The importance of the right ski sock is highly underrated. Nordic skiers may find themselves thinking, “It doesn’t matter, a sock is a sock, right?” WRONG. Socks are an essential piece of your Nordic ski gear. Here is the lowdown on why you should pay attention to the first layer you slip your feet into.
1. Don’t Wear Two Layers of Socks
Two layers of socks inside your ski boot can cause hot spots due to friction and bunching up. By the end of the day that slight discomfort from a crease in your layers can turn into a painful bruise. Your ski boot is designed to be snug and the fit only allows room for one sock. Adding an additional layer can compress your foot and cut off circulation and blood flow, making your feet numb and cold. Nobody wants numb, cold feet as they travel down scenic Nordic trails.
2. Choose Thinner Socks
It is a common misconception that a thicker sock will keep you warmer but this is not always the case. In a ski boot you want a tight, athletic fit (tighter than your everyday shoes). A thick sock will take up all the volume in your boot, whereas a thin sock will allow the air between your foot and the liner to warm up. This will ultimately keep your feet warmer throughout the day.
3. Steer Clear of Cotton
Cotton is not the ideal material for cold, wet weather or for athletic activities that may induce sweat. Cotton clothing items can absorb water and sweat up to 27 times their weight! Once your socks are wet, they’ll take a while to dry out and this process will cool your body. Merino wool is the ideal material for winter, keeping your body cool in hot temperatures and warm in cold temperatures. Merino wool will also wick away moisture from precipitation and perspiration, keeping you dry.
4. Wear Snow Gaiters
Even the ideal sock could use some extra protection. To be extra sure your feet stay dry and warm while cross-country skiing, wear snow gaiters to prevent snow from sneaking down into the tops of your boots.
Be prepared for your Nordic adventures, starting with your feet! Choose socks that will keep you dry and warm for a comfortable day taking in the serenity of our Colorado Nordic trails.