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Swiftwick Aspire Zero Review

Perfectly suited for the hottest conditions or the sweatiest feet
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $15 List | $14.99 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great wicking and breathability, durable, thin design
Cons:  Lacks cushioning
Manufacturer:   Swiftwick
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 25, 2019
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Fit - 25% 7
  • Wicking & Breathability - 25% 10
  • Slip Prevention - 15% 5
  • Durability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Swiftwick Aspire Zero stands out for its thinner synthetic design that makes it great at wicking and highly breathable! Constructed of thin, yet comfortable, materials, this bare-bones sock is a go-to if you struggle with sweaty feet or find yourself running in temps that are on par with the Death Valley in the middle of summer. As a surprisingly durable sock, it'll keep your feet comfortable and dry all day long. Low profile, comfortable, and high value. What more could you ask for?

We tested the women's version of this sock, but a men's version is also available.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

As a highly breathable sock that wicks away moisture effectively, the Swiftwick Aspire Zero wins a Top Pick award. After testing it for over 30 miles of travel, we've learned that this well-fitted contender is perfect for sweaty conditions. Whether your struggle with sweaty feet or simply plan on running in hot weather, it'll keep your feet dry and happy.

Performance Comparison


Jo runs it out on a hot morning in the San Juan Mountains with the Swiftwick Aspire Zero.
Jo runs it out on a hot morning in the San Juan Mountains with the Swiftwick Aspire Zero.

Comfort


This sock is perfectly comfortable for all-day wear. Designed with runners and bikers in mind, the material is thin, low profile and offers smooth comfort against the skin. The Swiftwick is composed of 55% Nylon and 40% Olefin. It is a super lightweight sock so it doesn't boast any additional padding in the forefoot, heel, or around the Achilles.


We wore this sock through thick and thin. Throughout the winter and into the warm days of summer. Spending hours on our feet, we went for long runs and didn't experience any issues whether in rain or shine. The materials are tightly knit and the fabric isn't particularly soft or supple. The seamless design ensures there are no areas of rubbing and the level of compression is just right. Overall, this is a thin sock that doesn't boast additional cushioning. A great option for warmer, long days on the road or trail.

Padding is minimal without any additional cushioning.
Padding is minimal without any additional cushioning.

Fit


Fit is another consideration of comfort, but here we explore the architecture of the sock in a little more depth. The Swiftwick proves to be a lightweight sock option that doesn't bunch or pull after long days out. While this sock does advertise "firm compression" we'd say that the compression is actually lesser than most running socks. It's far from a compression sock but does offer nice support around the arch. The toe box is nice and wide, allowing you to spread your toes without weird bunching or deformity after long runs.


Let's take a deeper dive into the architecture, shall we? To be honest, this sock is pretty darn simple. It doesn't offer a huge level of cushioning in the forefoot or heel. Its low profile and a great option for the minimalist at heart.

A look at the collar of the sock that dives way down and isn't very protective.
A look at the collar of the sock that dives way down and isn't very protective.

The collar of the sock is thin and comes right below the ankle for a "no-show" design. The heel cup is nicely fitted. There is a band of elastic that wraps around the circumference of the arch, but the elasticity of it is not very firm. The sock also has great top to bottom elasticity that ensures that it doesn't move up or down while running.

A look at the "no show" profile of this ultralightweight and super breathable running sock. A favorite for hot days  sweaty feet  or wet weather.
A look at the "no show" profile of this ultralightweight and super breathable running sock. A favorite for hot days, sweaty feet, or wet weather.

The toe box is roomy and not too tight. It sports an ergonomic shape that won't bunch while you put down the miles. This sock is completely seamless, which adds to its great fit and comfort. The sizing is spot on, not being too small or too large. Overall, great fit for its lightweight construction.

The elastic around the arch is super wide ensuring that it doesn't slip on much on the run.
The elastic around the arch is super wide ensuring that it doesn't slip on much on the run.

Wicking & Breathability


Stealing the show in this category, this 100% synthetic running sock keeps your feet dry and comfortable all day long. The breathable venting is found under the arch and forefoot, as well as at the top of the foot. The material is great at pulling moisture off the foot and evaporating quickly. Moisture does not hang out in the material, keeping your feet dry, even on the longest days out on the trail.


In comparison to the rest, this synthetic sock kept our feet driest, even in the hottest conditions. In addition, the material wicks moisture from the foot, while allowing moisture to easily leave the material. This is our top recommendation if you need a breathable sock on your feet.

This elastic band is also ultra light  acting as additional ventilation  even though the body of the sock does this on its own.
This elastic band is also ultra light, acting as additional ventilation, even though the body of the sock does this on its own.

Slip Prevention


This sock does slip around in a sock that isn't super fit and a little looser. The synthetic Nylon and Olefin material isn't particularly grippy, which feels slippery inside of the shoe. As a result, we'd recommend wearing a shoe with a tighter fit if you're worried about sock slippage.


While sock slippage is important to ensure that blisters don't develop over time, we want to note that we didn't experience any issues with blistering. On many online reviews, those with blister prone issues report that this sock actually helps in that department. While we can't confirm it will prevent blisters (everybody uses different gear and runs differently), this information may help to inform your decisions. Overall, this sock is a little slipperier than others with more cushioning and thicker materials, but with the correct shoe, it shouldn't pose any issues inside your shoe.

Unfortunately  the fibers underfoot aren't very grabby and do slip around in looser shoes. If you choose this sock  but sure it interfaces with either a sticky insole or a tight shoe.
Unfortunately, the fibers underfoot aren't very grabby and do slip around in looser shoes. If you choose this sock, but sure it interfaces with either a sticky insole or a tight shoe.

Durability


While our testing window is ongoing, we are surprised and happy with the level of durability we observed during our three-month testing period. Over this time, the fibers stayed intact, didn't show any serious compaction or even wear. In total, we put over thirty miles of running on this sock through both wet and dry weather. Unlike other socks, it still looks like it came right out of the package.


Normally after this amount of mileage you'd observe compaction or the fabric wearing super thin. We didn't have this experience. We think it's because of the durability of the Nylon and Olefin fibers, that bounce back, even after hard wear and compaction. The seams didn't show any signs of failure either. The only real wear and tear we observed is the elastic stitching coming undone in one spot. In addition, there is minor pilling. We will continue testing these socks to report on durability in a few months. So stay tuned for that! So far, we are impressed with the durability. Many online reviews also confirm that these socks have lasted for a long time (sometimes years) for many users.

While we didn't notice many durability issues after 30+ miles  we did note a couple of thread fly-aways from the elastic fabric intertwined in the synthetic material.
While we didn't notice many durability issues after 30+ miles, we did note a couple of thread fly-aways from the elastic fabric intertwined in the synthetic material.

Value


This sock is fairly priced. Not too expensive, but not super cheap either. While we can't confirm the limits for the durability of this sock, it has a good online reputation and proves to be durable after we put it through the wringer. As a result, we'd say it's a heck of a deal.

Even though we love this sock for hot days  it's also perfect for days where your shoes might get wet and you need a sock that'll dry and wick efficiently. Here  Jo begins to posthole on our run/hike in the San Juan mountains early Summer.
Even though we love this sock for hot days, it's also perfect for days where your shoes might get wet and you need a sock that'll dry and wick efficiently. Here, Jo begins to posthole on our run/hike in the San Juan mountains early Summer.

Conclusion


The Swiftwick Aspire Zero is our Top Pick for Wicking & Breathability. If you're seeking a sock that'll wick in warm weather and move moisture effectively, this thin profile running sock is a great option. The materials are comfortable with a specific fit that won't roll down on the run. While Swiftwick advertises this as a "compression sock" the level of compression isn't very high in comparison to other running socks out there. So be aware this will fit and feel just like any other high quality running sock. Overall, it is breathable, comfortable, and ready for most endeavors, especially in warmer weather.


Amber King