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Light cushioning at the shin helps the SmartWool PhD Ski Racer Sock take the bite out of your tall, stiff alpine ski racing boot. A little stretchy, cushioned at the heel and forefoot, and plenty warm, this sock is your best friend for cold days of gate bashing at the local ski resort.

  • Merino wool material insulates, breathes, and is naturally resistant to the bacteria that cause odors
  • Nylon and elastane synthetic fibers help this sock dry quickly and give it some flexible stretch
  • 4-Degree Fit features an ankle band, upper instep band, lower instep band, and arch band for support
  • WOW Technology uses two layers of wool (Wool on Wool) for extra cushioning at the heel and forefoot
  • Mesh panels allow sweat and hot air to move away from your foot
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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Great pair of socks-not just for skiing

  • Familiarity:I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Love these socks! I plan to wear them skiing and also on cold winter mornings on the weekend, just because. Padding feels great and they fit awesome. Every time I get a new pair, either my wife or daughter grab them at their first convenience. They not only go great with ski boots, but also with hiking, and just plain cowboy boots. They also look sharp, with a variety of colors and sizes to choose from. I've picked up a couple of pairs and am always on the lookout for more. If you like a different kind of sock that fits all the way up to your knees, this should more than do it for you.

Smartwool PhD...the bomb diggity

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

We only wear Smartwool ski socks in our fam (5 of us). Have owned & used most of the rest...nothing compares. Their Racer sock is a thinner version of the reg PhD sock.

scholl's got nothing on these

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

I have a few pairs of these socks and have really enjoyed using them. Unfortunately since getting these socks I have stepped into a tighter boot and these are a little on the too snug side. That aside, this sock has very strategic and appropriate padding. I especially like the shin cushion. It also stays very warm all day long. Fits true to size but be sure to work them up your calf from the bottom and don't try to just pull it all the way up from the cuff.

Warm & Comfortable

    It still kills me to drop $20 on a single pair of socks, but I know I'm at least buying a quality, long lasting product from Smartwool. They're comfortable (that padding's great) and they keep my feet warm as expected.

    Great Sock

    • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit:True to size

    I have used this sock probably 20-30 times this season so far and they are great if you are looking for a lower profile sock to fit in a tighter fitting boot. I use these in my Lange RX 130 and I have not had a problem with my feet getting cold but getting a bit to warm. The only down side I have seen from these socks is that they do not have a lot of padding on the under side of the foot so if you are in your ski boots for 8+ hours a day the bottoms of your feet might get a little uncomfortable.

    My favorite sock yet from Smart Wool

    • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit:True to size

    Ive worn a number of socks from Smart Wool - the PhD Ski Medium, the Ski Ultralight - and this one takes the cake for me. It has the right amount of insulation to maintain a soft, comfy feel (I found the Ski Ultralight became a bit stiff and uncomfortable after one or two wears), while being thin enough to allow me to wear a ski boot with a performance fit (the Ski Medium is nice and comfortable, but there is a bit too much material on those socks when you're wearing a snug fitting ski boot, which in the end begins to cut off your circulation and making your feet colder)

    The sizing is accurate: I wear a size 10 street shoe, and the Large fits great.

    And as many advocates of Merino Wool will tell you (although I do realize these have a lot of Nylon in them), they will ward off funk much better than a straight polyester sock.

    Not for extreme cold

    • Familiarity:I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit:True to size

    These socks fit like a glove, very close on the skin, very little room for movement, but that's where this sock is probably designed to excel. I bought them for Siberian Winter, not sure they're going to be the ticket. Time will tell.


    * Very snug fit

    * Tall and elastic holds well on the calf, don't see these puppies slipping easily

    * Good quality construction


    * Not as padded as other Smartwool socks

    * Thin when compared to other types of smartwool socks


    For snowboarding and anything keeping up movement or breaking a sweat, I'm sure these will work great. For walking/hiking in the outdoors I think these are a bit weak.

    If you suffer from cold feet or don't want to risk it, rather by the trekking variation of Smartwool Trekking Socks or the REI Merino Wool Expedition Socks

    Best sock

    • Familiarity:I've used it several times
    • Fit:True to size

    I love the Smartwool Ski Racer socks. The extra padding is very noticeable and helps eliminate a lot of shin pain. Also, the extra padding is extra insulation keeping you warm. These socks run very tight, so if you're in between sizes I'd say go up a size. They're supposed to have a tight fit, but I could see that being an issue for some people.

    Never cold

    • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit:True to size

    Wool Makes all the difference. These socks are just the right thickness, have a super sweet shin cushion section, and keep your tootsies warm all day and night. Never going back to other socks again.

    Anyone try these in race-fit boots in...

    Anyone try these in race-fit boots in gates? I've tried numerous others, but when you're sizing -2 sizes, a little bit of cushioning creates lots of pressure, fit issues, and decreased control.

    Best Answer

    The racer socks are slightly thicker than your typical dress sock. The padding in the heel is more significant, and with my race boots the heel cup bites into this padding, but its not severe. They are thin through the instep which is good for my boots - they are nasty tight right there.

    Smart wool has a few other options for thin stuff. I def. recomend them as they work for me and I have low tolerances in my boots.