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Which Darn Tough socks for hiking are best?

Hiking across campus from one class to another or from the far end of a mall back to your car is one thing. Hiking several miles on uneven, rough ground is another. Out in the wild, your feet need extra protection to prevent sores, blisters and other nasty things. Hiking shoes get most of the credit, but hiking socks are just as integral to your safety and comfort.

Darn Tough makes a range of helpful socks such as the Darn Tough Full-Cushion Boot Socks, made of fast-drying and breathable merino wool.

What to know before you buy Darn Tough socks for hiking


Darn Tough makes hiking socks for men, women and children. Each has design elements to make it more comfortable for people of each body type. For example, men’s socks tend to be a little larger and wider than similarly sized women’s socks.


Darn Tough typically sells its socks in single pairs, though there are also two- and three-pair collections. However, these collections rarely include identical socks. Instead, you get socks of different colors or different ankle lengths.


Darn Tough socks come in a range of colors, though most are mainly a shade of grey with some color in the toe, heel and ankle. Men’s socks tend to be plainer than women’s socks, which can be vividly colored.

What to look for in quality Darn Tough socks for hiking


Darn Tough hiking socks come in five lengths.

  • No-show socks sit just below or around the ankle and inside the shoe. These are perfect for hiking through cleaned trails and in blazing heat.
  • Ankle socks sit just above the ankle and peek out from the shoe. These are good for the same reasons as no-shows, but with the benefit of protecting the skin around your ankles from the lip of ankle-length boots.
  • Crew socks come roughly 3 inches up from the ankle. It’s the best middle-ground length, not too warm for hot hikes but providing reasonable protection from low-hanging brush.
  • Boot socks end 2-3 inches below the knee. These are best for hiking through rough terrain with plenty of brush. They can be a little warm for hot weather but the protection is worth it.
  • Over-the-calf socks end just below the knee. These are best for cold-weather hiking or for blazing new trails through thick brush.


Darn Tough hiking socks come with varying degrees of cushioning.

  • Lightly cushioned socks have the bare minimum of cushioning to remain comfortable without feeling bulky. These are best for short day hikes on established trails.
  • Average cushioned socks are just that, average. They have reasonable cushioning without adding too much bulk and are great for most hikes.
  • Heavy cushioned socks are thick and bulky. They’re best for long hikes or hiking on rough terrain.
  • Extra cushioned socks have the thickest, bulkiest padding. These are best for those planning extra-long hiking trips on the roughest terrain. 

How much you can expect to spend on Darn Tough socks for hiking

Most single pairs cost roughly $20-$30, give or take a few dollars. Double pairs typically cost around $40-$60 and triple pairs cost about $60-$80.

Darn Tough socks for hiking FAQ

How many pairs of hiking socks do I need?

A. That depends on how often you go hiking and how long your hiking trips are. The general rule is to have at least one fresh pair of socks for each day you hike, with at least one extra pair on top of that for every odd number day or so. For example, if you only go on day trips you only need two pairs. But if you go on a three-day weekend hike, take four or five pairs.

Are Darn Tough socks for hiking the best you can buy?

A. As with most products, the best socks are those that work best for you, not that work best for most. That said, the strength of a product’s warranty is among the best indicators of quality. Darn Tough backs its socks with a lifetime guarantee that even covers basic wear and tear; just send them back to Darn Tough and it will send you a replacement.

What are the best Darn Tough socks to buy for hiking?

Top Darn Tough socks for hiking 

Apparel-Best Darn Tough Full-Cushion Boot Socks

Darn Tough Full-Cushion Boot Socks

What you need to know: These are the best all-around hiking socks.

What you’ll love: The merino wool is soft, comfortable, breathable and quick to dry. Some nylon and spandex help the socks hold their shape so they don’t slide down your leg. A seamless toe box helps reduce the chance of blisters.

What you should consider: A few consumers reported the socks shrank a little after some use, while others found them too tight out of the package.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Darn Tough socks for hiking for the money

Apparel-Best Darn Tough Light Hiker No-Show Socks

Darn Tough Light Hiker No-Show Socks

What you need to know: The ankle length cuts costs and helps you stay cool.

What you’ll love: The ankle band is tight enough not to bunch, without feeling restrictive. The tops of the socks use mesh to increase breathability while the bottoms are lightly cushioned for extra comfort. They regulate heat and resist odor.

What you should consider: Several customers found these socks too small and suggested ordering a size up. Others said they slipped down into their shoes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Apparel-Best Darn Tough Mountaineering Over-The-Calf Socks

Darn Tough Mountaineering Over-the-Calf Socks

What you need to know: These are perfect for cold weather and hiking through thick brush.

What you’ll love: These use extra cushioning on the bottom to be Darn Tough’s thickest, toughest socks. The knitting and material mix keep your legs and feet warm and the socks from sliding down. They’re moisture-wicking, odor-resistant and made in the U.S.

What you should consider: A few purchasers weren’t kept as warm as hoped and needed to wear a second layer. Others found them too tight. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


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