Why You Should Wear Padded Socks for Extreme Sports

Jake Blauvelt at Bolton Valley Resort wearing the Darn Tough Backwoods Snow Socks

In the state of Vermont, we love our extreme sports. It’s a special thing when you can find different ways to make the mountains your playground.

While these sports often get your heart rate up and adrenaline pumping, many people also find relaxation in activities like skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, skateboarding, and rock climbing. But though these sports are fun, we often come home with bruised and battered legs, especially from the knee down. This is where padded socks come in.

As someone who loves these sports, I know that feeling of worrying about going back out even though you have a nasty heel bruise from the cliff you dropped off of the day before. Darn Tough has developed socks with extra terry loops (small loops stitched into the sock) underfoot and even some socks with padded shins to protect your feet and legs.

Padded Socks for Skiing and Snowboarding

Michelle Parker in a tent surrounded by snow writing in a journal with her Darn Tough Ski socks on

Here at Darn Tough, we’re surrounded by many of Vermont’s amazing ski resorts (and no shortage of backcountry opportunities as well). Manufacturing your socks less than an hour from where you can test them in harsh winter conditions is a surefire way to develop the best ski socks out there. Some of us, myself included, even “test our socks” on the mountain before and after work!

There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with uncomfortable feet while you’re on the hill. Whether it’s cushion under foot you’re after or something to help you feel more comfortable in those notoriously not-so-comfortable ski boots, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you need padded socks for snowboarding or skiing, we have you covered. We make a variety of cushioned snow socks that feature padded shins to protect your legs from the dreaded bruises you might get from knocking your shins into the front of your boots.

We worked with pro skier Michelle Parker and pro snowboarder Jake Blauvelt to dial in the features on our Snow socks for just the right fit - check out that segmented shin pad on the Backwoods, for example.

Padded Socks for Mountain Biking

Person pulling up Darn Tough socks before a bike ride.

Mountain biking can be brutal when you fall, but it’s tough on your feet and shins even when you’re not falling. If you’ve ridden a mountain bike, you probably know the feeling of catching a pedal to your shin. If you don’t know the feeling, consider yourself lucky.

While our snow socks are mainly made for snow sports, they work great for mountain biking too! From protecting your shins to keeping the dirt, dust, and mud off, these socks will have you and your legs covered.

Not only is mountain biking tough on your body, it’s tough on your gear and clothing. As an added bonus, you’ll never have to worry about buying replacement socks. Since all of our socks come with a lifetime guarantee, if you do happen to snag them on something or put a hole in them you can send them back for a new pair (after washing them of course.)

Rock Climbing in Socks

Rock climber scaling rock face

While many people recommend you don’t wear socks for the best performance, there are certain scenarios where wearing socks for rock climbing is preferred. Two main reasons come to mind:

  1. First, if you rent a pair of shoes from a climbing gym, you will want a pair of odor eliminating and moisture wicking socks to keep your feet fresh.
  2. The second reason to wear socks when climbing is for breaking in new climbing shoes. The process of breaking in tight climbing shoes is extremely painful, causing blisters and bunions. Wearing a pair of padded Merino Wool socks when you’re trying to break in your shoes is helpful for mitigating the friction between your skin and the climbing shoe.

A less common scenario would be crack climbing, or climbing by pressing your body into cracks and fighting your way up the wall, as it can leave you with scrapes and bruises all over, especially around your ankles. Wearing taller socks with cushion can help protect your ankles from getting bruised or scraped up.

Finally, wearing socks with padding can be extremely helpful for climbing multi-pitch big walls. When climbing these routes, people are often climbing below their limit and prefer comfort over performance when it comes to footwear.

Wearing socks when big wall climbing is great for keeping your feet dry which is going to help prevent you from getting blisters. When you’re climbing hundreds, or even thousands of feet, it’s important to stay comfortable. Once a blister forms, it’s going to be there until it heals. This can make your fun adventure a painful one. This is where the magic of Merino Wool comes in.

Padded Socks for Skateboarding

Skateboarder wearing Darn Tough Socks and tying shoes

As I mentioned earlier, extreme sports are tough on your body, and skateboarding is no exception to this. When skateboarding bigger gaps or stair sets, landing can leave you with some painful heel bruises that seem to take forever to go away.

Luckily, we make socks with padded heels which are perfect for softening landings. Our cushion and full cushion sock collection are perfect for helping prevent this. They’re also great for avoiding scrapes and cuts that may occur when your board comes back at you.

If you skateboard a lot, you will likely rip holes in your shoes. While we can’t repair your shoes, if this happens and you rip a hole in your sock, you can send them back in for a fresh pair to skate in.

Extreme sports can be tough on your body. Wearing socks with padding is a great way to avoid minor bruises and scrapes, which makes getting out there every day a little bit easier on your body. Not to mention, it can’t hurt to have socks that will hold up and can be replaced with our Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee.

About the Author

Michael Seigies, our Marketing Coordinator, grew up in the suburbs of New York, but found Vermont and never looked back. When he's not working, he spends his time hiking, snowboarding, and rock climbing in the Green Mountains of Vermont.