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Darn Tough Merino Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion

rated 5 of 5 stars
photo: Darn Tough Merino Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion hiking/backpacking sock

Socks that are comfortable, durable, and odor resistant. ’Guaranteed For Life’ is quite a statement from a sock manufacturer. No strings. No conditions. For life.


  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Odor resistant
  • Made in Vt., USA


  • Slower dry time

I have been wearing brand name socks for years, and this product is the only one in its category that has not become thinner, thread-bare, or developed holes.

It should be noted that I never put my socks in the dryer, and either hand wash in the field (without soap), or use the gentle cycle in the washing machine, inside out as directed. Darn Tough recommends tumble-drying on low, I have always air-dried my socks after washing. 

Specs: 69% Merino Wool, 27% Nylon, 4% Lycra Spandex

  • True Seamless’ technology- Ultra light, yet extremely dense socks, with an undetectable toe seam
  • Made in Vermont, USA

The nylon and lycra in these socks makes them very easy to get on and off, even when one’s foot has moisture/sweat. Sometimes after fording a river or stream, slightly damp feet is the best it can get. I have compared a second pair of these socks after owning a pair for about a year and a half, wearing them on at least six backpacking trips, many day-hikes, and countless times casually.

The older socks have been backpacking/hiking in Maine, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina in all four seasons from beach climates, wetlands, highlands, and in the mountains.

The elasticity of these socks provide just enough compression for that additional comfort, which I find very advantageous. I feel this helps with blister prevention, as the socks stay conformed to your feet, and not moving around. These socks are not itchy at all, even being comprised of 69% Merino Wool. I have not found these socks to have lost any elasticity over the year and a half period, comparing to the new socks.

The Merino wool does a great job immediately wicking sweat and water away from one’s feet; this is particularly useful if some water gets above your feet when stream crossing, etc. My feet don’t tend to overheat, and I am also vigilant to keep my feet dry, and well cared for. It is a little difficult to have a rounded opinion on whether they run hot, but I haven’t personally found a concern.

I have found these socks to do a very good job keeping odor to a minimum, especially when really put to the test. I will typically take three pairs of socks on a backpacking trip: one to wear, one drying outside of the pack, and the last clean and dry, ready to change into. ’

Guaranteed For Life’ is quite a statement from a sock manufacturer. No strings. No conditions. For life. I find this to be a very bold, and excellent marketing strategy that backs up its promise. No receipt? No problem, according to Darn Tough! I personally have not warranted any socks from the company, but have heard from people that have. I must add that those socks that were replaced developed holes in the toes from, let's just say ‘unsavory toenail maintenance’.

I have attached several photos comparing the new socks to the older, I think you will agree that there is minimal wear difference noted between the two.











Conclusion: If you are looking for a sock (and its mate) that are going to last a lifetime, go with Darn Tough!  

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $22

Expensive but worth it.


  • Seamless
  • No blisters
  • No smell


  • No micro crew with full cushion option
  • Expensive

Excellent socks for winter use.

I bought the midweight hiking variation in boot size.


It's thick, but not too thick to be uncomfortable, and the seamless construction is the way to go for all socks nowadays.


My only *real* complain is that there is no micro crew with full cushion option and I get light marks from the compression on my calve, hence the option micro-crew at the base of the calve.


Getting a pair with shipping to Greece costed me roughly 39€ which is a lot but worth it. 



Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 39€

Lifetime socks.


  • Comfort
  • Durability


  • None

I was given a pair of Darn Tough Hike/Trek socks about five years ago with the purchase of a pair of Zamberlan 760 Steep hiking boots and I've never looked back. They are the only socks I wear for anything — period.

From the label I see they are made of 69% Merino Wool, 27% Nylon, and 4% Lycra Spandex. On the back of the package is says Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee.  "If you can wear these socks out, we'll replace them. Free of charge. No questions asked. For life. When you're really serious about something you make it yourself."

 That statement was signed by Ric Cabot the owner of Cabot Hoisery Mills, Inc.  

I work as a professional firefighter and these are the only socks I wear at work also. They fit well, they're comfortable beyond belief, they stay in place. I've never had a hot spot or a blister while wearing these socks, ever.

I still have the very first pair of these and they have logged well over a thousand hiking and working miles and, while not as good as new, are still doing a great job for me. The elastic, or whatever it is, that holds them in place works great, they still cushion my feet, and they don't ever take on a bad odor.  

At this point, I would really feel guilty sending them in for a replacement against the lifetime warranty as I've received my money's worth a hundred times over, but I AM wondering if Ric Cabot has ever had to replace a worn out pair. I seriously doubt it.   

Best of all — they are made right here in the U. S. of A. in the state of Vermont.  

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19

Don't leave home without them.


  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Lifetime gaurantee

I don't wear anything but Darn Toughs. They last forever, and if they don't, they'll replace them.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $15-$20?

I've worked through many socks in my time, but nothing compares to Darn Tough. These socks do everything you would want from one of your most abused pieces of equipment.

Incredibly durable, comfortable, don't fall down, resist odor, stay warm when wet, plus they're made in the USA! Darn Tough puts all other brands in the higher-end outdoor sock to shame.


  • Very durable
  • Great fit
  • Don't fall down or get disfigured after use and washing
  • Warm when wet
  • Resist odor

Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize

This is what 'smart wool' used to be, years ago!


  • Comfort
  • Strength
  • Durability

These are what Smartwool used to be, many years ago when they were first sold by L.L. Bean, but have since shifted to Asia.  

The Darn Tough socks are even better made, stronger, and with a more restricted sizing structure, so it is easier to get a nice fit. 

Well made, excellent wicking capability, and with the company's lifetime guarantee, they will find few returns. Wonderful socks for all four seasons.  I even use the light wool in summer, while the heavy weights are great for Maine's winter. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $16.50

These are warm and, just like they say, Darn Tough but comfortable!


  • Tough and yet feel great on the feet in boots or just lying around.


  • I have not found any

These were a birthday gift two years ago and I have worn them hunting, camping, and every day to work. They have been great and still have lots of life and no holes. Going to order a few more pairs!

Source: received it as a personal gift

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