Smartwool Women’s PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks

Review by Susie; Product provided for review by Smartwool

For over 20 years, Smartwool has played a role in many outdoor lover’s endeavors. Their performance socks are made of the finest merino wool from around the world right here in the United States. When I think of Smartwool, I typically think of really comfy socks for hiking and skiing. Then they reached out to 4AllOutdoors and put their running line up on my radar. Their Women’s PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks combine the comfortable and easy to care for merino wool with the light compression that many runners are looking for in their socks. Compression wear is meant to help increase circulation and reduce the buildup of lactic acid and runners often opt for it to aid in their recovery after their runs.

Smartwool Women's PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks

Smartwool Women’s PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks

When I first got my hands on the PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks, the first thoughts that came to mind was that they seemed very lightweight for their size and I was concerned that they may not be all that easy to get on based on the size of the calf. Fortunately, my concerns of the size were quickly dispelled as I found that I was able to pull them on to my size 8.5US/39EU feet and over my calves without much effort. The compression on my legs could be felt immediately. The lighter colored (Hibiscus) bands in the Aubergine/Hibiscus color are the tighter areas while the darker areas (Aubergine) are a little looser. The combinations of the two compression levels has been very interesting to experience. I cannot say for sure if it makes a difference over other compression wear, but it certainly doesn’t seem to hurt.

The PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks feature:

  • Virtually seamless toe
  • 200 needle construction provides highest knit density while maintaining ultra light weight
  • 13″ overall height
  • Sock Height: Over the Calf
  • Knit in USA of Imported Yarn: 51% Merino Wool, 46% Nylon, 3% Elastane
  • Style: SW0SW424
Detail of compression of the Smartwool Women's PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks

Detail of compression of the Smartwool Women’s PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks

I wound up opting for the medium size, which covers sizes 7 to 9.5US (38-41EU and 5-7.5UK). Based on my wearing so far, I think the sizing is fairly accurate as there does seem to be a bit more stretch left in the foot area to accommodate up to one shoe size larger than my own. There is not a documented minimum or maximum calf size on the packaging or their website. However, I think you may be best trying them on first if you think your calves are on the bigger side. I normally think that my calves are average in size and the PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks may have been a bit uncomfortable if mine were bigger. In the next update of my review, I’ll actually measure my own to give you an idea for fit.

So far I have worn the PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks during my longest road race (5 miles), while walking my dog, doing training runs both outside and on my treadmill, and during my workouts in between. It has gotten to the point that I’ve been hand washing them in my sink every evening so that I can have them clean and ready to go the next day as opposed to waiting for laundry day. For anyone who knows me, that means something since I’m a big fan of my washing machine.

Stay tuned for my next review segment as I look at the longevity of the PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks and explore the compression and merino wool more in depth.