Getting to spend time outdoors is one of life’s little pleasures, but this becomes far less enjoyable when you don’t have the right gear. A good pair of thermal socks can mean the difference between enjoying the outdoors in cold weather and having a downright miserable time!
But while there are a lot of thermal socks to choose from, this can make your decision much more difficult. It is essential to get the right pair and look for features that make them suitable for the conditions you will be camping in. Because after all; if your feet aren’t happy, you won’t be doing
Last Updated: December 2021
In this guide, we will be giving you a rundown of some of the best thermal socks for camping and outdoor adventures. Whether you want something to keep you cosy in your tent at night or you are looking for a great pair of socks for hiking in winter, we’ve got you covered. We will also be detailing everything you need to look for to make sure you end up with excellent quality thermal socks that do exactly what they claim to; keep your feet warm!
In a hurry? If you don’t have much time using the links below to quickly find our favourites for you. You can be assured we only choose the best products…
Why Are Thermal Socks Essential For Outdoors?
When you enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle, it is essential that you always kit yourself out with the correct gear. In the summer, you wouldn’t leave home without a good supply of water, sunscreen and UV glasses, would you? So, in the winter or if you are travelling to a cold location, you shouldn’t omit to take care of your feet.
Thermal socks are a staple part of the wardrobe for people who live in colder climates and they offer amazing protection from the cold. If you have ever attempted to do anything with cold feet, you’ll know how unpleasant it is. Being made from natural materials like wool, thermal socks keep heat in even when the mercury drops outside. Materials like cotton that are used for regular socks don’t have the same capabilities and will quickly cause the feet to lose heat. That said thermal socks often have some man-made fabrics for durability and moisture wicking.
Another problem with regular socks is that they do not dry as quickly and in the cold, this moisture can freeze causing serious problems for the feet. Thermal socks have a wide range of uses making them one of the most versatile winter apparel items out there. Whether you are off to a ski resort, going out on a hike or setting up camp in the winter, they’ll provide your feet with all the protection you need.
Thermal Socks - Our Top Picks
Type ‘thermal socks’ into any search engine and you will be presented with an astonishing number of results. This can lead to people becoming bored with their search and simply picking the first pair of thermal socks that they come across. Don’t do this; you might end up with something inferior. Instead, check out our top picks and discover some excellent products that are sure to keep your feet nice and toasty.
We were blown away by these amazing thermal socks and out of all of the pairs we looked at, they certainly stood out from the crowd. While they are a little more expensive, they give you excellent bang for your buck and are ideal for extremely cold weather as well as relieving foot and ankle pain; so you’re killing two birds with one stone.
What’s more, the LPCrilly heated socks are fully rechargeable and come with a choice of three heat settings so you can adjust them to suit your needs. They are super easy to operate and warm up quickly and evenly. While the heated area is located at the base of the sock, this heat radiates up to keep the entire extremity warm and cosy.
Made from acrylic, these socks are excellent at keeping the heat in. Moreover, this is machine washable material so your socks will always stay fresh. Just remember to remove the battery and pop them into a washing bag before running them through the machine.
High quality material
We couldn’t find anything wrong with these socks
Choice of heat settings
One button operation
BEST MEN'S THERMAL SOCKS
Coming in a pack two, one of the first things you notice is what good value for money these socks are. They also come in a choice of colours giving you the chance to choose something that suits your style.
But more importantly, the DG Hill men’s thermal socks offer excellent heat retention and will trap heat, keeping the feet warm all day. The socks are made using thermal yarn which is far superior when it comes to staying toasty, not to mention that the material is relatively hardwearing. If you’re looking for socks that will go the distance, these are an excellent choice.
What’s more, the DG Hill socks feature moisture wicking capability which not only keeps the feet dry but also repels odours. If you find that your feet have a tendency to get a bit whiffy (and you’re not alone), then we would highly recommend these socks.
Durability issues compared to similar products
Great value for money
Choice of colours and sizes
BEST LADIES THERMAL SOCKS
As perhaps one of the most recognised brands of thermal socks, you are instantly assured of the quality of this product. The Heat Holder socks are also great value as you get three in each pack for the price you might pay for a single pair in other cases.
These thermal socks are designed for comfort as well as retaining heat and feature a soft, brushed lining that feels amazing on the skin. Using patented loop technology, the Heat Holder socks are proven to hold in more heat than comparable products making them excellent even in extreme conditions.
Just because these socks are designed to be functional, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t stylish. What we really loved about the Heat Holders is that they come in a choice of colours and designs meaning you don’t need to compromise your style.
Socks tend to bobble after washing
Range of colours
Proven to retain heat better
Excellent value for money
BEST ELECTRIC THERMAL SOCKS
When you head off to places that experience extreme cold, your feet may need a little more than just a regular thermal sock. These electric heated socks are ideal for people who need a bit of a heat boost.
They feature three heat levels giving them a great degree of versatility and being knee high, they keep the calves warm as well. You’ll get around six hours of warmth when you use the socks on the lowest level and around 4 hours at the highest setting. But when the power runs out, the battery can be recharged quickly and efficiently.
The PROSmart heated socks are great for extreme adventures as they are made from incredibly high quality materials which is reflected in the price. These materials not only offer amazing durability but they are also used because of their ability to keep heat in.
Great at keeping heat in
Three heat settings
BEST THRMAL SOCKS FOR SKIERS
If you are heading onto the slopes, you need socks that are ready to perform and these ones from Danish Endurance are among the very best. What’s more, these are affordable socks and so perfect if you are shopping on a budget.
The Alpine ski socks are impeccably comfortable and are made from high quality merino wool. In addition to this, they boast an anti-blister cushion to protect from chafing as well as shin cushioning for extra protection on the mountain. The material is designed to retain heat as well as being breathable so that moisture doesn’t build up.
The socks have been designed by someone passionate about the outdoors and who has scaled Everest so you can feel confident that they have all the most important features.
Choice of sizes from kids to adults
Less durable than other socks especially at the big toe
Made from natural materials
What To Consider When Buying Thermal Socks
There are some great pairs of thermal socks on the market but not all of them are made equal. For this reason, it is important to think carefully about the features of each potential pair. While many people might think ‘they’re only socks, any pair will do’, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The last thing you want when out in the wilderness is to discover that your socks don’t actually do what you imagined. This can ruin your outing so be sure to keep the following things in mind.
A lot of people fall into the trap of thinking that the thicker the sock, the more insulating it will be but this is not always the case. Thick socks may just serve as a way of making your feet sweat not to mention taking up room in your boots.
What you should be looking for are socks that are made from thermodynamic materials. This will include things like copper fibres, fleece or silver. These things reflect heat back to your feet and are far superior at preventing heat loss than materials such as cotton.
Even though you will be wearing your thermal socks during colder weather, your feet will still sweat, especially if you are active. For this reason, it is vital that you look for thermal socks that feature moisture wicking material. The material should wick away sweat and dry quickly to keep you more comfortable and prevent chafing.
Moreover, these materials are excellent when you are out in harsh conditions such as snow or rain. If precipitation ends up on your socks, you can feel confident that they will dry and you won’t be uncomfortable.
Battery Thermal Socks
There are some thermal socks that are designed solely to keep the heat in. However, there are others that make use of a battery powered heat source. This is ideal if you know that you will be in very cold or extreme conditions. While the socks will still retain heat, they will also give you a boost of additional heat which is far superior than a traditional pair of thermal socks.
You will also benefit from using heated thermal socks if you are prone to foot pain. It is proven that heat can relieve pain; although it should never be applied to new injuries that are less than 48 hours old or are still inflamed. Otherwise, heat will reduce pain and relax the muscles giving you that extra special treatment while you get on with your adventure.
Of course, you will need to keep in mind that this type of thermal sock will cost more but it is certainly worth it for the sake of those tootsies.
When you get cold, the circulation to the extremities can slow down. This means that the toes will begin to feel very cold and it can be very difficult to get them warmed up again, especially while you remain in cold conditions. In extreme cases, this can lead to conditions like frostbite which is sure to spoil your adventure.
To avoid this, you can purchase thermal socks that offer compression. Don’t worry, this is only gentle compression and doesn’t feel uncomfortable but goes a long way in maintaining good circulation. These types of thermal socks are great for when you are camping and will ensure you stay warm at night.
Nobody wants a pair of thermal socks that last one outing. You must make sure that the materials are high quality and will stand up to the challenges that outdoor life can throw at you. While natural materials like wool are great at keeping you warm, they might not offer the right level of durability. For this reason, they should be coupled with synthetic materials to get the best of both worlds.
Thermal socks come in a range of heights but you should aim for something that is either crew height or knee height as these will offer the greatest level of protection against the cold. While there are some ankle high thermal socks, these often don’t provide protection in extreme conditions. That said, if you’re looking for thermal socks to protect your feet just as autumn is setting in, ankle high ones might be a viable solution. It pays to compare the conditions you will be in with the sock height.
When you are heading on an outdoor adventure, whether it is camping, hiking, cycling, climbing or anything else, it is vital you are dressed for the weather. As winter sets in, this shouldn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. But it does mean that you will need a good pair of thermal socks that offer protection from the cold.
There are lots of things that you should look for when choosing your thermal socks including moisture wicking materials, great durability and possibly battery powered heat. But it is important to compare your needs with the sock features to find the best pair.
When you are confident that you know what you’re looking for, there are some brilliant products out there. But to save you time, we have put together a list of some of the very best that offer everything you need to keep enjoying your outdoor pursuits all year round!