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

Balega Silver No Show Review

Comfortable and affordable for long days pumping out the miles.
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $15 List | $13.50 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Deliciously comfortable, well-cushioned, affordable.
Cons:  Breathability is poor.
Manufacturer:   Balega
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 25, 2019
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 9
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Fit - 25% 8
  • Wicking & Breathability - 25% 5
  • Slip Prevention - 15% 9
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Balega Silver No Show isn't only a top performer, but it offers immense comfort at a great price. We tested it through all sorts of weather, running up steep mountains, and along paved corridors. We wore them with different types of shoes to see how it protects, fits, and performs. The result? It does well in all categories except for one. Given the fully cushioned architecture that lends to its immense comfort, it doesn't breathe very well in hot weather. As a result, this sock is recommended for those that don't deal in sweaty feet or for use in super hot weather. Aside from that, we love it and recommend it if you're seeking a good all-around performer that is a great deal.


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Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Deliciously comfortable, well-cushioned, affordable.Great fit, wicks and breathes well, perfectly placed padding, unisex fitSuper plush and comfortable, ergonomic fit, men & women's versions, cute colorsSuper comfortable, fits great, durable, good padding.Great wicking and breathability, durable, thin design.
Cons Breathability is poor.Not as grippy within the shoe as some socks, low cut is a bit of a ‘tweenerMoisture management is sub-par, tight fit.Doesn’t wick moisture very wellLacks cushioning.
Bottom Line Comfortable and affordable for long days pumping out the miles.The best overall running sock is comfortable, fits perfectly, and does a great job managing moisture.A super plush and comfortable running sock with a compressive fit.A super comfortable and durable lightweight running sock.Perfectly suited for the hottest conditions or the sweatiest feet.
Rating Categories Balega Silver No Show Thorlos Experia XCCU Feetures Merino 10 Coolmax Vertex Ultra-Light Swiftwick Aspire Zero
Comfort (25%)
10
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9
10
0
9
10
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9
10
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7
10
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7
Fit (25%)
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8
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7
Wicking & Breathability (25%)
10
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5
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8
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6
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8
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10
Slip Prevention (15%)
10
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9
10
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7
10
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8
10
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7
10
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5
Durability (10%)
10
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6
10
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8
10
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7
10
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9
10
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8
Specs Balega Silver No... Thorlos Experia XCCU Feetures Merino 10 Coolmax Vertex... Swiftwick Aspire...
Material 75% Drynamix Polyester, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane 66% THOR WICK COOL, 20% Nylon ,1% Elastic, 13% Polyester Merino, synthetic 52% Coolmax Polyester, 44% Nylon, 4% Lycra Spandex 55% Nylon, 40% Olefin, 5% Spandex
Warranty No Information Found 30 day guarantee Lifetime Guarantee Unconditional lifetime guarantee Lifetime Guarantee
Ankle Cut No Show Tab Low Cut No Show Tab No Show No Show

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you're a fan of comfort and performance at a great price, the Balega Silver No Show is right up your alley. This 100% synthetic sock is soft, supple, and goes at a decent price. 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.

Performance Comparison


Running with the dogs and friends after a 4 000 ft climb up to a snowy ridge in Southwest Colorado.
Running with the dogs and friends after a 4,000 ft climb up to a snowy ridge in Southwest Colorado.

Comfort


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.

A look at the cushioned collar that offers protection with all types of running shoes.
A look at the cushioned collar that offers protection with all types of running shoes.

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.

The bottom of the foot is continually cushioned with the top being thin and breathable.
The bottom of the foot is continually cushioned with the top being thin and breathable.

Fit


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 but isn't as pronounced as the Feetures Merino 10, a much more compressive sock option. 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.

A look at the overall fit in a shoe. It protects around the back and comes up just over underneath the ankle bone.
A look at the overall fit in a shoe. It protects around the back and comes up just over underneath the ankle bone.

This sock has a size range from small to x-large. This unisex sock can fit both men and women alike. All our testers (both men and women) like the fit, even though there is no women's specific fit. The fabric is elastic enough is quite diverse.

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 it 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.

A look at the attempted ventilation system that doesn't work very well on the trail. The thinner bands are thinner fabric  but the interlaced cushioning keeps moisture hanging out at the bottom of the sock.
A look at the attempted ventilation system that doesn't work very well on the trail. The thinner bands are thinner fabric, but the interlaced cushioning keeps moisture hanging out at the bottom of the sock.

Balega did try to create a venting system, which is a series of slits between then 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…making for a wet sock after a really hot run. If you're somebody with especially sweaty feet, this isn't our top recommendation. We'd recommend taking a look at the Thorlo Experia XCCU, a more breathable and cushioned contender (it also won our Editors' Choice award).

Testing the wicking capabilities of different running socks  including the Balega Silver No Show  early Summer.
Testing the wicking capabilities of different running socks, including the Balega Silver No Show, early Summer.

Slip Prevention


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.

The internal material does a great job grabbing the interior of the shoe to prevent slippage.
The internal material does a great job grabbing the interior of the shoe to prevent slippage.

Durability


With its thicker construction throughout, the Balega Silver No Show offers a relatively decent level of durability. We did notice 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.

Here we see some fabric compaction after 30+ miles of wear and tear.
Here we see some fabric compaction after 30+ miles of wear and tear.

Best Applications


This sock is obviously a great option for running, but it's not limited to just that! Its excellent comfort makes it a great option to wear around the house, or while day hiking. It performs well in cold weather, but we wouldn't recommend it for super hot weather or those with super sweaty feet (because of the lack of venting). It's a thicker sock overall, so if you're seeking an affordable and comfortable option, this is a great choice!

Trail running  road running  you name it  it does a decent job. Just avoid super hot days as the sock itself doesn't breathe well.
Trail running, road running, you name it, it does a decent job. Just avoid super hot days as the sock itself doesn't breathe well.

Value


Scoring high for a fair price, the Balega Silver No Show wins our Best Buy award for its standout value. A comfortable sock that performs all around and is well-engineered for a retail price of just $15. If you search around, you can typically find sales prices that are even lower. A great deal if you ask us. If you are looking for a sock that offers the best warranty out there, check out the Darn Tough Vertex, a super durable contender with a lifetime, no questions asked, guarantee.

Conclusion


Well-priced, comfortable, and a great performer. The Balega Silver offers on trail comfort through most seasons. While it's not the most breathable, it does wick away moisture effectively and doesn't lose its shape or position when running for miles on miles. Our Best Buy award winner and comfort monster.

The Balega Silver No Show in all its glory. A great value that comes with immense comfort.
The Balega Silver No Show in all its glory. A great value that comes with immense comfort.


Amber King