Review: Darn Tough Hiking Socks

By: Ben Dawson + Save to a List

When I was a kid, like most people, I used to loathe getting socks as a gift. Now as an adult, and lover of all things outdoors, I keep an ever growing quiver of high-quality socks for all occasions.

If you want to put a smile on my face, a brand new pair of high-quality wool socks are guaranteed to do the trick. I recently tested four pairs of socks from Darn Tough’s new lineup. Full disclosure here, I’ve been a fan of Darn Tough for years so I was really excited for this one. For starters, all of Darn Toughs’s socks are made in the USA and backed by their lifetime guarantee. That’s right, socks that are covered for life. That means if you blow a hole in them while hiking the PCT, you just send them back and exchange them for a brand new pair.

GET YOUR DARN TOUGH HIKING SOCKS!

My life has been a whirlwind over the past few months. Because of that… I’ve been able to give these socks the “real-life test”. No, I wasn’t thru-hiking on the PCT. No, I didn’t go ski mountaineering in the Alps, but I did wear these socks every day for the better part of six weeks while enjoying my local trails, renovating a house, and jumping on a trampoline with my niece.

The socks I tested:

Fit/Comfort

I wear a size 13 shoe across the board. That applies to pretty much all my footwear including my socks. That means I wear an XL in Darn Tough socks. The XL’s are made to fit a 12.5 – 14.5 size foot. For me, the fit is excellent. The socks stretch and contort with my foot without restricting movement in any way. After six weeks on the job, I haven’t had any issues with my socks slipping or bunching. Nothing irritates me more than when my socks get wonky on the trail. With these, I haven’t had any issues. The merino wool is really comfy and helps keep your feet dry and happy. Darn Tough uses their True Seamless construction on these socks and it really makes a difference in comfort. In this case, the comfort is in the details.

Look/Style

Well, they are socks and my socks are usually hidden under my hiking pants and boots. That being said I do like the designs on these socks especially the festive Capitan Stripe and the throwback VanGrizzle. To be honest, I’m a sucker for anything with a bear on it. In this case, the VanGrizzle takes the cake.

Features

These socks are primarily made from merino wool, which is naturally anti-microbial and helps repel odor. As you would expect from merino wool, they’re also moisture-wicking and fast-drying which is important for any next-to-skin article of clothing. Darn Tough’s “True Seamless” construction offers a nice touch as well. The seams of the socks are far less intrusive than those found on competing brands and offer a smooth “invisible” feel.

Weight / Packability

For me, weight and packability in a pair of socks is not a huge concern. When I am in the backcountry I rarely travel with more than one extra pair of socks unless I anticipate a lot of moisture on my trip. That being said these socks pack down about as well as any other adventure sock on the market.

Function/Performance

Honestly, I really like these socks and they perform as advertised. As most people who spend a lot of time on their feet in the backcountry know, your socks are every bit as important as the shoes that you put them in. A cheap pair of socks can quickly lead to blister issues. Over the years I’ve had many different pairs of wool socks and I’ve found that the material isn’t always the end-all-be-all for protecting your feet against blisters and discomfort. If the sock is too loose the foot will slip around inside the sock causing the issues that you are hoping to prevent. All four pairs of socks that I tested hug my foot without feeling too tight. I haven’t had any issues with my foot slipping around and overall they have been very comfortable while performing well in elements.

Durability/Construction

The name is Darn Tough for a reason. The four pairs that I have tested look and feel brand new after a few months of heavy use. The material feels high quality and I suspect they will last for a long time. All of Darn Tough socks are backed by their unmatched unconditional lifetime guarantee. Basically, if you wear a hole in a pair of your Darn Tough socks, they will replace them at no cost for life. Hard to beat that.

The Final Word

If you are looking for a sock that will protect your foot and go unnoticed on any adventure then look no further than Darn Tough. They are all made in the U.S.A and backed by the best warranty in the business. They come in nine different weights and seven different heights ensuring you can find a sock to go with any adventure.

This review was originally posted on DirtbagDreams.com.

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