BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Drymax Hiking HD Socks. > Test Report by Thomas Vickers

Drymax Hiking HD Socks

Initial Report - April 19, 2010
Field Report, - July 5, 2010
Long Term Report - August 25, 2010

Thomas Vickers

42 years old
Male
5 ft 11 in tall (1.8 m)
175 lb (79 kg)
redroach@pobox.com
Southeast Texas, Houston Area


Tester Background:
I grew up in the piney woods of southeast Texas. Camping was a quick trip into the mosquito-infested woods behind the house. My style has evolved and over the last 4 or 5 years, I have begun to take a lighter weight approach to hiking gear (I still use sleeping bags and tents, just lighter versions). While I have flirted with lightweight hiking, I feel that I am more of a mid-weight hiker now. My philosophy is one of comfort, while carrying the lightest load possible.


Initial Report
April 19, 2010

drymaxsocks

 

Manufacturer Information:

Manufacturer: Drymax Sports LLC

Website: http://www.drymaxsocks.com
Year Manufactured: 2010

MSRP: NA

Weight: NA

Materials: 73% drymax/olefin, 9% polyester, 10% nylon, 8% elastane

Information From Tester:
(all measurements approximate)


Shoe size: Men's 10.5
Sock Size:   Large
Model: Crew
Color: Brown

Weight : 4.0 oz (113 g)




Initial tester expectations:
The Drymax website was one that left a few lingering questions in my mind. I came away with what I felt was a good understanding of the technical aspects of their socks, but as far as what the item was going to look like and their sizing scheme was like, I had more questions when I left the site than when I arrived.  

Manufacturer's description:
"The Hiking Sock is a High Density protective padded sock. Using dense padding, as opposed to thick padding, it protects feet without adversely affecting the fit of the shoes. The Hiking Socks were designed for use in cold to mild conditions, keeping feet dry, comfortable and odor free all day long".

Tester's Description:
My two pair of the Drymax Hiking HD Socks are brown and tall. 

Tallsocks

They come up nearly to my knees and are a very dark brown color.  One thing that is very apparent from my first couple of minutes in them is that they are very comfortable.

Initial thoughts:
Drymax lists a lot of technical information on their website and from reading through it and the material provided with the socks, Drymax has taken the idea of socks and liners to a new level.  The Drymax HD Hiking socks are a dual layer sock constructed to combine an inner hydrophobic liner with an outer padded and quick drying sock.  

Since I live in Texas and the summer heat makes everyone's feet sweat and stink, I am more than a little curious to see how this dual-layer construction works in the heat.  The hydrophobic inner layer supposedly does not wick water, but instead pushes it into the outer layer (because it does not absorb and move the water -wicking) for dryer feet.  

Needless, these socks are going to get a good workout over the next few months. My feet are going to get hot and sweaty and hopefully these socks are going to live up to their claims of keeping odors away and my feet dryer and comfortable during the spring/summer hiking season.

Final thoughts:
These socks are tall. Since they come up to my knees they are a bit taller than I really like hiking socks, but if I can overcome my basic modesty issues and wear them, I think the Drymax HD Hiking Socks are going to be an interesting test.  I do bushwhack a great deal and having socks that come up to my knees may be one way to avoid the plethora of insect bites and stings that I always seem to have around my ankles during the summer.  

From wearing them around the house I can say that they feel great on my feet and legs. If they feel this good on the trail, then this is going to be a really interesting test.

Things I like:
1. The comfort/padding of these socks
2. Color


Things I do not like:
1. May be a bit too tall

Field Report
July 5, 2010

Activities:
Day Hiking

Days used: 8 (18 mi/29 km)

Conditions:
No precipitation
65 - 95 F (18 - 35 C)

The Comfort:
The first thing I want to report on is that these are some pretty damn comfortable socks.  They fit very well and despite the fact that they come up nearly to my knees, I really like the way they squeeze my legs.  Overall, they feel rather nice and seem to provide support not only to my feet, but to my calves as well.  There is probably no scientific way to prove this, but I know that my legs feel very snug and secure while I have these socks pulled all the way up.

They are a fairly bulky sock, but they do not fill up my hiking shoes too much.  I think that their sock + line design makes them a less bulky than my normal sock and separate liner combination.  It may be a near miss on the overall bulk issue, but in my mind, this sock comes in a bit less bulky than a regular sock and liner.  

My last comfort issue has to do with the heat.  When the temperatures here in Texas were 70 F (21 C) or below, these socks were great. They kept my feet and legs warm and I liked this because I prefer to hike in shorts.  As the temperatures rose above this and finally broke the 90 F (32 C) mark, these socks really got way too hot for my feet.  For me it was not just a hot feet issue, but a hot leg issue as well. I could push the socks down, but they were still a sticky hot mess around my ankles.   I will continue to try and use them during the summer, but at this point I know that these socks are definitely for the cooler months of the year, at least here in Texas.

The upside:
One thing besides the over all comfort that I can share about these socks is the length. While the long (up to my knees) length may appear kind of goofy when I wear shorts, there have been some serious benefits to these socks.  During the spring (and summer) the height of socks have kept the bugs off of my legs.  It is so easy to apply insect repellent starting at my knees and moving up and let the socks take care of everything below the knee. This means no more tick checks or chigger infestations around my ankles, which are pretty much standard for me hiking here in Texas.  While longer (taller) may not be visual appealing in socks, I can say that as far as the bugs are concerned, longer is much better.

Final thoughts:
It is going to be difficult to continue wearing these socks, but I will. They are just too warm for the summer, but there are definitely some benefits to wearing them, especially  when the undergrowth is as high as it is now along the local trails.  I really like the way these socks feel on my feet and legs and the amount of support they give to both feet and legs are huge bonuses to me.

I have not worn them enough on consecutive days to say that they develop a smell too easily, but even hiking for several miles (kilometers) in the summer heat was not enough to make them reek.  So despite their rather frumpy look, I like these socks. They are comfortable, keep the bugs off, and do not seem to smell too poorly after use.  

Long Term Report
August 25, 2010

Activities:
Day Hiking

Days used: 5 (15 mi/24 km)

Conditions:
No precipitation
80 - 105 F (27 - 41 C)


The end of the line:
As comfortable as these socks are, I am not very fond of them in the summer heat here in Texas. I have day hiked in them as much as I could stand.  This should not be taken as a flaw in the socks because I am pretty sure that the Drymax HD socks were designed for cooler weather and it was beyond my ability to test them this way.

With that being said, they are comfortable. Despite the heat, they were great at keeping the bugs off my lower legs (they came nearly up to my knees) and they really do cradle my feet and legs. I could probably keep harping on their comfort, but I am pretty sure that everyone gets the picture at this point.  

These socks seem to wick just as efficiently as the manufacturer claims and this makes them even more attractive to me. The ability to wear a single sock instead of a liner and a sock is a feature that I value. Of course this dual construction means that the Drymax HD are fairly bulky socks, but I think that they are less bulky than a sock/liner combination.

Final thoughts:
These socks have held together pretty well. The construction seems good and they have held up to what I have put them through. While I am not a fan of tall socks, I will say that when wading through high grass or weeds with the Drymax HD, I knew I was not going to be infested from the knees down. With the socks being so tall, I also knew that if I was going into bug territory, I did not have to wear long pants because the most exposed parts of my legs were already going to be covered.

These socks were also very comfortable. They really do feel great on my feet and other than being a bit too hot for the Texas summer, I enjoyed using the Drymax HD socks.   





Read more gear reviews by Thomas Vickers


Read more gear reviews by Thomas Vickers

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Drymax Hiking HD Socks. > Test Report by Thomas Vickers



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson