Review: Best Kids Ski Socks of 2021

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It never ceases to surprise me that the details that seem the smallest can often make the biggest difference.  Ski socks for kids absolutely fall into that category.

I remember as a kid, our only rule for ski socks was that they had to be taller than our boots.  Back then, the only wool socks I owned were thick and scratchy, and I’m quite certain that I skied in ski socks every time I went skiing as a child. 

Not surprisingly, my feet were always freezing and when I would take my ski boots off at the end of the day, my socks were soaked in sweat and my feet were uncomfortable and clammy.

As an adult, I now know better, and over the last 12 years of skiing with kids of my own, I’ve learned the importance of a good pair of ski socks.  In fact, I’ve learned that the most important pieces of clothing that I wear skiing are the ones that are next to my skin: base layers, and ski socks.

brothers skiing together

What material are good ski socks made of?

Good ski socks almost always have a high merino wool content in them.  Merino wool is great for kids socks since it’s compact (no more bulky ski socks), and it does a great job of both insulating and wicking sweat away.  Merino is always our first choice of materials when it comes to the best kids ski socks.

We also have had great success with kids ski socks that are made of a blend of synthetic fibers like nylon or polyester.  While synthetic fibers aren’t as amazing as wool, they’re significantly better than cotton socks for skiing.

NEVER NEVER NEVER wear cotton socks skiing.  They don’t wick moisture away, and once you’re wet, they stay wet and get cold very easily.  

Does my child need ski specific socks?

Technically no, kids don’t need ski specific socks, but they do help.  Kids ski socks are well fitted and are padded in all the right places.  They give extra padding along the foot, as well as in the shin area so that kids ski boots don’t irritate kids feet as much while they ski.  

If you choose to not get your kids ski specific socks, at the very least, make sure they’re made of good material.

How many pairs of ski socks do kids need?

I generally recommend that kids own 2 pairs of ski socks.  One to wear, and the other can be getting washed, or at least getting aired out for the day.

Truthfully, when we go on a big ski trip, our kids usually just take 2 of everything and wear one, and the next day switch…over and over again.  Yes, that sounds really gross, but because most of our material is merino wool, it has antimicrobial properties that make it resist odors, and so kids can wear their merino wool ski socks and merino base layers over and over again (don’t worry, at home we wash them regularly)

Is it okay for kids to wear more than one pair of socks at a time?

No, never let kids wear more than one pair of socks skiing at a time.  When kids double up socks, it can create several problems.  First of all, the extra padding can cause their ski boots to fit incorrectly, so kids won’t have as much control while they’re skiing.  Second, when kids wear two pairs of ski socks, there’s extra friction in their boot which can create hot spots and blisters.

kids ski gear

Best Ski Socks for Kids

Just like shoes, not all ski socks fit every kid the same.  If your child has skinny or thick calves, their ski socks will fit differently.  If your child’s feet get really cold, you might choose a different ski sock than a kid who always has hot feet.  Below are our recommendations when buying kids ski socks, based on our own experience and research.  

Check out our other kids ski gear reviews:

Best Kids Ski Helmets
Best Waterproof Gloves and Mittens
Best Kids Ski Goggles
Best Snow Pants
and of course our Family Ski List Printable

Smartwool Wintersport Kids Ski Socks

90% Merino Wool

These are my all time favorite ski socks for kids.  They fit tiny little toddlers up until teens (yes, my teen is still fitting into the kids size with a men’s size 7 shoe).  They’re some of the smallest ski socks for kids that we’ve found which is great if you’re skiing with a toddler. 

These ski socks for kids have the perfect amount of padding and comfort, which is probably why they’re the socks that all 5 of our kids choose to wear nearly EVERY TIME we ski as a family.  All of our kids are thin, and have smaller calves, and these socks never have a problem staying up. 

Icebreaker Stripe Kids Ski Socks

57% Merino Wool

These kids ski socks by Icebreaker have a special place in my heart.  When my older kids were toddlers, we got a couple pairs of these ski socks, since they were the only ski socks we could find in their size.  They were passed through all the kids and are absolutely amazing.  They never fall down, have great padding and arch support, and they’ve done an amazing job at staying odor free. 

We’ve used these socks for probably 9 straight years, and they’re still going strong with no snags, holes, or thin spots (and our youngest son still wears them year round).  These aren’t quite as tall as some other ski socks, which makes these socks great for hiking with kids in the summer. 

Darn Tough OTC Padded Light Cushion Ski Socks

51% Merino Wool

If you have a child who always has warm feet, or who likes a lighter weight sock, these are a great option.  These Darn Tough ski socks have a light amount of cushion for skiing, and are a a thinner sock for kids who ski. These are also fantastic socks for spring skiing.

The best thing about these merino wool ski socks for kids is that they have a lifetime warranty, like all Darn Tough socks.  If you’ve got lots of kids, like I do, these are going to prove to be a tremendous value in the long run.

Darn Tough OTC Padded Medium Cushion Ski Socks

45% Merino Wool

If you want the lifetime warranty that Darn Tough is known for, but with a thicker and warmer sock, make sure to give these a try.  With a similar design to the OTC light cushion socks, these socks are a bit thicker and have more padding for ski socks.  

That makes these great socks for cooler days, or for kids who really need extra foot support and padding as they ski.

Bridgedale Ski Socks for Kids

40% Merino Wool

If you need to buy multiple pairs of ski socks, the Bridgedale socks for skiing kids are a great value.  The set is sold in a 2 pack, so you really get a great deal.  These socks do a great job at wicking moisture away from the kids feet while they ski, but there isn’t as much padding as some of the other kids ski socks.  

These socks are designed to be more of an all around winter sport sock (not just ski specific), so the padding isn’t localized to help with skiing, though they’re great for a wide variety of activities.

These socks are best for kids age 4-5 and older, since they don’t come in smaller sizes for preschoolers who are skiing. 

What are the best socks for kids to wear skiing?

Always choose merino wool or synthetic ski socks for kids to wear skiing. Never ski in cotton socks, since they’ll just keep your feet wet and cold.

Do ski socks help kids?

Yes, they make a huge difference. Ski socks offer special padding that helps kids boots fit better and be more comfortable. This will help kids be more in control of their boot and ski movement and keep them comfortable enough to ski all day long.

Should kids wear 2 pairs of ski socks?

NEVER! Ski socks are specifically designed to jut be worn on their own. Good ski socks not only insulate kids feet, but they also help wick moisture away from kids feet. Also, wearing 2 pairs of socks skiing can create friction that results in hot spots and blisters.

What ski socks are best for little kids?

The best ski socks for young kids are the Smartwool Wintersport socks. They fit kids down to age 1 and do a fantastic job of staying up without sliding down.