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Thorlos Experia XCCU Review

The best overall running sock is comfortable, fits perfectly, and does a great job managing moisture
Thorlos Experia XCCU
Photo: Amazon
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Price:  $15 List | $8.76 at Amazon
Pros:  Great fit, wicks and breathes well, perfectly placed padding, unisex fit
Cons:  Not as grippy within the shoe as some socks, low cut is a bit of a ‘tweener
Manufacturer:   Thorlo
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 2, 2020
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Fit - 25% 7
  • Wicking & Breathability - 25% 8
  • Slip Prevention - 15% 7
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Thorlo Experia XCCU is an excellent sock that once earned its place at the top of the podium. Designed with breathable yet comfortable performance, it's got padding right where you need it. The sizing is specific, with a myriad of options to make sure the fit is precise. It is snug and supportive and kept us comfortable on all sorts of runs. We also think that the light cushioning is exactly as advertised — targeted perfectly to only the areas that need it most. The looped fibers did a great job of wicking moisture away from the foot. While we do love this sock, after years of testing, it's shown to wear a little faster than others.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Thorlos Experia XCCU
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $8.76 at Amazon$15.00 at REI
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$15.00 at Amazon
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$16.95 at Amazon$11.99 at Amazon
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Pros Great fit, wicks and breathes well, perfectly placed padding, unisex fitProtective medium cushioning, protective length, durable fibers, strong at wicking, quick to drySuper comfortable padding, toe spread, blister prevention, excellent moisture management, protectiveSuper comfortable, fits great, durable, good paddingDeliciously comfortable, well-cushioned, affordable
Cons Not as grippy within the shoe as some socks, low cut is a bit of a ‘tweenerMedium cushioning isn't ideal for super hot weatherSome may not love the toe sock design, cooler than merino wool when wetSlips easilyPoor breathability
Bottom Line This comfortable running sock performs the best overall, offering great moisture managementAn excellent all-around awesome contender that's built for long days on the trail or roadIf you love to spread your toe, this toe-sock is our favorite for its excellent cushioning, comfort, and moisture managementA top choice when it comes to balancing comfort and durabilityAn all-around performer at a great price
Rating Categories Thorlos Experia XCCU Blister Resister Quarter Trail Midweight Mini-Crew Coolmax Vertex Ultra-Light Balega Silver No Show
Comfort (25%)
6
9
8
6
9
Fit (25%)
7
8
9
9
8
Wicking & Breathability (25%)
8
8
8
8
5
Slip Prevention (15%)
7
9
8
6
9
Durability (10%)
6
9
9
10
6
Specs Thorlos Experia XCCU Blister Resister... Trail Midweight... Coolmax Vertex... Balega Silver No...
Material 66% THOR WICK COOL, 20% Nylon ,1% Elastic, 13% Polyester 32% Drynamix polyester, 32% polyamide, 30% mohair, 4% microfiber, 2% elastane 39% COOLMAX polyester, 58% Nylon, 3% Lycra 52% Coolmax Polyester, 44% Nylon, 4% Lycra Spandex 75% Drynamix Polyester, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane
Warranty 30 day guarantee One year warranty One year warranty Unconditional lifetime guarantee One year warranty
Ankle Cut Low Cut Quarter Length Quarter Length No Show No Show Tab

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Thorlo Experia XCCU is a very thin sock highlighted by its targeted use of Thorlo Pads made with their Thor-wick Cool fibers. It offers an awesome blend of comfort and breathability that will have you logging the miles on either the trails or on the road.

Performance Comparison


The Experia XCCU is a great sock for running both roads and trails!...
The Experia XCCU is a great sock for running both roads and trails! It's our favorite for its thoughtful architecture and fantastic performance.
Photo: Andy Wellman

Comfort


The Experia XCCU is a very comfortable sock with no instances of tightness or pinching anywhere. We love the fact that the targeted pads cover all of the areas of potential rubbing, including under the forefoot, over the toes, on the sides of the feet from the arch forward, and around the entire heel cup. There is a thinner grey padding that covers the small area of exposed Achilles tendon above the heel adding support for long days out. We love that the padding is specific to the right areas, without any additional and unnecessary cushion, for example, under the arch.

Shown here is the grey padding that covers the sides of the feet and...
Shown here is the grey padding that covers the sides of the feet and toes from the forefoot forward. We find that these areas often rub within a shoe, and are not always protected by a sock's padding.

The Thor-wick Cool fabric in the pads, as well as the polyester and nylon blend throughout the rest of the sock, is super smooth and comfortable against the skin. If we had to be really nit-picky and complain about something (which we do, because all of these socks are top quality), we would say that we wish the end of the toe seam did not come to rest against the outside of our big toe.

Close up of the grey Thorlo pads made of Thor-wick Cool polyester...
Close up of the grey Thorlo pads made of Thor-wick Cool polyester fibers, and the nylon blend of very thin and breathable mesh (white and blue).

While our callused feet were plenty resistant to this small protrusion, we could identify this as a spot of potential rubbing. Overall, this sock is super comfortable because of its super cozy interior fabrics and targetted areas of cushioning.

Fit


When considering the fit, we think it's pretty true to fit. We are thrilled with the very small target range of sizes. A small range like this ensures that no matter what your size, you are likely to get a better fit.

The low cut is a bit of a 'tweener, as they come up above the bottom...
The low cut is a bit of a 'tweener, as they come up above the bottom of the ankle, but are not exactly mini-crew height. Also notice the small grey pad that covers the Achilles region of the heel, which is thinner than the Thorlo pads throughout the rest of the sock.

This sock fits very nicely and was perfectly shaped. The Lycra and nylon fibers in the arch and on top of the foot stretched nicely to fit over our feet, and then successfully hugged and cradled them without feeling tight or constrictive. The arch offers a nice thick compressive elastic band of material that holds the sock in place. The fabric itself is pretty stretchy, but not compressive. Over time, we noticed the fit did seem to stretch out a little bit, but with every wash, it bounced back. Overall, we are pretty happy with the fit of this sock.

Wicking & Breathability


In our two separate wicking and breathing tests, we determined that the Thorlo Experia XCCU is indeed effective at wicking away moisture from next to the foot. In our 15-minute on-the-foot test, we noticed that the sock was quite damp all over the outside, while on the inside we found that the Thorlo pads made of Thor-wick Cool fiber were by far the driest parts, almost completely dry.

The white mesh of the Thorlo Experia XCCU is so thin and breathable...
The white mesh of the Thorlo Experia XCCU is so thin and breathable that you can basically see through it. This was the thinnest sock in this review, but we didn't notice any durability issues during our test period.

On the other hand, the polyester and nylon fibers in the arch and top of the foot remained wet. This led us to believe that the sock is doing an effective job of moving moisture from the pads to the outside of the sock. In our simple one-hour drying test, we found that this sock is quick-wicking and quite breathable.

While the thinner areas get a little wet after tromping in the snow...
While the thinner areas get a little wet after tromping in the snow, the cushioned areas keep moisture off the foot, offering great wicking capabilities.
Photo: Amber King

In addition to our tests, we look at the architecture which tells us how this sock actually breaths. The only real areas of cushioning are the heel and forefoot, meaning the rest of the sock is capable of breathing. More specifically, the fabric is woven loosely to allow appropriate ventilation. During hot days on the trail, our feet stayed dry. On cold days, they felt insulating. Overall, this sock is magical when it comes to moisture management.

Slip Prevention


If there was one scoring metric where the Thorlo sock under-performed, it would be slip prevention. In very loose shoes the smooth outside of this sock was able to slip a bit when running up and down steep hills, although this was not an issue in tight shoes.

The Thorlo Experia XCCU is a great dock for either trail or road...
The Thorlo Experia XCCU is a great dock for either trail or road running. Here we are testing it on the Ridgway bike paths on a warmer winter day.

The low cut is a bit of an odd fit, as it rested right across our ankle, rather than above or below it, and we found was ever so slightly prone to slipping downward, depending on the shoes we were wearing. We wish it had a padded tab feature or thicker elastic band to help it stay up. We will concede that these criticisms are a bit harsh for something that really wasn't much of a factor, but in comparison to the performance of the other socks, this one wasn't the best for once.

Durability


After running 30+ miles, this sock looks surprisingly new. The materials seem to be holding up after our testing period, and we were impressed. However, after about a year of testing, we noticed some wear and tear, more-so than other options tested over this period of time. Aside from that, we are pretty happy and impressed that they're still going without any holes! We only wish that Thorlos could offer a lifetime guarantee, but it does offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

Jo runs at 11,000 ft early Spring while sporting this bomber running...
Jo runs at 11,000 ft early Spring while sporting this bomber running sock. Even with all the snow, single track, and loads of obstacles encountered along the way, she's happily chugging along. A perfect place for the Thorlos Experia!
Photo: Amber King

Value


This sock comes at an average price with top performance. With such excellent breathability and performance, we can't help but recommend it. High value, bare-bones, and it's still going after a year of use (almost 400+ miles!)

Conclusion


The Thorlo Experia XCCU is a lightweight running sock that packs a lot of soft cushioning in a very targeted manner. It gives you everything you need for running comfort with the least amount of superfluous fabric. We recommend it to anyone in need of a lighter sock with excellent breathability and enough comfort to keep your feet happy for longer runs.

Enjoy all the biggest views with our favorite running sock this...
Enjoy all the biggest views with our favorite running sock this season!
Photo: Amber King

Andy Wellman