The 6 Best Thermal Socks of 2021 [Review & Buy Guide]
As the temperatures drop, it’s time to switch our wardrobes over to warm weather gear. Outcome the hats, scarves, gloves, and boots. And there is one additional winter accessory, one you may not have considered upgrading: your socks. Sure, you are wearing waterproof boots outside to keep your feet dry. But have you thought about the importance of keeping them warm, too? Thermal socks are the solution for keeping your feet warm even on the coldest of days.
What Are Thermal Socks?
Simply put, thermal socks are made out of specialized materials that will keep your feet warm even in extremely cold temperatures. These insulating materials will trap in the heat given off by your body, serving as a serving as a heater for your feet. Manufacturers of thermal socks strive to make them thin yet effective, keeping your feet warm and dry throughout the entire winter season.
Since they keep your feet so warm, wearing thermal socks can cause your feet to sweat more than usual. Most thermal socks will include some sort of moisture-wicking feature to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Because thermal socks are often used outdoors, to keep feet warm while skiing, ice skating, or hiking in cold weather, it is essential that thermal socks also be comfortable. Thus, many socks are made with extra cushioning or even ankle support.
FEATURED MENS THERMAL SOCKS
Choosing the Right Thermal Socks
There are many different pairs of thermal socks on the market. It may seem a bit overwhelming when it is time to choose the best ones for you and your activities.
You have several factors to consider before purchasing a pair of thermal socks:
As discussed in the paragraphs above, there are many fabric options for you. In the end, it will depend on your personal preference. Before deciding on one fabric over another, however, you might want to take into consideration just when you will be using your thermal socks. Thicker wool or acrylic socks might be your best option for outdoor activities. At the same time, you may want a softer, lighter pair of cotton thermal socks for sleeping on the coldest nights.
Thermal socks can come in varying lengths. When deciding what length of socks to purchase, you should consider your winter shoes/boots. If you have tall boots, you will probably want tall socks for comfort. Also, consider your winter wardrobe. If you are going to be wearing your thermal socks with thermal underwear or ski pants, longer thermal socks might end up making your legs feel much too warm. In that case, shorter crew-length thermal socks might be a better option for you.
Thermal socks can come in a wide range of prices. However, their prices are not necessarily tied to their quality. Some of the best thermal socks are not very expensive. And since they are sold at numerous stores and online, you can often find sales or coupons.
Above all else, you want your feet to be comfortable. Take your time choosing your socks. The ideal pair for you will depend mostly on your personal preference for the options above.
The Top Thermal Socks For Men to Keep You Warm in 2021
To help you choose the perfect pair of thermal socks, we have compiled a list of the top thermal socks for 2021. The criteria we used for judging include warmth, comfort, moisture-wicking capability, price, and user ratings.
Carhartt Men’s Extreme Cold Weather Boot Socks
This thermal sock is our overall best pick for most people and most situations. These popular and highly-rated socks are ideal for extremely cold weather conditions. The padded foot design will keep you comfortable all day.
These thermal socks provide everything you would want – heat retention, moisture-wicking, odor-fighting, and comfort – at a reasonable price. It’s easy to see why they have a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, with more than 1,400 reviews.
Soxnet Eco-Friendly Heavy-Weight Recycled Cotton Thermal Boot Socks
These are specially made to provide warmth and comfort during extreme cold temperatures, making them a great choice for outdoor activities. Made with extra cushioning to absorb impacts, they are particularly comfortable to wear with heavy-duty boots or during cold-weather sports. The thickness of these socks will keep your feet both protected and warm.
An added benefit of these socks is that they are environmentally friendly, made of recycled materials.
Heat Holders Thermal Socks
This might be the warmest sock on our list. These are seven times warmer than a typical cotton sock. Their Thermal Overall Grade (TOG) – the score used to determine warmth – is a 2.34. For comparison, most other thermal socks are at .9 or lower on the TOG scale.
Made entirely with synthetic materials, these socks are brushed for softness, making them a comfortable choice to wear all day. Unfortunately, they do not offer much moisture-wicking, making them a less than ideal option for cold-weather sports.
DG Hill Thick Heat-Trapping Insulated Heated Boot Thermal Socks
These are some of the most comfortable thermal socks on the market, thanks to their fuzzy inner lining. They are also made to last, using the most durable insulating fabrics. Since these thermal socks use only synthetic fabrics, they are itch-free and won’t irritate your skin. The moisture-wicking material will keep your feet dry and extra warm throughout the coldest months.
Debra Weitzner Thermal Wool Socks
These tall, thin thermal socks were made to be worn with boots. They are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, or any other winter activity requiring boots. Despite their thinness, they will still do a great job at keeping your feet warm. And since these are ideal for winter sports, they feature moisture-wicking to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
When to Wear Thermal Socks?
You can use thermal socks anytime, indoors, or out. They will keep you warm and cozy regardless of your activities.
Thermal socks are ideal for any kind of outdoor winter activity, from building a snowman to ice skating. Not only will they keep your feet toasty warm, but most of them have moisture-wicking for when you inevitably start to sweat. If you will be wearing your thermal socks mostly outdoors, you might want to look for a longer pair, which you can pull up to your knees under your pants. This will give you additional weather protection and help keep your legs warm, too.
You can also use your thermal socks around the house to keep your feet warm indoors. If you will be walking in them barefoot, you might want to choose thicker, more cushioned socks for comfort. Some thermal socks are made to be worn almost like slippers. Look for a pair with a non-slip pad at the bottom for safety. Some people like to sleep in thermal socks to keep their feet warm at night, but for many people the added warmth is uncomfortable.
What Type of Materials Are Used For Thermal Socks?
Several different materials can be used for thermal socks. Except for pure wool socks, most thermal socks combine several materials for maximum warmth and comfort.
These are the most commonly used materials for thermal socks:
- Wool: This is an all-natural fiber that is made from sheep’s fleece. It is extremely warm, and at the same time has moisture-wicking capabilities, which make it the ideal option for cold-weather sports or other activities that might make you sweat. It will keep your feet extra warm but dry. However, there are two reasons for not choosing wool for your thermal socks. First, some people have wool allergies or sensitivities. Second, many people prefer animal-free materials. If you fall into either of those categories, other materials will be better suited for you. The most highly-valued wool, and therefore the most expensive, is Merino wool.
- Cotton: This is another natural fiber. Although not as warm as wool, cotton has the benefits of being more affordable and skin-friendly. Cotton thermal socks are also easy to launder; no special care is required. Unlike wool, however, cotton is not known for being insulating or even particularly warm. Thermal socks made of only common are not as warm as some of the others. But, some newer weaving techniques can help it retain heat, or it can be combined with another fabric.
- Acrylic: Usually considered the best alternative to wool, this synthetic material is thick, absorbent, and warm. Although it is similar to wool in look and feel, it is less expensive and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. You will get many of the benefits of wool socks, without the possible skin discomfort.
- Polyester/Nylon: These synthetic materials are known for being both durable and moisture-wicking. For thermal socks, they are usually used in combination with another material.
- Spandex/Lycra/Elastane: These materials are very similar and known for their stretching capabilities. This can enhance the comfort of your thermal socks. But a high percentage of any of these materials will minimize heat retention.
Are There Significant Differences in Thermal Socks by Gender?
Thermal Socks for Men
Although socks may seem to be a unisex choice, thermal socks for men are slightly different The main difference is in width and sizes. Men’s feet tend to be wider and longer, so the men’s thermal socks are made to accommodate that difference. But if your feet are on the smaller size (under a men’s size 8.5), you can fit into a standard women’s sock.
Women’s thermal socks usually have more options in terms of colors and/or patterns than men’s thermal socks. So if you see a women’s pair that you prefer, there is no reason to not purchase them. Just keep in mind that they may be more narrow, so do look for a pair with some stretchy fabrics.
Thermal Socks for Women
The main difference between women’s thermal socks and men’s thermal socks will be the sizing. Women with a shoe size larger than a size 9 can wear a men’s thermal sock. The only difference might be in the additional width of the sock, but as long as they have some sort of stretchy material to keep them fitting snug, it should be fine.
One advantage to purchasing women’s thermal socks is that they do tend to come in a wider variety of colors and patterns. If you are going to wear them inside your boots, that might not matter. But if you are buying a pair to match your loungewear, then women’s thermal socks do offer more options.
Time to Warm Your Toes!
Now that you are armed with explanations and reviews, you should be able to choose the best pair of thermal socks for you. From skiing to snowball fights to sitting in front of the fireplace, there is a pair of thermal socks for your lifestyle.
Growing up in Colorado, Cory was introduced to the great outdoors at an early age. Camping, fishing, hiking, and outdoor survival are some of Cory’s favorite outdoor activities.