Balega Blister Resister Quarter Review
Cons: Medium cushioning isn't ideal for super hot weather
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Balega Blister Resister Quarter
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$19.00 at REI
$16.95 at Amazon
|$16.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Protective medium cushioning, protective length, durable fibers, strong at wicking, quick to dry||Super comfortable padding, toe spread, blister prevention, excellent moisture management, protective||Deliciously comfortable, well-cushioned||Great slip prevention, seamless feel||Great wicking and breathability, durable, thin design|
|Cons||Medium cushioning isn't ideal for super hot weather||Some may not love the toe sock design, cooler than merino wool when wet||Poor breathability||A little on the thick side, holds more moisture than a thinner sock||Lacks cushioning|
|Bottom Line||An all-around excellent performer that's built for the beginner to the elite ultra-distance runner||If you are considering a toe sock design, this durable synthetic option comes highly recommended||Comfortable for long days pumping out the miles||If your feet need room to swell in a wider shoe, but you don't want to slip around the extra space, check out these excellent cushioned socks||Perfectly suited for the hottest conditions or the sweatiest feet|
|Rating Categories||Balega Blister Resi...||Injinji Trail Midwe...||Balega Silver No Show||Darn Tough Run Cool...||Swiftwick Aspire Zero|
|Wicking & Breathability (25%)|
|Slip Prevention (15%)|
|Specs||Balega Blister Resi...||Injinji Trail Midwe...||Balega Silver No Show||Darn Tough Run Cool...||Swiftwick Aspire Zero|
|Material||32% Drynamix Polyester, 32% Polyamide, 30% Mohair, 4% Microfiber, 2% Elastane||39% Coolmax Polyester, 58% Nylon, 3% Lycra||75% Drynamix Polyester, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane||48% Nylon 47% Coolmax Polyester 5% Lycra Spandex||55% Nylon, 40% Olefin, 5% Spandex|
|Ankle Cut||Quarter Length||Quarter Length||No Show Tab||No Show Tab||No Show|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Balega Blister Resistant Quarter has earned its place at the top of our contenders for its incredible overall performance. A quarter-length-medium cushion sock with everything you could ever want. Comfort, breathability, and fit, all at an excellent price. What could be better?
Not only is this sock soft and slides on with ease, but its medium cushioned underfoot makes treading over pavement or rough terrain a breeze. The entire toe box and heel uses a healthy heap of material that is responsive, elastic, and cozy to the touch. When sweating and moving, it stays in place and keeps your foot comfortable for any short or long journey. Not only is it great for running, but it's an excellent everyday hiking and use sock.
When long days are on the menu, our testers found themselves rifling through their sock drawer to find this pair. Not because it's low-profile, but because it's so darn comfortable. The combination of Drynix polyester, polyamide, and mohair blends together for a "merino wool" feel with synthetic performance.
The medium cushioning doesn't compress or break down but is responsive, bouncing back to its shape after each step. When chossy mountain ridges or dry canyonlands were in our sites, this sock kept our feet well protected and comfortable.
Balega does call this a "blister resister" sock. With a combination of a properly fitted shoe, we would have to agree. We had no issues, wearing several different shoes during our testing. It's fit, breathability, and material construction all contribute to it staying in place and keeping your feet happy on runs of any length. Whether you're tackling your first mile or the hundredth, it'll keep you foot protected for the journey ahead.
This traditional sock is true to fit and features excellent architecture for moisture control, traction, and protection. It's a fit that we love and a sock we'd recommend because it doesn't bunch. With seamless construction, you don't have to worry about chafing or a weird fit, unless you have a unique foot.
The length of the sock is quite nice for most days on the road or on the trial. The elasticized cuff is thick, without rolling down over time. The heel cup and forefoot are plush with underfoot padding while the arch thins materials out for enhanced breathability. The toe box stretches nicely to accommodate both wide and narrow forefoot. Along the top of the sock are lines of elasticized material, offering a more precise fit than any of the other Balega socks tested. Overall, our testers love the fit and would recommend it for all distances and terrain.
Wicking & Breathability
With a synthetic construction that applies breathable panels in all the right places, this sock is great for most weather. We wore it in temperatures rising into the 100's on hot days. Moisture wicks away well, and it vents as you would expect any trail running or road sock to do.
Since construction is thicker underfoot, this isn't the sock we'd choose for the hottest days of the year, and would instead opt for an ultralight or light construction. When running in super hot conditions, our feet felt a tad wet after our run, but our testers still felt comfortable. On cold days, it did an excellent job of insulating and keeping our feet dry to stay warm in these conditions.
The vents are appropriately placed. Throughout the top of the sock, all the way from the toe to the tip, it's thinner, with a looser weave to allow for appropriate water transport. There is also ventilation along the base of the sock and through the arch. The large loops of synthetic material wick away moisture with ease in comparison to other socks that have a finer weave.
In the mountains of Ouray, Colorado, running uphill and downhill seems to be what we do all day. As a result, slip prevention is important to prevent your foot from sliding to the front of your shoe. The Balega Blister Resistant sock does an impeccable job. With additional cushioning in the forefoot and heel, there's more material to add 'friction' with a shoe, preventing any slippage on uneven or steep terrain.
The materials are still smooth to the touch, but when sliding your foot into the sock, the interior fabrics are plusher than other contenders. There's more surface area around your feet to keep your feet from slipping while the outer material articulates with the shoe in a way that it also stays in place. This is another reason this sock is first to be chosen when long mountain runs or hill workouts are to be accomplished.
After 60+ miles of running, we still don't see any wear and tear. Other Balega socks that we've tested show some compaction after this point. As a favorite sock to wear of the fleet, we wore it more often than most. The fibers are still intact, there are little signs of compaction, and the socks didn't shrink, even after being thrown in the dryer.
The thicker construction makes us confident that this sock will last longer than thinner contenders, but that depends on how you use them. For trail running, mountain runs, and technical terrain, they've held up and still look new in our testing.
What's better than excellent performance? An excellent price! While this might fluctuate, the retail price is still rather low in comparison to other merino wool or high-performance brands. For the performance and price, this is easily one of the best-valued socks that we've tested so far.
Scoring top points across the board, the Balega Blister Resistant Quarter isn't just a stylish trail or road running sock. It's medium cushioned for excellent underfoot protection and comfort for running all day long. It's durable enough for the longest of distances and will stay in place as you ascend and descent trails across the country.
— Amber King
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