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.
Wrightsock Coolmesh II Crew Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Incredibly breathable, quick to dry, thin, great fit
Cons: Not very durable, not plush
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Amber King