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
Warm and cosy
Moisture wicking and fast drying
Fit for performance
Guaranteed for life
May be too warm for hot days
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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. Not the ones for you? Take a look at our complete roundup of the best hiking socks.
• 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 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:
Fits true to size.
Fit for performance, there’s no annoying bunching and they stay up on your calf when you’re walking.
Extremely cosy and comfortable, I love the cushioning on the soles.
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.
The blend of wool and nylon makes these extra breathable, so they’re perfect for a sweaty foot inside your boot.
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.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.