Review: Balega Quarter Socks

Banner Ultralight

Functionality
Reinforced cushioned heels and toes make for a very comfortable (and durable) socks. Both models feature a seamless but structured ultralight arch support panel. Like the proprietary “Sensitive Rib” ankle bands are a feature that help keep your socks in place without restriction. They’re barely noticeable but do help keep socks firmly in place. Both also have seamless toes that make the toe box completely indiscernible. The Ultralight’s feature ventilation panels under the toe pads, on top of the foot, near the arch/heel juncture and at the heel make these socks extremely breathable. The Blister Resist’s also have a mesh top-of-the-foot panel but are better suited to cool weather wear, especially when challenged with wet conditions. The Ultralight has an overall featherweight feel, and the extra-fine synthetic yarn wicks moisture away from the feet and help keep your feet cool. The Blister Resist have mid-weight cushion but are ultralight on top, giving you a good shoe fit without the bulk.

Design and Aesthetics
The snug, contoured-fit, and extra-deep Triple Y heel design not only make both models super comfortable, but also aid the overall dynamic fit. The Ultralight color selection is just OK. This might be a situation where white with some accents would be better. The Blister Resist’s colors are excellent (gray and black with blue, white, red, cranberry accents).

Durability
The Ultralight’s microfiber blend of 78% Drynamix Polyester, 18% Polyamide Nylon and 2% Elastane (also called Spandex) are super soft but incredible durable. Same story with the Blister Resist. I’ve worn socks made by the most popular companies that disintegrated in the heels in about 10 wears and washes. These are going on 100 uses and washes, and still look new.

Value
Balega socks wear and wash longevity make them bargain. They wear and wear and wear, and last and last and last. Bonus for your buy: The South African-based company is notable for their philanthropic efforts, giving back to the Veterans in Need and to the children of South Africa.

 

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Jo Ostgarden

Jo Ostgarden is a freelance journalist who has traveled around the world by plane, train, thumb, bicycle and automobile. She bicycled across Canada, the Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon to British Columbia and throughout 14 countries abroad. Additionally, she's an enthusiastic longtime backpacker who calls the Grand Canyon her own personal energy spot. She's also expert on travel in the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Ireland. She edited and re-wrote the final edition of Best Places Northwest Travel Guide, and has written about travel, health, nutrition and endurance sports gear for dozens of magazines and newspapers, including Bicycling Magazine.

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