Best heated socks: The absolute warmest socks for cold conditions

When the weather outside is frightful, the best heated socks will ensure your feet feel delightful.

A case of nerves is perfectly understandable right before a wedding, but cold feet will never do—not even in the frostiest winter weather. The best heated socks will not only warm you from the bottom up; they’ll provide a toasty barrier between your feet and any cold surface they walk on. You can wear them on your feet while at home, or you can wear them with your shoes to keep cold winter air away from your feet when you go outside. Not bad for socks that don’t look that much different from the ones you wear every day.

If the warmth these special winter socks provide isn’t enough to convince you to spring for a pair, consider this: The best heated 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, whether you’re taking a long walk, shoveling snow, running errands around town, hitting the slopes, or engaging in other winter sports. 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 will warm them right back up.

How to shop for 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. 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, read on.

Pick the right pair of heated socks that matches 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.

Best heated ski socks: SNOW DEER Heated Socks

Medicinal Properties

Far infrared heating makes these great for stimulating blood circulation and battling arthritis and stiff joints. Amazon

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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 (two hours of power), you might want to bring along a few extra back-up sets just in case.

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

Cozy and Warm

They’ll leave your feet feeling toasty while lounging about in the lodge without making them itch, sweat, or smell. Amazon

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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.

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 best heated 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.

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

Lightweight Warmth

These heated socks are machine washable. Put them in the included mesh bag and use the gentle cycle. Amazon

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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.

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

Time matters when it comes to the best 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 back-up 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.

Best long-lasting battery heated socks: Hotronic XLP One PFI Surround Set Heated Sock

Keeps On Ticking

On the lowest setting, the batteries in these heated socks can last up to 21 hours on a full charge. That’s almost an entire day! Amazon

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Made for women, these heated socks have a design that’s a bit on the busy side, so you’re going to get function (a lot of it) over fierceness. They come with four different heat settings, which include a “Power Boost” that produces a three-minute-long surge of extra heat when you need it most. They pull up over the calf, and you can fasten the battery packs to the inner top cuff using snap fasteners. The best part: The heat will last. When worn on the lowest heat setting, the fully charged batteries can last up to 21 hours.

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.

Best hiking socks: Smilodon Heated Socks

Sleek Design

These go all the way up the calves, so you won’t have to worry about excess bulk at boot level. Amazon

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The knee-high design of these hiking socks means they won’t be uncomfortably bulky by the boot opening. There are three different heat settings, ranging from 104°F (low) to 140°F (high), which makes them an ideal fit for even your chilliest hikes. These have decent battery life, too—up to 4 hours on the warmest setting, and up to 12 on the coolest.

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

The best heated 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 the best heated 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.

Best cheap heated socks: Winter Foot Warmer Socks for Men and Women

Bargain Buy

These come in basic gray and black at a price that’s not much higher than what you’d pay for a regular pair. Amazon

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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.

Best heated socks FAQ: people also ask

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.

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.

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.

A final word on shopping for 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.