Darn Tough Running Socks Review: Vertex Ultra-Light Cushion


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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.

RELATED: Best No-Show Running Socks

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.


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!!

As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.


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