Hikers swear by Darn Tough’s wool socks because they last forever. Darn Tough even warrantees them for life (click for warranty form), and will send you a replacement pair if you wear them out. For example, I sent in 8 worn-out pairs last year and Darn Tough sent me a gift certificate to buy 8 replacement pairs of equal value in their store. I may never have to pay for new socks ever again! You don’t even need a receipt of proof of purchase for the original pair.
What does worn-out mean when it comes to Darn Tough socks? It’s simple really. They’ll replace socks that you’ve worn holes in. But they’ll also replace ones that have become worn thin from heavy use even though they don’t have holes, which was the case with the 8 worn-out pairs that I sent in to be replaced. I would have been a customer for life even without the warranty because Darn Tough socks are so durable, but this warranty just sweetens the deal.
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 with Smartwool socks, 200+ mile 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 were hilarious). 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 you’ve had a lot of adventures with already. 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.SectionHiker is reader-supported. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.