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Updated Sep 1, 2022 4:49 PM

Whether you’re adventuring in snowy mountains, shoveling the driveway, or snuggled up at a chilly cabin, a quality pair of socks can stop freezing toes in their tracks, and heated socks will warm you from the bottom up. Heated socks provide a toasty barrier between your feet and any cold surface they walk on and make outdoor activities in frigid temperatures feel like a breeze. You can wear them while at home, or you can wear them with your shoes to keep cold winter air away from your feet when you go outside. And with slim battery packs designed to look like your average pair of socks, you might even forget you’re wearing super-charged protection against blustery winter weather.

If the warmth these special winter socks provide isn’t enough to convince you to spring for a pair, consider this: The socks can also improve your circulation, which will help stop your feet from going numb from the cold in the first place. And while everyday winter socks are nice when you’re mostly inside, you’ll want to take things up a notch when you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time. Heated socks are suitable for pretty much every winter situation—and make the most frigid months of the year a whole lot more bearable and even enjoyable. They may require a bit more TLC than your normal wash-and-tumble-dry pairs, but if your feet are the first thing to go cold in winter, the best heated socks are well worth the investment.

How we chose the best heated socks

Heated socks are an investment in your comfort during colder months—so we wanted to be sure your money was well-spent on quality socks that suit a variety of needs. We compared over 40 heated socks while looking at reviews, battery life, design, thickness, and price. We also have reported on heated insoles and heated slippers, so we used knowledge from those topics and applied it here.

What to consider when buying the best heated socks

Although electric socks will not be the cheapest ones you ever buy, they’ll definitely be the warmest socks you ever own. Plus, you can make the best snow boots even warmer. With so many to choose from, where do you begin making your choice? Fabric is a good place to start. Cotton, merino wool, and synthetics are all warm options, but since the first two hold moisture (look out for fungal infections!), we recommend synthetic fibers like nylon and lycra to keep your feet warm, dry, and free of microbial pests. As for other important variables to look for when shopping for the best heated socks, snag your winter hat and read on.

Pick the right pair of socks to match your winter adventure

Although you’re perfectly welcome to wear your heated socks while hibernating at home all winter long, if you’re the adventurous type who lives to hit the slopes, you’re in luck. Depending on what you like to do once you’re up in the snowy mountains, you can choose between heated ski socks and cabin socks.

The latter can be pretty much the same warm socks you wear when you’re lounging at home. But for going down the slopes, you’ll want a pair of heated socks with long-lasting batteries in a fabric that will continue to keep your feet warm even if the batteries run out. These cozy socks should also be thick enough to fill out your boots and, most importantly, comfortable.

Choose heated socks that put comfort first

The heating modules of the best heated socks will add a bit of volume, but they don’t have to be obtrusive. Most of the battery packs are slim enough that you won’t even notice them tucked away in the little pocket that sits right under the cuff. The wires that connect the batteries to the heating panels in the sock may be more noticeable underfoot, but you can get a pair with ultra-thin wires that you’ll hardly feel.

Size matters and the more sizes the socks come in, the merrier your feet will be. The one-size-for-all design of some of the cheaper brands might leave you with too much wiggle room for your feet or not enough. If you don’t want to constantly reach down to change the heat setting, some heated socks come with a remote control for temperature adjustment and others can be controlled with your smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. If one foot tends to get colder than the other, look for one with an app control that allows you to adjust the heat of each sock individually.

Decide how much battery life you need your heated socks to have per wear

Time matters when it comes to heated socks, and if you are going to be doing activities where recharging batteries isn’t an easy option, you should look for a pair with batteries that last longer on a full charge. Unfortunately, that often means the battery pack will be bulkier and less comfortable—and you may have to dish out more money, too. The key is finding the right balance to suit your needs and always having a good backup plan (extra batteries). That said, if your socks are thick and warm on their own, you’ll still have ample foot protection if your batteries die on you while you’re gliding down the slopes.

Pack your warmest heated socks for a winter hike

If your snow boots are made for hiking, the best heated socks can be, too. Since hiking can be rough on your feet, you’ll need heated socks that are as durable as they are warm. The best winter hiking socks should also be high enough to provide a complete barrier between your feet/lower legs and your shoes. Other things to consider are cushioning, fit, and fabric. Wool, polyester, nylon, silk, and spandex are the most popular materials for hiking socks. There are pros and cons with each one, so to get the optimal benefits, it’s best to go with a blend that will offer comfort, warmth, and durability.

Don’t feel like you have to blow your budget on heated socks

The best socks are going to cost you more than a bargain-rack three-pack, but they don’t have to leave you broke. That said, you’ll have to pay a bit more for some of the features that will make them more comfortable and functional (like long battery life and Bluetooth connectivity). The ones you can get for $40 or so will do what they are supposed to do, but they may have extra bulk or come in only one size. If you want a pair of socks with all the trappings, be prepared to pay up to a few hundred bucks for them. They might end up costing more than your snow boots, but if you get the right pair, they can last just as long. Still, you can find cheap heated socks that will do the trick and keep your toes warm and toasty.

The best heated socks: Reviews & Recommendations

While you might need a different pair of socks compared to the next guy, all of these picks have the reliability and warmth to help you endure frigid temperatures. We narrowed it down to these final selections.

Best overall: VOLT 3V Heated Socks

Volt Resistance Heated Clothing

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Why it made the cut: Moisture-wicking micro polyester and up to 10 hours of warmth keep your feet warm and dry.

Specs

  • Material: Polyester; spandex
  • Power level settings: Low, medium, high
  • Approximate heat time: 3 hours on high; 8 on low
  • Machine washable: Yes (remove batteries first)

Pros

  • Long battery length
  • Battery-powered or rechargeable
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Expensive

These extra-thin heated socks provide all-day heat on a single charge and fit like a glove thanks to spandex interlocking fabric. The sock’s moisture-wicking micro polyester keeps your feet dry for extra comfort—no swamp foot here. The socks come with two rechargeable 2 oz. lithium batteries, a dual charger, and a wireless remote to cozy up without bending down. The battery tucks into the sock’s small storage pocket. And, a hook and loop closure ensures it won’t end up in the snow as you’re traversing the tundra. They may be on the pricier side, but we think the quality—and warming up your feet—is worth the price. If you’d like longer heating time, the company sells a 3.7V/5000 mAh battery that provides more than 8 hours of heat on high, and more than 20 hours of heat on low.

Best for skiing: SNOW DEER Heated Socks

Amazon

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Why it made the cut: Heating elements on both sides of your feet mean you can hit the slopes without getting cold feet.

Specs

  • Material: Cool Max polyester, elastic; spandex
  • Power level settings: Low, medium, high (100°F-131°F)
  • Approximate heat time: 4 hours on high; 10 hours on low
  • Machine washable: Yes (remove batteries first)

Pros

  • Heats top and bottom of foot
  • Secure pocket for batteries
  • Rechargeable batteries

Cons

  • Could be longer-lasting

Aside from the battery pocket at the top, these rechargeable, heated socks could pass for any attractive pair of socks. They come in four different sizes, but since the included rechargeable lithium polymer batteries last only up to six and a half hours on a full charge on the lowest setting, if you like to turn the heat up high (four hours of power), you might want to bring along a few extra back-up sets just in case.

Best for lounging around the cabin: Mens Thick Heat Trapping Insulated Boot Thermal Socks

Amazon

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Why it made the cut: Show off your style in the ski lodge with 17 design options to choose from.

Specs

  • Material: Acrylic blend
  • Power level settings: N/A
  • Approximate heat time: N/A
  • Machine washable: Yes

Pros

  • Powered by your body heat
  • Insulated
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Not for extremely cold climates

Back at the ski lodge? Slip into these cozy heated socks. They have a winter-wonderland look and the synthetic-fiber blend provides the ultimate heating benefits. They’re ribbed at the top, so they won’t slip inside your shoes and let in cold air. Feel free to take them outside for a hike, a sleigh ride, or a few trips down the slopes.

Best machine-washable: Gobi Tread Heated Socks

Why it made the cut: After getting 12 hours of warmth, simply throw these socks in the wash the next time you use them.

Specs

  • Material: Cotton
  • Power level settings: Low, medium, high (113°F-140°F)
  • Approximate heat time: 12 hours
  • Machine washable: Yes

Pros

  • Separate keychain remote
  • Slim battery pack
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • Expensive

With a range of heat settings from a balmy 113 degrees to a toasty 140, these machine-washable heated socks from Gobi can last up to 12 hours on the lowest charge. The toes are designed with their own individual heat zone to keep your pinky from feeling frozen, plus the slim battery is easy to tuck into your boot or shoe.

Best with the thinnest heating module: ActionHeat 3.7V Rechargeable Battery Heated Socks 2.0

Amazon

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Why it made the cut: Strategically-placed heating panels don’t interfere with walking, running, hiking, or even lounging around.

Specs

  • Material: Cotton blend
  • Power level settings: Low, medium, high (up to 145°F)
  • Approximate heat time: 7 hours on the lowest setting
  • Machine washable: Yes

Pros

  • Thin
  • Comfortable to walk in
  • Wide heat settings

Cons

  • Expensive

The batteries for these electric socks are thinner and slightly curved for a more comfortable fit, and the heating panels located at the toes use advanced ultra-fine fibers, so they won’t interfere with your walking, hiking, or skiing. The heat can go up to 140°F, while battery power lasts up to seven hours on the lowest setting.

Best battery-powered: VELAZZIO Heated Socks

VELAZZIO

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Why it made the cut: Get warm feet in less than 30 seconds thanks to a nanofiber heating wire and two-zone heating.

Specs

  • Material: Polyester
  • Power level settings: Low, medium, high
  • Approximate heat time: 4.5 hours on high; 7.5 on low
  • Machine washable: No

Pros

  • Remote controlled
  • Fast heating
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Pocket not completely secure for batteries

Made for men and women, these heated socks have a design that’s a bit on the simple side, so you’re going to get function (a lot of it) over fierceness. They come with three different heat settings and warm up in less than 30 seconds. They pull up over the calf, and you can tuck the battery packs into the pocket in the inner top cuff. The best part is that the heat will last. When worn on the lowest heat setting, the fully charged batteries can last up to 7.5 hours. And, they include a remote that lets you control the heat without hiking up your pant leg.

Best for hiking: Autocastle Unisex Battery Powered Heat Insulated Socks

Autocastle

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Why it made the cut: Cotton allows your foot to breathe, and the 6.5-hour battery life on low keeps your tootsies warm from Raynaud’s to Rainier.

Specs

  • Material: Cotton
  • Power level settings: Low, medium, high
  • Approximate heat time: 3.5 on high; 6.5 on low
  • Machine washable: Yes, but remove batteries beforehand

Pros

  • Rechargeable
  • Machine washable
  • Not bulky

Cons

  • Pocket not completely secure for batteries

The knee-high design and cotton makeup of these hiking socks mean they won’t be uncomfortably bulky by the boot opening. There are three different heat settings, which makes them an ideal fit for even your chilliest hikes. You can turn the heat up as you ascend or as it gets colder. These have decent battery life, too—up to 3.5 hours on the warmest setting, and up to 6.5 on the coolest.

Best budget: Winter Foot Warmer Socks for Men and Women

Amazon

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Why it made the cut: Don’t break the bank to be warm all winter long with these electric socks.

Specs

  • Material: Cotton
  • Power level settings: 95°F-113°F
  • Approximate heat time: N/A
  • Machine washable: Yes (remove battery packs)

Pros

  • Unisex
  • Cotton for breathability; fleece for warmth
  • Have a supportive arch

Cons

  • Not a wide range of temperature settings

These unisex heated socks come in three different sizes that can fit men with shoe sizes from 6 to 15 and women from 8 to 13. The fleece material provides breathability and sweat absorption as well as warmth even when the heat isn’t on. Each sock requires three AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries, which are not included. While they may not have bells and whistles, they can keep your feet warm for short outdoor activities.

FAQs

Q: How do heated socks work?

Heated socks work by a heating panel hidden in the soles, heels, or toes that connects via wiring to a battery pack that acts as a miniature thermostat. The wires are separated by a waterproof membrane to make them safe when the socks become damp. If you don’t want to bend to adjust the heat, some allow you to do it with a remote control or a smartphone app with a Bluetooth connection to your socks.

Q: How long do heated socks last?

All good things must come to an end, but if you buy heated socks made of sturdy fabric and take care of them by following the washing instructions to the letter, heated socks last a couple of years—and even as long as your favorite snow boots.

Q: How do you wash heated socks?

Since stinky, fungus-infected feet are just as bad as cold ones, it’s important to know how to wash heated socks. After detaching the battery pack, a thorough hand-cleaning followed by air-drying in a well-ventilated area will do the trick. Never wring them (which can damage the wiring) or throw them into the washing machine or dryer.

Final thoughts on the best heated socks

The best heated socks will cost you a bit more than the cheap socks you wear during summer, but the warmth they provide—and the improved circulation as well as relief from arthritis and joint pain—make them worth the investment. If you get a pair with ultra-fine wires and a slim battery compartment that rests above the top of your boots, the only difference you might notice from regular socks will be the increased comfort and warmth that’ll make them much more comfortable as you enjoy the great wintry outdoors.