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Darn Tough Merino Micro Crew Sock Cushion

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Darn Tough Merino Micro Crew Sock Cushion hiking/backpacking sock

The best day-hiking socks. Durable, good cushion, good wicking.


  • Lightweight, yet good cushion
  • Great for summer hikes in mountains
  • Great for walking around town


  • May not be best on very hot days


- These are a very durable sock that have lasted through many day hikes, around town and in winter. It's my "go-to" sock for any day hikes or walking around town when the temp is 25 - 75 degrees.

Function - Merino wool is great, warm when it's a bit chilly, but not too hot when it is warm out. On long car camping trips, I have rinsed these socks out and used them a second day, no problem. The merino wool blend easily cleans up with a good rinsing and they dry quickly too.

The cushion is just right for day hikes, not excessive and not too thin. I have used many different wool socks in the past (in decades past that was the only option!?) and when the synthetics first hit the market I was all over them and quickly retired the thick woolies, but merino wool is different. Merino has a wider temperature range for comfort and the construction of this sock makes it wicks well. And the way Darn Tough blends it with nylon and lycra, it has a little stretch which makes it fit just right.  

Sizing - I have a size 9.5 to 10 shoe size depending on manufacturer, and wide feet. I use the medium, which Darn Tough states is for up to size 9.5. The large is too loose on me, felt like I was swimming in the large. I do not wear a liner underneath these socks, and I find the blend stretches slightly, so medium is perfect. And I am very selective about socks sizing — do not want my feet to feel cramped in them. When you are on the cusp of two sizes like me, it's a trial and error process to find the size that works and personal preference comes into play.

Care - I always hang dry these socks. They dry quickly.

Other - If you like lighter socks for backpacking this will work, but I prefer thicker socks and a liner. I have used them a lot for three years and they continue to function as if brand new. The lifetime guarantee tells me they will last many years. Sizing is critical, hope my comments help on that.

Comparison - I think Darn Tough has surpassed Smartwool in durability and performance, although nothing against Smartwool. For backpacking, my preference is the thick Thorlo Trekking sock because of its extra cushion. I use the Darn Tough more days per year than any other performance sock and they do not let me down (and I have demanding feet). Smartwool is good, but for me I only use them around town. 

If I only had one sock design to use it would be Darn Tough. I think I will try other Darn Tough products in the near future. I am very impressed with the quality, durability, function, and they fit me well.       

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20

These are the best hiking socks! After talking to some salespeople in the store I went ahead and bought two pairs last year and they are still the two pair I bring with me on my backpacking trips.


  • Comfortable
  • No friction in boot
  • Dry quickly
  • Merino wool blend
  • Durable
  • Last a long time


  • Pricey


I bought these expensive hiking socks after talking to a few people in the store about hiking socks. They said these were the best and they weren't kidding.

They are very comfortable, not too thin and not too thick. They don't create friction in my hiking boots so no blisters. They dry out pretty quickly when they get wet, and they keep my feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter. My feet don't sweat as much in these socks as they do in cotton socks.

I tried Smartwool brand as well and they are pretty much the same just minor differences. I wish this brand had more colors to choose from. I think there were only three colors in the store when I purchased mine. I got the green ones and the pinkish colored ones. They had tan as well. Smartwool has more colors and sizes and they also have different sizes, ankle calf and knee high length. I bought them all to try them out.

These feel like they may be a little more durable than the Smartwool ones. I have hiked far more miles in these than the  Smartwool ones. I like the way they fit a little better than the others. 

Sometimes they are on sale and the price is about half of original. It's not often that I find a sale on these particular socks though. I will say that I will be hiking this year in the same two pairs I bought last year because they still look and feel the way they did when I bought them. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20

The difference between fresh caught shrimp from the ocean and popcorn shrimp at a fast food joint.


  • Perfect fit
  • Cushion
  • Durability


  • None

I have zero hesitation in saying I will never buy another brand again.

Putting these on for the first time was as if the master sock artist, Leonardo DaSockio, had painted them on my feet. Not only was there absolutely zero bunching on the trail, but my feet stayed dry (very unusual for me). They provided the perfect amount of cushion and I didn't need to hold my nose and throw them in the tent vestibule at the end of the day.

Darn Tough also offers a lifetime warranty if they break down. Seriously? For a pair of socks? SOLD.

It's easy to spend a couple of hundred bucks on a pair of boots, but I always blinked when it came to spending 20 bucks for a pair of socks. I think they call that penny wise and pound foolish.

So here's my review in summation.




Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19

Great sock right out of the package. Wore them several times without washing and there was no stretch. I certainly recommend them and will buy more.


  • Good padding
  • Not too tight


  • Wish they were cheaper, I’d buy more.

Not much more to say about the socks than what I put in the summary. Fit was good, no chafing, second or third time I wore them was in the rain—no problems. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20

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Price Current Retail: $17.96-$25.00
Historic Range: $7.95-$35.95
Reviewers Paid: $19.00-$20.00
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