Cold Weather Winter Running Socks

Running in cold weather possesses a few unforeseen problems that may not be known to first-time runners, cyclists, or hikers.
It is important to invest in a proper pair of cold-weather running socks.

Read on to find out more information on cold weather running socks, their best features, and why not having specialized ones in a cold climate is a bad idea.

The Dangers of Running in Cold Weather

There are a couple of problems one can find when one goes running in cold weather for the first time;
The first is that your feet are bound to get cold if your socks are not suited for cold weather running.
The second is that your blood will start pumping once you begin to run and start to warm you up.
When you are sufficiently warmed up, your feet will start to perspire, making your socks damp.
The air temperature outside will freeze your socks very quickly, making your feet cold again.
Wet feet also encourage blisters and fungal infections to grow on your feet, such as Athlete’s Foot. So, you should better use socks for blisters. The more extremely cold your climate, the more this applies.
In areas that snow, it can be dangerous to run without the correct gear.
Your socks need to be very thick, and they need to cover as much of your calf as possible for optimal insulation.
A dual-layer sock is an excellent choice for extreme cold weather running, often aiding moisture removal.

Important Fibers & Functions of Cold Weather Running Socks

Cold weather running socks perform specialized functions according to the blend of fibers they have been made with. The below fibers are a good find in a pair of cold weather running socks.

  1. Olefin – this fiber is a speed drying fiber. Most swimwear and outdoor gear have a significant percentage of olefin to help them dry fast and keep longer in the elements. Inside cold weather running sock, olefin removes moisture quickly and keeps your feet dry.
  2. Wool – Wool is a fantastic fiber in that it holds heat so well while still allowing your feet to breathe. Wool does not encourage sweating and, in fact, dries very quickly as well. Wool also happens to be flame resistant and highly durable.
  3. Spandex – Spandex is a well-known fiber for its elasticity. Having spandex inside your sock will allow it to stretch and fit your size more accurately. This fiber helps make socks more comfortable. Other names for Spandex include Lycra and Elastane.
  4. Nylon – Nylon was the first of the synthetic fibers to be invented, holding its shape very well and last a long time. Nylon adds firmness and durability to the sock, often used to pad the feet, give the heel more grip in the shoe, or add more firmness to the shape.

Features of a Good Cold Weather Winter Running Socks

Cold weather running socks come with a few other features that make them even more comfortable than regular socks.

  • Padded Foot Support – It helps to run with arch support and padding underneath the foot. Your feet will feel lighter and be more protected against impact. Some cold weather running socks have tiny fibers blended underneath your foot to support and cushion your feet.
  • Seamless Toes – socks without seams will reduce the amount of friction and prevents the occurrence of blisters.
  • Anti-Slip Wedges – Sometimes, a sock is lined with a wedge to keep it in place in the shoe.
  • Merino Wool – This wool is the finest wool fiber found in the entire world presently. It is also the softest wool and has the highest quality. It’s used to make hot and very soft cold weather running socks.
  • Moisture Removal – Many cold weather running socks have a form of moisture removal. One of the most efficient moisture removal systems consists of thin dual layers of quick-drying materials. The inner layer remains permanently dry due to osmosis, while the outer layer dries off the remaining moisture.

Reviews: Best Cold Weather Winter Running Socks

Here we have a fantastic selection of cold weather running socks for your perusal.

  • These are top-of-the-range quick-drying cold weather running socks tailored for running, hiking, cycling, and more.
  • The dual-layer moisture elimination system works highly effectively, the outer quick-drying layer absorbing all moisture from the inner layer.
  • These socks are seamless and protect your feet from blistering entirely so you don’t have to worry if you move a lot.
  • The material consists of 60% wool for the best fast heating results!
  • These running socks fit well, 25% nylon and elastic band-free for ultimate comfort and no circulation restriction.
  • Enjoy these comfortable socks built to last a long time in cold climates.

Rating CategoryWeight %Score
Temperature Regulation25%100
Non Slip25%95
Moisture Absorbing20%95
Odor Resistance20%95
Total Score100%95.75

  • These Canadian Thermal Winter socks are perfect for all cold weather running and have been designed to tolerate extreme conditions such as snow.
  • The socks’ fiber composition is 70% merino wool and 30% nylon for an ultimate soft, luxurious feel that will keep your feet warm.
  • Nylon padding underneath the feet will cradle your arches, add extra heat, and contribute to alleviating the foot pressure.
  • The Merino Wool used in the socks has been imported from Australia’s best sources for the best possible quality.
  • These running socks extend up to just before the calf for maximum insulation.

Rating CategoryWeight %Score
Temperature Regulation25%100
Non Slip25%95
Moisture Absorbing20%90
Odor Resistance20%95
Total Score100%94.75

  • These socks are made to keep you warm in the cold conditions of a Canadian Winter.
  • With a fiber blend of 60% Superwash “No Itch” Wool and 40% Nylon, these socks will keep you well insulated and comfortable whilst hiking or running.
  • It is made according to the Canadian troop specifications, covering the entire calf without constricting your legs.
  • The footpads have a decent cushioning level for maximum warmth, comfort, and foot protection.
  • These socks are great at wicking moisture away naturally, letting your feet breathe, and keeping them dry.

Rating CategoryWeight %Score
Temperature Regulation25%100
Non Slip25%95
Moisture Absorbing20%90
Odor Resistance20%90
Total Score100%93.75

  • This is a pair of socks that can keep your feet feeling pampered and dry all year round if you live in a cold place that doesn’t snow.
  • These socks have a dual-layer moisture elimination system, using 63% olefin to dry the socks rapidly while you’re on the run.
  • The padding on the feet’ underside gives a medium density support, making your run feel much lighter and more comfortable.
  • If your feet smell bad constantly, these socks will also help control odor.
  • The heels come with an anti-slip wedge to keep you and your socks secure during athletic activity.
  • Ideal for hiking, cycling, running, or everyday use.

  • Say goodbye to sweaty socks on those long cold days in your physical day job or favorite outdoor pastime.
  • These socks are made ultra-thick with a moisture elimination system for those running or working in cold, wet conditions.
  • The dual-layer moisture elimination works using a highly absorbent olefin layer, making short work of the moisture in your socks.
  • The toes are seamless and padded for additional protection.
  • You can use these socks in hot or cold conditions, but they are perfect in cold conditions.


A durable and comfortable sock for running in colder weather conditions from Carhartt, a top brand in shoes and accessories.

  • Acrylic, wool, and Lycra Spandex blend.
  • Durable and hard-wearing.
  • Fast Dry technology to keep your feet dry.
  • Reinforced sole design.
  • Odor control and air vents.
  • War insulated design.


A warm wool sock for those cold-weather runs, with odor block technology and durable fibers.

  • Made from Polyester Wool and Nylon with spandex for stretchability.
  • Warming and comfortable cold-weather sock.
  • Breathable and odor block technology that prevents the growth of bacteria.
  • Available in black, brown, and gray color variations.


The Tomahawque Crew sock is the perfect hiking and outdoor sock that is completely waterproof and offers effective temperature control.

  • A combination of nylon, spandex, and bamboo to keep your feet dry and odor-free.
  • A waterproof membrane that is still breathable and insulation technology keeps your feet warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather.
  • Very durable design for outdoor use.
  • Available in Blue color option with black stripes.

  • These Winter running socks by Drymax will ensure your feet remain dry all year round, with the use of two layers.
  • The dual-layer moisture elimination system absorbs moisture from the inner layer to the quick-drying olefin outer layer.
  • Reinforced nylon stitching keeps the sock together for a longer time than ordinary running socks.
  • 5% spandex makes the sock stretch considerably without chaffing or binding the feet and ankles.
  • A soft polyester blend has been woven into these socks, making the inner layer very comfortable and warm.

  • These socks use a unique combination of polypropylene and merino wool to achieve instant moisture-wicking effects.
  • Made with plenty of breathability in the design, air will always circulate your feet, keeping them even more free from moisture.
  • The thick cuff aids in thermoregulation, keeping you warm, as well as preventing you from splashing water into your running shoes.
  • The lightweight underfoot padding provides extra cushioning to the feet, preventing blisters and enhancing performance.
  • It comes in a pack of 3 to run every day if you want to, or wear a pair around the house for convenience.

  • Balega truly came to the table with these fantastic Winter running socks made of more than one moisture-wicking material.
  • Using Dynamix technology, this fiber rapidly dries out the moisture, especially in combination with highly absorbent mohair.
  • Mohair not only helps to eliminate moisture, but it makes the socks impeccably soft and warm for winter running.
  • The toes of the socks are seamless, increasing comfort, performance and making them entirely blister resistant.
  • A heel tab keeps the socks in place inside your running shoes, ensuring a comfortable fit and additional stability.

  • These impressive cold weather running socks are made from two highly specialized layers that work together to keep your feet fresh and cozy.
  • The inner layer is made from thermostat fibers, which regulate temperature and super supportive nylon.
  • The outer layer consists of a thermostat, nylon, and spandex for stretch, warmth, and comfort.
  • Both these layers work to wick the moisture off your feet efficiently, allowing it to move to the outer layer before quickly dispersing into the air.
  • Protect your feet during strenuous Winter running, avoiding blisters, colds, infections, and worse!

  • These ski socks can double up as the ultimate running socks in extreme icy weather, having all the right features for facing snow!
  • The sock base is padded for additional warmth and comfort, keeping your game up in any harsh cold climate.
  • Made from nearly 50% wool, polypropylene, and olefin, these socks are masterful when it comes down to moisture-wicking.
  • The skins have been padded for extra protection while skiing, or in case you fall when going for a snowy jog in the countryside.
  • Seamless toes make them anti-blisters and feel as smooth as a dream!
  • These will last exceptionally long, being made from a weave of up to 6 different durable fibers.

Index Table: Top Rated Winter Running Socks

The Best Thermal Fabrics for Winter Running Socks

Staying warm is essential when running in Winter, particularly in cold climates. Thermal regulation is mostly about how the sock is constructed and what fibers were used to make it.

Three of the best thermal regulating fibers are explained briefly below:

  1. Wool – Wool has a natural thermal regulation ability. Many people associate wool with keeping one warm, but finer wool applications (such as merino wool) keep one cool in Summer, too, making them ideal for year-round use. Wool is also moisture-wicking, antibacterial, and flame resistant.
  2. Mohair – Mohair is a fiber that can be described as a silk-wool cross. It comes from the fleece of the Angora Goat. Mohair naturally insulates your feet, keeping you warm in Winter and cool in Summer. It also has moisture-wicking properties, is naturally elastic, and resistant to creasing.
  3. Polyester – Polyester is not a good thermal fiber on its own but used in combination with any of the above, it can enhance these properties. It makes running socks a lot more durable and holds in the heat well, making them suitable for Winter use.

Moisture Elimination & What Works Best

Moisture elimination is essential when running, but it’s even more important when running in Winter! When one suite-up for running in freezing weather, one usually dresses very warmly. This can cause perspiration before one even leaves the house. Starting your run with sweat or having excessive sweating at any point of the journey is a bad idea. Moisture encourages bacteria, blisters and can also freeze your feet before you’re even 5minutes down the lane!

The best moisture elimination systems work by encouraging optimal airflow in your socks. Many adopt dual-layer moisture elimination, where moisture passes from the absorbent inner layer to the quick-drying outer layer. This keeps your feet 100% of the time while allowing the moisture to disappear rapidly off the outer layer.

Certain types of materials dry faster than others. These are the best moisture wicking materials below:

  1. Merino Wool
  2. Mohair
  3. Polypropylene
  4. Olefin

The Best Features of Winter Running Socks

Here are some bonus features which will make your socks more durable and supremely comfortable!

  • Knee High – Having a knee-high sock is not essential, particularly if you are running in tracksuit pants, but they do stay up more easily. When wearing ski boots or running shoes for snow, long socks are certainly far better to use.
  • Reinforced Heels & Toe – A reinforced nylon toe and heel make the socks last much longer. These sock areas tend to fall apart first and are the weakest part of the socks design.
  • Seamless – Seamless socks will feel very comfortable and provide no friction against your toes. A sock’s seam is the number one cause of blisters, but a seamless sock eliminates that threat.
  • Mild Compression – Mild compression for running enhances blood flow, which can certainly improve performance and speed up the running. Mild compression also feels very comfortable when being worn.
  • Underfoot Cushioning – Underfoot cushioning in your sock provides additional arch support and gives you a bigger boost when taking off. There is also less force applied on your feet with this extra layer of padding in the way, making padding suitable for running on the tarmac or any heavy terrain.

About the Author

Christine Luff

Writer at Verywell and Running Coach for Team in Training at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She is a running coach, avid runner, trainer, nutrition specialist, and health & fitness writer. As a runner for 30+ years, she have run 13 full marathons and countless other races, coached thousands of runners Christine Studied Journalism, MS at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.