Anyone who’s spent time in the woods during extreme cold weather knows there’s nothing quite as distracting (or painful) as cold feet. Whether you’re staked out in a tree stand or stalking through the woods, keeping your feet warm makes winter hunting MUCH more enjoyable.
Obviously having a solid pair of boots is a must. But if you really want to keep your toes toasty warm and dry, you need to invest in some good winter socks as well.
Recently I put some of the “warmest hunting socks” out there to the test during a 17 day elk hunt in the Central Oregon mountains. Some kept my feet toasty and dry all day, while others were practically unbearable.
***Its’s important to keep in mind that the fit of your boots will have a MAJOR impact on how well your socks perform. Tight fitting boots restrict airflow and compress your socks. This KILLS their ability to properly insulate your feet. So make sure your boots allow for a little wiggle room.***
With that in mind here are my picks for the best winter hunting socks.
5 Warmest Socks for Winter Hunting
|Darn Tough Hunter|
Far and away my top pick. Durable, very warm, excellent comfort, and a lifetime warranty.
Good comfort, durable, but don't wick moisture as well as the Darn Tough Hunter.
Excellent comfort, good warmth, don't breath as well as the Darn Tough, but cheaper.
Excellent comfort, good warmth, don't breath as well as the Darn Tough, but cheaper.
Good warmth, comfy fit, just not quite as warm as the top 3.
1. Darn Tough Hunter Review: Best Winter Weather Sock
The Meriono wool Hunter Extra Cushion socks from Darn Tough are hands-down my pick for the most comfortable and warmest hunting socks. They offer consistent warmth, comfortable fit, and they are unbelievably durable.
They cost a helluva lot more than what you’ll find at your local discount store, but in the long run they actually end up being pretty cost effective. I brought these socks along as a baseline since I use them all the time in the winter anyway.
Surprisingly they ended up being the warmest and most comfortable of the bunch.
Aside from the comfort and warmth these socks offer Scent-Lok technology. It’s supposed to reduce odor. I’ll be totally honest. I didn’t do a smell test with any of these socks, but I never got any complaints from my tent-mates either. Good enough for me.
These socks are also designed to be slip free, and will be a little tighter around the calf.
They also have a little extra cushion along the heel and ball of the foot. The most comfortable socks I’ve ever warn. AND they have a lifetime warranty.
- very warm
- great comfort and fit
- incredibly durable
- higher price tag
2. People Socks 71% Premium Merino Wool Crew Socks Review
If you have a problem with your budget then the 71% Premium Merino Wool Crew Socks is the pair of warm hunting socks for you this winter. This product comes in a 4 pair bundle and with it’s quality and it’s price, it is definitely a steal for me.
As it’s name goes, the 71% premium merino wool crew socks is made with 71% of premiuim merino wool imported from Australia, 21% Nylon, 7% poly and 1% spandex. The special blend of merino wool and nylon makes it so that this pair of socks are itch-free and anti-odor.
Of course since these socks are made up of largely merino wool, the 71% Premium Merino Wool Crew Socks will keep your feet warm and fuzzy even in the worst of the winter. Besides that, it also wick away your sweat from your feet in no time due to it’s good ventilation ability from the wool.
The 71% premium merino wool crew socks doesn’t have any extra cushion or paddings but they’re thick enough for your feet to feel comfy and still managed to give you that little support for them.
However, these socks doesn’t last long enough for us to give it a high rating for it’s durability. The 71% Premium Merino Wool Crew Socks can only last for at most 2 seasons of winter with moderate wear which is a shame since this is only downfall of a pair of perfect socks for those with tight budget.
Note: You will have to buy 4 pairs at one shot.
Who is this for:
- Hunters with tight budget
3. Carhartt Men’s Arctic Wool Heavy Boot Socks Review
The materials of this pair of socks are 86% wool, 6% nylon, 1% lycra, 7% of other fabrics. As you would expect from Carhartt, this pair of socks doesn’t disappoint. The Arctic Wool Heacy Boot Socks boast an amazing thermal regulation so you can bet that it will keep your feet warm during your time in the snow.
Besides that, these socks come with Fast Dry technology that wick away sweat for comfort and also fight odor so your feet doesn’t smell after a long day of hunting.
The Arctic Wool Heavy Boot Socks comes with a reinforced heel and toe seam to resist abrasion and to add some extra durability to it. Stretch materials and a non-terry vent has been included in the socks’ design to reduce bulk and to provide as much comfort as it can for your feet.
With proper care and washing, The Arctic Wool Heavy Boot Socks will last for seasons of winter to come.
In conclusion, Carhartt Men’s Arctic Wool Heavy Boot Socks is definitely a cheaper alternative to consider if you think that the darn tough is too big for a price tag.
Who is it for:
- Hunters looking for a cheaper substitute for Scent-Lok Extra Cush Wool Boot Socks.
4. TeeHee Eco Friendly Recycled Cotton Thermals Review
The very first thing that I noticed with the TeeHee Eco Friendly Heavy Weight Recycled Cotton Thermals Boot Socks is the words recycled cotton. Wow, it used to be recycled paper and now recycled cotton? Look how far technology has gotten. Jokes aside, it is made with 57% Polyester, 41% Recycled Cotton, 2% Spandex. Since it contain 41% of recycled cotton, the socks itself does smell a little bit of oil and plastic when it first arrive at your doorstep.
However we are pleasantly surprised by the fact that despite these socks are largely made up of cotton, it still regulate heat quite well in our feet during the winter but not good enough for it to have a good rating from us.
Perhaps it’s due to it being a pair of cotton socks, the Teehee Eco Friendly Heavy Weight Recycled Cotton Thermal Boot Socks doesn’t wick away sweat and keep your feet odor free.
Durability-wise, these do last quite long depending on your usage, it can last around 2 seasons of winter with average use. However do set your washing setting to delicate when washing these socks as it will shrink with improper washing settings.
The pricing on this product is quite affordable since it is quite on the low end of the products listed here on our list.
Do grab these if budget is your problem as it does keep your feet warm and plus, it is eco-friendly.
Who is this for:
- Those with budget issues
- Design looks cute
5. Smart Wool’s Hunt Extra Heavy OTC Socks review
For extremely cold and wet days. This extra heavy over-the-calf hunting sock, along with SmartWool’s entire Hunting line, was made using WOW™ technology which provide maximum comfort and support by having high density of smartwool in the reinforced sole. It also features the SmartWool Fit System which provides a tight fit around your ankles and arch braces. Besides that, it comes with a technical fitting system that allows the sock to flex without bunching.
The Hunt Extra Heavy OTC Socks is made up of 76% of imported Merino Wool, 23% Nylon, 1% Elastane. Being largely consisted of Merino Wool, this pair of socks have high quality of air ventilation which wick away sweat from your feet, leaving them odor free when you take off your boots.
Being part of SmartWool’s hunting line, you can expect the Hunt Extra Heavy OTC Socks to keep your feet warm despite being in the worst winter.
The only downside about this product is that the elastic portion that goes around your calf looses it’s elasticity after a few wears. Don’t worry about the socks sliding down due to this though because it won’t.
The pricing of the sock is somewhat the same as Carhartt Men’s Arctic Wool Heavy Boot Socks and the fact that these pair of socks are made up of Merino Wool makes it that much more appealing than the Carhartt product.
Who is it for:
- Someone looking for a pair of socks that is both comfy and fit to their feet.
- A viable alternative to the Carhartt Men’s Arctic Wool heavy Boot Socks.
- Cushions, lots of cushions.
Common Sense Tips on Wearing Winter Socks
An experienced hunter would know that a pair of comfy and warm socks during winter isn’t just an afterthought, it is definitely a necessity. A pair of warm socks is just as important as a hunter’s winter boots to protect your feet from the cold. There is no point getting the best hunting boots out there if your socks aren’t up to the standard. If you are looking for women hunting boots, check out this article.
A good pair of warm hunting socks should be able to provide cushion for your feet so you can walk that extra mile without your feet giving up on you and most importantly, to keep both of your feet warm and dry. Over the warm socks, don’t forget to get your own ice fishing boots. If you plan to put up a night in the forest during the winter, it is important to get a cold weather tent.
Your boots must be large enough to accommodate your winter socks. Air must circulate in your boot or shoe in order for your feet stay warm. The natural warmth given off by your foot will circulate inside the boot or shoe. If your foot is constricted by boots or shoes that are too small to accommodate heavy or multiple socks your feet will be cold.
For even better results when wearing winter socks like this one, you should wear a sock liner under your hunting socks. These are specially made to wear under heavy socks and are very thin and usually made of a polyester material to wick away any sweat from your feet. With that in mind though, some socks do come with a fast and wick design to manage the moisture.
To make comparison between these socks easier, all the important criteria of these 5 models are compiled and summarized in the table below. (Detail review of each product are below the table).
To benefit from the table, there are certainly guidelines that you should know:
1) Thermal qualities are rated from very bad to very good.
2) Durability are rated from low to high
3) Moisture management and anti-odor – some socks come with these features
4) Comfort are rated from low to high
5) Material – the contents of the socks
6) Price – We don’t list the actual price of the socks for sale since the prices are always changing. Having that said, we will include indicators to differentiate them from each other based on their price range. If you want to learn more about the price of the products, you can check them out on Amazon using the links attributed to them.
Aligned with our goal to help you get the biggest bang for your buck, we reviewed the 5 best warm hunting socks at different pricing level to cater for your individual needs. We will be looking into some of the important criteria listed below:
Probably one of the most important factor you should consider before swiping your credit card. Ideally, the socks should be able to keep your feet warm for at least 10 hours with both of feet in the snow the whole time.
However, if your winter hunting ground isn’t exactly Alaska 2.0 , you could always settle for less. That being said, it is always recommended to get the best. Better to be safe than sorry, right?
We all want our properties to last and of course that includes our humble little socks that most people overlooked while preparing for their big game during the winter.
It wouldn’t be good if your newly bought warm hunting socks has holes in them after just one season of winter and we’re here to ensure you that the socks you’re considering to buy has just the durability that you expected.
Moisture management and anti-odor
During your hunt, you would walk a lot in some circumstances. Walking for long distance, even in the snow will definitely cause you to sweat a lot in your feet. Sweating will cause discomfort and of course will cause both of your feet to smell after a long day.
These features will ensure that your feet will be as fresh as it was before you put your feet into your boots. However, these features are only present in some of the higher end products.
Not all socks are created equal, just like humans eh? Jokes aside though, some socks are more comfortable than the others due to the extra cushion that some manufacturers put into their socks design. Like your trusty pair of boots, a good pair of socks should be able to minimise the stress on your feet to allow you to go that extra mile.
The price of the socks is taken into account while we are reviewing the 5 top rated socks. Pick the one that suits your needs best that are still within your estimated budget.
I am sure one of the above will definitely meet your needs in terms of budget and what the products have to offer. For me, I would go for better winter socks (warmest socks) since it’s pretty cold in the winter. A good pair of winter socks will complement your hunting boots in keeping your feet warm. Why not record your experience with the best video camera for hunting so you can share them with others? You might need a backpack to store your equipment as well.