Reviewed by Em from Massachusetts on Sunday, March 24, 2013
I only started to care which socks were on my feet when I started running - previously, a bag of cotton socks on sale would have been fine for me. Once I realized how quickly and severely a 100% cotton sock could ruin a good run (and leave your feet blistered and rubbed raw for days), I invested in my first pair of "expensive" socks via a running forum recommendation, and they happened to be SmartWool PhDs. Immediately LOVED them. I always thought I was allergic to wool, but there's some mysterious alchemy involved in the SmartWool fabric that does NOT itch or give me wrist hives (I don't know why the hives pop up on my wrists, but whatever...). I suddenly understood why people were spending double digit dollars on SOCKS, of all things. First, the fabric wicks moisture away from your skin so even after a long, sweaty run, my toes are not pruney-skinned or blistered. Actually I've never had a single blister since investing in good socks, no matter how many miles I run. Second, on icy days even the thinner models of SmartWool do a good job in keeping heat locked in, and if you happen to slosh into a slush puddle - which I do often - they somehow STILL keep your feet warm and if not completely dry feeling, then not really wet, either... and still no prune toes or chafing. By now I've tried a lot of different socks - these, Icebreakers, Merrels, etc - I always seem to come back to these as my daily running socks. I have a few pair of other brands for frigid temps - thicker and knee-high varieties - but these are my go-to for most running conditions. They do wear out. Mine last about a year before they have some spots rubbed thin, usually the back of the ankle and the ball of my foot. But with the prices you can find on STP especially during a sale, I consider that a huge bargain and I'm always stocking up.