Darn Tough Coolmax Vertex Ultra-Light Review
Cons: Slips easily
Manufacturer: Darn Tough
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Darn Tough Ultra Light offers a lightweight yet super durable construction that will have you logging many miles in the years to come.
This sock offers awesome comfort in its architecture. Indeed, this is a sock that we couldn't stop grabbing out of the drawer, no matter what we intended to do. We found ourselves wearing it around the house just as much as in our running shoes.
We love how it stretches in order to easily slide over our foot, but once on simply hugs and supports rather than constricts. There was not a hint of tightness or pinching anywhere, and the no-show seam technology used in the toes will make you forget that there is even a seam there at all.
This was an especially awesome feature, as often times the toe seam can rub and start blisters on long-distance runs, depending on how it sits on your feet and in the shoes. We never found this sock to be either too hot or too cold when out running, and couldn't even think of anything to complain about simply for the sake of it. It is marketed as being ultra-light in terms of thickness, but it does have consistent cushioning underfoot. As a result, this is best for those who love ultra-lightweight construction with a little bit of support.
Size is true to fit. The sock does a great job of compressing around the arch with a thick band of elastic and around the collar. We appreciate the small tab that offers a little more protection against the Achilles as well, although it is not padded.
This sock comes in a fit for both women and men, with a fit that is specific to both. The added cushioning in high impact area makes for a higher level of comfort while the elasticized construction stays in place. We tested it while climbing up a steep hill and summiting high mountain ridges. After all these tests, it stays where it should, and hasn't shown any bunching, rolling, or any other issues. Size is true to fit, and exactly how you'd expect it.
Wicking & Breathability
This sock is lightweight and does a great job of wicking moisture with excellent breathability. It has a plentiful surface area for venting and evaporating moisture. While running on hotter days, we noticed that the moisture readily moved from the foot to the outside of the fabric. While this sock does not dry quickly, it still provides the performance required for longer adventures on either the road or trail.
The vents are placed strategically to ensure even more effective moisture management. The top of the foot has next to no extra padding, same with the area under the arch. This allow for better moisture movement. While our foot stays relatively dry on most days, we did notice it heating up on super hot days. This could be attributed to some additional padding closer to the arch, than most socks. Overall, it goes a good job at wicking and breathability, but it's not the best out there.
When it comes to slip prevention, this sock is a little below average. It provides less slippage than other lightweight contenders because the material grabs the shoe. We noticed this when climbing up hills and descending big mountains while testing in Ouray, Colorado.
The build of the fibers on the sock is quite thin. This thinner construction coupled with a tighter weave means more slippage in the shoe. Other socks with a heavier level of cushioning and/or fibers that aren't as fine don't slip nearly as much. If you have shoes that are larger, and your feet move around in them, you might find these socks won't prevent you from slipping.
We love the durability of this sock. Despite its thinner design, the threads still look like new and haven't been compacted or totally worn after 500+ miles of travel. The high concentration of synthetic materials coupled with a tighter weave, the durability technology is quite hard to beat. Not only that but like all Darn Tough socks, it comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. This simply adds to the value, especially since the product lives up to its claims in our testing period. If you see a super durable sock that also boasts comfort features, this is the one to buy. After two years of testing, it's still going strong and hardly looks used! Even after being blasted with sand, dirt, and other particulates on the trail.
This sock is a little expensive upfront but comes with an unbeatable warranty. It's very durable, and since it was one of our absolute favorites, and think it presents a great value. Its unconditional lifetime guarantee also can't be beat, adding value in the long run.
The Darn Tough Coolmax Vertex Tab No Show Ultra-light is a sock we are happy to recommend to our friends and our readers. It's one of our favorites for its high level of durability. With a lightweight construction, it has cushioning right where you need it. A great choice for shorter trail distances on warm days or road running.
— Amber King