Wrightsock CoolMesh II Quarter Review
Cons: Can slip around on uneven terrain
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Wrightsock CoolMesh II Quarter
$8.73 at REI
|$20.00 at REI|
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|Check Price at Backcountry|
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|Check Price at REI|
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|$16.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Great breathability, very comfortable||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||Can slip around on uneven terrain||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||These double-layer socks wick moisture with the best of them but still maintain the feel of a thin, single-layer sock||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||Wrightsock CoolMesh...||Balega Blister Resi...||Injinji Trail Midwe...||Darn Tough Run Cool...||Swiftwick Aspire Zero|
|Wicking & Breathability (25%)|
|Slip Prevention (15%)|
|Specs||Wrightsock CoolMesh...||Balega Blister Resi...||Injinji Trail Midwe...||Darn Tough Run Cool...||Swiftwick Aspire Zero|
|Material||70% polyester/27% nylon/3% Lycra spandex||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||Ankle||Quarter Length||Quarter Length||No Show Tab||No Show|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Wrightsock CoolMesh II Quarter is a good choice on hot days or for folks with particularly sweaty feet. For better or worse, there are no cushioned zones or varying weave patterns, just two layers of a polyester blend that create a pleasant feel of uniformity. Wrightsock touts their double-layered design as "two sock performance, one sock feel". We can confirm, as this sock feels as light and breathable as other thin single-layer socks we've tested.
These socks have a pleasant, seamless feel, not unlike a dress sock. We found we could easily slip into our running shoes without experiencing any bunching or snagging, which is especially nice when our shoes included some sort of debris collar. In the hand, this sock feels smooth, and the interior layer does not have and stray fibers or bunching around the seams. Wrightsock claims you'll never get blisters with these socks. Wear a poor fitting shoe or go for a long run in a pair of loafers and we'd bet you can get a blister while wearing this sock, but we didn't experience any blisters and can say Wrightsock's claims hold up when operating within the realms of sensibility.
We do not describe these socks as snug, and they don't offer a compression sock feel. If you don't like a sock that hugs your foot, or you have flippers for feet, they're a great choice. Our tester with a US men's 9.5 shoe size feels like this sock in a size large provides a perfect fit. The collar has a slightly snugger fit than the rest of the sock so that it stays in place on the ankle, but not so tight that it leaves a mark. We could even push it down so it bunched up and it still didn't feel uncomfortably tight.
Wicking & Breathability
The double-layer design is very effective at moisture-wicking, and we were surprised that these socks had a drying time equal to and sometimes less than a few thin, single layer competitors. We can't say enough how thin and breathable this model feels, even though it's built from two layers of polyester blends. On the foot and in the sun, our feet felt bone dry after 15 minutes post-soak. When we removed the sock, we were unable to wring out any water, and could tangibly confirm our dry feet. These socks are fine-tuned for warmer days.
Slip prevention is not a strong suit for this sock, as is the case with many thin, cushionless socks. If you are running in shoes that fit well (and you should be), this is by no means a deal-breaker. It's worth noting that if you're running of varied, off-trail terrain, it's crucial that you aren't sliding around inside your shoe, and you may want to choose a cushioned model that does a nicer job at locking your foot in place. For those charging for miles on the flats or gently rolling trails, the Wrightsock Coolmesh II Quarter shouldn't feel too slippery.
In 40+ miles of hill charging, rock hopping, and stream jumping, we didn't experience any durability issues with these socks. The double layers don't feel like they slide against each other, and we're curious what we'll find once we eventually wear through the heel. Will the layers separate and bunch uncomfortably? We're not in the business of predictions here at GearLab, but we'll report any durability when (if ever) we encounter them. Multiple washings had no effect on these socks, though the white interior lining never returned to its pre-sweat stained glory.
These socks run a buck to a few bucks less than some of their quality competitors and we feel they are a good value for a high-performing running sock. Sure you can buy a pack of 10 cotton socks for the same amount, but if you're reading this, we suspect you already know better.
If it's a quarter-length sock you need, look no further than the Wrightsock CoolMesh II Quarter. They'll stay on your ankle and comfortably clear your shoe's debris collar, and you'll hardly notice them hugging your ankle.
— Matt Bento
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