Spoiler Alert: I'm still wearing Mudgear socks every single day. Here's why:
- They absolutely refuse to wear out
- I've never – ever – blistered while wearing Mudgear trail socks 1/4 crew and properly fitting shoes*
- The 1/4 crew trail socks' snug fit is comfortable without being constricting, and the thick socks provide a teensy bit of padding
- Breathability is imperative in the desert, these socks totally deliver air circulation, wicking, and generally don't smell like a dumpster fire after long runs
- 5. The 1/4 crew trail socks are a great deal at $27 for 2 pair, considering I've worn the same 8 pairs for thousands of miles
Last year, I reviewed Mudgear compression and 1/4 trail socks after wearing the trail socks exclusively for over a year, and today's release of Mudgear's No-Show Running Socks sees me well past 2 years since I've worn any other sock – aside from during a soccer match. Here's the kicker – I've been wearing the same 8 pairs of socks during that entire time, and they still show very little signs of wear. Racing, training, biking, or just walking around has put thousands of miles of wear & tear on these socks without any holes in the toe (a common failure point for me because as far as runners go, I'm a little lax in trimming my toenails) or any loose stitching whatsoever. These socks just absolutely refuse to die, yet are still very comfortable and retain nearly 100% of the same cushioning of new.
Honestly, from a business perspective, I think Mudgear would be best served if the socks eventually wore out and you *had* to buy new ones. As it is, these may last forever!
Blisters Be Damned
Over the past 2 years of wearing the trail socks 1/4 crew during every run, I have never – not once – had an issue with blistering when wearing properly fitting shoes. (*I did have one pair of prototype Icebugs that tore up my left Achilles while on a trail run with Margaret in 2016 and it was 100% a heel cup issue) Zero point zero blisters during a couple marathon distance trail races, a 24-hour OCR Relay, and every mile of training and racing (see Stuff I refuse to Race Without) despite weather and conditions. For longer mileage, I use a dab of Trail Toes just to be safe, but I've never seen any reason to not trust these socks 100%.
The Best Get Smaller
Living in AZ, I spend 98% of the year in shorts and a t-shirt, and since I'm exclusively wearing the Mudgear 1/4 crew trail socks, the extra collar is a little bit of a fashion statement that I don't love, but have come to deal with. Just because I choose to wear the 1/4 crews does not mean I don't have plenty of other options – my sock drawer is full of samples from other brands both long & short – I've tried plenty, and the fact that I've stuck with the Mudgear 1/4 crew speaks volumes about their performance and longevity.
I normally despise no-show because they slide down into the shoe and leave my Achilles exposed and end up bunched up in the heel cup of my shoes after a few miles. My usual go-to was a “low cut” or “tabbed no-show” sock, yet once I made the switch to the 1/4 crew I found a little less style meant more consistent comfort and performance. When Alex told me a no-show was in production, I was only a little bit skeptical that they wouldn't perform as well as the 1/4 crew and was really excited for the potential upside of a lower cut version of the socks I already trust. At $26 for a 2-pack (and 10% off w/code MRGUIDE), these are an absolute steal
Testing & Performance
With Mudgear 1/4 crew trail socks, I find my size 9.5 US foot can either squeeze into Medium (7-9) or Large (10-13), (with their compressions socks I opt for the Large) and I chose these in a large just in case the smaller size slipped a bit. Upon slipping them on, I think that was the right choice.
I was very pleasantly surprised to find the tiniest of front & rear tabs with a slight dip and change in ribbing for both medial and lateral malleolus (ankle bones) both of which are perfectly on-point for a quality sock. The only remaining aspect that keeps these socks from being a grossly overpriced pair of “performance running socks” is an asymmetrical malleolus cutout and elongated hallux (big toe) relegating the socks to a left and a right – and that's an extremely good thing – because then the wide range in sizing would become an issue, and no two sets of feet are alike. By keeping them universal fit, Mudgear delivers a top-of-the-line no-show running sock that delivers all the best qualities of their 1/4 crew trail sock without the higher collar and at a price point of $13 per pair ($26 for 2 pairs, 10% off w/code MRGUIDE)
Now, if that last paragraph made you scratch your head, it's all good… I'm a shoe nerd who has spent a little too much time thinking about the minutiae of what goes into the perfect running/training/OCR sock. Luckily, Mudgear has nailed it so hard I can just say this:
- The Mudgear No-Show Running Socks didn't slip – at all – over 10k of sweaty road running in new shoes & 5 miles of trail running too.
- Why are “new shoes” important? The insoles of new shoes are notoriously slippery and commonly cause hot spots, chafing, or sock bunching. None of that happened during two different 5k test runs – one slow & steady, one 10k pace, and both in over 90º heat.
- I didn't sacrifice any Achilles protection at all moving from the 1/4 Crew Trail Socks to the No-Show, just look at the photo above.
- Everything I love about the 1/4 Crew Trail Socks hold true for the No-Show – after all, they are the same from the collar to the toe.
- Comfort, cushioning, slightly snug “compression” from the 5% spandex midsole, and confidence that I won't be seeing blisters anytime soon
- No “farmer's tan” on my ankles!! When I'm not wearing running shoes & Mudgear socks, I'm in Oofos sandals or Xero Clouds, and white ankles look rather silly. The No-Shows are like a speedo vs. board shorts for my feet.
Take Everything I Said Before, and Apply It Here
Even after only a few days, I'm already re-shuffling my sock drawer to put the No-Show up front & center. I've worn the 1/4 Crew Trail Socks non-stop for a couple years because they worked so freaking well, and I will absolutely continue to use them for off-road running and OCR as the higher collar is fantastic for keeping debris out of my socks & past the topline/cuff of my shoes. Now, I have an even better (and more fashionable) option for road running and daily walk-around socks, the No-Show.
Mudgear has another absolute winner here, and now I have yet another reason to wear their socks for years to come.
Price & Availability
$26 for a 2/pair pack (Save 10% w/code MRGUIDE), available now online at Mudgear.com