10 Best Invisible Socks Fully Reviewed

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Running is a high impact and rigorous sport. It requires repetitive movement, and an impressive amount of physical stamina. It also requires the help of reliable apparel and running gear. An article of clothing that’s comfortable under other circumstances can be completely obnoxious when you’re trying to run for any length of time. One of the most distracting and uncomfortable things you can deal with mid-run is a sock that slipping out of place. Or one that gets a hole and catches your toe repeatedly. Not only do they bunch up and cause issues with your stride, they can also expose sensitive parts of your foot to friction and blistering.

Socks are there to protect you, and to do this they need to cover appropriately and have moisture wicking properties. A sock that slips is ineffective and can put additional stress on your feet. Believe it or not, socks act as a support mechanism within your shoe—and do more than just stop foot odor. This is why we’ve put together a list of “invisible socks.” These socks fit so well that you’ll forget they’re there. We looked at reviews, research and specifications from all over the Internet and brought the best products together in one convenient place.

Last Updated: September 8, 2018
By Patricia Howard:

For this update we brought you the Thorlos Experia XCCU running sock with aerodyamic appeal and achilles tendon support. We also updated our criteria and made sure that all of the information was on point. Keep checking for more frequent updates and new info!

ROCKAY Accelerate
  • ROCKAY Accelerate
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • No slip design
  • Price: See Here
Balega Hidden Comfort
  • Balega Hidden Comfort
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Microfiber Mesh Ventilation
  • Price: See Here
Thorlos Experia XCCU
  • Thorlos Experia XCCU
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Achilles Tendon Support
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Invisible Socks

 

 

ROCKAY Accelerate

ROCKAY Accelerate
With the needs of fellow runners in mind, ROCKAY, as a new brand created a minimalistic design with optimal support, performance, durability, and of course comfort, all in a cut that is nearly invisible with many of the running shoes out there.
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Made with moisture-wicking, durable merino wool, This new brand's premier offers a design that falls under the collar of most running shoes, yet stays put, without slipping down and bunching up inside the shoe.

Even taking your shoe off doesn't take the socks with it. And on the breathability end, the Accelerate is well vented throughout.

The sock is constructed with compression zones in all of the appropriate areas, all designed to provide only the amount of compression that is needed, without overdoing it.

Even though the goal is to have a sock that doesn't show, a good thing to think about is issues with blisters or rubbing around the heel. The Accelerate has a decently designed tab to prevent those problems as well.
Pros

They don't slip and bunch up inside the shoe

Great breathability

No baggy areas in the fit

Cons

Could use a few more color options

1. Balega Hidden Comfort

Balega's Hidden Comfort sock puts everything into its name. This sock is the epitome of comfort from a dense, durable material combination to a microfiber, breathable mesh and a heel tab with elastane to keep the socks where they belong. They have truly thought of everything. Did I mention that they hand sew their seamless toe and heel enclosures so there is no rubbing and potential blisters?
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The Balega Hidden Comfort is a thicker, more cushioned version of earlier designs. They have created a proprietary mix of wicking fibers, called Dynamix, to pull the moisture away from the foot and keep things running perfectly. With significantly less rubbing, chafing, sweating and slipping, this sock is exactly what you need for any distance and any weather.

Moisture Control
Balega's proprietary wicking combination, Dynamix, is woven into the fabric throughout the sock, pulling moisture away from the foot and keeping it dry and cool.

Breathability
The Hidden Comfort is constructed with specially constructed ventilation panels that are made of microfiber and reinforced, allowing maximum airflow around the foot, keeping things cool and reducing discomfort due to sweat and slipping.

Cushioning
Balega's Hidden Comfort is a more cushioned version of previous socks they have produced but that doesn't take away from the quality at all. Focusing on the sole, heel and toe area, they are reducing shock on impact as much as possible without creating a bulky sock.

Comfort
The combination of breathability, cushioning, protection and support is what places the Balega Hidden Comfort in the forefront of this genre of socks. They pay extra attention to the small details, keeping the sock in the right place, providing for airflow and reducing shock impact. This is the ideal combination in a running sock.
Pros

Dense cushion design with 2-needle-count fabric

Drynamix moisture-wicking fibers keep feet cool and dry

Reinforced microfiber mesh ventilation panels allow air flow to feet for added comfort

Enhanced elastane and seamless reinforced toe and heel prevent sock from falling into shoe

Cons

Pay attention to sizing when purchasing - even a half size too big could cause rubbing

2. Thorlos Experia XCCU

This is a more luxurious version of the Thorlos ranking lower on the page. Offering durable support throughout the foot, the Thorlos Experia XCCU sock is made for people who like to stay in continuous motion. Thorlos uses synthetic materials to improve its moisture wicking properties and provide superior cushioning. It may be slightly thicker than what you’re used to, but there’s a definite purpose behind it. This extra layer of shock absorption takes some of the stress off your joints, and the no slip design keeps it right where you want it.
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The unique blend of silk and wool combined with synthetic materials create a breathable environment inside of the shoe. These socks focus on padding at the ball of the foot and at the heel in order to promote better form and to provide superior comfort. This particular model also provides additional cushioning to support the Achilles tendon. With an aerodynamic design and an array of color choices, it’s easy to see why the Thorlos Experia XXCU has made the list.

Moisture Control
The unique blends of yarn and synthetics wick moisture away from the foot into the outer sock, reducing odors and discomfort from sweat and rubbing.

Breathability
An engineered mesh top allows air flow into the sock and around the foot for extensive breathability and odor reduction.

Cushioning
High impact areas are covered with additional cushioning from the SoftAir Plus yarn used in this design. While the entire sole is covered, the heel and forefoot are slightly thicker, allowing maximum protection in both areas.

Comfort
Encompassing the entire sock, the operative word is comfort. The Asics Kayano Single Tab checks all of the boxes and then some. Keeping the foot cool and comfortable, adding cushion and reducing blisters and rubbing, this sock is more than equipped to take you on your longest run yet.
Pros

Highly cushioned

Achilles Support

Superior breathability and moisture wicking properties

Cons

Somewhat pricey

3. Saucony Performance Comfort Fit

Saucony has built a name on fantastic athletic shoes and apparel. They are expanding that reputation with these comfortable, breathable and affordable socks. The Performance Comfort Fit comes in a multi-pack, making them instantly less expensive than a few others on our top ten list. But, that might make you wonder about the product and durability. Don't worry. They can still withstand many, many miles without failure or sock-related problems. Saucony continues to provide high performance, high-quality material.
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If you're looking to stay dry, comfortable, and protect your feet, you're in the right place. The Saucony Performance Comfort Fit is the full package. With mesh breathability on top, arch support below, moisture control all over and extra cushioning in the sole, this sock is exactly what you need for the gym, the trail or the road.

Moisture Control
Ultra-wicking fibers are woven into the entire sock for Saucony's Performance Comfort Fit sock. This "run dry moisture management" system is designed to wick moisture away from the foot into the outer portion of the sock, reducing odor, discomfort, and chafing.

Breathability
The top of the sock is designed with a breathable air mesh for maximum airflow, keeping the foot cool and dry, evaporating moisture as quickly as it is produced.

Cushioning
Light cushioning over the entire sole of the sock works to decrease the shock impact of each footfall without taking too much space inside the shoe.

Comfort
With so many great design elements, the Performance Comfort Fit sock by Saucony is one of the better options. Moisture-wicking fibers, mesh top for extra air ventilation, cushioned sole, and arch support, what more could you possibly need for a perfect run?
Pros

Breathable mesh fabric on top

Excellent arch support

Perfect for the gym or trail

Moisture-wicking technology

Cons

Questionable durability

4. Feetures! High Performance Cushion

4. Feetures! High Performance Cushion
Feetures wants you to go faster, longer and smarter. They designed their High Performance sock to help you do all that and more. It is full of design elements that will protect your foot and improve your run at the same time. From the Y-heel construction that will keep the sock from slipping into the shoe to the ankle tab designed to protect your Achilles from rubbing blisters to their Perfect Toe that has no irritating seam to upset your foot after the pounding you put on the road. This company's "sole purpose" is to make your feet more comfortable and they back that claim up with physical evidence.
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While keeping the original design of Lycra bands that shape to the contour of the foot, Feetures has added a few key elements that make the High Performance line a definite upgrade. They set up the high-density knitting machine with 200 needles for added comfort, added a Y-heel to hold the sock in place, added the Perfect Toe and eliminated the irritating seam, and added more cushion to the high impact areas. If they did any more, it would feel like you're running on a cloud.

Moisture Control
The entire foot is woven with iWick fibers that wick moisture away from the skin and into the outer layer of the sock. They've also added a mesh construct on the top of the foot for increased airflow and to allow some of that moisture to evaporate faster.

Breathability
The mesh construction on the top of the Feetures High-Performance Cushion sock allows increased airflow into the sock, keeping the foot cool and comfortable.

Cushioning
High impact areas of the foot are covered by a high density cushioning in addition to the 200-needle knit construct that is durable and supportive.

Comfort
The Feetures High Performance line is designed for exactly that, comfort. With the Y-heel, they've removed the frustration of invisible socks sliding into your shoes while on a run. With the extra cushion for the high impact areas of the foot, they are reducing shock on feet, joints, and knees, and fighting foot fatigue. With the Perfect Toe and Achilles tab, there are no seams and no rubbing to create blisters and chafing. This sock is extremely protective and comfortable.
Pros

Lycra power bands hug entire foot for a snug foot

iWick fibers pull moisture away from skin for a cool, dry feel

Y-heel design keeps sock from sliding down into shoe

The Perfect Toe provides a seamless toe box with no rubbing or chafing

Cons

Take care when washing because these may shrink under high heat

5. Injinji Run Lightweight

5. Injinji Run Lightweight
Injinji embodies a spirit of innovation. In that spirit, they set out to create an athletic sock that fits like a second skin but protects the foot while removing moisture. They have done everything they set out to do, and then some. With the Injinji RUN Lightweight sock, they have pulled no punches. The 200 needle-count on these socks contribute to the extreme light weight and durability Injinji is known for. They've separated the toes and wrapped them in wicking material so there is no sweat, no rubbing, and no blisters. Arch support is also included in a wraparound band and they've thrown in a mesh top for additional breathability. This sock has it all and is comfortable to boot!
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The Injinji RUN Lightweight socks are made to utilize the entire foot. With toes operating individually, the foot is allowed to splay naturally with each step. The wicking around the toes keeps them dry, prevents rubbing and makes blisters almost non-existent. A slight heel tab does the same for the Achilles and a band wraps around the foot, providing additional arch support. These socks are stretchy and comfortable.

Moisture Control
The RUN Lightweight sock is 27% fiber and 68% COOLMax technology. The entire sock wicks moisture away from the foot, effectively reducing moisture retention, foot odor and discomfort. The top is also mesh, allowing additional airflow to keep the foot cool and dry.

Breathability
The top of the Injinji RUN Lightweight is a full mesh design, other than the supportive arch band, allowing additional air to flow into and around the foot space.

Cushioning
Since this is a lightweight sock, there is not much additional cushioning to be added. The 200 needle-count design does create a smooth, durable sock but does keep it feeling skin-like and less cushioned.

Comfort
Overall, this sock is extremely comfortable, like wearing a lightweight, airy glove on your foot. The separation of the toes reduces rubbing and provides additional moisture-wicking, for a more comfortable forefoot and a better run. The arch support and mesh design on the top of the sock also fit seamlessly but provide that extra hold that our arches need when we've been on the road or trail for a while.
Pros

Separate toe sections relieve rubbing and reduce blisters

Mesh top increases breathability

Additional coverage over Achilles to reduce rubbing

Supportive band provides additional arch support

Cons

Separating toes can take a little getting used to for comfort

Lightweight design doesn't provide excessive cushioning

6. Thirty 48 Ultralight

6. Thirty 48 Ultralight
Thirty 48's goal is to design a state of the art, comfort-filled sock that provides support, contours to the foot, wicks moisture from the skin and allows the foot to breathe. They have accomplished their goal and exceeded it with the Ultralight running sock. Their proprietary blend fabric pulls the moisture away while increasing circulation to keep the skin cool and dry. Anatomically Targeted Cushioning provides denser cushioning to the foot pad and heel as well as the Achilles. This additional cushioning also helps to reduce the shock impact on feet, legs, and joints.
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The Thirty 48 Ultralight Running sock is a combination of technology and common sense. They have added cushioning where it matters most, softening shock results to the body and wicking away moisture at the same time. They have introduced a mesh technology that increases airflow while removing sweat from the scene of the crime. And they have focused on comfort, removing the seams that can rub and irritate skin, causing blisters or chafing.

Moisture Control
Thirty 48's high tech moisture wicking and dissipating fabric, which is a proprietary blend of nylon, lycra spandex, wick poly, and cotton, draws moisture away from the skin, increasing circulation, and keeping skin dry and comfortable. Reducing moisture will decrease the growth of fungus and bacteria, keeping feet healthier as well.

Breathability
The stretchy ultralight fabric has such a lightweight design that air flows smoothly over the top of the foot. In combination with the increased circulation from the wicking material, the breathability on the Thirty 48 Ultralight running sock is well beyond expectations.

Cushioning
Denser padding in the heel and toe relieve stress and shock from each foot strike that typically hurt or damage feet, legs, and joints. Additional padding in the Achilles area also protects from bruising and blistering.

Comfort
Overall comfort from advanced technological material as well as cutting edge moisture wicking and breathable fabric is exactly what Thirty 48 had in mind. They are snug to the foot with a seamless toe enclosure reducing possible foot pain and abrasions.
Pros

Seamless toe for reduced friction and chafing

Moisture-wicking, lightweight mesh for increased breathability and comfort

Second Skin technology for an anatomically correct fit

Heel pull tab for ease of use

Cons

Snug design may translate as a tight fit. Size up for additional space.

7. Darn Tough Merino Wool Double Cross

7. Darn Tough Merino Wool Double Cross
Darn Tough has made socks that fit their name to a 'T' with the Merino Wool Double Cross socks. The wool gives cushion but also naturally repels bacteria, keeping the foot smelling clean and feeling great. With ventilation built into the design, air flow combines with the materials for comfort and function. This sock is great for all day and for tough runs.
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The Darn Tough Merino Wool Double Cross are every bit of the soft sock you want combined with the breathable antibacterial benefits of the Merino wool. The addition of the Lycra and spandex gives the sock some stretch to form it to your foot.

Moisture Control
The Darn Tough design has a natural wicking effect that pulls water away from the foot, keeping it dry and comfortable.

Breathability
The sustainably sourced Merino wool is the key to these socks and their natural air flow. The yarn construction allows maximum breathability, keeping the foot cool and odor-free.

Cushioning
The combination of Merino wool and nylon create a cushioned effect in both the heel and pad of the foot. The Achilles is protected by a small lip that comes up the back of the foot and is reinforced by additional padding around the ankle.
Pros

Constructed from fine gauge Merino wool

Seamless construction for optimal performance

Fast-drying and breathable all-weather sock

Repels bacteria and odor

Cons

Lightweight design with a minimal amount of cushion

Can be a snug fit so size accordingly

8. Softbreath Performance

8. Softbreath Performance
Softbreath Performance Running Socks are as cool and comfortable running in the middle of summer as they are strolling through town, taking in the sights. The cotton/polyester/spandex/elastic blend makes for a soft, cushioned sock but also a stretchy, great fit, even after months of wear.
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The challenge in designing a sock for runners specifically, is to combine the right materials, making it soft enough, cushioned enough, with enough support and stretch for the foot, while allowing the right amount of airflow to the foot to reduce sweating and chafing. Softbreath has done just that with their Softbreath Performance Running Socks.

Moisture Control
The inclusion of cotton in the overall concept not only adds cushion, it absorbs a good amount of moisture, wicking it away from the foot. The design on the top of the foot features two mesh sections, allowing air flow in and over the foot to reduce sweating and chafing.

Breathability
The mesh top allows air movement through the sock and over the foot, reducing sweat and odor while keeping the foot cool and dry.

Cushioning
The mix of materials, with a heavy focus on cotton, allows for a soft, cushioned feel to the bottom of the foot as well as the heel and toe area. A rear tab along the Achilles heel cushions the foot and keeps it from rubbing against the shoe, preventing blisters.

Comfort
The cushioned feeling on the bottom, the mesh design on the top, and the overall construction of the shoe with cotton, elastic and spandex, creates an incredible sock that almost makes you forget you're wearing socks. Your feet stay cool and dry but feel like they're supported and protected.
Pros

Secure fit that won't shift mid-run

Soft, cushiony bottom

Mesh design, breathable top

Rear tab to prevent Achilles blisters and rubbing

Cons

Recommended for more casual runners over longer, more strenuous runs

Unisex design, so be sure and get the right size

9. Thorlos Experia Thin Padded

9. Thorlos Experia Thin Padded
The custom fit and feel of the Thorlos Experia Thin Padded sock will make any run or activity you choose much more comfortable and enjoyable. Exclusive padding at strategic points on the foot protect against rubbing but also add to moisture wicking and cushioned effects of these perfectly situated socks.
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Thorlos is a company that is well-known for comfortable socks. They have created the optimal combination of padding and breathability to keep feet cushioned, comfortable and dry, no matter the occasion.

Moisture Control
The mesh design of the X-Stretch support system over the ankle and arch include moisture-wicking padding at the forefoot and the heel keeping the foot cool and dry during all seasons, for all of your favorite activities.

Breathability
The Experia Thin Padded sock features the mesh, X-Stretch support system over the arch and ankle, keeping the foot cool and allowing maximum airflow.

Cushioning
This sock provides so much padding, Thorlo included it in the name. The ball and heel of the foot have the breathable yarn padding that adds cushion without sacrificing airflow. The Experia also features a subtle, lightweight Achilles tendon pad to protect against rubbing and chafing.

Comfort
The lightweight construction and the mesh design of the sock make these almost invisible. The lightweight yarn padding adds very little weight and the moisture wicking in key areas keeps the foot dry while the mesh enables airflow over the entire foot. This sock is complete comfort in all areas.
Pros

Nylon covered Lycra for a glove-like fit

Exclusive THOR-WICK COOL technology adds cushioning as well as moisture management

X-Stretch ankle-arch support system

Lightweight Achilles tendon pad protects against rubbing and chafing

Cons

Minimum protection for runners who prefer stronger support

 

The Criteria We Used To Find the Top 10 Invisible Socks

Invisible socks are made to be less intrusive and have a lower cut than standard products. If you’re looking for something warmer, then you may prefer tube socks, but most runners don’t want to deal with the fabric sliding down their calves midstride. Not only do they use less fabric, they also use synthetic materials that increase cushioning and breathability. You don’t have to worry about moisture gathering in your shoe, which can lead to excessive friction and injury. Most runners think that their shoes are the most important element when it comes to gear. Overlooking socks is a huge mistake, and invisible socks can make all the difference in the world.

We use a very specific set of criteria when choosing our products. All of these socks have been tried and tested under stressful conditions and proven themselves to be the very best. These are just some of the factors that we took into consideration.

Moisture Wicking Properties

This technology is built into the very fibers of the socks we selected. It pulls excess moisture away from the feet, keeping them dry and comfortable when running, avoiding slipping inside the shoe as well as friction generated from the extra movement. This is a requirement for anyone running more than 5 feet and for anyone wearing shoes over a prolonged period of time.

Breathability

That extra moisture can also contribute to bacterial and fungal growth. If you’ve never dealt with athlete’s foot, then count yourself lucky. The burning and itching can put you off of running for days. When your socks are breathable and prevent the buildup of moisture, you’re less likely to experience this type of discomfort. It also prevents infections from setting into blisters or other open areas on the foot. Keeping your feet healthy is paramount to good running performance.

Cushioning

Whether you’re a zero drop, minimalist runner or someone who loves a Cadillac of comfort on your foot, the cushioning in your sock is still important. Typically, they are lightweight but add padding to the key points of the foot, the heel and toe/pad area. This small amount of extra padding will not only give your foot a soft hug every time you put them on, it will also have an impact on the shock your joints and legs experience with each step.

Comfort

This final criterion is a combination of everything that has been mentioned thus far. If you have breathability and moisture wicking as well as good cushion, the sock will likely be comfortable. But we went a step further. We needed this particular style of a sock to stay up on your heel and not slide down into the shoe. We also found a few pairs that were seamless to reduce potential irritation and chafing.

 

A Few More Things To Think About

Experienced runners have their own ways of doing things. This includes the type of gear that they choose and what they wear while they’re running. Some prefer a minimalist approach, while others like as many advantages as they can have. Aside from our initial criteria, we tried to include a few other factors that might matter. Obviously, things like durability and value will matter to most consumers, but you may have additional concerns. Read through the reviews, and don’t be afraid to do little more research if you still have questions.

Durability

You should check the product’s durability, for one. Knowing if this particular model has any design defects or people are wearing through them in one long run could be key information that would have an effect on your decision.

The last thing you want are socks that develop holes mid-run. Distance runners understand the importance of having gear that’s as durable as they are. This means that the socks need to be made of strong material, and able to withstand repetitive friction. Not all fabrics are created equal, and getting a superior product is definitely worth the price. We looked at the length of time a product is expected to last, and the types of abuse that it can withstand.

Value

Maybe you’re looking for more of a value. Multi-packs are available in many brands, so you should check for them both online and in the stores.

Type of Activity

Your running habits may vary. You may love mud runs, trail runs, city runs and the occasional marathon. Some people prefer a different sock for each activity. Take a look at your own preferences before jumping into some of the pricier socks. They’re more of an investment, so it’s good to do a little research.

While we love to research the latest and greatest and offer them to you here, you should always compare your personal needs to the description to see if it’s the right fit for you. In the end, your goals are the main priority.

 

FAQ

Q: What material should my running socks be made from?

The best running socks are made from synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic, and some form of wicking synthetic because they’ll wick away moisture. Look for a breathable material that has an anti-chafe element.

Q: Why wear running socks?

Socks are worn to absorb sweat and provide warmth in the cold but running socks amp that up to still keep feet warm but to be breathable and reduce sweat and odors, to add support and be a barrier to avoid blistering and chafing.

Q: How do running socks help?

Ideally, the sock will be so comfortable you don’t even think about them on your feet while running. And while they are hiding in the shoe, they are reducing the possible blisters and chafing, they’re allowing the foot to breathe while removing moisture as soon as it’s produced, reducing odors and keeping fungi at bay. But they are also providing additional support along your arch and midfoot. Socks are doing many jobs to help your run.

Q: How long do running socks last?

This will depend on the brand, model, your running style, and terrain. If you’re running more elevation, you might see more wear than if you were running a straight race. Also, keeping toenails trimmed would reduce additional holes to the toes. Proper washing and care also ensure they will last as long or longer than the manufacturers claim.

Q: Where can I buy running socks?

Almost all running socks have a manufacturer website so you’d have to look online. The Top 10 list here is available online. You can also go into any sporting goods store to the shoe section and you’ll find a selection of running socks and even many of the big box stores are now stocking a smaller selection of running shoes.

Q: How do I choose running socks?

We have established criteria in the article above but you should also take into account the type of running you’re planning to do, the weather, and the shoes you’ll be wearing. If you’re doing a half marathon in the early spring when it’s still a bit cool and you have extremely lightweight shoes, you may want warmer socks with a bit more cushion. But you’ll have to establish your own list of requirements and then, looking through each sock’s description, find the perfect fit for you.

Sources

  1. Keep Inspiring Me, 10 Best Athletic Socks for Running, Inspirational Health Website, Jan 20, 2017
  2. Ryan Sabin, 10 Best Running Socks Tested, Running Website, May 20, 2018
  3. Kylie Joyner, The Best Running Socks You Can Buy, News and Health Website, Jan 19, 2018
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