Darn Tough Vertex Ultra-Light Cushioned ReviewMarch 6, 2018
- Snug fit
- Cushioned toe
- Wicks less when hot
- Toe fit
The Darn Tough Vertex Ultra-Light Cushioned socks have a constrained, thin midfoot with prominent cushioning under the heel and toes. Testers praised the cushioning for comfort throughout long runs, cool weather and filling out shoes with larger volume. This sock won over some of our testers who stated a preference for more minimalist socks.
The symmetrical sock has visually prominent seams which weren’t felt or noted by test runners. Some felt the toe could fit too tight after long runs, while a couple others felt there was too much room. One tester gave these the highest rating in Comfort. Take note that the “ultralight” in the model name refers to the upper of the sock’s foot, but not the cushioning under the heels and toes, which is substantial.
Two see-through mesh areas on the top of the foot released heat as well as the other socks we tested without holding moisture against the skin. Like other wool-poly socks, these trapped some body heat in cooler temps but received no complaints about wicking on warmer runs.
The mixture of wool and polyester reinforced the heel and structure of the sock overall. No wear issues came up during testing.
We called in 10 pairs of socks from established brands as well as newer entries to the market. We tested a mix of socks that will either debut in spring 2018, or are 2017 sock styles that will carry over into 2018 with new colors or patterns. Samples of variant styles were sent to our testers, who as road shoe testers, tended to prefer low-cut, thinner socks. Some ran in taller, more cushioned socks, though testers judged each pair based on the design’s intended use. We focused on the performance features in the foot of the sock, and our testers reported differences in the low-cut socks tied to the shape of their feet and the types of shoes they wore.
Our testers ran in these throughout the fall in different climates, including Colorado, California and British Columbia. Most of the testing coincided with our road shoe testing, though several runners took these on trail and training runs, too.