Gear Test: 7 Best Kids Ski Socks 2023-2024

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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. All this because I didn’t know what socks to wear skiing.

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. And yes, ski socks can be worn besides just on the ski slopes – my kids wear them almost daily in the winter, especially when they’re playing the the backyard for hours with their snow toys!

best kids ski socks

Benefits of wearing ski socks

Wearing good quality ski socks is one of the best ways to keep kids warm while skiing. Wearing ski socks can not only keep your toes warmer but also keeps kids warmer overall (which means fewer tantrums and longer ski days).

If you have a child who is cold-natured or has trouble maintaining a normal body temperature, wearing kids’ ski socks is easily the difference between a great and a terrible day. Ski socks also provide wicking action that prevents blisters and keeps feet dry when they are wet or sweaty.

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.  

Warmest Ski Sock Secret

People are always asking me which ski socks are the warmest. For really cold days, we almost always go for a heavyweight ski sock. Sadly, that’s not always enough. If you struggle with this like some of my kids and I do, grab a pair of Aurora Heat fur warmers and put them under your feet inside your ski socks. It sounds crazy, but they compress really well and they’re the only thing I’ve found to keep my feet warm on super cold days. Shop Aurora Heat and use code BRINGTHEKIDS to save 10%.

How should ski socks for kids fit?

You should also look for a ski sock that is comfortable, made from high-quality material (such as merino wool), with enough room for your toes to move around inside. Some people like a snug fit, while others want them loose fitting so their feet don’t hurt. When buying ski socks for children who are still growing, I recommend buying children’s ski socks that have a bit of room to grow.

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 like merino wool or synthetic fibers.

Toddler skiing with ski socks

How many pairs of ski socks do kids need?

I generally recommend that kids OWN 2-3 pairs of ski socks, but only wear one at a time.  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, 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). Even our teenage son can wear his merino wool ski socks for boys a few days before they start to smell bad (though his boots are another story…)

kids ski gear

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 boots which can create hot spots and blisters.

Best Ski Socks for Kids Review

Kids ski socks

Just like shoes, not all ski socks fit every kid the same, and there are several great ski sock brands for kids on the market. 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.  If you want to know what socks to wear while skiing for kids, these are the socks you’ll want to consider.

A word to the wise: There are a lot of cheap ski socks for kids at discount stores and at Amazon. This is one product where name brand really is important to stick with. We’ve bought budget ski socks many times through the years and they never last long, pill quickly, and get holes incredibly fast. Spend a couple extra dollars and get the best ski socks you can find, which will also likely be the warmest ski socks for kids and the most durable kids ski socks.

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 Review

90% Merino Wool

These are my all-time favorite ski socks for kids.  These are the warmest ski socks for kids and our go-to kids’ ski socks. 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.  These are the best socks for skiing kids that we’ve found.

Icebreaker Stripe Kids Ski Socks Review

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 of 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.  These are some of the warmest ski socks for kids, and always keep our kids’ feet warm while skiing.

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 Review

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 thinner sock for kids who ski. These are also fantastic knee-high ski 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. These thin wool ski socks provide less padding than most other winter ski socks for kids but are still warm enough for most ski days.

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 thermal ski socks kids will love for cooler days, or for kids who really need extra foot support and padding as they ski. These ski socks with shin padding are designed for maximum comfort.

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 warm ski socks are designed to be more of an all around winter sport sock (not just ski specific). 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. These make great boys’ ski socks and girls’ ski socks.

Lorpen Kids Ski Socks

Lorpen kids ski socks are a combination of merino wool, acrylic, nylon, and lycra to provide great moisture control, warmth, and comfort. We love the combination of these materials to make a great ski sock for kids to keep them warm on colder days. These ski socks kids wear have medium cushioning as well as a mesh instep to minimize bulk on the top of the foot and to maximize ventilation.

The extra small size fits toddler feet starting at a size 7 and they go up to a size 6 in youth, so they’re great ski socks for preschoolers as well as a good ski sock for teens.

choosing ski socks for kids
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 socks to go skiing?

NEVER! Ski socks are specifically designed to just be worn on their own. Good ski socks not only insulate kids’ feet, but also help wick moisture away from kids’ feet. Also, wearing 2 pairs of socks while 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.

Can kids ski in any type of long socks?

Most children’s tall socks are made of cotton, so we do not recommend using those to go skiing. If your child has long socks that are made of wool or other synthetic material, they can work for skiing. Ski socks are specifically made with extra padding to make them more comfortable to wear with stiff ski boots, so kids’ ski socks are the best option.

How high up the leg should these socks go?

You want the ski socks to be taller than the ski boots. The best height is usually the “over the calf” socks. This will make skiing much more comfortable for your kids.