Hikers swear by Darn Tough’s wool socks because they last forever. Darn Tough even guarantees them for life, and will send you a replacement pair if you wear them out.
I bought 6 pairs of Darn Tough Hiker Boot Socks three years ago and I’ve worn them almost continuously since for hiking, backpacking, and kicking around in town. The wool in them has compressed a bit with use so they’re not as fluffy as they were when they were new, but I haven’t been able to wear a hole through the heel or forefoot. I’m still using those same socks today.
How is possible to get by with just 6 pairs of socks? I often wear them for days at a time, when I’m hiking, and even at home. I’ve never gotten a blister while wearing them. They’re wool, so they don’t get smelly unless I step in something wet and awful. They’re perfect for traveling because I can get by with packing fewer socks.
Before I switched to Darn Tough Socks, I hiked in wool socks made by Smartwool. They never lasted long and I’d blow through more than a dozen pairs a year. I hike in trail runners, so gravel from stream crossings and trail dust would filter past the mesh in my shoes and rapidly wear down my socks, under my heels and my forefoot. It was a big problem on the last big hike I did, hiking 200+ miles on a coast to coast trip across Scotland. I remember scouring the tourist shops in Loch Ness looking for replacement socks, finally finding two pairs embroidered with the monster’s likeness. They lasted a few days until I could get to a proper outfitter and buy some thick wool hiking socks.
I know I probably emphasize gear durability more than most other backpacking gear reviewers, but I really hate replacing gear that wears out or breaks before its time. It’s not even a matter of money. I enjoy using gear that I treasure for a long time. It’s hard to explain, like using a favorite fountain pen when you write a letter or wearing a watch that you inherited from your Dad. There’s joy in using gear that’s you’ve had a lot of adventures with. That’s the feeling I get when wearing Darn Tough Socks. We’ve had a lot of history together.
Disclosure: The author purchased all of his Darn Tough socks with his own funds.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.
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