GEAR REVIEW – Darn Tough Vertex Compression Socks ($30)
Ok, let’s face it. I’m a sucker for socks. Especially socks with fun patterns. But you won’t see me rocking fun socks if they cause any discomfort to my toes, or slide down while I’m trying to PR an uphill segment, or run, hike, shuffle an ungodly long distance for the love of eating mashed potatoes out of a squeeze tube.
I’ve been curious about the Darn Tough brand and their cult following for quite some time now, and wanted to get some hands on (feet-on?) time with them. So, I took the Darn Tough Vertex Over-the-Calf Ultra-Light compression sock for a 16 mile trail run with 4,000ft of vertical gain.
Immediately, I felt the cushioning, comfort and support in all the right places. The socks didn’t slip down once or need any adjusting over the course of the trail run. My calves felt great on the day of my run and even the dreaded two days following, my quads on the other hand were a tad thrashed. I encountered no hot spots on my feet and my toes had plenty of room to splay when needed mid stride. Temps were approximately 75F, which is pretty warm to me for running; however, the socks didn’t feel like they were suffocating my legs and when the temps dropped 4,000′ higher, I appreciated the warmth on my calves.
I have a few hundred more miles to put on these before I can attest to their long term durability, but will post an update once they’ve reached their time tested age. All in all, there are a lot of compression socks on the market, but very few that are made in the USA or have a ‘guaranteed for life’ exchange policy. I also have yet to test their exchange policy, but have many friends who say this is why they only wear Darn Tough brand socks now.
For sizing reference, I wore a women’s size L sock and rock a women’s size 10 (EU 42) running shoe.Buy Yours
Bottom Line – An excellent over the calf compression sock for long, calf burning days spent running, hiking or adventuring.
- Performance Fit – Form fitting toe box, sculpted heel pocket, and integrated arch support means absolutely no slipping, no bunching, and no blisters
- Compression – Graduated compression from 11-16 mmHg which helps speed recovery
- Fast Action Wicking – Skin never felt moist. Did not test running through a stream or snow but believe they would dry quickly based on fabric composition (54% Merino Wool, 41% Nylon, 5% Lycra® Spandex)
- All Weather Performance – Cool in higher temps, warm in cooler temps
- Naturally Antimicrobial – absolutely zero stink
- Merino Wool – Breathability and comfort in all conditions
- True Seamless™– Undetectable seam fusion to prevent friction spots
- Guaranteed For Life – “No strings. No conditions. For life.”
- Would love a taller collar band at top of sock to prevent/detract from appearance of a calf muffin top. Purely aesthetic.