The DryMax Running Mini Crew is a unique sock that has the ability to wick moisture away from the foot. From years of wearing them during long and wet trail runs, we know that they keep feet dry. If you live in a wet climate or run through streams seemingly every time you step out the door (like we do), then these could be great for you. We caution, however, that they are one of the lowest scorers in our testing. They are somewhat of a "one trick pony," meaning, they wick away moisture extraordinarily well, but are frankly sub-par in every other metric that we tested and rated for.
DryMax Running Mini Crew Review
Cons: Heavy and thick, fit and sizing is a bit off, bunched up seams
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This 100% synthetic running sock is super durable and amazing at wicking away water. While it lost its award to the Swiftwick Aspire Zero as a top pick for wicking this year, it still stands out for its ability to repel water and dry quickly. In all other aspects, it's performance is sub-par.
While we would certainly not go so far as to call these socks uncomfortable, we have to concede that they are the least comfortable socks in this review. This started with the choice of olefin fibers in their blend. In a classic tradeoff situation, these fibers granted this sock unparalleled wicking ability, but have the least soft and cozy feel against the skin. Wool and polyester felt better to wear. We also have complaints about the toe seams.
This is a potential problem area on all socks because the extra stitching needed to close the seam can lead to abrasion and rubbing against the tops of the toes. These socks ended with large bumps of fabrics and creases at the end of each seam, creating definite pressure and abrasion points against the outsides and tops of the big toes and pinky toes on each foot. Their medium+ density also tended to make our foot feel hot more often than not.
This sock is designed to be medium+ density thickness, with added padding. There is no doubt that it is a high volume sock. While there is padding in all the areas that it is needed, including under the forefoot, on the sides of the forefoot and toes, over the toes, and in the heel, it is also padded all the way through the arch and on the sides of the entire foot.
The extra padding in the arch and sides of the foot seems unnecessary and probably contributes to the heavy and hot feeling of the sock. The padding in the arch, in particular, seems to compromise the ability of the vented arch band to work. While we like the fact that this sock has padding, we wish it was a bit more restrained in its use. Overall, comfort is not the best out there.
In general, this sock fits fairly large. The material stretches and if you're on the cusp of the sizing scheme, be sure to order smaller, not larger. The fit, in general, is not very specific. It doesn't really hug or compress the foot or arch and is more like a tube of material. As a result, because the fit is non-specific it's not our favorite and proves to rub along some of the seams.
Wicking & Breathability
Wicking ability is what DryMax has staked their reputation on, and in this case, they've nailed it. In our 15-minute on-the-foot drying test we found a few mildly damp places on the outside of the sock, but also found that the padded areas on the inside of the sock were nearly completely dry.
Not only was it the best at wicking away moisture, but also seemed to be the least absorptive. The one-hour drying test verified these findings for us, as the insides of the socks were completely dry after one hour. The outsides, on the other hand, were still a little damp, but this backs up DryMax's claim that they have layered hydrophobic fibers on the inside of the sock with moisture attracting fibers on the outside to help pull moisture outwards. We see this same trend while running. It doesn't pick up moisture easily and does a decent job of evaporating moisture from the fabric.
There is no doubt that the DryMax Running Mini Crew offers great slip protection. It easily grips inside the shoe to keep from sliding around. That said, the loose fit allowed the foot to move around within the sock a bit causing a tiny bit of slip in looser shoes.
We are impressed with the durability of this sock. After about thirty miles of wear and tear, we only noticed some minor pilling. The fibers seem to be totally bomber and intact, not showing any signs of use. Overall, this is a durable running sock.
As a thick and warm sock, we found this one to be best off in cooler temperatures, even though DryMax claims that it is designed for hot temperatures as well. The mini crew top and great wicking ability, not to mention its durability, make it a good choice for trail running, and of course, ideal for wet conditions. We would probably choose a thinner and lighter sock for warm weather road running.
This sock retails for $13, making it quite inexpensive. While it is certainly not as comfortable as our Best Bang for the Buck winner, the Balega Silver No Show, you really can't go wrong for the price. These socks are durable and will last for a-many a mile, providing great overall value.
The DryMax Running Mini Crew is a fantastic sock to have in your drawer for cool weather, rainy days, or adventurous mountain or trail runs. Its superior wicking ability is a great asset if you deal with blisters often or frequently find yourself running in wet conditions. However, it is not as comfortable as the other socks we reviewed and doesn't fit as well, meaning it is a sock we look to wear on special days, rather than one that we go to all the time.
— Andy Wellman