Ski Socks Over Or Under Thermals? (Solved)

Ski Socks Over Or Under Thermals

Wearing a good pair of ski socks is important if you want your feet to stay warm while you are on the slopes. But should you wear them over or under your thermals?

Some people prefer to wear them over their thermals, while others prefer to wear them under. It doesn’t make a huge difference but there are pros and cons to both choices, so it really comes down to personal preference.

Contrary to popular belief, thermals are worn to keep a skier dry and not warm. And the layers above, like socks, are designed to keep you warm in the freezing weather.

While everyone has personal preferences in terms of layering, here’s a quick rundown that can help you decide whether to wear your ski socks over or under thermals.

Wearing Ski Socks Over Vs Under Thermals

Here are the pros and cons of each way, let’s look at each of these in more detail later.

Over ThermalsUnder Thermals
Keeps the snow outNo Wrinkling and pain
Locks in body heatNo bruises

In the meantime, check out our guide on what to wear under ski pants for more info on thermals.

Wearing Ski Socks Over Thermals

Wearing Ski Socks Over Thermals

Wrinkling And Pain

Those who’ve tried wearing their ski socks over thermals usually notice the way in which it causes the thermals to wrinkle as the socks force them to be scrunched up.

Because this can feel too tight–especially when worn for an extended period of time, and it often results in pain. 

Keeping The Snow Out

Many skiers prefer wearing their ski socks over thermals as it keeps the snow out. While this could be relatively uncomfortable for some, it serves the purpose of keeping moisture out and staying dry.

Locking In Body Heat

It is recommended that your thermals should be your base layer as this will help lock in body heat. For this reason, ski socks (just like the rest of your gear), should be worn over thermals. Learn more about layering here

Wearing Ski Socks Under Thermals

Wearing Ski Socks Under Thermals

Avoid Bruises

A lot of skiers have experienced bruising as a result of the hem of their ski socks getting caught in between their base layer (thermals) and ski boots.

Wearing your ski socks under thermals will undoubtedly prevent this from happening. 

Comfort Based On Material

Some skiers who do not like the mesh texture of their thermals, opt for ski socks being worn under thermals. This decision is made solely based on comfort as they do not like the feel of the mesh texture on their skin.

Also check out our guide on if you can wear a normal coat skiing.

Should I Wear My Ski Socks Over Or Under Thermals?

Having read through the pros and cons above, you’ll know the answer to this question is subjective.  For example, if you generally bruise easily, wearing your ski socks under is probably best!

While some skiers have no bruises regardless of whether their socks are worn over or under, others report bruising as a result of the hem of their socks getting entangled with their thermals.

Similarly, if you are someone that does not like the feeling of mesh texture against your skin, definitely wear your ski socks under your thermals to avoid this. As a day on the slopes is likely to be a long one, your comfort should be key.

How Should I Wear My Ski Socks

Speaking of comfort, wearing ski socks over thermals has been shown to cause discomfort for certain individuals. As the socks force your thermals to be bunched up, the tightened feeling can be quite painful. For that reason, make sure you try both options before you hit the slopes. What’s best for the next person could be the epitome of discomfort for you!

Next, take your ‘ski priorities’ into consideration. While comfort may be key for some, others may have the sole priority of making sure the snow stays out and they remain dry at all times. If this is you, keep the snow out AND lock in your body heat (stay warm!) by wearing socks over your thermals.

Bottom Line

All in all, try things out. While wearing your ski socks over or under your thermals are the most common choice, skiers also opt for the option of folding their thermals to a length just above the point that their socks end (typically somewhere on the calf).

If this works for you, go for it! And if not, try the other two options out well in advance. Be sure to decide before you get on the slopes as attempting to adjust your gear while skiing will not be great for your safety.

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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