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Darn Tough Hiker Boot Midweight sock review: high performing, low maintenance

These warm, cosy hiking socks are fit for performance, provide comfort on long treks and could last you a lifetime

A hiker wearing Darn Tough socks sitting on a rock
(Image: © Darn Tough)

Our Verdict

These cosy hiking socks easily bat away the competition with no-stink, high performing merino wool that pads you where you need it and come with a lifetime guarantee

For

  • Warm and cosy
  • Moisture wicking and fast drying
  • Temperature regulating
  • Fit for performance
  • Guaranteed for life

Against

  • May be too warm for hot days
  • Relatively pricey

Darn Tough Hiker Boot Midweight sock: first impressions 

These midweight hiking socks are high-performing on the hiking trail and with a mid-calf height can be worn with any height of hiking boot.

Darn Tough is definitely a frontrunner in hiking socks. They’ve been knitting high quality socks in Northfield, Vermont since 2004 and are committed to sustainability in manufacturing, focusing on durability over the quick returns of fast fashion. Their socks are made using merino wool from sheep that have not been exposed to the practice of mulesing, a painful procedure of removing skin from sheep.

These socks are medium weight, mid-calf height with a performance fit which means they stay up and don’t bunch anywhere. The material is naturally moisture wicking so they keep your feet dry on sweaty hikes and they are also fast drying if you have to wade through a stream. These breathable socks help regulate temperature and keep your feet warm on cold days, though a lighter version may be better for hot days. Cushioning across the sole protects your feet from boot rub on long treks.

Best of all Darn Tough guarantees their socks for life, so for a higher initial investment, you’ll see longtime returns on these comfy socks.

Specifications

• RRP:  $26 / £26
• Unisex:  Men’s and women’s available
Sizes available:  Women’s SML, Men’s S - XXL
• Materials:  Merino wool (69%), Nylon (27%), Elastane/Lycra (4%)
• Colors:  Moss heather, Denim, Slate, Plum, Lime, Black, Olive, Charcoal, Onyx
• Best use: Hiking

Darn Tough Hiker Boot Midweight sock: on the trails 

Darn Tough hiker sock

These socks are as cosy as they are functional and are ideal for alpine skiing in colder weather, especially if you get cold feet (Image credit: Darn Tough)

Darn Tough started knitting socks just down the road from me in Northfield, Vermont back in 2004 when I was living there and it’s one of the outdoor companies I’ve admired for a long time. Not only are they committed to sustainability but they make really good socks. The Midweight hiking socks are no exception.

These socks are cushioned and even though they are only midweight, they feel a bit thicker than most of my hiking socks. That makes for a really cosy experience, and it also means they’re best for cold days wearing hiking boots. I myself have only recently gone back to wearing hiking boots after many years of hiking exclusively in trail running shoes and these provide some nice padding against my boots, plus the mid calf height works with basically any height of hiking boot.

What I like about these socks, in addition to how comfortable they are, really comes down to two things:

First, they’re moisture-wicking and fast drying, so my feet don’t feel clammy when I get sweaty, and if I step into a bog or a stream, they dry quickly too.

Second, they never seem to get stinky no matter how much I wear them. I love just being able to put these back in my drawer each time I use them and not having to wash them endlessly. It’s better for the socks, and the environment.

I wouldn’t wear these socks for a very hot day. Even though they are temperature regulating, I do find my feet get a bit warm in them when I’m hot and would prefer a thinner sock. But they’re truly excellent for cool and cold hikes and lounging around the house. Even though I don’t think it’s actually reasonable to expect socks to last a lifetime, these come with a lifetime guarantee, so they’re beyond durable!

Here’s how they performed:

Sizing

Fits true to size. 

Fit

Fit for performance, there’s no annoying bunching and they stay up on your calf when you’re walking. 

Comfort 

Extremely cosy and comfortable, I love the cushioning on the soles. 

Temperature regulation 

These will definitely keep you plenty warm on cold days, and they’re breathable so they cool you off if you get sweaty, but might be too warm for hot days. 

Breathability 

The blend of wool and nylon makes these extra breathable, so they’re perfect for a sweaty foot inside your boot. 

Durability 

These socks last years and come with a lifetime guarantee. 

Here's where we tested the Darn Tough Hiker Boot Midweight sock: Conic Hill

Much as the name suggests, Conic Hill is a sharp little summit rising above Balmaha on the banks of Loch Lomond. This short hike is on the Highland Boundary Fault and offers absolutely fantastic views over Loch Lomond and its islands.