Few things are capable of rivaling the borderline absurd amount of comfort achieved by lounging next to a fireplace when it’s cold outside. Coltrane keeping the turntable warm? Nice accompaniment. Finger of bourbon with a s’mores chaser? Definite contender.
But all the creature comforts in the world are for naught if your feet aren’t armed with the best winter socks for men. Yes, I just referenced foot-arms. Picture it. Hilarious. Moving on.
To put it plainly, those are not the types of moments you want to squander by covering your extremities with subpar materials. And with that humble mission in mind, it’s time to get said extremities cozy with our picks for the best winter socks on the market today.
The best winter socks for men are the ones that work best for you. That said, there’s a lot of gray area in there—it all comes down to what you’ll be getting into and how you define performance in a sock. Our top pick is all about function, which is key when you’re dealing with below-freezing temperatures. But good news: form is also well represented. Fair Isle and s’mores, anyone?
Size range: S-XL | Material: 56% Merino Wool, 11% Nylon, 31% Recycled nylon, 2% Elastane | Colors: 5
This being a list of the best winter socks for men, you can bet I’ve included options that run the gamut in terms of what you might find yourself getting into when the temps start to drop. Yes, we’ve got your snowboarding, running, hiking, and fire pit-ing needs covered. But chances are, you’re actually here looking for an absolute workhorse. The type of socks that’ll trek up a blustery winter mountain with you, give you a high-five at the peak, and ask for more.
If that describes your humbly aspirational footwear needs, this merino wool specimen from Smartwool is what you’re looking for. Little form and mostly function, the pair features a dense, cushiony layer to absorb impact and keep your feet from screaming at you and your active winter lifestyle. Moisture-wicking: check. Retention of warmth even in extreme conditions: yes. There’s a time and place for precious socks, and this isn’t it.
Size range: One Size | Material: 55% Wool, 20% Silk, 23% Polyamide, 2% Elastane | Colors: 3
Not all wool socks are created equal. Some are itchy and cumbersome. Some are subpar and stiffen with age. Others are these rib knit socks from Thunders Love by way of Closed.
Made with pride by experienced craftspeople in small Portuguese workshops, what makes this pair some of the best winter socks for men is the large percentage of silk incorporated into their majority-wool construction. This carefully curated mix makes them incredibly soft and comfortable without losing any of the warming effects you’d expect from wool. Add this pair to your stable of city socks to be deployed on those brisk winter nights when walking from haunt to haunt isn’t out of the question.
Size range: 8-12 | Material: 85% Merino Wool, 15% Polyamide | Colors: 1
When it comes to socks (and almost any garment, really) perhaps no single fabric is as useful and versatile as merino wool. It wicks away moisture and sweat during the warmer months and locks in heat during the colder months. Beyond that, it’s simply one of the most comfortable materials you can toss over your feet when the temperature starts to drop.
Myrqvist makes it onto our list of the best winter socks for men by providing a subtly stylish pair of calf-high socks in a versatile forest green. Expect the same technical performance as you would from any merino wool garment, only with the added bonus of teaming up seamlessly with a suit or other semi-formal outfit scenario.
Size range: One Size; 6-9.5 | Material: 80% Cotton, 18% Polyamide, 2% Elastane | Colors: 1
Percival’s made-in-Portugal warm socks for men come in a handful of handsome colors and are made to be seen rather than covered up with jeans or boots. Their subtle yet striking design makes them ripe for late-fall and early-winter afternoons spent catching up with friends around a brewery- or distillery-adjacent fire pit.
Their mix of high-quality cotton, polyamide, and elastane helps keep things breathable and dry beneath the shoes. So while I wouldn’t recommend these melange cotton beauties for your more extreme outdoor pursuits, they certainly wouldn’t be out of place on a brisk hike or, say, on the mean snowy streets of Aspen.
Size range: 6-12 | Material: 85% Organic Cotton, 13% Polyamide, 2% Elastane | Colors: 6
Bells? No. Whistles? Also no. Anything even close to resembling technical performance? Not a chance. So how did these made-in-Portugal organic cotton socks make our list of the best winter socks for men? Comfort, dammit. Just… comfort.
Their mostly cotton construction won’t help you out in the elements for long, but it’s going to keep your climate-controlled feet feeling like they’re being bear-hugged by a cloud. This is the popcorn-and-a-movie sock that also happens to look great under a wool suit or a smart pair of jeans.
Size range: S-XL | Material: 77% Merino Wool, 21% Stretch Nylon, 2% Lycra Elastane | Colors: 6
If there’s one thing you take away from our opus on the best winter socks for men, it’s that they’re all about function. Unlike dress socks or other more precious members of the species, winter socks are all about doing a job. The job of keeping your feet warm and comfortable at all costs.
Yes, even if you happen to be doing nothing but riding the couch with a stem of red in one hand and a charcuterie board in the other (we see you and your aspirational snacking tendencies).
So here comes L.L. Bean with function in spades—heavyweight merino wool blend, super soft construction, almost inappropriately soft. These guys have it all, plus they’re one of the thickest pairs I’ve seen.
Size range: L-XL | Material: 69% Wool, 28% Nylon, 2% Acrylic, 1% Elastane | Colors: 3
It should come as no surprise that Carhartt has earned its way into one of our best winter socks for men slots. Not only has the workwear brand been around since 1889, but its semi-recent surge in popularity has been impossible to miss.
For your foot’s consideration, the Heavyweight Wool Blend Boot Sock uses an abrasion-resistant blend of materials and features cushiony ribbed sections throughout. As always, Carhartt does an excellent job of making sure the moisture gets out and the heat stays in. Add in the generous boot-cut length of these socks, and you’ve got yourself the perfect accompaniment to a long day outside, be it for work, pleasure, or a bit of both.
Size range: S-XXL | Material: 66% Merino Wool, 32% Nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex | Colors: 7
Vermont brand Darn Tough has a deserved reputation as being one of the best hardy-sock manufacturers in the game. Their products are favored by die-hard thru-hikers and fire pit jockeys alike.
This sock is, naturally, made mostly of merino wool. Sweat-wicking: check. Anti-odor: check. But Darn Tough’s uncompromising dedication to quality and seamless-feel construction will also keep your feet warm no matter what snowy escapades you find yourself in. Snowy escapades? Snowy escapades.
Size range: XS-XL | Material: 49% Merino Wool, 47% nylon, 4% elastane | Colors: 5
Worn’s tried and true T3 Sparrow ankle sock gives you all the benefits of a full-length winter sock, but in a no-show. Among its features are 360-degree arch support, sweat-wicking properties thanks to merino wool, and five colorful patterns for when the shoes come off.
These are marketed as running socks, and they’ll absolutely perform there. But what makes this one of the best no-show socks out there is its versatility. It’s not too heavy, not too light, and can be worn 365 days a year.
Size range: S-XL | Material: 63% Merino Wool, 35% nylon, 2% Spandex | Colors: Surprise
These socks feature all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from a Bombas product—honeycomb arch support system, seamless toe, airflow venting properties. It goes on. But what makes their hiking calf sock collaboration with Cotopaxi interesting is the process they use to pull these beauties together.
Taking a page out of Cotopaxi’s book, Bombas uses perfectly good, leftover merino wool from its past collections and pulls them together with nylon and spandex. As an interesting kicker, the process creates one-of-a-kind color combinations, meaning no two pairs that you order are likely to be the same. So not only are you getting a complete ass-kicker of a sock, you’re also getting a surprise color.
Size range: M-L | Material: Wool Blend | Colors: 1
There are a lot of unacceptable things in this world. But talking about the best winter socks for men without talking about Fair Isle socks? Unforgivable. So here we are. Fair Isle socks.
We owe so much aspirational winter living to the knitting style that originated on that little island just north of Scotland. The sweaters that compliment a hot toddy oh so well. The pullover that begs for a steaming cup of pumpkin-adjacent coffee. The merino wool Fair Isle socks from Japanese brand Chup that damn well better be peeking out from your jeans around the fire pit.
Size range: S-XXL | Material: Inner: 81% Coolmax, 16% Polyester, 1% Nylon, 2% Spandex; Outer: 78% Nylon, 15% Polyester, 7% Spandex | Colors: 2
As an all-weather runner myself, I appreciate the value of a warm, sturdy, waterproof (yes, waterproof) pair of socks. While I do my best to avoid puddles and slush, shit happens. Enter: the 100% shitproof three layers that make up the Crosspoint crews from Showers Pass.
Layer one is a standard knit construction that doesn’t lack in the cozy department. Layer two employs a waterproof yet breathable membrane (the crucial layer for running comfort). Layer three is also focused on breathability but also on wicking away sweat and fighting odors. It all comes together in a fully waterproof pair of running socks that will keep your feet warm and dry no matter what self-inflicted punishment you deem necessary to put yourself through.
Size range: M-XL | Material: 50% Merino Wool, 30% Wool, 10% Nylon, 9% Acrylic, 1% Spandex | Colors: 2
For the epitome of warmth under extreme conditions, look no further than this super thick and durable pair of thermal socks from legendary outdoor-focused gear brand Filson. Made of 80% wool (50% of which is merino), these warm socks for men were made with fighting the elements in mind—all without so much as hinting at adversity to your feet.
If you’re into outdoor sports, work long days outside in cold conditions, or generally just fancy yourself a comfort connoisseur, the buck stops with these.
Size range: S-XL | Material: 79% Merino Wool, 20% Nylon, 1% Lycra | Colors: 1
Hunter? Cool, you’ll love these. Not a hunter? Still cool. You’ll still love these. As long as you’ll be escorting your body outside during any or all of the fall and winter months, Danner’s heavyweight hunting socks will serve you well.
Almost all of the best winter socks for men are going to have some incorporation of merino wool and offer some incorporation of moisture-wicking, heat-retaining properties. These are no exception. But to sweeten the pot, Danner products are known for being able to carry on after taking a beating. And the knee-high length will help keep at least 50% of your legs sheltered from the elements while you’re snowboarding, lodge-bar hopping, or, sure, even hunting.
Size range: S-XL | Material: 73% Olefin, 10% Polyester, 9% Elastane, 8% Nylon | Colors: 1
Running when it’s cold out is challenging enough without also having to contend with cold, wet feet and toes. Drymax is a technical pair of socks for technical times. Through science, science, and more science, Drymax’s materials work every bit as hard—if not harder—than merino wool.
The result is a long, comfortable, warm pair of socks designed to get you and your feet to the finish line in one dry piece. Bonus: the price point is very reasonable for the comfort and technical details you’re getting here.
What To Look For In The Best Winter Socks For Men
Winter socks are a specific breed of basic and should be treated as such when comparing materials. Generally speaking, you’re going to want something that locks heat in and pushes moisture out. Though most of the best winter socks for men consist of a well-thought-out blend of materials, the highest percentage should belong to merino wool if you’re looking for moisture control.
When we think about the best winter socks for keeping cozy, our knee-jerk reaction is likely something along the lines of “thick, thick, thick.” But even the thinnest socks can be completely warm and waterproof (like Showers Pass’s Crosspoint waterproof crew socks). Before judging a book by its cover, research the individual sock and what it’s made of—thick and warm is nice, but you may be able to achieve the same effect with a thinner sock.
Activity Or Occasion
While they’re going to look great, a handsome pair of Fair Isle socks made mostly of cotton will almost certainly destroy your feet on a ski trip. Conversely, a super-thin pair of thermal running socks isn’t going to be the best choice—aesthetic or otherwise—for cozying up next to the fireplace with a movie. Matching your socks with your outfit and occasion is an art. Consider the materials, function, and overall look of the sock before deciding which pair to go with.
Of all the warm socks for men we reviewed, Smartwool’s Hike Classic came out on top for its laundry list of technical features designed to keep your feet warm and dry during outdoor adventures in the winter months. Keep in mind, though, that not all winter socks need to perform. Sometimes all you need is pure comfort.
As far as warmth is concerned, the undisputed heavyweight champ in the “best winter socks for men” weight class is Smartwool’s Hike Classic. If you’re looking for a pair of socks that’ll keep your feet in tip-top (tip-bottom?) shape without relying on bells or whistles, this is it. And any of my waterproof picks, especially the Crosspoint by Showers Pass, are also going to keep your feet toasty.
Merino wool. It’s a throughline in our list of the best winter socks for men for good reason—no other material can rival its ability to regulate temperatures by simultaneously keeping your feet warm and dry.