Smartwool PhD Pro Ski Race

Best sock for big days

For missions that packed in lots of vert through changing conditions, the PhD Pro Ski Race was the first sock we pulled out of the drawer this winter. Elastic (3 percent total) along the arch and extra-long cuffs locked everything in place during one tester’s 8-mile skimo race in the Washington Cascades, preventing hot spots. Smartwool also reduced the sock’s bulk by increasing the amount of mesh at the top of the foot, resulting in a thin sock that won’t give you volume problems inside your ski boots. Merino wool (56 percent) captures body heat and wicks sweat, and a 41 percent nylon content ensured this sock was tough enough to make it through a season of dawn patrols. $31; 2.4 oz.; m’s M-XL, w’s S-L Backpacker

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