The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Wrightsock Coolmesh II Crew Review

A breathable hiking sock built for the hottest days of summer.
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Price:  $15 List | $15.00 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Incredibly breathable, quick to dry, thin, great fit
Cons:  Not very durable, not plush
Manufacturer:   Wrightsock
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 26, 2019
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Wicking and Breathability - 25% 10
  • Warmth - 20% 4
  • Durability - 20% 4
  • Drying Speed - 10% 9

Our Verdict

Do your feet need a breather? The Wrightsock CoolMesh II Crew may be a perfect match. This fully synthetic sock provides the best performance when it comes to breathability in warm to hot weather. Built as a thinner sock, it's a great option for day hikes throughout the year with the exception of the coldest months. It also features a 'double sock construction' where there are two layers of material within the body of the sock. This allows the layers to slide over one another to prevent hot spots and potential blistering on longer hikers. After 40 miles of hiking and running in "Switzerland of America", this is our favorite option for hiking in hot weather. Our only caveats are that it's not very durable, it doesn't have much cushioning, and it's not for cold weather. Take it day hiking in the desert, up a steep trail in the mountains, or along the sandy beaches of the coast.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Incredibly breathable, quick to dry, thin, great fitDurable, comfortable, wide temperature regulation, versatile, fittedGreat thermoregulation, incredibly comfortable, durabilityBreathable, comfortable, well-fitted, thin materials, merino-wool blend, no itchIncredible durability, quick to dry, accommodates a liner, comfortable
Cons Not very durable, not plushNot ideal for hot temperatures, tall cut not best for allSlow to dry, expensiveLacks warmth in cold temperaturesLoose fit, lacks compression paneling, loses wicking capabilities in cold weather
Bottom Line A breathable hiking sock built for the hottest days of summer.An all-time favorite meant for long days on the trail.A hiking sock that performs well through all seasons for any distance.This merino-wool blend hiker is breathable and thin and performs well during high and low intensity activities.This high value sock is a synthetic full-length midweight sock with exemplary durability and drying speed.
Rating Categories Wrightsock Coolmesh II Crew Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion Smartwool PhD Pro Light Crew Light Hiker Micro Crew Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Wicking And Breathability (25%)
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Warmth (20%)
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Durability (20%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Drying Speed (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
8
Specs Wrightsock... Darn Tough Hiker... Smartwool PhD Pro... Light Hiker Micro... Wigwam Hiking...
Material 70% polyester/27% nylon/3% Lycra spandex 66% merino wool, 32% nylon, 2% lycra spandex 62% Merino Wool, 36% Nylon, 2% Elastane 40% merino wool, 56% nylon, 4% lycra spandex 41% polypropylene, 34% acrylic, 23% stretch nylon, 1% stretch polyester, 1% spandex
Sock Category Lightweight Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Midweight
Length Lower calf High calf Lower calf High ankle Lower calf
Guarantee Policy Lifetime guarantee Lifetime guarantee 2 year satisfaction guarantee Lifetime guarantee 2 year guarantee

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


We hike to the top of Bridge of Heaven (at 12 000 feet) in Ouray Colorado in 90-degree weather. The Wright Coolmesh II sock proves to be the most breathable and a perfect option for this day hike/trail run.
We hike to the top of Bridge of Heaven (at 12,000 feet) in Ouray Colorado in 90-degree weather. The Wright Coolmesh II sock proves to be the most breathable and a perfect option for this day hike/trail run.

Comfort


As a fully synthetic sock option, this is sock isn't plush or super cozy. It is designed as a thinner sock for warm to hot weather that fits nicely and close to the foot. It has a unique double-sock construction that fits great in a pair of hiking shoes or boots. One layer hugs the foot, while the outer layer interacts with the boot or shoe. This allows the material to slide over one another, preventing pinch points or discomfort while on the trail. Wrightsock even goes as far to claim that these socks are guaranteed to prevent blisters.

A look at the basic anatomy of this highly breathable hiking sock. Here we see it turned inside out to reveal the inner layer that lays next to the skin.
A look at the basic anatomy of this highly breathable hiking sock. Here we see it turned inside out to reveal the inner layer that lays next to the skin.

During our testing period, none of our testers earned any blisters, even when hiking in wet or super hot conditions. Overall, while it's not plush or super cozy sock, it offers comfort in the way of a great fit and double sock construction. The fully synthetic construction also feels good against the skin. However, given it's thinner, less cushioned design, it's not our #1 go-to for long summer backpacking trips.

Wicking & Breathability


Can we gloat on how amazing this notable mention is? During a 90-degree day, we decided to go on a training run when humidity was relatively high. Even though we were sweating buckets while climbing 4000 feet uphill over 5 miles, our feet were left cool and dry, as the name of the sock, "CoolMesh" implies. The result? We are totally psyched on its performance in this category. Two big toes…way up!

Running and hiking are a great application for this lightweight and breathable sock.
Running and hiking are a great application for this lightweight and breathable sock.

Warmth


Given the thinner design, this sock isn't built for colder weather. While you can still wear it on cooler days when on the move, it simply isn't a super warm sock. The 100% synthetic material will insulate if you get the sock wet to keep your feet dry and warm. However, it can't compete with merino wool-synthetic blends when it comes to this metric. If you're looking for a sock that'll perform well in the Fall, Summer, and Spring, this is a great option. Just leave it at home for the colder months.

Durability


Unfortunately, the durability of this sock is lacking. After just a couple of runs of just 10 miles, we noticed some serious wear and compression of the synthetic fibers. While we didn't get any holes after 40 miles of wear, we wouldn't trust these socks on super long backpacking trips that last for a couple of months. In addition, when scouring the internet, we noticed that durability is a common issue from many other users online. Many reported holes being put through the material after just a couple of uses. When looking at the sock architecture, this isn't very surprising as the upper material is quite thin and questionable at first glance. Without durability issues, this sock would have won one of our coveted awards.

Some compaction and wear after 60 miles of use. When running for 13 miles over technical terrain  we noticed the layers "sticking" together which added to the lack of durability we observed through the testing period.
Some compaction and wear after 60 miles of use. When running for 13 miles over technical terrain, we noticed the layers "sticking" together which added to the lack of durability we observed through the testing period.

Drying Speed


Perfection once again in this category! When looking at drying speed, we took each sock through puddles, rivers, and creeks then observed how long it took for it to dry. When hiking and running, it took the sock between 10 - 15 minutes to become totally dry, which is insanely fast! During our dryer tests on low heat, it managed to dry in a measly 60 minutes, which is 10 - 30 minutes faster than other contenders. Overall, it is a very quick drying sock, making it a great option for crossing creeks, plodding through puddles, or getting caught in the rain.

Here we weigh the sock before starting the drying tests.
Here we weigh the sock before starting the drying tests.

Value


The Wrightsock CoolMesh II offers good value for its niche purpose, but it's not the best value out there. Given the durability issues we found, it's hard to say this sock is of impeccable value. While it is a notable mention for its ability to breath and dry quickly in hot weather, we would have a hard time recommending it for somebody looking for a steal of a deal. Overall, a good value, but not the best out there.

Chilling out on a hike near an alpine lake after hiking uphill for over 6000 feet. This sock proves to keep our feet dry and doesn't slip on the trail.
Chilling out on a hike near an alpine lake after hiking uphill for over 6000 feet. This sock proves to keep our feet dry and doesn't slip on the trail.

Conclusion


The Wrightsock CoolMesh II is built for the hiker that needs a sock that will breathe and dry quickly. Its double sock construction is unique, claiming to help prevent blisters on the trail. This is our favorite for hot weather hiking sock despite its poor durability history and lack of warmth. It is not our top choice for long backpacking missions, but it is a wonderful option for hiking in warm to hot weather. Breathe easy with this sock on the trail.

Hike  run  bike...anything where you need your feet to stay nice and cool.
Hike, run, bike...anything where you need your feet to stay nice and cool.


Amber King