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May 30, 2010

New Drymax Max Pro Trail Socks!

It was roughly one year ago when I was testing the (at that time) new Drymax Lite Trail socks at the Western States training camp. In my case, “testing” meant “immersing myself in as many river crossings as possible in the midst of a hot, hilly 31-mile trail run” – and as I reported back then, the socks performed beautifully.

I certainly wasn’t surprised that they performed so well; I’ve been on the Drymax bandwagon for about two years now, and there’s absolutely no other sock I’d choose for a race or any other long, challenging run. In my book, they’re clearly the best in the category – not only that, but the gap between first and second place is enormous.

This spring, I’ve had the privilege of testing another new offering from Drymax, as the company has recently released their Maximum Protection Trail sock, which raises the performance bar even further. They are similar to Drymax’s standard trail running socks, but have a Teflon material embedded throughout the entire inside of the socks along with the regular Drymax fiber – a combination that greatly reduces the coeffient of friction, and moves moisture away from the foot extremely effectively.

However, this model also raises the price bar somewhat significantly, so it’s not something I’m going to tell you to race out and buy until I have a better sense of how well they hold up in extreme circumstances. I’m planning to wear them for my 100K race this weekend, and I’ll present an updated review at some point afterward. Truthfully, though, these socks have already been put to the test by a lot of athletes who are way more accomplished than me; Drymax’s team includes some of the best ultrarunners in the world, who have been wear-testing various versions of the sock for a few months now. I’m tempted to say that if they’re tough enough for Jamie Donaldson and the Wasatch Speed Goats, they’re tough enough for me – but I’ll feel a lot better about recommending them after putting them through the paces myself.

In the meantime, if you’re so inclined, you can read up on some of the science that’s gone into these socks, either from this Drymax page, or from this ZombieRunner page, where the socks are currently in stock for $28 per pair. That's right ... two-eight. It’s truly remarkable how much technology goes into a pair of socks nowadays; whether the resulting performance benefit is worth the price is a conversation we’ll save for another day. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to getting to know the Max Pros better over 62 miles this Saturday.


shel 6/1/10, 7:54 PM  

oy. i'll buy a fleet of them when i hit the lottery

David 4/1/11, 10:56 AM  

Any update on if the additional cost is worth it over their traditional trail sock?

Donald 4/3/11, 9:24 PM  

David: Not for everyday use, but definitely for races or long adventures.

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