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Balega Silver No Show Review

Comfortable for long days pumping out the miles
Balega Silver No Show
Credit: SocksGeek
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $19 List | $19.00 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Deliciously comfortable, well-cushioned
Cons:  Poor breathability
Manufacturer:   Balega
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 12, 2022
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 11
  • Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Fit - 25% 8.0
  • Wicking & Breathability - 25% 5.0
  • Slip Prevention - 15% 9.0
  • Durability - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Balega Silver No Show is a top performer that offers immense comfort. 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 with super sweaty feet or for use in mega hot weather. Aside from that, we love it and recommend it if you're seeking a good all-around performer.

Editor's Note: We updated this review on May 12, 2022. Previously, this Balega sock was our Best Buy winner, but it has increased to a price point we no longer feel is a great value. It's still award-worthy for its comfort, though, and if you feel like shelling out the bucks, your feet will be rewarded with a comfortable, blister-free experience.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Balega Silver No Show
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $19.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$20.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$16.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
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Pros Deliciously comfortable, well-cushionedProtective medium cushioning, protective length, durable fibers, strong at wicking, quick to drySuper comfortable padding, toe spread, blister prevention, excellent moisture management, protectiveGreat slip prevention, seamless feelGreat wicking and breathability, durable, thin design
Cons Poor breathabilityMedium cushioning isn't ideal for super hot weatherSome may not love the toe sock design, cooler than merino wool when wetA little on the thick side, holds more moisture than a thinner sockLacks cushioning
Bottom Line Comfortable for long days pumping out the milesAn all-around excellent performer that's built for the beginner to the elite ultra-distance runnerIf you are considering a toe sock design, this durable synthetic option comes highly recommendedIf 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 socksPerfectly 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
Comfort (25%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Fit (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Wicking & Breathability (25%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
10.0
Slip Prevention (15%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
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
Cushioning Level Heavy Heavy Heavy Light None

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.

Performance Comparison


Balega Silver No Show running socks - running with the dogs and friends after a 4,000 ft climb up to a...
Running with the dogs and friends after a 4,000 ft climb up to a snowy ridge in Southwest Colorado.
Credit: Amber King

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.

Balega Silver No Show running socks - a look at the cushioned collar that offers protection with all types...
A look at the cushioned collar that offers protection with all types of running shoes.
Credit: Amber King

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.

Balega Silver No Show running socks - the bottom of the foot on the balega silver is continually cushioned...
The bottom of the foot on the Balega Silver is continually cushioned with the top being thin and breathable.
Credit: Amber King

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. 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.

Balega Silver No Show running socks - a look at the overall fit in a shoe. it protects around the back and...
A look at the overall fit in a shoe. It protects around the back and comes up just over underneath the ankle bone.
Credit: Amber King

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 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 Silver No Show running socks - a look at the attempted ventilation system that doesn't work very...
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.
Credit: Amber King

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.

Balega Silver No Show running socks - testing the wicking capabilities of different running socks...
Testing the wicking capabilities of different running socks, including the Balega Silver No Show, early Summer.
Credit: Amber King

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.

Balega Silver No Show running socks - the internal material does a great job grabbing the interior of the...
The internal material does a great job grabbing the interior of the shoe to prevent slippage.
Credit: Amber King

Durability


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.

Balega Silver No Show running socks - 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.
Credit: Amber King

Value


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.

Balega Silver No Show running socks - trail running, road running, you name it, it does a decent job. just...
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.
Credit: Amber King

Conclusion


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.

Balega Silver No Show running socks - the balega silver no show in all its glory.
The Balega Silver No Show in all its glory.
Credit: Amber King

Amber King
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