DARN TOUGH COOLMAX NO-SHOW SOCKS
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
Logo Courtesy Darn Tough
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280000 hectares of public land bordering my 35-acre/14 hectares "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband, John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
|Manufacturer: Cabot Hosiery Mills, Inc.|
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Series: Run - Bike
Style: Coolmax® No-Show Cushion • 1414
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.darntough.com
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 2 oz (57 g)
Colors Available: Gray, White and Light Blue
Color Reviewed: Vapor Blue (according to retail packaging
Sizes Available: Small, Medium, Large & XLarge
Size Reviewed: Medium - fits US women's 7-9.5 shoe
|Picture Courtesy of Darn Tough Vermont|
GRAY: 45% Coolmax® Polyester, 29% Acrylic, 17% Nylon, 5% Polyester, 4% Spandex® Lycra.
WHITE: 34% Coolmax® Polyester, 31% Acrlic, 29% Nylon, 4% Polyester, 4% Spandex® Lycra.
LIGHT BLUE: 46% Coolmax® Polyester, 29% Nylon, 21% Acrylic, 4% Lycra® Spandex.
MADE IN USA
| ||Lifetime Guarantee: "If our All Weather Performance Socks aren't the most comfortable and durable socks you've ever owned, return them for your money back."|
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION - November 17, 2009
On first glance, the Darn Tough No Show Socks (hereafter referred to as either the "No Shows" or "Socks") look just like any other "sneaker socks" I used to wear as a teen-ager. Well, except for the unique - to Darn Tough Socks - color blocks which march down the footbeds from the backs of the reinforced heels to the reinforced toes! In my case, the color blocks are pretty shades of light to medium blue. The body of the Sock is white adorned only with a navy blue Darn Tough "mountain" logo just under the cuff and a navy "Darn Tough" in block letters just above the toe. A small rim of light blue tops the 0.75 in (2 cm) cuff.
Cushioning is noticeably thicker on the bottom of the No Shows but the upper is more or less equal to other lightweight socks I own. This extra thickness carries over into the toe box, covering the tops of my toes as well. The flat toe seam while visible when the Sock is turned inside out is barely discerned by touch. An elastic support band wraps around the arch for added support.
Inside the No Shows, the Darn Tough Vermont quality is clear with no loose threads, incredibly neat stitching and a tiny "VT USA" on the inside back cuff.
Although the style advertises the Socks as "No Show," they do actually show when worn with my low-cut trail shoes. With my (typical) trail runners, the cuffs of the Socks stand just above the shoes.
Darn Tough Vermont socks cannot be purchased on the Darn Tough website, but they do provide links to retailers on the site.
FIELD CONDITIONS AND USE
For the purpose of this Owner's Review, over the last four months aside from my almost daily hikes down to the mailbox - a 5 miles (8 km) trek - and weekly 4-6 hours hikes in the public lands behind our property; I spent 9 days hiking in various locations in southwest Colorado, the Mesquite, Nevada area and Zion National Park and Arches National Park in Utah.
Colorado one-day-each hikes took place in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Gunnison and Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez. A total of 2.5 days were spent there. Mesquite hikes included trails in the Valley of Fire State Park and Desert National Wildlife Range where I spent 3 days checking out the scenery. Lastly, 2 way-too-inadequate days were devoted Zion National Park and 1.5 days in Arches National Park. During this time period, I wore the No-Shows at least once a week, more often than not, 2 days at a time.
Most of the time the wearings were in hot and dry climates, for example Utah and Colorado, but I did wear the No Shows on a week-long trip while visiting Beaver Island which is located in northern Lake Michigan and then around our house in White Lake in lower southeast Michigan for another week. While it was rather dry in the west, Michigan more than made up for the lack of moisture (for testing purposes). If it wasn't humid, it was cloudy and misty and if it wasn't cloudy and misty, it was raining!
Elevations ranged from sea level to over 9000 ft (2700 m). Overall, the temperatures ranged from a low of 50 F to a high of 105 F (10-41 C).
I wear a size 8 women's boot and correspondingly, a medium in most socks. The medium No Shows fit my feet perfectly from heels to toes except for a bit of bunching at the outsides of my toes. It appears the cut of the toe box rather than being tapered a bit is square, hence the excess fabric. This slight ill-fit in no way causes me any problems or detracts from my wearing experiences with the No Shows.
During these past summer months I was impressed with the wicking abilities of the No Shows. Many times after a day of hiking on hot desert trails, I would be surprised at how damp the Socks were when I finally was able to pull off my shoes. My skin would be cool and dry but the Socks were not. I'm sure I can attribute my lack of hot spots and blistering in part to the No Shows' Coolmax construction.
The extra-thick cushioning on the bottoms of the Socks helped to keep my feet from bruising when pounding some of the very rocky trails in Arches National Park (as well as other trails). I particularly note these trails, as they were uneven and very solidly hard. One of my companions complained mightily about how sore his feet got from the terrain, but I didn't suffer from foot fatigue at all. (And, yes, he had decently good - expensive - footwear.)
On the trail, I get irritated when my socks start creeping downward into my shoes or boots. Even if I weren't concerned about getting blisters from the undue rubbing, it plain doesn't feel good! Thankfully, despite the low-cut of the Socks, I was pleased to find the No Shows stay put without constant adjustment of the cuffs. This is good!
As for washing and wearing, my Darn Tough No-Show socks still look great! The manufacturer's care instructions on the retail packaging in both written English and the international care symbols says to: "Machine wash in warm water on gentle cycle with socks inside out. Do not bleach. Tumble dry on low. Do not dry clean."
I've wash them turned inside-out in cold water with all my other light-colored wash. I don't put them in the dryer as I use commercial dryers and commercial dryers are brutal. I don't dry any of my outdoor gear in commercial dryers. The socks dry within a couple of hours if the sun is not shining, but I've had them dry in as little as 1/2 hour. Our Colorado dry air plus sunshine just sucks moisture out of anything here.
While the Darn Tough socks shrink up a bit when fresh out of the washer, they immediately stretch out to fit my feet with no extra tugging needed. Based on the condition of my husband's almost 4 year-old Darn Tough socks, I expect my No Shows to be on my feet for years to come.
|Inside after 4 months|| |
|Outside after 4 months|
1.) Stay in place without sliding into my shoes.
2.) Wick sweat effectively and stay dry.
3.) Wear like iron.
1.) Generous cut of Socks causes a bit of bunching at toes.
This was the first summer I ever used trail shoes so it was the first time I've used low-cut socks for hiking. Despite my misgivings - we have lots of prickly vegetation - I found the No Shows to be a great addition to my hiking wardrobe. Particularly on established trails, I have enjoyed the coolness of bare ankles and the stellar wicking power of the No Shows. Like all my other Darn Tough styles, the No Shows have earned a permanent place in my gear closet.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
I've put the Darn Tough No Show Socks away for the winter now. It's 35 F (2 C) and the weatherman is promising snow tonight. Time for short socks and low-cut trail hikers to make way for knee socks and mid-height boots. But come spring, I'll be sure to be pulling these workhorse socks out of the bin again.
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
Read more reviews of Darn Tough Vermont gear
Read more gear reviews by Kathleen Waters