Let’s be honest: Work boots are not the most comfortable shoes. That’s why it’s important to wear the best winter work socks with the proper boots for your job. During the winter, when temperatures drop and you battle snow and ice, wearing a durable and comfortable pair of winter socks inside those boots becomes even more important.
The best winter socks to wear with work boots offer warmth, softness, moisture wicking, reinforcement, and padding to endure long workdays. This guide looks at some of the winter socks on the market, especially those that pair well with work boots. Keep reading to learn more about these quality products and the important factors to consider before choosing a pair that’s right for you.
- BEST OVERALL: Fox River Steel-Toe Mid-Calf Boot Work Socks
- RUNNER-UP: Sunew Warm Thermal Socks, Women Men
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Dickie’s Men’s 3 Pack Heavyweight Cushion Compression
- BEST FOR OUTDOOR USE: DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Cushioned Hiking Socks
- ERGONOMIC PICK: Thorlos Unisex-Adult Max Cushion 12 Hour Shift
- CLASSIC PICK: Carhartt Men’s Arctic Heavyweight Wool Boot Socks
- ALSO CONSIDER: PEOPLE SOCKS Men’s Women’s Merino wool quarter socks
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Winter Socks
Plenty of quality socks are on the market, but choosing the best winter socks to wear with work boots requires a little research to make the right decision. Dive into the following details—from material and arch support to insulation and fit—to help narrow the options.
Winter socks are one of those must-haves for surviving a harsh winter. They’re made of a variety of materials to suit personal preferences and specific situations. Synthetic mixes, such as nylon, elastane, and lycra, hug the feet and wick away moisture, but might not provide enough heavy-duty insulation for working outside in frigid temperatures.
Many winter socks are made of cotton, but on long days or for individuals with naturally sweaty feet, they might leave blisters. Wool, including high-quality merino wool, is usually the best option for winter socks, as it’s breathable, wicks moisture, regulates temperature, and cushions well.
Cushioning and Arch Support
Individuals who are constantly on their feet might enjoy the extra cushioning around the ball of the foot that’s typical in winter socks. However, keep in mind that extra cushioning also can make a pair of boots fit too tightly, so it may require trial and error to find the right blend of cushioning and fit.
Additionally, individuals with high arches might need a bit more cushioning at the arch for better support. Look for socks with a tight, reinforced weave in the arch to ensure they provide comfort and support.
Well-insulated winter socks are made of material that wicks away moisture while retaining body heat. Some synthetic materials provide excellent insulation, but the top contender is merino wool. To keep the wool as comfortable as possible, many manufacturers combine it with a synthetic material, such as spandex or elastane, to provide both insulation and comfort. Look for socks that specifically mention insulation as a selling point.
The comfort level provided by the best winter socks for work boots depends on both the kind of work and the work environment. Those who are on their feet and walking most of the day may like socks with thick cushioning, solid arch support, and a snug fit that prevents friction. In an extremely cold environment, use well-insulated socks. Some situations might require sock layers, with thinner athletic socks or sock liners underneath thicker, insulated socks.
Most socks designed for work boots reach mid-calf, though those that rise just above the ankle may be suitable for shorter work boots. Consider socks that fit your feet snugly, with no loose fabric around the toes or ankles that can rub against the skin to create friction, which can lead to blisters or sores. Socks with a ribbed design stretch and fit the foot without any loose fabric. Look for socks that provide enough elasticity to stay in place throughout the workday.
Our Top Picks
Let’s review the recommendations for some of the best winter socks for work boots in a variety of categories. This guide looks at insulation, comfort, fit, durability, and overall quality and price. Keep reading to explore these top-rated options for warmth at work all winter long.
Designed for tough use on long days, especially for those who wear steel-toe work boots, these mid-calf winter socks from Fox River provide extra cushioning over the toe and above the heel. Wicking technology pulls moisture away from the skin, helping to prevent blisters and sores. The socks are made with 80 percent acrylic, 18 percent nylon, and 2 percent spandex, a blend of materials that helps ensure soft socks with just enough stretch for a snug fit throughout a busy shift.
The URfit system combines memory knit compression, spandex compression zones, and a contoured, ribbed cuff for better comfort. These socks are available in men’s and women’s sizes.
Available in 20 colors, these Sunew unisex winter socks feature a thick fleece layer on the inside and a smooth, textured synthetic blend on the outside, making them soft yet form-fitting. True to size, they offer padded comfort around the instep, shin, and ankle, while reinforcement in the heel and toe provides longevity.
The ribbed cuffs keep the socks from sliding down during long hours of standing and walking. The blend of 91 percent acrylic, 8 percent polyester, and 1 percent spandex is comfortable and snug and retains its softness wash after wash.
This affordable three pack of men’s crew socks, which carries the familiar Dickies name, is available in three colors: black, white, and grey. These heavy-duty winter socks are made with 68 percent cotton, 31 percent polyester, and 1 percent spandex for comfort and stretch. Along with a stay-up cuff, the arch and ankle compression of these socks provides support and stability, while the protective pad over the Achilles heel helps prevent discomfort from work boots. The woven material covering the heel, toe, and ball of the foot boasts a heavier yarn count for extra durability and padding.
These crew socks from DANISH ENDURANCE are designed to handle the rigors of hiking, walking, and standing at work all day. Available as a three-pack in a wide variety of colors, they come in men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes. Cushioning and padding help keep feet comfortable, while ventilation mesh lanes help wick away moisture. The socks are designed in Denmark and use only humanely sourced merino wool.
To ensure the best possible product, these winter socks are regularly tested by Olympic athletes and high-altitude climbers.
Available in four colors, these unisex crew socks from Thorlos boast lots of stretch in a material woven from a combination of 69 percent acrylic, 19 percent nylon, 8 percent elastic, and 4 percent polyester. Specifically engineered for those who stand all day in work boots, these winter socks feature extra padding in the heel, forefoot, sidewalls, and toes that’s clinically proven to reduce moisture, pressure, pain, and blisters. Graduated compression, variable elastic around the arch, and a no-rub toe seam complete the ergonomic features of this high-quality option.
Bearing the well-known Carhartt name and available in heather grey, brown, and moss, these men’s heavyweight boot socks are designed to stand up to the rigors of cold weather. Ribbed knit construction keeps them in place, and they’re made from a blend of 68 percent wool, 23 percent nylon, 1 percent spandex, and 8 percent other fibers.
Anti-odor technology helps combat the sometimes strong odors that result from feet being in boots for long hours. The compression arch on these winter socks ensures better support, and reinforcement in the heel and toe helps prevent chafing.
Crafted from premium Australian merino wool, these quarter-length winter socks from PEOPLE SOCKS feature reinforced stitching on the heel and toe, a nonabrasive toe seam, and an elasticized arch for better support. Woven with 71 percent merino wool, 21 percent nylon, 7 percent polyester, and 1 percent spandex, they’re made of almost all natural materials to provide softness and durability. Available for both women and men, this four-pack of quarter-length socks stands up well to colder temperatures. Choose from six colors.
FAQs About Winter Socks
Now that you have a good overview of the best winter socks for work boots, you might still have other questions about materials, fit, and more. Keep reading to find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about winter socks.
Q: Why is merino wool so good for winter socks?
Merino wool imparts a natural warmth that can’t be matched by other materials. The thermal properties of the wool are so superior that it’s often used as a majority material, blended with fabrics like polyester or cotton for a better fit and shape.
Q: How can you make sure your socks fit correctly?
Look for socks that fit snugly along the curves of your feet. Loose areas are trouble spots where blisters could form. Socks with a ribbed cuff or a compression band, as well as those that cradle the foot from toe to calf, are the best option.
Q: Are cotton socks good for the winter?
Pure cotton socks are not a good choice for winter activities that keep you moving, such as working at an outdoor job site. Cotton doesn’t provide as much insulation as other fabrics and also doesn’t wick moisture well, which can lead to blisters.
Q: Are alpaca socks warmer than wool?
In short, yes—alpaca socks are warmer than merino wool socks. However, alpaca socks are not nearly as common as merino wool socks and thus, are more difficult to find. Moreover, they often are more expensive.