Gear Review: Hiking Socks

In my first review I wrote how hiking boots are the number one, most essential gear.  Let’s talk number two: hiking socks.  My absolute favorite brand is Darn Tough and both Andy and I wear their socks when we take to trails.


  • They are super comfy so much so that we even wear them when not hiking.
  • I adore their full cushion socks because it provides extra protection against impact with each footstep.  However, I have different weight ones too.  (They have nine weight options [which is amazing] from ultra-light to extra cushion.)
  • They have a lifetime warranty!  This means if you get a hole in your socks, they will provide a new pair.  When I buy mine at outdoor stores, it never fails that I bump into someone who tells me they have had their socks for years — 25 years and more — and how they just got their first hole so Darn Tough replaced the pair.
  • Their socks are 100% merino wool.  Merino wool is the best when it comes to hiking because it is soft, anti-microbial, wicks away moisture, and dries quickly.
  • My feet have never been sweaty or too hot, even on the hottest summer’s day.  People often think wool means hot; that’s not always true.
  • They are fitted because there’s not a one-size-fits-all problem.  There are socks designed for men, women, and juniors with several different size options.
  • They are made in America — Vermont to be exact!

Cons (truly none!)

Rating: IMG_2397IMG_2397IMG_2397IMG_2397IMG_2397 out of Five Vistas

Brrr!  I just trekked barefoot through a cold stream — I took off my socks and boots beforehand so I was enjoying the feeling of putting my socks back on!


Tips when tracking down your own hiking socks

  • The number one most important rule is to simply buy hiking socks.  It’s incredible how many people wear the wrong socks when they go on trails and then complain their feet hurt or their footwear must not fit.  Don’t be like those people.  Don’t pull out whatever socks are in your drawer.  Before leaving, eliminate problems you could have on the trail by ensuring your feet stay comfortable.  I’m positive hiking socks are a primary reason why I’ve never had a blister when walking.
  • Get some type of cushion in your socks.  The longer distance, I’d beg to say the more cushion.
  • We hate ankle or lower-than-ankle socks.  The lowest I have comes well above the tongue of my boot, which allows a bit more protection from scratches, poisonous low-lying plants, insect bites, and clinging ticks.  Oh and for this reason, I never ‘hide’ my socks by folding or slouching them — I wear them pulled all the way up, even if I’m wearing shorts (which may look funny but is smarter; hiking isn’t about making fashion-statements).
  • Think of the season: Over-the-calf socks are a super idea in the winter!
  • Find brands that have fitted socks.  We don’t buy one-size-fits-all hiking shoes or boots; don’t buy one-size socks.
  • The best feeling in the world is to put on a clean pair of socks every day on a backpacking trip so I’d suggest getting and carrying more than one pair.


Happy trails!

Author: L

Hi there! I am the impulsive do-er, the jumper, the one tugging to move past comfort zones to embrace a life of sheer surprise. I am a writer -- a pursuer of stories -- because I believe in the destination over the journey. I am a chaser of sunrises and sunsets and cherisher of the moments between. I have an overwhelming curiosity, an insatiable desire travel, and an obsessive yearn to turn dreams into realities. For all of these reasons, the word that best summarizes who I am is "seeker" -- I am forever a seeker.

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