Darn Tough Coolmax Vertex Tab No Show Ultra-Light Cushion Review
Cons: Sock is slippery, no additional padding or comfort features
Manufacturer: Darn Tough
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Darn Tough Vertex Ultra-light is a super lightweight running sock with no additional padding. It provides astounding breathability and decent comfort for a lightweight sock composed with Merino wool. It's incredibly durable, offering immense value. We reviewed the women's version, but a men's version is available as well.
This is an ultralight cushioned sock that doesn't offer a whole lot in the way of additional comfort features. The materials (54% Nylon, 41% Merino Wool, 5% Lycra Spandex) feel comfortable against the foot and aren't itchy or scratchy. Given its ultralight design, they aren't super plush or cushioned either.
The no show tab has a tiny bit of cushioning to prevent points of rubbing and friction. The heel and forefoot have a more condensed weave for improved durability with no additional padding. If you're seeking an ultralight without any additional cushioning and a women's specific fit, this is a wonderful option.
We tested the women's version of this sock, it has a thin construction with a narrow heel cup and overall profile. Like the men's version, it has a responsive elastic around the collar that keeps the sock from falling down while running. Around the arch of the foot, is another beefy elastic that keeps the sock in place. The lycra spandex is sewn throughout the sock, providing great lateral and front to back elasticity, keeping everything in place.
Our main tester gave this sock out to many friends with more narrow feet. They all said that the material didn't bunch or roll on the run, maintaining its shape and providing awesome comfort and fit. Overall, a well-fitted sock that isn't too tight or loose.
Wicking & Breathability
Given it's thinner design, this sock does a great job at wicking and breathing. We wore it while trail running through the Spring season where we encountered mud puddles, wet grass, and more! We also wore it in the desert on really hot days to see how it manages moisture. Given the thinness of the entire sock, it wicks really well and has a decent level of breathability. Unfortunately, the fabric weave is a little tight so moisture stays in the material a little longer. That said, we didn't notice wet feet during Spring days, and during our hottest runs, our feet were left dry and happy. Overall, this sock wicks and breaths well.
Alas, this sock doesn't do a whole lot to prevent slippage in the shoe. The tightly woven material is pretty slippery and slips around in looser shoes. The thinner and tightly knit merino wool & nylon don't offer a whole lot of friction.
Backed by Darn Tough's unconditional lifetime guarantee, we feel pretty good that we are buying a sock of value! After putting 30+ miles on this sock, it still looks like it's pretty new out of the box (with the exception of some ingrained dirt). In the high compaction zones (the forefoot and heel), there is very little wear and tear and no signs of compaction. Overall, durability is awesome and the lifetime guarantee is even better!
Value is bomber! Even though the ticket price is high, the investment is totally worth it. Given the no questions asked lifetime guarantee, you can return these socks to Darn Tough (even with holes in them after a few years) for a new pair. While we don't recommend doing this as we should all aim to support a company that produces such a high-quality product. Overall, the performance and quality are totally worth the price.
The Darn Tough Coolmax Vertex Tab No Show Ultra-Light Cushion is a durable, lightweight running sock with great moisture management and performance. While it doesn't do a whole lot to prevent foot slippage, it's a great option for those where this issue doesn't matter as much. Best worn with a tight-fitting shoe in warmer weather, it offers wonderful value and a plethora of applications. We reviewed the women's version of this sock, but there is a men's version as well.
— Andy Wellman