One of the best things about being Canadian is our ability to find ways to entertain ourselves no matter the weather. When the snow piles up, we have winter carnivals, we roll maple syrup on the snow for a delicious and unique treat, we make ice sculptures, and we celebrate on frozen rivers. Due to our adaptable nature – and our 6-ish month long winter season, it makes sense why we have an abundance of winter sports, and why ice hockey is one of our national sports.
An essential part of winter sporting is ensuring you are properly equipped for the cold and damp. This includes, of course, socks!
And it’s not just protection from the elements that the right winter socks can give you when you're partaking in one of Canada’s many winter sports – it’s support and other benefits such as moisture wicking as well! Read on to see our top pick of socks for each popular winter sport and why we recommend them.
Skating (and Hockey and Curling!)
Hockey is Canada’s national winter sport and there are frozen rinks or rivers to skate on in practically every town and city. Whether you prefer hockey skates or figure skates, your feet will need proper insulation and support be comfotable. That’s why we recommend the J.B. Field’s Hiker GX sock as the best socks for skating. The Hiker GX is made out of 74% merino wool, which will keep your feet warm whether you’re practicing your triple axel or scoring a hat trick. The reinforced heel and toe increases durability, and the arch support, double cuffing, and calf ribbing ensures a perfect fit. Crucially, they’re easy to fit into your skates, too!
Skiing is an incredibly popular Canadian winter pastime, both the downhill and cross country variety. Our country is so well equipped for skiing, in fact, that many of our ski resorts constantly rank as the best in the world – most famous being Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia! Whether you’re braving the bunny hill for the first time or you’re an expert gliding down the black hill with ease, we have the perfect skiing socks for you this winter. We recommend the specially made J.B. Field’s Alpine “Ski & Snow II” as the best sock for skiing. This sock has a unique material blend of merino wool and coolmax, which ensures it is moisture wicking, helps prevent blisters (helpful for when your feet are strapped into skis), and importantly, keeps your feet warm and dry. The Alpine “Ski & Snow II” is also specially constructed for skiing (and snowboarding), as it is knee length with extra padding on the shins and has an ankle flex zone for protection and flexibility.
Ice fishing is like normal fishing, but harder – literally, you have to drill through a minimum of 4 inches of solid ice! Canada has the most lakes of any country on Earth, meaning we have an unlimited number of great ice fishing spots! If you’re going to be spending hours out on the ice waiting for that perfect catch, you want to make sure you’re dressed appropriately. For ice fishing, we recommend our J.B. Field's 40 Below Arctic Trail sock. It is one of the warmest thermal winter socks we make, containing 85% pre-shrunk wool! This style was designed for people who require a sock to keep their feet dry and warm in the most extreme conditions—as low as -40 degrees Celsius, making it the perfect sock to spend hours in while you wait to catch dinner.
If you’re the type of person who likes to hike, then a little snow shouldn’t slow you down! Canada has incredible, unrivalled winter hiking trails in every province. And if the snow seems a bit too high to manage, well, thankfully Indigenous peoples created and refined snowshoes! Snowshoes are a necessity in northern communities in Canada, and they also provide a fun winter activity in parks and trails. Gatineau Park in Ontario is well known for its snowshoeing network. To best suit your winter hiking and snowshoeing needs, we recommend the J.B. Field’s Thermal Hiker II sock. This is a heavy weight, versatile sock made with 64% merino wool. It’s warm enough to spend hours outdoors in but also thin enough to fit comfortably into your winter boots – you could even turn your winter hike into a winter run with these! They provide warmth up to -25 degrees Celsius, so you won’t have to worry if your first time snowshoeing takes you a little longer outdoors than you think.
Don’t know what skijoring is? Skijoring is a winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled along by a horse or a dog. The name skijoring comes from the Norwegian word skikjøring, meaning "ski driving", which is very literal indeed. Skijoring is actually a competitive sport, and appeared in the Olympics one time only, in the winter games of 1928. All three medals were won by Switzerland, but I’m sure if enough Canadians practice, we could get up on that podium no problem. If you’re lucky enough to be going skijoring this winter, we recommend you gear up with the J.B. Field’s Icelandic “30 Below Classic” merino wool thermal sock. The Icelandic is one of our most popular socks, and a best-selling winter sock in Canada. It’s made with 70% merino wool, making it the softest, warmest, most comfortable winter sock around! The Icelandic has a loose fitting, non-binding top, heavy weight cushion for added comfort and protection, and provides warmth up to an extreme -30 degrees celsius. We also have an over-the-calf version for added warmth and protection!