Smartwool Ski Full Cushion OTC Socks review: for toasty toes on the slopes

These cosy, breathable performance socks boast full cushion for added protection, comfort and warmth during chilly days on the ski slopes

Smartwool Ski Full Cushion OTC Socks
(Image: © Smartwool)

Advnture Verdict

These cosy, breathable, over-the-calf socks will keep your toes toasty all day long on the slopes and pack plenty of padding to prevent annoying boot rub


  • +

    Warm and cosy

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    Moisture wicking and breathable

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    Cushioning on the entire sock for added protection and warmth

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    Performance-oriented fit


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    Full cushion may be too much padding with insulated boots

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    May be too warm for milder days

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    Relatively expensive

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Smartwool Ski Full Cushion OTC Socks: first impressions 

These cosy, breathable socks live up to Smartwool’s reputation for producing some of the best ski socks on the market. The 13” over-the-calf fit hugs snugly just below the knee and promises to stay there when you hit the slopes, while the performance-oriented fit contours to your arches and allows for flex at the ankle.

Made from merino wool, nylon and elastane, these socks wick sweat away from your feet on powder days and are ultra-breathable. With full cushioning on the entire sock, you can expect all-day comfort on the slopes, especially on colder days. Smartwool promises that they’ve improved the durability of these socks too, so they should last you a few seasons. If they don't quite meet your needs, take a look at our roundup of the best hiking socks for some more options.


• RRP: $27 / £26.99  
• Unisex: Yes
Sizes available: S - XL
• Materials: Merino wool (57%), Nylon (41%), Elastane (2%)
• Patterns: Mountain snowflake, Trellis, Alpenglow
• Best use: Alpine skiing 

Smartwool Ski Full Cushion OTC Socks: on the trails 

Smartwool Ski Full Cushion OTC Socks

These socks are as cosy as they are functional and are ideal for alpine skiing in colder weather, especially if you get cold feet (Image credit: Smartwool)

These socks are as cosy as they are functional and are ideal for alpine skiing in colder weather, especially if you get cold feet like I do. 

A snug, high fit provides all the protection I need from my boots and even with the full cushioning, I don’t have any annoying bunching of extra fabric around my toes or under my arches. They stay up easily without cutting off the blood supply too.

Speaking of cushioning, they definitely provide all the cush underfoot that I’d want without inhibiting my movement like some of my other thicker ski socks do.

They’re super breathable and moisture-wicking so if you tend to get sweaty feet on the slopes, these are for you. That said, I’d probably opt for a thinner pair with less cushioning for warmer spring ski days or for uphill skiing. If you run warm, you'll probably want to try their thinner socks.

In terms of size, I have very small feet and the smalls were ever-so-slightly bigger than I’d like, but not so much that I can’t use them. 

They are definitely top quality ski socks and that is reflected in the high price, but with advances in durability, these should last you a long time so they’ll ultimately be worth the extra money if you’re looking for a warm, comfortable ski sock, or just like staying cosy around the house in winter.

Here’s how they performed:


In general you can probably order your regular size unless you’re on the small end of your size, then size down. 


Super snug without being tight, and contour to your arches and heels. 


Very cosy and comfortable, these allow for good freedom of movement and are made from a lovely soft wool blend. 

Temperature regulation 

These will definitely keep you plenty warm on cold days, even in older ski boots, but might be too warm for mild spring conditions. 


The blend of wool and Nylon makes these extra breathable, so they’re perfect for a sweaty foot inside your boot. 


Smartwool has used a patent-pending technology that they promise will increase durability, and these certainly seem well up to the task of downhill skiing. 

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.