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Swiftwick Maxus One Review

These are a moderately cushioned option for folks who don't prefer a thickly cushioned sock
Swiftwick Maxus One
Photo: Swiftwick
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Price:  $15 List | $14.99 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Breathable, durable, nice size range
Cons:  Not very much cushioning
Manufacturer:   Swiftwick
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 21, 2021
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 11
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Fit - 25% 8
  • Wicking & Breathability - 25% 6
  • Slip Prevention - 15% 7
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

In the grand scheme of all things socks, The Swiftwick MAXUS One is not a heavily cushioned sock. It doesn't give us that snug feel we're used to from other cushioned socks, but it does breathe a bit better and dry more quickly. Many cushioned socks can be a little too much for runners in warm climates, and the MAXUS One offers a nice compromise of cushion and breathability. If your thin and breathable socks tend to have short lives, check out this more durable, almost as breathable option from Swiftwick.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Swiftwick Maxus One
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $14.99 at Backcountry
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$15.00 at REI
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$15.00 at Amazon
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$11.99 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Breathable, durable, nice size rangeProtective medium cushioning, protective length, durable fibers, strong at wicking, quick to drySuper comfortable padding, toe spread, blister prevention, excellent moisture management, protectiveDeliciously comfortable, well-cushioned, affordableGreat slip prevention, seamless feel
Cons Not very much cushioningMedium cushioning isn't ideal for super hot weatherSome may not love the toe sock design, cooler than merino wool when wetPoor breathabilityA little on the thick side, holds more moisture than a thinner sock
Bottom Line These are a moderately cushioned option for folks who don't prefer a thickly cushioned sockAn all-around excellent performer that's built for the beginner to the elite ultra-distance runnerIf you are considering a toe sock design, this durable synthetic option comes highly recommendedComfortable and affordable for long days pumping out the milesIf your feet need room to swell in a wider shoe, but you don't want to slip around the extra space, check out these excellent cushioned socks
Rating Categories Swiftwick Maxus One Blister Resister Quarter Trail Midweight Mini-Crew Balega Silver No Show Run Coolmax No-Show Tab Ultr...
Comfort (25%)
8
9
8
9
9
Fit (25%)
8
8
9
8
7
Wicking & Breathability (25%)
6
8
8
5
5
Slip Prevention (15%)
7
9
8
9
8
Durability (10%)
6
9
9
6
9
Specs Swiftwick Maxus One Blister Resister... Trail Midweight... Balega Silver No... Run Coolmax...
Material Olefin 32% Drynamix Polyester, 32% Polyamide, 30% Mohair, 4% Microfiber, 2% Elastane 39% Coolmax Polyester, 58% Nylon, 3% Lycra 75% Drynamix Polyester, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane 48% Nylon 47% Coolmax Polyester 5% Lycra Spandex
Ankle Cut Low Cut Quarter Length Quarter Length No Show Tab No Show Tab
Cushioning Level Light Heavy Heavy Heavy Light

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Swiftwick MAXUS One is a high-performance running sock with just enough cushion to be considered "cushioned" as far as our testers are concerned. Compared to competitors, there isn't much extra fabric on the parts of the foot that receive the most impact, but next to a uniformly thin running sock, the difference is noticeable. For folks who find the thickness of a cushioned sock to be too much but are wary of sliding around in their shoes while wearing an ultra-thin and breathable sock, these could be your happy medium.

Performance Comparison


These are not quite a quarter sock and not quite a no-show, and we...
These are not quite a quarter sock and not quite a no-show, and we really liked how they clear the shoe's tongue, stayed in place, and don't ride too high.
Photo: Matt Bento

Comfort


Aside from a little compression from the elastic band over the arch, one might forget they're wearing socks after slipping into the MAXUS One. The seamless toe-box provides an airy, comfortable spot for the toes to splay, and the Y-shaped heel stitching pattern pulls the sock against the Achilles so it won't slide down or bunch up. Anecdotally, one of our testers went years running in a pair of Brooks Pure Connect, a shoe that fit him so exquisitely that he swore he didn't need socks (to each to his own). Since the demise of his favorite shoe, he's had to change his habits and sock up, and he frequently leaves these socks on after his runs, a testament to their comfort.

The wicking fibers start just below the ankle, and since this sock...
The wicking fibers start just below the ankle, and since this sock is relatively thin, they dry quickly as soon as you take your shoes off.
Photo: Matt Bento

Fit


This sock has a sleek, no-show design that still clears the ankle collar of most running shoes. If you spend a lot of time running on sandier desert soils, you'll understand the importance of a no-show sock showing just enough to help keep debris out. The size large fit our men's 9.5 sized tester pretty well, providing room in the toe box to wiggle and splay, with enough compression throughout the rest of the sock to prevent bunching. Compared to some other brands, the fit is slightly on the small size, so sizing up is a good idea if you're between sizes.

We can clearly see the seams in the toe box, but we can't feel them.
We can clearly see the seams in the toe box, but we can't feel them.
Photo: Matt Bento

This sock is available in a unisex version, with a very accommodating and precise size range. A size run of small to extra large has everybody taken care of, with each size covering a range of approximately 2.5 sizes.

Wicking & Breathability


The MAXUS one employs several effective strategies to increase breathability. First off and most noticeable is the thin, open weave on the upper part of the sock. Without a shoe on, our testers can feel the cool air running over the tops of their feet, especially compared to the lightly cushioned bottoms. Slightly less apparent are the high-volume fibers that make up the footbed. While it's difficult to compare these fibers to competitors, we can look to our water absorption and drying tests to somewhat enlighten us to their wicking properties. These socks dried quicker than their cushioned competitors, albeit they have less cushion.

The thinner, less cushioned Swiftwick (left) is more breathable than...
The thinner, less cushioned Swiftwick (left) is more breathable than the Darn Tough of the right.
Photo: Matt Bento

Slip Prevention


We can usually rely on a cushioned sock to slip significantly less than a non-cushioned model. Swiftwick calls this their most heavily cushioned model, but compared to our favorite cushioned competitors, there really isn't much cushioning going on. On a positive note, this makes them breathe and dry more quickly, but it doesn't provide that "locked-in" no-slip feel we get from other cushioned socks.

An inside-out view shows up the contrast between the cushioned areas...
An inside-out view shows up the contrast between the cushioned areas and the breathable uppers. The cushioning helps with slip prevention, but it's still pretty thin and only goes so far to keep your foot from sliding around.
Photo: Matt Bento

Durability


After 40+ miles in the desert heat and few wash cycles, these socks show no signs of quitting. The stitch is still tight, and we can't find so much as a stray fiber. The cushioning on the toe and heel may not do a whole lot to keep your foot from sliding around in the shoe, but it adds a thicker layer of material in the highest wear areas on the sock, effectively extending its longevity.

Long days in the heat require a breathable sock. These fit the bill...
Long days in the heat require a breathable sock. These fit the bill and dry quickly, without hanging you out to dry in the cushioning department.
Photo: Matt Bento

Value


These high-performing, durable socks are priced competitively with their top competitors. We wouldn't call them a screaming deal, but if you're in the market for some killer running socks, we feel confident that your dollars will translate to many happy miles when it comes to these socks from Swiftwick.

Conclusion


While you won't quite feel as you're running on a cloud with these socks, hot weather runners will appreciate the breathability of the MAXUS One, while the light cushioning provides a little slippage relief without a claustrophobic feel. With summer coming into full swing, these are a worthy option, so grab a pair and get out there.

Matt Bento