Balega Silver No Show Review
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Balega Silver No Show
$19.00 at REI
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|Pros||Deliciously comfortable, well-cushioned||Protective medium cushioning, protective length, durable fibers, strong at wicking, quick to dry||Super comfortable padding, toe spread, blister prevention, excellent moisture management, protective||Great slip prevention, seamless feel||Great wicking and breathability, durable, thin design|
|Cons||Poor breathability||Medium cushioning isn't ideal for super hot weather||Some may not love the toe sock design, cooler than merino wool when wet||A little on the thick side, holds more moisture than a thinner sock||Lacks cushioning|
|Bottom Line||Comfortable for long days pumping out the miles||An all-around excellent performer that's built for the beginner to the elite ultra-distance runner||If you are considering a toe sock design, this durable synthetic option comes highly recommended||If your feet need room to swell in a wider shoe, but you don't want to slip around the extra space, check out these excellent cushioned socks||Perfectly suited for the hottest conditions or the sweatiest feet|
|Rating Categories||Balega Silver No Show||Balega Blister Resi...||Injinji Trail Midwe...||Darn Tough Run Cool...||Swiftwick Aspire Zero|
|Wicking & Breathability (25%)|
|Slip Prevention (15%)|
|Specs||Balega Silver No Show||Balega Blister Resi...||Injinji Trail Midwe...||Darn Tough Run Cool...||Swiftwick Aspire Zero|
|Material||75% Drynamix Polyester, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane||32% Drynamix Polyester, 32% Polyamide, 30% Mohair, 4% Microfiber, 2% Elastane||39% Coolmax Polyester, 58% Nylon, 3% Lycra||48% Nylon 47% Coolmax Polyester 5% Lycra Spandex||55% Nylon, 40% Olefin, 5% Spandex|
|Ankle Cut||No Show Tab||Quarter Length||Quarter Length||No Show Tab||No Show|
Our Analysis and Test Results
If you're a fan of comfort and performance, the Balega Silver No Show is right up your alley. This 100% synthetic sock is soft and supple. It wicks well to keep feet dry but unfortunately holds moisture in the fabric. Some love this sock so much, that they don't only use it for running, but everything else they might encounter day to day.
The Belaga Silver running sock is a simple joy to slip on. Constructed from super soft 100% synthetic materials (75% Drynamix polyester, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane), this is one of our favorites to slip on for a run or to wear after a long adventure on the road or trail.
This sock is made comfortable by the tightly knit and high-density fabric that is used throughout its construction. In general, it is a thicker sock, especially around the arch, and offers a similar level of padding through the bottom of the foot. The cushioning is not centralized to the heel or the forefoot.
The collar is also padded. While running, we found this construction to be quite comfortable overall. It provides additional protection from things that you might find on a trail run and offers a little more protection overall. In general, with the fit (that we will get into later), this is one of the most comfortable socks you can put your foot into.
Fit is quite nice, but not super-specific. Unlike other socks that actually feel like they compress around the arch and the foot, the stretch is sufficient, but not super tight. Many of our testers appreciate this fit as it suits a wide range of sizes and offers compression where it's needed. On the road and trail, this sock did not bunch or roll, offering a great running experience.
So where is the compression centralized? Like other high-quality socks, we noticed lateral and front to back elasticity that ensures the sock stays in place on the run. The band of elastic around the arch is present. The collar is also highly elastic and stays in place while running easily. While running, all of these elements keep the shape of the sock intact, making it comfortable and well-fitted. In general, the size is true to fit, though some online reviews discussed the men's version being a little smaller than they wished. If that's the case, simply order a size up if you're on the cusp.
Wicking & Breathability
While the Silver No Show offers decent wicking ability, it's not the most breathable. Underfoot, there is consistent cushioning, which offers exceptional comfort, but gets in the way of venting moisture.
While running on an especially hot day, we noticed our feet getting hotter than they would with a thinner sock. Our foot still stayed dry, but after taking off our shoes at the house, the sock was moist, lending to the fact that it does wick but does not vent efficiently.
Balega did try to create a venting system, which is a series of slits between the areas of cushioning, but the simple fact is that there isn't enough surface area for appropriate ventilation. The fabric itself does a great job at moving moisture from your foot into the fabric of the sock, but it gets stuck there, which makes for a wet sock after a really hot run. If you're somebody with especially sweaty feet, this isn't our top recommendation.
After running 30+ miles, we are happy to report that we didn't experience much slippage. The sock is thicker throughout the forefoot and heel, offering great traction in any type of shoe. This inherently leads to blister prevention.
During our miles of running, we hit the road and the trail in a variety of temperatures ranging from cold to hot. We ran distances ranging from 5 to 15 miles. We also hiked up super steep mountains and ran down them at full pace. While our feet did heat up (from a lack of venting), we didn't notice any additional friction between the sock and the shoe. Even though the materials are super soft and supple, they are not slippery. We tested with both tight and loose trail running shoes, all yielding a stable and less slippery response.
With its thicker construction throughout, the Balega Silver No Show offers a relatively decent level of durability. We noticed more wear and tear than usual through synthetic construction. The fabric pilled (and yes, we followed the washing instructions), and there are a few fly-away threads throughout. There is also evidence of fabric compaction, as we'd expect from any running sock after using it for 30+ miles. While this wear and tear exists, it hasn't yet taken away from the comfort of the sock.
When consulting the interweb to see if there are any other leering durability flaws that we didn't pick up on during our testing period, we didn't find any serious issues. The more critical reviews mentioned fabric compaction after just a few runs, but no reports of holes or other critical use issues. Overall, we would say that durability is about average, seeing no real issues after 30 miles of use.
Previously we voted this sock our Best Buy, but it has increased in price over the years and is now one of the pricier socks in our review. Still, if you're seeking a comfortable sock that performs all around and is well-engineered, we think this one is worth the money. If you search around, you can typically find sales prices that are even lower.
This is a super comfortable sock and a great all-around performer. The Balega Silver offers on-trail comfort through most seasons. While it's not the most breathable, it still wicks away moisture effectively and doesn't lose its shape or position when running for miles on miles.
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