|Rating:||8.7 / 10|
|Warmth||1.5 / 2|
|Comfort||1.9 / 2|
|Durability||1.7 / 2|
|Breathability||1.8 / 2|
|Value for Money||1.8 / 2|
Recently I tested out the Smartwool Run Targeted Cushion Mid Crew Men’s Sock which has now become my current sock of choice (2023). In addition I also had the opportunity to try out the Smartwool Run Targeted Cushion Pattern Ankle Men’s Socks which is essentially a lower ankle version. Just like its longer cousin, this ankle height sock is aimed at runners. I’m usually not a fan of ankle height socks and the only time I will wear them is when I’m hiking in shorts which is really rare. Both anecdotally and from what I see on trail, many people do wear shorts and a number who do also wear shorter socks.
As mentioned this sock is pretty much identical to its longer relative also having ‘Targeted Cushioning’ which means the cushioning is under the heel and toe section of foot where hiking/running impacts most on the feet. Unlike most socks there is no cushioning under the mid foot which allows additional breathability. If you have flat feet then this particular feature may not be for you. The sock upper is nice and lightweight and even in hot conditions my feet didn’t over heat.
These socks as you would expect from Smartwool are mainly constructed using wool with just enough synthetic fibres for a comfy fit. This sock has 52% Merino Wool, 43% Nylon, 2% Recycled Nylon and 3% Elastane to produce the required compression which Smartwool calls the ‘4 Degree elite fit system’. This is a fancy way of saying that this sock stays put on your feet and doesn’t move around even when wet. The wool is also high quality and has that soft lux feel. One thing that surprised me was the difference in material composition in the ankle length and mid crew versions and then I realised that there is a higher concentration of synthetic material around the foot to ensure this shorter sock hugs the foot and stays put.
Colour wise the range in Australia is limited with the Olive coloured version being the one I tested looking like an older colour and two newer colour versions being readily available (Deep Navy and Tandoori Orange). I have seen other colours available but not commonly. Size wise these socks come in medium, large and extra-large. I have a size US15 foot and the XL fits me comfortably.
Price wise these socks sit at AUD $36.95 RRP which is typical for a sock of this quality and in all honesty, given all the features these socks have they are great value. While I can attest to the durability of these socks having worn them for 300km, I know previous versions of Smartwool socks were very durable and I’d expect to get a few years use out of these new ones.
With the mid crew version my only negative was that I preferred a slightly shorter sock. In this case the ankle length version which is 8.3cm (3.25 inches) is very much aimed at short wearers. While I have worn this sock with long pants, I wouldn’t buy them for my typical hiking adventures preferring to go slightly longer rather than too short. On that basis if these socks are worn with shorts I don’t see any specific negatives.
So if you are into wearing short length socks on your hikes and like good padding underneath the key areas of you feet without all the extra warmth, then this sock is well worth a try. For me I will wear this sock for those times when I am wearing shorts which only tends to be on training hikes close to home or when I’m socialising and wearing trail runners, which I do regularly.
Great sock for those who try to limit the heat on their feet
Smartwool Run Targeted Cushion Pattern Ankle Men’s Socks – Deep Navy colour
Smartwool Run Targeted Cushion Pattern Ankle Men’s Socks – Tandoori Orange colour
Smartwool Run Targeted Cushion Pattern Ankle Men’s Socks on Tim. This is an older colour option
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AUD $36.95 RRP
Smartwool produces a mid crew height version of this sock
This review was done with product provided by the Australian supplier for testing