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When it comes time to suit up for the slopes, even the slightest compromise in something like socks could cost you: Comfort, Warmth, Dryness, Support and protection.

But let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You’re at the store and the salesperson tells you that the $25 Smartwool socks are the way to go. They’re the best at preventing frostbite, numbness, injury, pain, discomfort, blah blah blah.

You look at the price tag and figure the salesperson’s just wants a bigger commission. I mean, they’re just socks. How significant could they really be to your day on the slopes? Just double up on those bad boys or get a super thick pair and you’ll be fine. Right? Wrong.

Here’s the deal:

We're not saying you need to go out and drop $100 on a pair of snowboarding or skiing socks. What we are saying, however, is that you should put as much thought and consideration into your choice of cold weather/winter activity sock purchases as you do your snowboards, skis, and other gadgets.

Why?

Because your standard tube sock, and even the super-thick thermal winter sock, just won’t cut it. Like any other sport, you’ve got to dress for high performance, protection, and practicality. Even if it means spending a little more money.

Sound silly? It’s not.

If you’ve spent significant time snowboarding or skiing, you know how quickly a fun day can turn sour with cold and wet feet. You also know how hard those boots can be on your feet after only a few hours.

Trust me. The investment in socks made specifically for these winter sports is worth it.

We've spent probably too much time pouring over lists, reviews, and expert tests to try to find the universal winners in ski and snowboard foot apparel. We’ve read up on best practices for how to dress for skiing as well as for snowboarding. We even consulted our skier and snowboarder friends to see which brands they prefer.

The one thing we do want to note is that unless we have explicitly recommended something here for men, women, or children, it’s safe to consider the recommendation otherwise suitable for all genders and ages.

Happy shopping!