I'd been hearing about the wonders of Drymax Socks floating around the ultrarunning community for a while and had always wanted to try them. Recently, I got to try three of their running socks designed for men, while Laima handled female review duties over at Women's Endurance Gear.
First thing I appreciated about Drymax was that they are made in the USA. Not in a jingoistic sense, but happy to support a more local and therefore more environmental company. The other pleasant surprise was the act that Drymax makes socks in an XXL. With size 13 feet, I usually make do with XL socks (typically sized 9-12), so they often are serviceable, though not quite right. The XXL run almost too large, but were extremely comfortable and I have no worries about them shrinking until they are unusable.
Drymax Sport Socks are all about moisture control. No sock can prevent your feet from sweating, unless they possess anti-perspirant qualities, which most socks do not (do any?). Drymax socks keep feet 25 times drier than wicking socks by mechanically moving moisture away from the foot. The Drymax fiber technology is permanent and not a surface treatment, so it will not wear out or wash out after repeated use or launderings.
They cannot prevent blisters caused by socks that don't fit right or have an irritating seam, but do prevent blisters caused by moisture. When wet, skin tends to soften, so it becomes more susceptible to blisters. Drymax, by keeping your feet dry, help eliminate blisters caused by excess wetness. Drymax Socks can help eliminate foot odors. Decaying bacteria usually causes foot odor, and bacteria like to grow in damp, warm, dark areas. If moisture is eliminated, so is the environment bacteria like to grow in. The v3 and v4 Drymax Socks all contain MicroZap® which is an antimicrobial additive. MicroZap is a silver based zirconium phosphate ceramic ion-exchange resin. This is a permanent treatment of the fibers, so will last as long as the socks do.
Drymax socks are designed with 5 different levels of protective padding. This protective padding comes in four densities: Low-, Low, Medium, Medium+ and High. Drymax Sports makes their protective padding dense as opposed to thick, so it is less likely to affect the fit of your shoes.
The special fibers used in Drymax socks have a comfortable springiness and do not get stiff, shrink, or lose shape over time. The whites are crisp and the colors never dull. Drymax socks are designed to last a long time due to the use of the highest quality Drymax and Polyester fibers and special abrasion resistant Nylon fiber reinforcements placed in the normal heel and toe wear areas. To help maintain the socks (and all technical apparel), do not use fabric softeners on technical apparel or socks. Fabric softeners leave a residual coating on fibers and fabrics, preventing them from performing as designed. To remove fabric softeners, simply launder with detergent and rinse.
The three socks I received for review were the Running, Running Lite-Mesh, and Lite Trail Running. Drymax sorts their socks by both temperature and distance run, so they actually make special socks for ultrarunners running up to 200 miles.
The new Running Socks were designed with a special Dual Layer Moisture Removal System that moves moisture off the skin through the inner Drymax layer to the outer absorbent layer almost instantly. They are a Medium+ Density protective padded sock. The Running Socks were designed to be used in cool to warm conditions, keeping feet dry, comfortable and odor free. I ran in these both inside on the treadmill and outside on street and trail and the socks (and therefore my feet) remained comfortable start to finish.
The Running Lite-Mesh Socks were designed with a special Dual Layer Moisture Removal System that moves moisture off the skin through the inner Drymax layer to the outer absorbent layer almost instantly. These are a Low Density protective padded sock and you can easily tell the difference between these and the more densely padded Running Sock. The Lite-Mesh Socks were designed to be used in mild to warm conditions, but were fine in the cooler winter temps as well.
Apart from the darker coloring, I didn't really feel these socks were any more or less appropriate for trail rather than street or treadmill running. They are a Medium+ Density protective padded sock, and are were designed to be used in cool to warm conditions, but, once again, no problems in the cooler mornings this winter.
All these socks were comfortable out of the packaging, have withstood runs on street, trail, and treadmill, and, after repeated washings and dryings, feel and look brand new. Incredibly high quality, fit, and comfort will definitely keep these socks in rotation for their (hopefully) long life. Will definitely be looking at some of their other offerings for cycling, skiing, and snowboarding as well. I know I'll be running in Drymax for my first 50K this fall!
(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog, courtesy of Drymax Sports. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)
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