Thorlos Experia XCCU Review
Cons: Not as grippy within the shoe as some socks, low cut is a bit of a ‘tweener
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Thorlos Experia XCCU
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|$20.00 at REI|
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|$16.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Great fit, wicks and breathes well, perfectly placed padding, unisex fit||Protective medium cushioning, protective length, durable fibers, strong at wicking, quick to dry||Super comfortable padding, toe spread, blister prevention, excellent moisture management, protective||Great slip prevention, seamless feel||Great wicking and breathability, durable, thin design|
|Cons||Not as grippy within the shoe as some socks, low cut is a bit of a ‘tweener||Medium cushioning isn't ideal for super hot weather||Some may not love the toe sock design, cooler than merino wool when wet||A little on the thick side, holds more moisture than a thinner sock||Lacks cushioning|
|Bottom Line||The best overall running sock is comfortable, fits perfectly, and does a great job managing moisture||An all-around excellent performer that's built for the beginner to the elite ultra-distance runner||If you are considering a toe sock design, this durable synthetic option comes highly recommended||If your feet need room to swell in a wider shoe, but you don't want to slip around the extra space, check out these excellent cushioned socks||Perfectly suited for the hottest conditions or the sweatiest feet|
|Rating Categories||Thorlos Experia XCCU||Balega Blister Resi...||Injinji Trail Midwe...||Darn Tough Run Cool...||Swiftwick Aspire Zero|
|Wicking & Breathability (25%)|
|Slip Prevention (15%)|
|Specs||Thorlos Experia XCCU||Balega Blister Resi...||Injinji Trail Midwe...||Darn Tough Run Cool...||Swiftwick Aspire Zero|
|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||48% Nylon 47% Coolmax Polyester 5% Lycra Spandex||55% Nylon, 40% Olefin, 5% Spandex|
|Ankle Cut||Low Cut||Quarter Length||Quarter Length||No Show Tab||No Show|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!)
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.
— Andy Wellman
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