Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review; Drymax Trail & Trail Lite socks

Never one to try and fix something that’s not broken and in much in the same vein as the XT Wings vs. Oboz Ignitions review I was a little reluctant to try another pair of socks, my turn-to’s for the last couple of years have been from Darn Tough out of Vermont, you can read my initial review here. However I was curious to try the trail offerings from Drymax of which I had been sent, from the good folks at Wilderness Running Company, the Trail and Trail Lite, especially after reading Donald’s and Rick’s reviews.

Typically for my reviews I copy and paste some info from the company website, usually I find anything that ranges from a few bullet points to half a page, not so with Drymax, these folks are serious about socks. Their website contains a wealth of info about the technology, much of it proprietary, which means you’ll not find it anywhere else, including videos, in depth explanations about what ‘wicking’ actually is, the requirement of padding, correct sizing, antimicrobial factors, blister causes and the list goes on. So my suggestion is to check it out yourself, it’s not overly technical and easy to understand.

And so to the socks. Both socks rely on the same technology the only real difference is that the Trail Lite has less padding making it more suitable in warmer climates or of course for during the summer. The sole of the Trail sock is well padded. Drymax makes a big effort to emphasis they use ‘dense’ padding rather than ‘thick’ padding and the Trail sock is rated as a Medium Dense+, as stated the Trail Lite has less padding and is therefore cooler. On both pairs there is some nice padding around the ankle creating a snug fit which reduces the entry of dust into the sock.

I’ve worn both pairs of socks on long runs and I would agree with the premise of the Trail vs. the Trail Lite, the Trail is warmer and will be great for the winter. So for the summer the Trail Lite’s are perfect. I am fortunate to not suffer from overly sweaty feet even so the wicking is excellent and I think this adds to the cooling effect of the sock. Even in Southern California wet feet can happen; there are some minor streams that need walking through even in Summer. The Dual Layer Moisture Elimination System removes sweat, sweat vapors, and water from the skin through the inner Drymax layer to the outer absorbent layer. The double welt top is made of Drymax fibers to repel water, so when you splash through water, the top of the socks stay dry.

The dense padding is noticeable and does provide some degree of cushioning which is my preference and also allows for a snug fit with my shoes. The sock’s fit is improved with a inseam band that hugs you foot and the seamless toe which minimize any possibility for blistering from friction.

The socks are available in five different sizes to ensure the best fit and come in sensible trail colors.

So in conclusion once again I’ve been reminded to have an open mind, originally reluctant to try them the more I wear them the more I like these socks and they do do everything that is on the box! One other incentive is that that are a good $2-3 cheaper per pair than the Darn Toughs (which you can also get here from WRC if you want to 'run' your own comparison). Add to that the discount that can be had from WSC of 10% and you can snag a pair for under $10, just click here for the Trail socks and here for the Trail Lites, use ‘Quad10’ to apply the discount when you check out.


  1. I wore Drymax for a while and then switched to Injinji's which gave me horrible blisters during my first 100 attempt. Took me right out of the race.
    I have since switched back to Drymax. So far no blisters. I have a 50 miler coming up so I hope to get some good testing in then.
    I need to check out these trail socks.

  2. I love these socks. I have been using them for a year now and not only do they do all you mentioned but they are sturdy enough that I have not worn a whole in them yet with all the running I did in them this year.

  3. Hooray for Drymax! I love how they've become so deeply involved in the ultra community as well as producing great gear. I love doing reviews when the product is so clearly awesome. Enjoy your socks!

  4. It's always wise to remain open to new products because you never know what you could be missing, but it is hard once you find something that works, most of us are reluctant to go outside our comfort zone.

    Thanks for the review!

  5. funny story... after your last review on compression socks Scott went to the store and bought ankle high diabetic socks instead. We still laugh and just today he made the switch. So much to learn... :)

  6. Socks. I dunno, I run in any ol' socks, for the most part. All the "technology" seems weird to me. Socks? Technology? Really? Having said that, I am blessed with no blisters and no foot problems -- so far. Perhaps I should get a little more serious. Thanks for the review!

  7. Thanks for the review! I'm a huge drymax fan but I haven't tried their trail socks.


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