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.
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.