Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the sock experiment: PhD Running Ultra Light Mini

Behind the scenes, the sock experiment has been in full gear. I have been wearing socks, running in them, and probably (well, certainly) not washing them enough. Today I bring you the first results of these efforts, a review of PhD Running Ultra Light Mini socks.

Results. This sock from the top-notch company, Smartwool, promised me a cushioned blister-free running experience. You can check out the specs yourself, but in summary this sock, made of 66% merino wool, 31% nylon, and 3% elastic, boasts a 4-degree fit system, technology to reduce shock/abrasion, moisture, temperature, and odor control, and a secure fit with maximum ventilation. Just like my last relationship, a lot of promises not kept.

I wore these socks diligently for a full week of running and my poor, poor feet were not happy runners. No, they were scratchy, hot, and sweaty. In fact, I could barely step inside the door fast enough from a hot August run before I tore these off of my feet they were so hot. Hot hot. Like fire hot.

Let's talk details. These socks do not score high for comfort: did I mention my feet were hot? I didn't notice any improvement in cushioning and they were scratchy like an old man's Christmas sweater. I did not notice any difference in moisture control and experienced a moderate amount of rubbing on my long run (not experienced with my faithful cotton pair). All this, my friends, for a whopping $14.95 per pair.

$15 for hot, sweaty, scratchy feet is a no go.

(Note: please excuse the dog hair on my photos. Apparently, dog hair loves Smartwool socks.)


  1. I like how you compare them to your last relationship. :)

  2. Balega Hidden Dry. Perfect running sock. Contest over.

  3. I like that confidence Ryan! I'll see what I can do to make that my third subject. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Wal Mart socks. Contest over hahaha. Jk. Socks dont affect me much. Could prob do without them. Also, I may or may not have just had a few of those skinny coladas you posted...YUM

  5. Eeeek! Hot and scratchy, no thank you! Thanks for the review:-) xoxo

  6. Two sock brands that I like: Feetures and Zulu. The Feetures are thinner and I like them for hot summer runs, and they let you "feel" the ground more as you run, if that makes any sense. Good luck with your search!

  7. So in defense of these socks - they were only purchased because of the name - thought it was great! PhD socks!

    But to provide a little more fuel on the negative side, I bought mine at the same time I bought yours. I do not wear them running but around the house and to sleep in. Within a year, I have worn the heel down to the threads. Pretty soon, I will have air conditioned socks. So again, another reason in support of Walmart socks!