socks begin to fold on themselves, slide down the calf, etc.
Do our feet feel wet/cold? This is no good, no matter which way you cut it.
Can we feel the boot liner inside? And does it rub and leave chafing or blisters? Snowboard socks should be sufficiently padded such that this isn’t an issue.
Can we notice the seams? We want to feel the beauty of riding, not where the seams are.
After many days out in the coastal PNW mountains in a wetter-than-usual El Niño year, the results are in, and the tally has been made. The list above is the best of what we found, and will be riding on for the remainder of the season and beyond. if any socks start to show excessive wear in certain spots, we will update this page with the results. However, with the socks listed, we can confidently say: so far, so good.
Snowboard Socks Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the right snowboard sock for your style may seem daunting, with so many good options available. However, using the criteria in this guide, your decision will hopefully be a tad easier.
Thickness: When it comes to snowboard socks, thickness is a game-changer. Lighter socks offer better feel, which can be great for those mild days or for riders who want maximum connection with their board. On the flip side, thicker socks provide extra warmth and are a boon for those chilly days on the slopes. But too thick can affect the fit of your boots, so balance is key. Aim for a thickness that keeps you cozy without cramping your style (or your toes!).
Cushioning: Cushioning in snowboard socks works as subtle shock absorbers. Extra padding on the shin, heel, and underfoot areas can really enhance comfort, especially on those long bell-to-bell days. Look for strategically placed cushioning that aligns with pressure points in your snowboard boots. This feature is not just about comfort; it’s about endurance and performance, helping you stay out longer and ride harder.
Materials: The fabric of your snowboard socks is the main distinction between different socks. Merino wool is a top pick for its magical blend of warmth, moisture-wicking, and odor resistance. For those looking for a vegan or less expensive option, synthetic blends (like polyester and nylon) are your go-to. They dry quickly and are super durable. Most socks mix materials, giving you the best of both worlds. The right material will keep your feet dry, warm, and happy.
Seams: Ever had a tiny pebble in your shoe? That’s what an ill-placed seam in a snowboard sock can feel like. Look for socks with minimal and strategically placed seams to avoid chafing and discomfort. Flat seams are ideal as they reduce bulk and the likelihood of irritation. This might seem like a small detail, but trust us, your feet will thank you after a long day of riding.
Breathability: This is crucial for comfort and foot health. A breathable sock helps to regulate temperature and moisture, keeping feet dry and comfortable throughout the day. Materials like Merino wool naturally excel in this, but many synthetic blends are designed for high breathability too. It’s all about avoiding that clammy feeling that can lead to cold feet or even blisters.
Arch and Ankle Support: Some snowboard socks come with added support in the arch and ankle areas. This feature can enhance fit, reduce foot fatigue, and provide stability during those long, active days on the mountain. It’s especially beneficial for riders who demand a bit more from their gear during high-intensity snowboarding.
Antimicrobial Properties: Nobody likes stinky feet after a day in the boots. Materials with antimicrobial properties help keep odors at bay, which is a lifesaver on multi-day trips. Merino wool naturally has these properties, but some synthetic socks also have added treatments to keep your feet fresh.
Style and Design: While performance is key, let’s not forget about style! Snowboard socks come in a plethora of designs and colors. Choosing a style that resonates with your personal aesthetic can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your gear setup. After all, looking good is part of feeling good in the mountains.
Editor’s Note: If you’re looking to build out the rest of your kit, read our reviews on The Best Snowboard Mittens, Best Snowboard Goggles, Best Snowboard Boots, Best Ski and Snowboard Helmets, Best Snowboard Bags and Best Snowboard Brands. For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.