- Trail Running Phone Cases - 25% OFF code: TRAILANDKALE25 -Rokform phone cases

Darn Tough Running Socks Review: Vertex Ultra-Light Cushion

I confess I hadn’t heard about the Darn Tough brand until I was sent some socks for review. I wanted to test these particular Darn Tough running socks on a challenging run to find out just how tough, the ‘Darn Tough’ namesake is and my word did I pick the right race to test them to the max…

Last weekend I had my first trail race of 2018, a 35km route that accumulated 1300 meters of elevation gain. It was raining throughout most of the day and much of the course was flooded. After starting, it wasn’t long before we were all forced to run through a small stream that would completely submerge our feet in the water. Little did I know at the time but this would be a regular occurrence for the remaining 3.5 hours of my race. I tell this story merely to help paint a picture of the real and genuinely tough conditions that I experienced while testing these socks.

Darn Tough Vertex No Show Tab Ultra running socks review - Trail & Kale-2-min
Looking a little scraggly around the edges as I took these shots after the big race.

Right then, enough about the challenge of my test scenario, here are three features that really stood out for me while running in these Darn Tough running socks.

3 Features that caught my attention

Soft feel and form fitting!

I’m mentioning this first, not because its the most stand out feature but because its the first thing I noticed when putting them on. Having said that though, this is probably my joint-favourite feature 🙂

These socks are seamless which gives a very comfortable feel on your foot with no possibility of rubbing. Hence no blisters, and I can confirm although my feet had been in so much water for so much of my race, my feet were immaculate by the end of it. There is also a nice soft layer of cushioning along the bottom of the sock for extra protection when running long distances.

Darn Tough Vertex No Show Tab Ultra running socks review - Trail & Kale-4-min
excellent fit with soft cushioning along the bottom

You may notice that these Darn Tough ultra-light running socks look extra small before you put them on for the first time, so much so that you’ll probably think you were sent the children’s version by mistake. Joking aside, I was surprised at how much they stretched and how easily too. Probably attributed to the 5% lycra in their make-up. This meant that when on, the fit was excellent with no bunching anywhere to be seen. You may think a material that stretches so much would feel tight on the foot but it doesn’t. I should also mention that the other 95% of these Darn Tough Running socks consist of 50% Merino wool and 45% Nylon. We are fans of Merino wool at Trail & Kale for its ability to keep you cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather while maintaining breathability.

Darn Tough Vertex No Show Tab Ultra running socks review - Trail & Kale-3-min

Fast Drying

Ok, so this is my other joint-favourite feature of the Darn Tough Vertex No Show Tab Ultra-Light Cushion Socks. As I mentioned earlier, I was literally running down 6 inch deep streams while wearing these socks. If it weren’t for their ability to effectively wick away moisture from my feet then my race could have gone a whole other way, a bad way! I was very impressed with how quickly the socks began to dry out everytime I was done with a wet section of the course.

I finished the race with feet that felt good, which is saying something after everything I put them through. Again, this has much to do with the breathability properties of Merino Wool.

Inside Trail Knickerbocker Canyon 35km race - Darn Tough Running Socks review - Trail & Kale 2-min
Muddy, wet and full of happiness 🙂

Guaranteed for life!

Yes, you read that correctly! It shows real confidence in the quality of your product to be able to offer a service like that. I wonder if it includes my cat running off with one and chewing it to death? It’s a real problem in this household! haha.

Darn Tough running socks review - Vertex No Show Tab Ultra-light cushion - Trail & Kale-1-min
Darn Tough Vertex No Show Tab Ultra-Light Cushion
Overall Score

More colours available

Although I love the colour variant I have for these socks, there are also more funky options available. Have a browse of their store with the link below:

If you have any questions about these socks or anything relating to them then please leave a comment below and I will reply as soon as possible. Happy Trails!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hey, I'm Alastair. 5 years ago I started Trail & Kale as a way to share the mental & physical benefits that trail running and nature had given me. Since then Trail & Kale has grown to become a thriving blog and community that inspires people to trail run, hike, adventure more, and live a healthy plant-based lifestyle.


REI’s Gear Up Get Out Sale 2019: Top 20 Deals For Trail Runners & Hikers

We've handpicked the best of REI's Gear Up Get Out sale 2019: Trail running, hiking, and camping gear deals with discounts of up to 30%!

The Best Trail Running Shoes in 2019 (So far): The Ultimate Buyers Guide!

Our ever-evolving list of the best trail running shoes for every scenario; whether you run ultramarathons, race 10k's or plan to do a Spartan/Tough Mudder..

5 Best Headlamps for Trail Running & Ultrarunning in 2019 (So Far)

This concise list of the 5 best headlamps for trail running will help you decide which one to buy, based on your individual requirements.

Best GPS Watches for Ultrarunning & Trail Running in 2019

Ultrarunners have a very specific set of requirements when it comes to buying a GPS running watch. Our shortlist of top GPS running watches will help you decide which one is best for you.

20 Hacks That helped Improve My Trail Running Performance (Nutrition, Recovery, Gear + MORE)

My 20 tried & tested hacks that helped me improve running performance. Topics include Cross Training, Nutrition, Gear, and Recovery

On Running Shoes Ranked in 2019: Which Are Best For You?

The ULTIMATE 'Best of' list for On running shoes (Trail & Road), ranked & reviewed. Find out which On running shoes are best for YOU in 2019!
- Trail & Kale's Recommended Headlamp Alternative -

latest gear reviews/guides

On Cloud Terry Review 2019 – All-Day Performance Vegan Running Shoes

The Cloud Terry from On Running is an innovative, good-looking vegan running shoe suited to road runs and everyday wear. Read why it is the fastest-selling On Running shoe ever!

REI’s Gear Up Get Out Sale 2019: Top 20 Deals For Trail Runners & Hikers

We've handpicked the best of REI's Gear Up Get Out sale 2019: Trail running, hiking, and camping gear deals with discounts of up to 30%!

On Cloudrock Waterproof Review 2019: The Most Innovative Hiking Boots?

The Cloudrock Waterproof is On's first-ever hiking boot and as you'd expect it's super innovative. This review reveals the good and the bad!

Compex Fixx 1.0 Review 2019: The High-Powered, Portable Massage Gun

This is my review of the Compex Fixx 1.0: The high-powered, yet portable massage gun with 3 percussion speeds and a multi-directional head.

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail GTX Review 2019 – The Best Winter Trail Shoes?

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail GTX in-depth review! Find out why these awesome waterproof winter trail running shoes win an Editor's Choice Award.

5 Best Waterproof Hiking Boots for Fall/Winter 2019/20

This concise list of the 5 best waterproof hiking boots will help you decide which ones to buy, based on your individual requirements.

REI End Of Season Sale is Here! The Deals That Have Our Attention Are…

Here are the most discounted trail running, hiking and camping deals for this year's end of season sale. Enjoy up to 50% Off!!

Receive our Newsletter

Enjoy first class Trail Running, Hiking & Adventure Inspiration, delivered straight to your inbox.

Welcome to the Trail & Kale Community! Please check your email to confirm your subscription.