The 8 Best Thermal Socks Reviewers Love For Being So Warm & Soft

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Feet can get overlooked when shopping for a cold-weather wardrobe, but they make such a huge impact on how cozy you feel. Luckily, the best thermal socks ensure that yours stay especially warm without much effort. Like any sock, you'll want to consider the length and material before you buy — all factors that depend on your personal needs and preferences — but for warmth-retaining socks specifically, material composition is extremely important. These are some of the most commonly used materials when it comes to thermal socks:

  • Wool: This natural fiber derived from sheep's fleece is one of the best insulators. It's super warm, but still breathable and moisture-wicking, so it's great for cold-weather activities that might cause you to sweat. That said, some people do have wool allergies or sensitivities — or just prefer animal-free alternatives — so if that's you, you can opt for synthetic materials instead.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic is considered a great wool alternative because it mimics wool in its feel and appearance, but it's synthetic to reduce costs and prevent irritation. It's also relatively absorbent, thick, and warm.
  • Cotton: Cotton is typically affordable, skin-friendly, versatile, and easy to care for. It's not the most insulating or quick-drying fabric on its own, but certain weaving techniques help it to retain heat and dryness much more effectively.
  • Polyester/Nylon: Since these plastic-derived materials are synthetic, they're really inexpensive to manufacture. They're also usually durable and moisture-wicking (especially when compared to cotton). In large percentages, you're more likely to find these materials in lightweight workout clothing, but they're sometimes used in smaller quantities as fillers in thermal items.
  • Spandex/Lycra/Elastane: These terms are often used interchangeably, and in short, this material is capable of stretching up to 500% and then returning to its original shape without damage. The higher percentage of spandex, Lycra, or elastane, the stretchier your socks will be — a little can be great, but it's not always the best thing for heat-retention.

These thermal socks use different combinations of the aforementioned materials, but they've all got one thing in common: They're highly rated and effective when it comes to keeping your feet warm, dry, and comfortable.

1. The Overall Best Thermal Socks

Carhartt cold weather socks are the best overall pick for most people and activities. That's because they offer a little bit of everything — heat retention, breathability, cushioning, moisture-wicking, odor-fighting, and comfort — all at a pretty reasonable price. They've got a good mix of most of materials (including merino wool) and they've earned a 4.7-star rating after more than 4,000 reviewers on Amazon.

One reviewer wrote: "These are special socks. Very warm, extremely soft and comfy. They are thick so don't fit with a pair of shoes but they do fit in my boots and slippers. It's been extremely cold in Michigan and these socks have kept my feet warm and toasty. [...]”

  • Materials: 66% acrylic, 21% merino wool, 12% nylon, 1% spandex
  • Available colors: 4
  • Available sizes: Small — Large (Shop men's sizes here)

2. Editor’s Choice: Some Thermal Wool Socks In Nordic Prints

Not only do these cozy wool socks come backed by 18,000 positive Amazon reviews (and counting), they’re also a BDG editor favorite. They’re made of a soft, breathable blend of wool, cotton, and polyester, and the gentle elastic at the top prevents them from sliding down throughout the day. Choose from a variety of vintage Nordic prints that channel all the hygge.

One editor raves: “I absolutely loathe having cold feet. But, when I wear these cute wool socks, I know my feet will be warm all day long, even in chilly Wisconsin temperatures. I can’t believe how well these socks have held up through regular wear and washings. An incredible find for the price.” -Kate Miller, BDG Commerce Editor

  • Materials: 35% wool, 29% cotton, 36% polyester
  • Available colors: 25 multi-pack options in various colors
  • Available sizes: one size fits shoe sizes 6—10

3. A Value-Pack Of Thermal Socks That Reviewers Can’t Stop Raving About

Maybe you're looking for a bargain, or maybe you're the type of person who goes through socks very quickly. Either way, these Debra Weitzner socks come in a pack of six pairs for less than $25. Despite the price, however, their thermal capabilities have earned them a 4.6-star rating after more than 4,000 reviews. They're thick, double-reinforced, and use a combination of natural and synthetic materials that trap heat in so your feet stay extra warm.

One reviewer wrote: “I live in Alaska and bought these socks last fall in anticipation of winter. Winter came with a vengeance, -30f. temps and record snowfall. I wore these socks inside and outside, and my feet had never been warmer. I washed them regularly and wore them for 6 months. They held their elasticity and are completely free of any holes. In fact, I see no signs of wear on them at all. The size fits as expected and they come 3/4's of the way up my calves with no slipping down. I can't say enough good about these thick, warm socks. An easy 5 out of 5 stars.”

  • Materials: 45% cotton, 38% merino wool, 10% polyester, 7% elastic
  • Available colors: 9 multi-pack options in various colors
  • Available sizes: 9-11 — 13-15

4. The Warmest Thermal Socks

For those who need an extremely warm sock (or for people who are looking for a wool-free alternative), these Heat Holders socks are the way to go. They're seven times warmer than your basic cotton sock and have a Thermal Overall Grade rating of 2.34 (other thermal socks tend to fall somewhere around 0.89, according to the brand). While they aren't great with moisture, their synthetic materials are woven in a way that offers impressive insulation and unparalleled brushed softness.

One reviewer wrote: "These socks are a good combination with snowboots and 10-20 degree winter weather.. they are so incredibly soft inside. Definately heat holding. These are my coldest winter day standbys. Hey I'm talking myself into ordering anotherpair! Good socks period”

  • Materials: 91% acrylic, 5% nylon, 3% polyester, 1% elastane
  • Available colors: 13 colors and patterns including black, charcoal, and indigo
  • Available sizes: 5 — 9 (Shop men's sizes here)

5. Some High-Quality Merino Wool Socks With A Lifetime Guarantee

Wool is known for its moisture-wicking properties and durable warmth, and these hiker socks from Darn Tough have the highest percentage of it out of all the socks on this list. They're made from 59% high-quality merino wool, so they balance your skin's temperature while keeping your feet dry all day long. They also have a mid-level cushion for comfort as well as seamless technology for a chafe-free, invisible feel that stands up to extreme friction. Best of all, it's backed by a lifetime warranty and an outstanding 4.8-star overall rating after more than 2,400 reviews.

One reviewer wrote: "Thick, cushioned merino wool sock! It provides superior warmth in our frozen tundra. Temperatures recently below zero! My feet stay warm and they wick away any moisture build up. They wash beautifully in cold water ( my preference) and I prefer to lay flat to dry. The socks will last longer this way, but not to worry as the company has a lifetime warranty! I highly recommend these for hikers ( thicker bottom) and for cold outdoors usage! You will see the value and never go back to cotton!!!”

  • Materials: 59% merino wool, 39% nylon, 2% spandex
  • Available colors: 7 colors including aqua heather, denim, and slate
  • Available sizes: women's Small — Large (Shop men's sizes here)

6. The Best Tall Thermal Socks

If you're looking for an extra-tall sock for skiing and snowboarding (or just to keep your calves cozy), you'll want something thin enough that your boots still fit properly, warm enough to provide comfort despite the weather, moisture-wicking enough to counteract sweating, tall enough to prevent chafing, and cushioned enough to absorb shock. Luckily, these skiing socks from WEIERYA offer it all. They're a number-one best-seller with over 6,000 reviews because they're engineered for warmth, dryness, and an optimal fit.

One reviewer wrote: "Great, warm socks! I wore them skiing in Big Bear. My feet stayed warm the whole time! Bonus that it comes in a two pack! I let my husband wear the other pair. He loved them, too! Highly recommended!"

  • Materials: 86.1% cotton, 12.2% nylon, 1.7% spandex
  • Available colors: 10 colors including blue, gray, purple, and pink
  • Available sizes: Small — X-Large

7. The Best Patterned Thermal Socks

Finally, you've got these warm thermal socks from Sunew. While they're made from a thick, plush synthetic fabric that keeps the warmth in, but they're especially great for people who love fun patterns. You can get them in designs like Buffalo plain, red elk, holiday presents, paisley, and snowflakes, and more.

One reviewer wrote: "These are SO soft, comfy and warm! They do run pretty big, which I like, and they are pretty thick, so wouldn’t be able to wear these with sneakers but would be great with boots. The pattern is cute and the interior is fuzzy and soft. No annoying seams or strands digging into your skin anywhere."

  • Materials: 91% acrylic, 8% polyester, 1% spandex
  • Available colors: 19 options
  • Available sizes: Medium — Large

8. Some Cute Thermal Socks With Fold-Down Cuffs

With an under-$20 price tag, this five-pack of thermal socks is a fantastic bargain, especially looking at the material composition of the socks. They’re made with 55% merino wool for toasty yet breathable wear — plus, they’re cute and colorful to help see you through the winter doldrums. The foldover design lets you showcase some fun colorblocking, but other options in the listing are comprised of solid hues for a more minimalist look.

One reviewer wrote: “[...]These are perfect. The wool content keeps them warm and they are thicker than I expected. I don't fold the tops down, so they are loose around my ankles and very comfortable. The tops stay up well enough and they work great as boot socks too. For the price, these socks are a great choice.”

  • Materials: 55% merino wool, 25% cotton, 15% polyester, 5% spandex
  • Available colors: 9
  • Available sizes: one size fits shoe sizes 6 — 10

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