Heated ski socks have become all the rage in the past few years. They have been popping up more and more on the slopes alongside heated boots, gloves and jackets. There is no reason to suffer from the cold with all this new gear hitting the market but are heated ski socks worth it?
Let’s jump into what heated ski socks are, how they work and look at other ways to even keep your feet warm when skiing.
What Are Heated Ski Socks?
Heated ski socks are exactly what they sound like. They are tall heated socks for the coldest days on the ski slopes. They replace your regular ski boot or snowboard boot socks.
How Do Heated Ski Socks Work?
Most heated ski socks work by using a rechargeable lithium battery pack that connects to the top of the sock. Many brands of heated ski socks have phone apps to be able to adjust the temperate on the fly without having to fiddle with your boot. The heating elements then put off heat, often in the toe areas which travels up the boots.
How Long Does the Charge Last on Heated Ski Socks?
From what we have found, most socks are lasting anywhere from 5 to 14 hours on a charge. This is based on how high you turn up the heat and how old the batteries are for the socks. Often the sock will wear out before the batteries do.
One tip to extend the life of your heated ski socks is to let them air dry between a use or two. Machine washing them every time will beat up the thin filaments in the sock. While most heated ski socks can be washed over 50 times, you don’t always get so lucky. From our experience, it is best to hand wash the socks and let them dry. Doing this generally will help extend their life.
What to Look for With Heated Ski Socks
Okay so your feet have been freezing you on the mountain and you think that heated ski socks might be the solution. When you look at them and ask are heated ski socks worth it, have a look for these qualities in the sock.
- Adjustable heat levels
- Good moisture wicking
- Made of a quality mix of material such as merino wool
- Long heat generation time of 8+ hours
How Warm Are Heated Ski Socks?
Try heated ski socks once and you’ll be hooked. That is the issue though, they may seem great in theory but we aren’t convinced they are. Between the hassle of charging them and the risk of them breaking, you could have had a lot of nice pairs of regular wool socks. Forget the charger at home on a ski trip and then what?
The heating in heated ski socks is toasty but not overly hot to burning. You can feel it within minutes but ultimately it is a luxury that many skiers don’t need. Plus think of all the other gear you can get instead.
What Are Some Good Brands?
There are a lot of no-name brand socks on the market and larger ski brands really aren’t making heated ski socks yet. As we mentioned, there are a lot of variables when you wash them and if they break these larger companies don’t want to be getting bad reviews.
Throw in electronics, wear and tear, and moisture and it will have you reconsider if you should get heated ski socks. The most popular brand is Lenz who makes the 6.0 toe cap sock. They have all the upsides of a good heated ski sock but the sticker shock may leave you with your classic pair of socks.
How do You Wash Heated Ski Socks?
To wash a pair of heated ski socks, it is as simple as disconnecting the battery and putting them in a gentle wash. The better way though is ultimately to hand wash and hang dry. The less wear and tear you can put on the heating elements is certainly better.
The reason that heated ski socks fail is from beating up those elements and filaments too much. Much of this can be avoided by just taking your time and gently washing. Of course there is some wear and tear on the mountain but nothing like throwing them into a washing machine.
Heated Ski Socks vs Insoles
If you are in the aisle looking at heated ski socks, you might also see heated insoles. So which is better? While the insoles might be a bit more, we’d expect them to last longer as well. Often the insoles are sturdier than heated ski socks. They are usually molded and the heating elements are more enclosed.
Heated skiing insoles can also deal better with moisture, wear and tear, and don’t need to be machine washed. So next time you ask are heated ski socks worth it, you might want to at least consider trying a pair of insoles, side by side. Generally, the insoles should last longer and be made to a higher quality.
Alternatives to Heated Ski Socks
So what is out there instead of heated ski socks? The other options you can go with to heat your feet on the slopes include the classic hot hands toe warmers, insoles and doubling up on socks. It all depends on how much you want to spend.
The best bang for your buck is often just getting really good socks. They are toasty warm and will last much longer. Double up on quality merino socks if needed but try that first before going all-in on heated socks.
So Are Heated Ski Socks Worth It?
For most people, no. First, just double up on quality socks. Then try heated insoles. If all else fails, try the heated ski socks.
While many people love their heated ski socks, we’ll pass until some of the bigger brands develop them a bit more and even then might not pick up the fad. Plus why try to fix something that isn’t broken? A classic pair of warm ski socks.