Tactical Tailor

Mattock Drysock LT from Arc’teryx LEAF

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.

Arc Mattock CrocArc Mattock MC


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13 Responses to “Mattock Drysock LT from Arc’teryx LEAF”

  1. MattF says:

    Would be nice to see them incorporate the ‘stretch’ type Gore-Tex fabric which Rocky uses on their oversocks so as to eliminate the bunching of material around the foot. The non-stretch is fine for the calf area, but can cause hotspots and blisters where it folds and bunches around the foot.

    • JF says:

      Have you tried the Mattox? I thought that they needed stretch too before I wore them. Once I had them on I found I could not feel them at all, I think due to the thin and slippery fabric.

  2. Lin says:

    If I wear this, do I still need gaiter?

  3. MattF says:

    Haven’t used the Mattox, but have used a Canadian Army version (see http://armyissue.com/catalog/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/8/products_id/2663) that were a similar concept with trilaminate non-stretch Gore fabric and they bugged the crap out of my feet when you’d do a lot of walking with them on.

  4. fmfbest says:

    Dude, Chlorine time. Back on topic I had a pair of these that came from Cabela’s like 20 years ago. They were great except they were only boot top high. too often water sloshed in. The knee high option is a KISS solution to this.

  5. verbid says:

    +1 merino socks in conjunction

    Mustang Survival has had these for a while and the Arcteryx socks are damn near identical (knee-high w/velcro strap, similar construction/materials, etc.)

    NSN 8415 – 21- 905 – 7527

    “The bootliner is a bi-component design, utilizing a stretchable laminate fabric for shape conformance over the foot and a non-stretch laminate fabric for durability in high wear areas. The stretch component is a 3-layer waterproof and moisture vapor permeable laminate of nylon-spandex knit, microporous film, and nylon tricot knit conforming to MIL-C-29567. The non-stretch component is a 3-layer waterproof and moisture vapor permeable laminate of woven nylon, microporous film, and nylon tricot knit conforming to MIL-DTL-31011. All construction seams are fully sealed using a laminated waterproof tape.”

    Anyone out there who can compare the two? Only shortfall (in a test pair) I’ve seen is excessive friction can create wear/tear, usually near along the outer edge of the foot and heel…and once the water comes in, they’re useless. One thing that seems to increase this is combo of dirt/sand and water in the boot/shoe (most recent experience was with salo quest 4d in fall “mud” season norway) seems to hasten this so, to Lin, the gaiter is extra weight but keeps the debris out. Always bring the repair kit if you’re going to be out for a long time in the cool-wet.

    • SSD says:

      I’ve never used the Mustang Survival model but the NSN you reference isn’t a US one. I’ve used the Rocky model of Gore-tex socks. In fact, I wore some of the first Gore-tex socks in 1988. I like the Arc’teryx model more for the reasons I stated.

      Gaiters are an altogether completely different item. They will keep stuff out of the tops of your boots and keep your pant legs dry. But if you step in water over the top of your boot, you are going to get a boot full of water regardless of gaiters. With the sock, your foot will remain dry, up to your knee.

      • JonesNL says:

        Brother, I think he was saying to wear the gaitor with the mustang/arctery socks…that’ll keep out the debris that rips up the gore-socks, well-made or not. A decent lightweight trail runner-style gaitor would do the trick and maybe not add too much weight. wet sand is a gore-killer.

        • SSD says:

          All of the current generation of Arc’terex trousers have built-in gaiters.

    • MattF says:

      Have you ever seen ‘CuffSox’? http://www.cuffsox.com/

      I’m thinking what you’re describing would be a version of the Mattox that had an exterior gaiter function built in so as to keep debris/mud from getting inside the boot itself.

  6. Mr. European says:

    Would wearing these with assault boots supplant wellies?

    We were issued two pairs of boots and two pairs of wellies during my conscript period: two assault boot pairs, one for regular wear and the other for leave; one pair of summer wellies (really comfortable and handy in inclement weather) and one pair of winter wellies (I cannot stress how warm they were in -20°C) that would interface with skis.

    I’d like to hear if others would be of the opinion that these beat summer wellies with a club and a half.
    If they do, that’d be a good two kilograms off and getting two cumbersome object out of a soldier’s pack.
    Not to mention it’s harder to leave a laced boot in a swamp than a wellie is…

  7. G says:

    If you look at these outside of tactical purposes, they will revolutionize your winter workout routine. The socks are the best thing since sliced bread. No more expensive Gore shoes, no worrying about your shoes drying out from the day prior, no more thawing out your feet after a 33 degree wet run or ride.

    Best thing is that you can stuff them in your pocket. If it starts getting wet or nasty on the trail–stop, throw them on, and move out. After 4 months of abuse, they still work as well as the day I bought them.

    If you hate cold, wet feet–these are for you.