Balega Silver No Show Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Deliciously comfortable, well-cushioned, affordable.
Cons: Breathability is poor.
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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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 low retail price. If you search around, you can typically find sales prices that are even lower.
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.
— Amber King