The Best Winter Socks to Keep You Cozy and Warm

A sturdy pair of work boots is a must for some jobs. Pairing the best winter socks with boots can keep feet warm, dry, and comfortable.

Best Overall

Fox River winter socks

Fox River Steel-Toe Mid-Calf Work Socks

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Runner-Up

Sunew winter socks

Sunew Warm Thermal Socks

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Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Winter Socks Option: Dickie’s Heavyweight Work Crew Socks

Dickie’s Heavyweight Work Crew Socks

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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.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Fox River Steel-Toe Mid-Calf Work Socks
  2. RUNNER-UP: Sunew Warm Thermal Socks
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Dickie’s Heavyweight Work Crew Socks
  4. BEST THIN: Heat Holders Ultra Lite Thermal Crew Socks
  5. BEST HEATED: Black Squid Rechargeable Heated Socks
  6. BEST FOR OUTDOOR USE: Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking Socks
  7. ERGONOMIC PICK: Thorlos 12-Hour Shift Max Cushion Crew Socks
  8. CLASSIC PICK: Carhartt Men’s Cold Weather Boot Sock
  9. ALSO CONSIDER: Darn Tough Merino Wool Full Cushion Hiking Sock
A person wearing patterned winter socks
Photo: depositphotos.com

How We Chose the Best Winter Socks

We made our selections after researching more than two dozen types of winter socks. To inform our choices, we talked to Ingrid Anderson, a doctor of physical therapy and owner of Intown Physical Therapy in Atlanta. She says, “The primary things to consider for winter socks are material, thickness, and use.” She suggests going with wool for its heat retention and moisture-wicking qualities and choosing a sock made of a wool or wool blend with such materials as nylon, spandex, and bamboo viscose. “Wool is naturally moisture-wicking,” she says. “Cotton is a big no-no for cold weather outdoor sports or work.” Merino wool and alpaca wool socks will also wear better than other types of materials, according to Anderson.

She also advises going for a thicker sock when possible: “If there is enough room, a thicker sock is a great choice, both for comfort and warmth, as the bulk of the sock holds warm air at the skin.” Thick cushioning with reinforcement in the heel and ball of the foot is also key to maintaining the sock’s heat retention qualities, Anderson adds.

The soft socks we chose range in height too from those that cover the entire calf for tall boots to lower crew socks for everyday use. “For work and hiking, you want to make sure your sock is at least 2 to 3 inches above the top of your shoe or boot, so it does not slip down,” she says. “Make sure the top of the sock is snug, but not so tight as to cut off circulation.”

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.

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Product Specs 

  • Length: Mid-calf
  • Fabric: 80 percent acrylic, 18 percent nylon, 2 percent spandex
  • Colors: White and black

Pros

  • Uses thinner material and smooth seem that won’t crowd feet inside boots
  • Added cushioning in the toe and heel provides comfort and protection from steel toe
  • Spandex provides enough stretch to create a snug fit around the foot

Cons

  • Aren’t the warmest winter sock as they lack wool in their construction

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 soft socks are available in men’s and women’s sizes.

Get the Fox River winter socks at Amazon or Fox River.

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Product Specs 

  • Length: Mid-Calf
  • Fabric: 80 percent acrylic, 18 percent nylon, 2 percent spandex
  • Colors: 20

Pros

  • Socks come in a wide variety of colors and patterns
  • Padding in the instep, heel and shin add cushioning for comfort
  • Designed with a rubbed cuff that prevents the socks from sliding down

Cons

  • Some customers complain the socks are too bulky and difficult to size

Available in 20 colors, these Sunew unisex winter thermal 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 thermal 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.

Get the Sunew winter socks at Amazon

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Product Specs 

  • Length: Crew
  • Fabric: 68 percent cotton, 31 percent polyester, 1 percent spandex
  • Colors: White, gray, and black

Pros

  • Stay-up cuff feature keeps socks in place around the ankle
  • Compression construction creates a snug foot around the foot
  • Extra padding in the heel helps prevent pain during long work days

Cons

  • Some customers complain that the socks aren’t very durable

This affordable three-pack of men’s crew socks, which carries the familiar Dickies name, is available in three colors: black, white, and gray. 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.

Get the Dickie’s winter socks at Amazon or Walmart.

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Product Specs 

  • Length: Crew
  • Fabric: 89 percent acrylic, 10 percent polyamide, 1 percent elastane
  • Colors: 11 colors and patterns

Pros

  • Made from thin material that won’t crowd or bunch up in footwear
  • Stretchy material that conforms around the foot for a comfortable fit
  • Comes in a broad range of different styles and color options

Cons

  • Socks aren’t as warm as those with thicker material

These socks keep feet warm without the thickness that can make them uncomfortable to wear in boots and other footwear. That’s because these ultralight socks are made from a thin thermal yarn and use a looping stitch design and process called thermal brushing that combine to create exceptional

heat

trapping qualities. While they have the thickness of a cotton dress sock, they’re about three times warmer. The inside of the sock is also brushed, making them comfortable to wear, too. Heat Holders come in men’s and women’s sizes and are available in a wide variety of patterns and colors.

Get the Heat Holders winter socks at Amazon or Heat Holders.

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Product Specs 

  • Length: Knee
  • Fabric: Cotton and spandex
  • Colors: Black

Pros

  • Large-capacity batteries offer up to 9 hours of heat
  • Thick cotton and spandex material is durable and adds cushioning
  • User can set each sock to 1 of 3 different heat settings

Cons

  • Some customers report problems with the batteries not heating the socks

A long battery life, quick charge time, and comfortable construction make these knee-high

heated socks

a great option for wintertime outdoor recreation and work. With three heat settings, the wearer can tailor their heat output to suit their preferences and the outdoor temperature. Two 4000 milliamp hour batteries provide up to 9 hours of heat. Both socks recharge in about 3 hours and use compact batteries that fit into pouches near the sock opening.

Thick cotton and spandex material adds cushioning while ensuring these socks last a long time. This material is also breathable, allowing water vapor to escape to prevent feet from getting sweaty.

Get the Black Squid winter socks at Amazon or Black Squid.

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Product Specs 

  • Length: Calf
  • Fabric: Polyester
  • Colors: Grey, black, brown, red, navy, green

Pros

  • Available in a variety of sizes, including men’s, women’s, and children
  • Constructed with extra cushioning and padding for all-day comfort
  • Built-in mesh ventilation lanes help prevent feet from getting sweaty

Cons

  • Some customers complain that they aren’t as warm as other winter socks

These crew-length thermal 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.

Get the Danish Endurance winter socks at Amazon.

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Product Specs 

  • Length: Crew
  • Fabric: 69 percent acrylic, 19 percent nylon, 8 percent elastic, 4 percent polyester
  • Colors: Black, white

Pros

  • Extra padding in the heel, ball, sidewalls, and toes provide long lasting comfort
  • Elastic around the arch of the foot create a snug fit
  • No-rub toe seam prevents bunching in the toe box

Cons

  • Some customers report that their elasticity makes them difficult to put on

Available in two 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.

Get the Thorlos winter socks at Amazon or Thorlo.

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Product Specs 

  • Length: Calf
  • Fabric: 70 percent acrylic, 16 percent wool, 8 percent polyester, 5 percent nylon, 1 percent spandex
  • Colors: Brown, navy, heather gray, black heather

Pros

  • Anti-odor treatment prevents socks from getting smelly and sweaty
  • Ribbed knit weave keeps socks snug and in place around foot and ankle
  • Reinforced toe and heel cup help prevent chafing during long work days

Cons

  • Some customer complain that the socks are too tight and uncomfortable

Bearing the well-known Carhartt name and available in heather gray, 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 boot socks ensures better support, and reinforcement in the heel and toe helps prevent chafing.

Get the Carhartt winter socks at Amazon

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Product Specs 

  • Length: Calf
  • Fabric: 70 percent acrylic, 16 percent wool, 8 percent polyester, 5 percent nylon, 1 percent spandex
  • Colors: Black, olive, charcoal, eclipse, onyx, oatmeal

Pros

  • Darn Tough will replace them if they ever develop holes or wear out
  • High merino wool content gives them excellent heat-retention qualities
  • Thick yet comfortable thanks to seamless design that prevents bunching

Cons

  • Some customers report that it can be difficult to match them to a shoe size

Darn Tough socks may be an investment, but they’re worth it given the quality of their construction. They come with the company’s famous guarantee, which means they’ll replace them with no questions asked if they wear out or develop holes. These winter socks can also stand up to cold weather, thanks to their high merino wool content, thicker construction, and high-density stitching. This pair of Darn Toughs are mid-calf and have ample cushioning in the footbed, making them a good choice for boots, yet they’re also seamless, so they won’t bunch inside the boot. They also come in five different color options and five sizes.

Get the Darn Tough winter socks at Amazon or Darn Tough.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing 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.

Material

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 materials, 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.

Insulation

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.

Comfort

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.

Fit

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.

FAQs 

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.

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