Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Ups and Downs of the Sock Market

For the last month, I've been putting several models of Drymax running socks through their paces. How would they hold up against my current favorites - the Balega Trail Busters and the Wrightsock Double Layer? Let's find out.

Disclaimer : I did not purchase any of the socks in this review - Drymax sent me samples from their range to review free of charge. This has not influenced my review, but I feel I have to mention it

Drymax Reviews
Most of the Drymax range are equipped with top or bottom air vents designed to work in conjunction with the venting systems of the majority of modern running shoes - a feature that is very much appreciated in hot weather!!! This, together with a seamless design and a dual fiber lining helps to prevent blisters by repelling moisture and wicking it away from the foot. When I got them, my first thought was that they looked way too small, but the sock stretches beautifully to encase your foot and I didn't have any problems in this regard at all. Another nice feature is that the sock name is woven into the top of the sock - a small thing, but a godsend when you have several pairs in the laundry.

Drymax Running : nice thick socks - a little too bulky for my road shoes (which are fitted for use with thin socks), but if you like a looser fitting shoe they are a good choice. In fact, they worked really well on the trail with my larger trail shoes. Comfortable and durable, I will be keeping a pair in my drop bag.
Rating : 8 (tested on trail and road)

Drymax Lite-Mesh : thinner than the Running model, but still a little thick for my road shoes. I also have to question the durability - my wife and I each wore a pair at my son's indoor play afternoon. After two hours of walking around on carpet without shoes, she had worn a big hole in the heel of one of hers, though mine were fine. To be fair, I have tried to replicate this problem at home by wearing them around the house and have been unable to. The other two pairs are still going strong and they are very comfortable.
Rating : 7 (tested on trail, road and treadmill)

Drymax Hot Weather Running : a great thin sock that fits perfectly with my road shoes. I don't use them on the trail, but they have been well tested on the road in fairly hot and humid conditions - I have run several 20+ mile road runs in them and finished every run with dry feet. I also wore them in last weekend's marathon relays when we won the Governor's Cup, so they are my new lucky socks as well as my new favorite road socks.
Rating : 9.5 (tested on road)

Drymax Golf
: very comfortable when you're going to be on your feet all day. I wore them with my everyday shoes and my deck shoes and they kept my feet nice and comfortable
Rating :7 (tested in general everyday use)

Drymax Maximum Protection : untested as yet - waiting for the weather to cool down before trying these, though after reading some opinions by other runners and foot experts like John Vonhof, I already have them earmarked for the Bandera 100k
Rating : untested

In summary, a very impressive line of running sock. Preference of sock thickness is very individual and has a lot to do with shoe fit but there's something in this line for everyone, and I've found a new go-to road sock (though I still love and use the Wrightsocks and Balegas as well).


Drymax Sports said...

Thank you for a very fair test with our socks. I certainly appreciate the opportunity.

About the lite-mesh durability issue, this is very interesting and I would love to get my hands on that sock to see what happened. As you may know we have very elite ultrarunners running hundreds of miles w/o similar issues.

Having said that, we are switching to our new line of V4 socks in the next couple of months which will switch from staple yarns to filament yarns. This will allow us to be far more durable and thinner on our lighter socks.

Thank you again for putting our socks to the test and I hope we can send you additional socks as we develop and improve our products.

Best Regards,

Bob MacGillivray
Drymax Sports

Mark said...

Thanks Bob - unfortunately the sock in question has already gone out. I have to say that I enjoyed running in Drymax socks and it's nice to see a company that listens and cares about the opinions of the "middle of the pack" crowd.