Joy Of Sox, Day 4 – Dahlgren

Dahlgren Footwear got its start in 1978, when professional baseball player Ray Dahlgren and his wife Diane started producing hosiery that combined quality, performance, and comfort in a sock that kept feet cool and dry, even under the harsh conditions of professional athletics. With multiple patents for designs in footwear, they continue to innovate, while offering the level of customer service only a family-owned company can provide. Today, their daughter Kris runs Dahlgren, and while she’s brought her own style and new technologies to the loom, so to speak, the company still produces every item in its growing product line right here in the USA, just outside Portland, Oregon.

The Ultra Light Trail socks are a combination of alpaca and merino wool, along with their own ECO-Dri™, which allows them to be soft yet durable, heat regulating, and moisture-wicking. Basically, everything one could ask for in a sock. This highly technical, yet minimally-designed sock is perfect for trail runners looking for the lightest sock possible, yet still provides moisture control. Of course, this makes it a prime choice for cyclists as well.

A truly lightweight sock, the Ultra Light Trail lacks cushion, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on comfort. A close look at the sock reveals just how much thought went into its design – it’s like an eight panel bike short. By strategically varying the weave pattern and direction, this sock maintains perfect fit and comfort, while the materials used keep feet dry and blister-free. And from walking around on cold wood floors first thing in the morning to spending some time in hot and sweaty cycling shoes, my feet never once complained about the temperature. They stayed dry as a Utah summer, just not as miserable.

Also in this review are their best-selling Light Hiking sock. Like the Ultra Light, they use a blend of alpaca, merino, and ECO-Dri™, but they offer some cushion, along with a bit more coverage, running over the ankle to mid-calf. The same qualities that make this an excellent hiking sock – moisture and temperature control along with enviable comfort, likewise make them suitable for mountain bikers that prefer something more than an ankle sock.

The Light Hiking socks follow the same pattern as the Ultra Light, but the cushion throughout makes it more of a middleweight sock. One of the main issues with a cushioned sock is that as the day wears on, if they don’t wick away the moisture, you can end up with a dank, compressed sock that’s not only uncomfortable, but will lead to blisters as it allows your foot to move around in a damp shoe. Densely knit merino and alpaca  provides an extra measure of comfort and prevention against this if your day involves long hours of dirt trails and climbing over rocks. Of course, if your workday involves industrial carpet and climbing stairs, they won’t let you down either, even after ten hours. This might just be my personal favorite, and for anyone looking for an all around every day sock with a bit of cushion, this is certainly a contender.

For more information about these and other great Dahlgren socks, please visit

To find them online, locate a retail store, or contact their Canadian or Latin American distributors, click here.

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