Friday, September 11, 2009

Product Reviev - Drymax Lite Trail Running Socks

There has been a lot of talk on some of the online ultra forums praising the fit, comfort and performance of Drymax socks. As a long time wearer of Injinji socks I was reluctant to try another sock. I'm a believer in the motto, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and my Injinji's have worked well at preventing blisters. I can only think of two times in the past two years where I got a blister during a run. Not a bad record.

Well, I finally decided to give them a try but before I bought a pair I checked out their website. It's loaded with technical talk and scientific information related to Drymax Fibers vs. Wicking Fibers and how the Drymax fibers are superior at keeping your feet dry to prevent blisters. It's to voluminous to post here but you can read more about it if you desire. Below is some other information that was pulled from the Drymax website:

Blister Cycle
Foot blisters are most common on the toes, heel, and ball of the foot. Blisters caused by socks usually occur when socks do not fit, their seams irritate the skin, and/or the socks become wet. Wet socks soften and weaken the skin, making feet vulnerable to blisters. Heat, moisture and friction work together to cause blisters, each heightening the severity of the others. This creates a Blister Cycle.

Excess heat normally radiates away from bare feet, but wearing shoes traps heat, elevating the temperature of the skin. Heat generated by physical activity can further raise the temperature inside shoes 20 degrees or more.

With higher than normal skin temperature, the body produces sweat to cool the skin by evaporation. Wearing shoes prevents evaporative cooling from effectively taking place, leaving socks and feet wet.

Moisture significantly increases friction between socks and skin. Higher friction limits skin surface movement, but still allows inner tissue movement. This shearing effect physically separates the two layers, creating a void. This void fills with fluid and forms a blister.

Drymax Socks Actively Prevent Blisters - Drymax technology socks were designed to actively prevent blisters.

1) Drymax socks fit because they come in 5 sizes, and were developed on special 3D foot shaped models which accurately represent the human foot.

2) Drymax socks do not irritate skin because they are soft and seamlessly smooth on the inside.
3) The inner layer of Drymax fibers, along with vents built into the socks, allow liquid & vaporized sweat to pass through to the separate outer layer of the sock, then to the shoe lining. Blisters caused by sweat vapor or liquid sweat are prevented because Drymax fibers stay dry, breaking the Blister Cycle.

Friction Free® Blister Guard® System - Selected Drymax socks incorporate the patented Blister Guard® System.

Chemically known as expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), Profilen® has the lowest coefficient-of-friction of any fiber. This makes Profilen® the best to keep friction low, between the skin and sock. Combining Super Hydrophobic (non-wicking) Drymax fibers with the Friction Free® Blister Guard® System keeps feet drier, cooler and more comfortable, significantly reducing the chances of hot spots and blisters.

All of this technical talk and marketing mambo-jumbo looks and sounds great on the website but how did the socks perform on my feet? Here's the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good
These are well made socks that fit and feel great. The material is soft and smooth without extra material bunching up behind my heel or being too tight around the toes like some other socks I've tried. The 1/4 crew sock fits snug to the ankle, but not too tight, keeping debis from getting into the sock. I only paid $11 for my Drymax Lite socks making then are less expensive than SmartWool and Injinji.

The Bad
I haven't been able to find any "brick and mortar" retailers that carry Drymax socks. If you really like them, you'll have to order them online incurring shipping costs. I recommend Zombie Runner. They keep their shipping costs down to a reasonable level.

The sock are treated for "Odor Control" with a zirconium phosphate based ceramic ion-exchange resin which contains silver. The silver antimicrobial is not a topical treatment but is molecularly infused into the Drymax fibers as they are being extruded. This special process is said to be non-migratory and non-toxic but who's checking?

The Ugly
I got blisters!! Not every time I wore them but often enough. I did three 5 mile runs without any problems. When I ran longer, a 10 mile run and a 15 mile run, I developed a minor blister between one of my toes. A different spot both times. Not really a big deal in training but a minor blister during an ultra race can turn into a major issue as the miles wear on.

Just because the socks didn't work for me, it doesn't mean they wont work for you. My friend RunninRob ran the GAC 6 hour race in Drymax socks and he only had a very slight blister when he finished. You just have to experiment to see what works best for you. As for me, I'm sticking with Injini. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Blister boy out...


  1. I'm still plagued by blisters on the lower edges of both big toes and edges of the balls of my feet. I've tried every sock I can think of. Now, I use Spenco blister gel pads covered w/Kinesio tape. Doesn't completely alleviate the problem, but has made a significant difference.

  2. This review was remarkably good. I appreciate to know this information. I would always loved my smartwool socks but just want to try drymax as well.


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