During SHOT Show Arc’teryx launched the new Mattock Drysock LT which marked their first foray into footwear. There have been GORE-TEX® socks on the market for decades so the question you have to ask yourself is, “Why should I choose the Mattock?”
We just opened the pool so I had Tactical Fanboy put on the Mattock last night and left him soaking overnight to see how he fared. Just kidding, it wasn’t overnight, but he experienced two sessions. One thing he didn’t notice was one of the most common sensations when wearing GORE-TEX® in a fully submerged environment. Even after 15 minutes he didn’t notice that slight clamminess you may experience when you wear GORE-TEX® next to the skin. This was thanks to his Darn Tough socks and trouser legs. He said he could feel the pressure of the water pushing the Mattock tight against his feet and legs but that he was bone dry. Once he came out of the pool, his clothing and feet were perfectly dry. Arc’teryx has that seam taping down to a science.
Having worn them, I feel there are three things that make the Mattock stand out. First, the fit. Designed to be worn inside footwear, the Mattock are sized XS – XXL and articulated to integrate with the footbed. This will help with hot spots but I suggest that you consider your sock thickness and boot fit when choosing your Mattock. Also, take a little care when putting your boots on in order to smooth the material of the Mattock as much as possible in order to avoid creating pressure points.
Second is the height. The Mattock goes all the way to the knee so that you won’t step into a puddle and walk out with a sock full of water.
And finally, is the Velcro strap that keeps the Mattock in place so that you aren’t spending all of your time pulling them up.
Overall, the advantage offered by the Mattock is pretty big. You can add the protection of GORE-TEX® to your feet when you need it, essentially upgrading your boots for wet environments. Offered in Crocodile and MultiCam.