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Wrightsock CoolMesh II Quarter Review

These double-layer socks wick moisture with the best of them but still maintain the feel of a thin, single-layer sock
Wrightsock CoolMesh II Quarter
Photo: Wrightsock
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Price:  $14 List | $13.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great breathability, very comfortable
Cons:  Can slip around on uneven terrain
Manufacturer:   Wrightsock
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 21, 2021
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 11
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Fit - 25% 8
  • Wicking & Breathability - 25% 7
  • Slip Prevention - 15% 4
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

A great choice to help keep your tired feet dry during the dog days of summer, the Wrightsock CoolMesh II quarter uses a double-layer design to pull moisture away from the foot. This kept our feet relatively dry, blister-free and preserved our hard-earned tough skin from sloughing off. We are especially impressed with the fact that the double-layer construction feels as thin and light as a single layer-sock. If it's hot out and you need a breathable sock with the height that clears your shoe's debris collar, this is a worthy choice.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Great breathability, very comfortableProtective medium cushioning, protective length, durable fibers, strong at wicking, quick to drySuper comfortable padding, toe spread, blister prevention, excellent moisture management, protectiveDeliciously comfortable, well-cushioned, affordableGreat slip prevention, seamless feel
Cons Can slip around on uneven terrainMedium cushioning isn't ideal for super hot weatherSome may not love the toe sock design, cooler than merino wool when wetPoor breathabilityA little on the thick side, holds more moisture than a thinner sock
Bottom Line These double-layer socks wick moisture with the best of them but still maintain the feel of a thin, single-layer sockAn all-around excellent performer that's built for the beginner to the elite ultra-distance runnerIf you are considering a toe sock design, this durable synthetic option comes highly recommendedComfortable and affordable for long days pumping out the milesIf 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
Rating Categories CoolMesh II Quarter Blister Resister Quarter Trail Midweight Mini-Crew Balega Silver No Show Run Coolmax No-Show Tab Ultr...
Comfort (25%)
8
9
8
9
9
Fit (25%)
8
8
9
8
7
Wicking & Breathability (25%)
7
8
8
5
5
Slip Prevention (15%)
4
9
8
9
8
Durability (10%)
7
9
9
6
9
Specs CoolMesh II Quarter Blister Resister... Trail Midweight... Balega Silver No... Run Coolmax...
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 75% Drynamix Polyester, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane 48% Nylon 47% Coolmax Polyester 5% Lycra Spandex
Ankle Cut Ankle Quarter Length Quarter Length No Show Tab No Show Tab
Cushioning Level None Heavy Heavy Heavy Light

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.

Performance Comparison


These shoes feature a debris collar that is great at keeping out...
These shoes feature a debris collar that is great at keeping out dirt and sand, but doesn't feel very good against the ankle, hence the need for a quarter sock like the Wrightsock CoolMesh.
Photo: Matt Bento

Comfort


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.

All you need and nothing you don't, this sock is effective at...
All you need and nothing you don't, this sock is effective at moisture wicking and comfortable without any bells and whistles.
Photo: Matt Bento

Fit


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.

The ankle collar stays in place, but isn't so tight that it leaves a...
The ankle collar stays in place, but isn't so tight that it leaves a mark or feels like a compression sock.
Photo: Matt Bento

These socks aren't available in a women's specific version, but they come in a small to extra-large size range and a ton of fun colors.

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.

Despite the "two socks in one design", these socks dried quickly...
Despite the "two socks in one design", these socks dried quickly. Log some miles with sweaty feet and the inside of your Wrightsock might look as gross as ours.
Photo: Matt Bento

Slip Prevention


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.

Unlike the lightly cushioned Balega on the left, these socks offer...
Unlike the lightly cushioned Balega on the left, these socks offer little in the way of slip protection.
Photo: Matt Bento

Durability


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.

Pull back the ankle collar and you can see how the sock and interior...
Pull back the ankle collar and you can see how the sock and interior liner sock are woven together.
Photo: Matt Bento

Value


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 you're really sensitive about feeling seams and changes in a...
If you're really sensitive about feeling seams and changes in a weave pattern, you'll find blissful uniformity with the interior of the Wrightsock (left).
Photo: Matt Bento

Conclusion


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