It’s that time of year again – Fall. As we head into the cooler months of the year and the winter rain and snow sets in, wet feet start to become more of a major concern. This time of year wet feet not only mean discomfort, but now you have to deal with heat loss and all of the bad things that are associated with it. Arc’teryx has developed a solution for these conditions that I would have believed was pure hype. However, having had an opportunity to use their solution I am not only a believer, I am an now an evangelist.
The Mattock Drysock LT is from the Arc’teryx LEAF line and is a GORE-TEX over sock that is meant to be worn with your standard socks. Made from GORE-TEX three-layer construction, it’s effectively a bag that slips over your sock and into your shoe creating a waterproof barrier. However, with the magic of GORE, it wicks interior moisture away from the inner sock and skin. When used with a light merino wool inner sock, the Mattock Drysock LT creates an excellent system for dry feet. While I was initially concerned about the additional bulk of the sock adding to my inner boot or shoe volume creating hot spots and pinch points. I had no such problem. The slippery nature of the GORE and the seam free footbed of the Drysock tend to make the Drysock find its way to the correct location inside your shoe.
Wearing the Drysock over several loaded miles in Utah during the late summer rains, I got to experience the full measure of the design. One fascinating feature of the Drysock is its ability to dry your foot of the sweat that builds on your feet during a long hard walk. When you feel your feet getting a bit humid, simply standing in some running water (wearing your shoes and socks) has an interesting effect. The hydrophilic nature of the material wicks the moisture from your skin and out through the membrane of the sock. Normally I have damp feet and need to dry them and change socks frequently. While wearing these socks for extended periods, I notice a dramatic change in my feet. At the end of the day they were dry and free from the normal damp space between the toes and such.
Ultimately it’s not practical nor needed to wear these socks for everyday use. I wear them for long hikes when I know there is a chance of water crossings or rain. I would definitely wear them in a snow field hiking situation or in the field during the months of the year when mud and water are most likely. On a side note, these are not gators. I found it better to not tuck your pants in them and expect them to keep you dry. Put on the Drysock and put your pant’s leg over them. I am sure in using the socks for water crossings wearing them over your pants will well. However during a torrential downpour some of the unfortunate souls on our trip to Utah tried the other method and suffered from bad results. It only took once or twice until they changed the manner in which they wore the Drysock.
The Arc’teryx Mattock Drysock LT retails for $139. It is available in sizes XS through XXL and comes in either Crocodile or MultiCam color options.