Andrew and I are picky about socks. We have about a zillion different types of socks in our drawers, but we certainly have our “go-to” styles that we use regularly. In the past, Smartwool’s PhD Run Socks have never been my favorite. I really like the way they fit through the arch of my foot, but the toe box is a little loose for my taste, and I can often feel the seam across the toe. I have a couple pairs from another brand that I LOVE, so I was excited when I heard Smartwool was giving their sock a makeover. This sock did what Smartwool has always done well – great temperature regulation and reliable moisture wicking.
Ok, that was a really long-winded way of saying we were excited to try these new socks!
The run socks come in 2 levels of cushioning – ultralight and the new light elite. Light Elite feels like its somewhere between ultralight and the light. The ultralight is not enough cushioning for me, so I was hoping it wouldn’t be TOO much lighter than the old light cushion! After wearing, I’ve decided this is just enough cushioning. It still feels just as soft as the old run socks.
Other than the level of cushion, it looks like the biggest change is to the ventilation zones in the sock. They
Smartwool keps their 4-degree fit system, to keep the sock fitted around the ankle and arch. This has always been one of my favorite things about their socks, so I’m glad they kept it.
Now for the big negative (and I understand this is a personal issue): the design of the ventilation zones on the women’s sock. They look like flowers. As a woman who is into male-dominated activities, I have always HATED pink and purple and flowers on my gear. It drives me CRAZY to have these stereotypes in my face all the time. I understand a pink or floral option, but this design is on every pair of their women’s socks.
Overall… performance is AWESOME, but the design could use some re-thinking. I guess its a ringing endorsement to say that the floral motif isn’t obtrusive enough to keep me from purchasing another pair. I like them more than the old run sock 🙂