Monday, August 4, 2008

Put a Sock in it

Pushup Challenge : Week 4 day 1
Plan :
27, 20, 20, 17, at least 27
Actual : 27, 20, 20, 17, 29

It's official - I found myself on the participants list for the Bandera 100k and the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler. It's kinda strange to see my name on these lists - makes it seem all the more real somehow. I can't believe I'm actually going to attempt to run 100 miles in less than 6 months time.

The Great Sock Review
About a month ago, I set out on a crusade to find the best pair of running socks. Since then, I've been running in my new array of socks and comparing them. I've tested them with different shoes and on varied terrain in a bid to find my favorite. Here are the results:

Asics CoolMax 3-pack : 3 pairs of running socks for less than $9, could they really be any good? Surprisingly the answer is yes. They are soft, comfortable, wick very well, and do a good job. The one concession to price seems to be a pronounced seam in the toe, but it didn't really bother me. Ideal midweek running socks, they would do a good job for weekend long runs too. Unless you're a sock snob.
Price : $8.95 for 3 pairs
Value : 10
Comfort : 6
Rating : 7

Balega Trail Buster : Super stretchy, light, seamless, soft, comfortable. Provides just enough cushioning without being too heavy, I love the Balegas - my feet feel like they are coated in sock royalty!!! They look good too.
Price : $8.95
Value : 8
Comfort : 10
Rating : 9

Drymax Trail Running : Very thick socks, more for winter running as they tend to "squelch" in the summertime. I bet they'd be great running socks for the nighttime portion of Bandera and Rocky Raccoon though. Not a very high rating based on wear so far, but I think they will come into their own in the winter.
Price : $8.95
Value : 7
Comfort : 6
Rating : 6

Injinji Tetrasok : aka the socks with the toes. You either love them or hate them, and I fall into the latter category. They just feel strange and my toes feel trapped and constricted. I've never had problems with blisters between my toes. If I had, maybe I'd feel differently.
Price : $11.95
Value : 4
Comfort : 6
Rating : 5

Wigwam Ironman Tail Wind Pro : seem a lot more rugged than the triathlon socks and no seams on the toes. They are very comfortable, if a little pricey. Time will tell how well they stand up to the strains of trail running.
Price : $9.50
Value : 6
Comfort : 8
Rating : 7

Wigwam Ironman Triathlon : my long-standing sock. Been running road in these for years, but they don't stand up to trail very well and tend to tear easily. Add in a seam at the toe and heel, and they are average at best.
Price : $6.95
Value : 6
Comfort : 5
Rating : 5

Wrightsock Double Layer Coolmesh : has two layers, but still very light. The inner white lining is super soft and they are wonderful to run in. The moisture wicking works really well and they are very comfortable.
Price : $7.99
Value : 9
Comfort : 10
Rating : 9

The Winners
It's a tie between the Balegas and the Wrightsocks. Both pairs of sock feel wonderful and I don't know which I prefer. Here's the best idea - buy a pair of both and decide for yourself.


Drymax Sports said...

Thanks for putting this sock review together. We agree our Trailrunning sock is thicker, but this is for Trail purposes. The sock has a denser knit as well as no ventilation so that debris from the trail doesn't get next to your foot and cause more problems. Also, the leg has 2 layers of Drymax that further inhibits water and debris from getting to the foot.

Having said that, Drymax Trailrunning socks do have our proprietary super hydrophobic layer against the skin and super hydrophylic wicking layer away from the foot so your feet may have been a bit warmer, they should have been protected against injury and moisture better than any other sock in your review.

I would love to send you comparable socks to those Drymax was compared against in your review. I think you compared our durable and reliable pickup against our competitor's sports cars. Our Lite-Mesh socks are more comparable to the thickness and weight of the Balegas you rated so highly. In addition, our Drymax technology is far drier than Balega, or any sock on your list that use wicking technology.

We have ultrarunners like Jamie Donaldson, Lisa Bliss, Tim Englund, Luis Escobar, Olga Varlamova, Jenn Shelton and many more having great success in our socks running many miles blister free.

If you would like to take me up on my offer, please let me know. I just need your address and shoe size and I will get you a sampling of products that we think you will be very pleased with.

Best Regards,

Bob Macgillivray
Drymax Sports

steve said...

Excellent sock round-up....I'm not a trail runner, but the info is great.