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Darn Tough Merino 1/4 Sock Cushion

rated 5 of 5 stars
photo: Darn Tough Merino 1/4 Sock Cushion running sock

A comfortable, cushioned, and durable merino wool sock that might just last a lifetime.


  • Comfort
  • Cushioned
  • Durable
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Value


  • Ventilation
  • Price

Darn Tough makes some comfortable, cushioned, and durable merino wool socks that might just last a lifetime.

I'm evaluating these socks against five other pairs of socks that I've worn over the last few years.

These socks look great and fit great—no excess, no bulging, no binding, just a great fit. They are comfortable right out of the packaging. I typically like to wash my clothing before using, but on one occasion I just slipped these babies on and went for a hike. They are super comfy. 

The socks have a decent amount of elastic and weaving to create a supportive feel. Out of all the socks I've worn, they seem to have the most support out of the box.

They are not water resistant, but one of the benefits of these socks is that they are wicking and dry quickly. They hold up to hand wringing too, which is important when you need to wash them in the wilderness.

They are easy to use and easy to maintain/clean. I typically turn them inside out and throw them into the washer and then the dryer. No special treatment and they have held up to my expectations.

They do keep you warm when it is cold and cool when it is hot. The socks are woven tightly so they do not ventilate or breath as well as some other brand of socks. So ventilation is one tradeoff for the tighter weave and longer durability. 

These are probably the most expensive socks I've ever owned—$18 is the regular retail price. However, the lifetime guarantee does add value. One of the features of the Darn Tough brand is their lifetime guarantee. Should a sock get a hole or wear out, just wash them and send them back to the manufacturer and they will replace them. For me it is likely that I'll lose one sock before this happens. But I bought four pairs so if there comes a time to claim the warranty I will hopefully be able to match it with an orphan sock and have a pair to send in. 

Overall, a great pair of socks for daily use or outdoor use. They live up to their name.

I rate these socks as the top sock among the six socks that I am reviewing.

I've owned these socks for about four years and have used them over 100 days in the outdoors and probably 300 days for daily use. I have four pairs that I rotate.

Check out my other reviews of six different socks.



Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $16

These socks are the closest thing to perfect that I have found.


  • Excellent fit
  • Very durable
  • Comfortable
  • Quick drying

I had heard about Darn Tough socks from other hiking friends over the years, and when my local REI started stocking them, I bought a couple of pair and gave them a try. I have totally become a fan boy for these socks!

The fit is excellent, and stays excellent over time. Many merino blend hiking socks I have purchased over the years, from that other brand (the world's most famous merino sock), become stretched and loose fitting over time, increasing sock creep and the potential for blisters. My Darn Tough socks maintain their excellent fit over many years.

The padding is just the right amount... enough to provide great cushioning, without being to bulky. They are super breathable, and with their low-cut design, never get too hot. They wash out easily and dry faster than most other merino blend socks I have used.

Durability is phenomenal. Darn Tough guarantees that they will replace any sock "you can wear out" with no questions asked. After three years of wearing these things, I have yet to test that guarantee. The socks look and feel as good today as they did when I first got them.

Darn Tough socks have basically replaced every sock in my drawer... for hiking, cycling, and everyday use, they are exceptional. Never going back to that other brand!


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $18

These socks passed the test. I have purchased my third and fourth pair. They will be my everyday socks now. Love them Darn Tough.

i bought my first pair of these about two months ago went back today to get my second pair. i bought the first pair because they were the only 100% u.s.a. made socks that my local outfitter carries. the second pair because they wick away moisture better than my phd's plus i think that they will live up to their name darn tough.

i wear wool socks exclusively because of a sweaty feet problem hot or cold, so i have tried them all, so i will be putting them to the test and will update in a couple of months.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $17

Tough. Well-made in the USA! Easy on the feet with good cushioning despite their lightweight designation. My feet do not get hot in these socks (tested on hikes up to 94 degrees). These socks have excellent arch support (my foot is neutral).

I would give them 5+ stars (if I could) if they were left and right specific, as my Icebreakers have spoiled me with fit in that department. These are more durable however than my Icebreakers.

Well done.

Materials: Merino, Nylon, Lycra
Use: up to long dayhikes, trail runs, casual
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $5

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