All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
It’s a very good time to be on the hunt for the best winter socks, whether you’re searching for something utilitarian and warm to hold your ankles down during wintry commutes, or something furry and neon to make a statement in a sea of navy and brown. The early 2010s were big years for bare ankles—and the no-show socks required to pull the look off. Fast forward to 2022 and flashing two or three inches of sock is cool again, and so the market is flooded with colorful, textured styles that are made to be seen—and made to be flexed in. And, better still, those out-there styles we love are being made in thicker and more winter-friendly weights—great news for all of us, not just sock lovers, because it’s cold and, you know, warmth. Now the thing we have to do to save our toes is also the thing we want to do to express our unique personalities, and life is a perfect marriage of form and function. Well, below the knees at least. God help the bros running around in silk shirts right now. Below, the best winter socks we (and our cold feet) are especially feeling right now.
The Best Precious (But Not Too Precious) Winter Socks
Paul Stuart cashmere blend ribbed sock
Buying a pair of socks from Paul Stuart, the venerable bastion of American style, should encourage the same “Mom I made it!” feeling as springing for the brand’s luxest tailoring. These mid-calf numbers are made out of a cashmere/viscose/nylon blend, making them a flex you can actually feel.
Surviving winter’s coldest days is all about finding novel ways to trick your brain into believing that leaving home is a good idea. And pulling on a pair of cashmere socks—encircling your toes in all that impossibly cozy, soothingly soft luxury—is one of the most reliable methods we’ve found for keeping positive in the face of blistering cold weather. But pure cashmere comes with a serious cost—both in terms of your wallet (you’ll be hard-pressed to find a pair for less than $100) and your time (hand-washing tube socks is nobody’s idea of a good time). That’s why we love these Paul Stuart jams: they’ve got all that cashmere goodness you need to get your butt out the door, only blended with some viscose and nylon for extra structure and machine washability. The fact that they clock in at a relatively reasonable $55 and come in a dozen fly colors is just icing on the cake.
The Best Heavy-Duty Winter Socks
Smartwool trekking heavy crew socks
When things are extra horrible outside—like, polar-vortex-level bad—these Smartwool socks are the ones you want. Think of ’em as a full-on parka for your feet: thick enough you’ll be worried about them actually fitting in your boots (they will); performance-minded enough that your feet won’t completely overheat on the go. A certain GQ staffer once wore these exact socks while spending multiple nights in a quinzhee hut in the backwoods of northern Ontario, and he still has all his toes. So, yeah, they’re the real deal.
The Best Workweek Winter Socks
If your budget won’t quite allow for a drawerful of the Paul Stuart numbers above, these Falke socks are a great everyday alternative wool sock at half the price. They’ve got a healthy serving of cashmere in the mix, all served up in a package that’s slim enough to fit in your dress shoes and subtle enough to appease even the soberest of office dress codes.
The Best Stank-Free Winter Socks
American Trench merino activity sock with silver
Got the kind of feet where people start leaving the room before you’ve even finished untying your laces? American Trench’s signature socks will help. There’s anti-microbial silver knit directly into the heel and toe to ward off odors at the source, and the breathable, naturally moisture-wicking merino wool that comprises the rest will keep your toes toasty. Plus, a touch of acrylic spandex keeps them in place, whether you’re trekking up a mountain or to the kitchen.
The Best Throwback Winter Socks
L.L.Bean merino wool ragg socks, 2-pack
L.L. Bean has the whole durability thing down pat. The brand’s merino wool socks are built to last, and to keep your feet in prime condition no matter how beastly the going gets. To paraphrase Aubrey Graham (who, as a proud son of Canada, likely knows a thing or two about warm socks): Who better for you than the Bean?
Nothing beats classic American style, and nobody does classic and American better than L.L.Bean. Their wool blend ragg socks are one of the warmest out there and are every bit as soft, nubby, and altogether perfect as you remember. Plus, they’ll look incredible peeking out from the top of those duck boots you hopefully remembered to buy early this year.
The Best Earth-Conscious Winter Socks
Maggie’s Organics cotton crew sock
One more ragg option for the green-minded among us: Maggie’s loose-knit take is made in North Carolina from fair trade organic cotton, and comes in way weirder colors—like deep eggplant and bright green—than its more traditional counterparts. And who doesn’t high-quality warm socks at a sweet price?
The Wallet-Friendly Sock
Uniqlo Heattech low gauge socks
Uniqlo’s Heattech line is the GOAT when it comes to affordable, cold-busting winter gear, and these deceptively slim ribbed crew socks are no exception. Consider your feet’s moisture wicked, heat retained and bacteria kicked TF out. At just under 7 bucks a pop, you can afford to buy ’em in a handful of colors.
17 More Toasty Socks We Love
Carhartt cold weather boot sock
If you have to get some real labor done out in the cold, these bad boys will keep up the hard work and keep your toes toasty the whole way through.
Druthers organic cotton defender boot sock
How can you enjoy your cool new boots when your feet are still frozen?
Wigwam 40 Below heavyweight boot socks
Use these to cushion and warm your precious toes through winter’s worst.
Corgi stripe cuff ribbed donegal wool socks
These socks are inspired by classic collegiate tube socks, but they’re way more grown-up.
Darn Tough hiker micro crew cushion sock
Thousands of hardened hikers can’t be wrong. These hiking socks are legendary for durability, come with seamless toes, and thermoregulate with the best of ’em.
Satisfy tie-dyed ribbed merino wool-blend socks
Determined not to let winter stop you from getting your miles in? These toasty merino socks will keep you on track.
Wills cashmere socks
Like your favorite BBQ joint, these socks have some seriously thick ribs.
Bottega Veneta ribbed cashmere socks
That unmistakable Bottega green is the perfect subtle flex to wear with some Birkenstocks.
Yoicy heavy thick wool socks, 3-pack
One of Amazon’s most popular socks is also its most cushioning.
Williamston alpaca socks
Don’t let cashmere steal the spotlight. Alpaca is just as soft, luxe, and deserving of your attention.
Anonymous Ism brushed jacquard-knit socks
Yeah, it’s winter, but you’re gonna want to show off these socks in some Birkenstocks.
Season Three Ultralight hiking crew socks
Merino wool hiking socks with arch support, cushioning, and odor-resistance? Absolutely!
Howlin’ Wally sock
Is it any surprise that the label behind Belgium’s finest sweaters also makes great socks? These bouclé knit joints are like a warm, fluffy pullover for your feet.
Pantherella Thornham ribbed socks
Heavy gauge wool, a splash of silk, and perfect autumnal colors make for an ideal pair of socks.
CHUP Fair Isle socks
The best Fair Isle you can get actually comes from a different isle altogether: Japan.
L.L.Bean shearling insoles
Boost the toastiness of all your socks by slipping these fluffy bad boys into your boots.