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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Darn Tough Boot Midweight Hiking Sock > Test Report by Morgan Lypka

 

DARN TOUGH HIKER BOOT SOCK
TEST SERIES BY MORGAN LYPKA

Initial Report - May 23, 2021
Long Term Report - August 19, 2021


TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Morgan Lypka
AGE: 29
GENDER: Female
HEIGHT: 5’4” (1.6 m)
WEIGHT: 112 lb (51 kg)
EMAIL: m DOT lypka AT yahoo.com
City, Province, Country: East Kootenays, British Columbia (B.C.), Canada

Backpacking Background: I started backpacking 5 years ago, when I moved to the Rocky Mountains. Most of my backpacking ventures are 1 to 3 days long, typically around Western Canada. I get cold quickly, and handle heat well. My backcountry trips involve hiking, trail running, ski touring and cross-country skiing. I am getting into kayaking, rock climbing and fly fishing. I camp with a lightweight 3-person, 3-season tent and am starting to hammock and winter camp. Decreasing my packed weight in the backcountry is still a developing focus of mine (fitting everything was the first).

Initial Report


PRODUCT INFORMATION AND SPECS

Manufacturer: Cabot Hosiery Mills Inc.

Year of Manufacture: n/a
Manufacturer’s Website: https://darntough.com

MSRP: $23.00 USD
Colour Testing: Moss Heather
Other Available Colours: slate, denim, plum heather, moss heather
Listed Weight: not provided
Measured Weight: 2.72 oz (77 g)
Material: 59% Merino Wool, 39% Nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex
Size testing: Small (Women’s US 4.5-7)
Listed Dimensions: n/a
Measured Dimensions: top diameter
3 9/16" (8.5 cm); ribbed length 5 3/4" (14.5 cm)

Cushion or Full Cushion: Cushion

DESCRIPTION
I received 3 pairs of socks – I will be using two throughout the testing period, and saving one for comparison at the end. The fabric is intended to work well in all weather conditions, and for multi-day use. They are also stated as being moisture wicking, thermo-regulating, and anti-microbial, and thus are branded as a good option for through-hikers. The boot sock is intended to come approximately mid-calf. Darn Tough’s Hike/Trek category (the category these socks fall into) are made with midweight yarns to provide added warmth and protection. From feel, these socks are quite cushiony on the bottom of the foot and throughout the ribbed section, but quite thin on top of the foot. Darn Tough also provides a guarantee for life on their socks, outside of being chewed, burned or lost.

Features:

  • Terry loops under foot and in leg (for added comfort and protection)
  • Seamless toe to prevent bunching
  • Ribbed above ankle
  • Fine gauge knitting – for durability

A pair of socks on a wood floor

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OBSERVATIONS
So far I have been wearing them around the house and on a few outdoor activities. They are very comfortable, and I can already appreciate the seamless toe. The selection of colours is also awesome, and made it difficult for me to choose. The top of the socks do not feel too tight around my calf muscles, and these socks are more soft than other wool socks I own. The quality of the socks seems great – I don’t notice any loose seams, whereas I have before on other well-known brands. I quite like the height of the socks – it’s still easy enough to pull them on if you already have jeans on, whereas I don’t find this possible with taller over-the-calf socks.


Pros

  • Very comfortable, great fit


Cons

  • None so far

Long Term Report

 

Activities: hiking, backcountry camping, front country camping, mountain biking, golfing, cold water swimming

 

Locations: (All in Canada) Waterton National Park, Alberta (AB); Columbia and Rocky Mountain Ranges; Magdalen Islands, Quebec; South Saskatchewan (SK) River in SK and AB; Cypress Hill Provincial Park, SK and AB; East Kootenays; Vancouver Island, British Columbia

 

Number of days: in total, 20-25 days of usage between 2 pairs; 7 days backcountry camping, 2 days golfing, 4 days mountain biking, 6 day hike trips, 1 time trail running, handful of nights front country camping


Lengths, Elevation Gains, Elevations: 50 km (19 mi) hiking, with 2200 m (7200 ft) elevation gain, and elevations ranging from 0 to 2000 masl (0-6500 ft)


Temperature and Weather:
ranged from 5 to 35 C (31 to 95 F); rainy, stormy, humid, overcast and sunny

 

Observations and Testing

There is not much wear and tear visible. In comparing the used pairs to the unused pair, the used pairs do show some minor pilling and fuzziness, particularly underfoot and around the ankle and low calf, where the terry loops for added comfort are. The used pairs also show some loose elastic ends and stitches on the inside of the sock cuff, but nothing that seems as though it would unravel. There is the slightest colour difference between the washed pairs and the new pair, but nothing overly visible.

 

Unused socks on left, used socks on right

 

A picture containing person, sock, footwear

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Unused socks on left, used on right – closer up of the pilling on the ribbed section of the socks

A close-up of some hats

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Some lose thread and elastic ends on the inside cuffs of the used socks

Twigs and hay didn’t stick to the material as much as they do with other wool socks I own, which was nice – this was particularly noticeable for mountain biking. I appreciated the robustness of the socks. The socks provided good warmth, especially when I was sleeping one night front country without a sleeping bag, when the temperature would’ve dropped to 10 C (50 F). When camping, I would typically bring one pair to wear during the day, and one pair to sleep with. If my day socks got damp or dirty enough, I would wear my night time socks the next day, although I could have easily worn my day socks back to back for a number of days. The longest use period between washes I did was 3-4 days, and had I needed to wear them for a longer period without washing, I could have put up with it. As long as the socks didn’t get damp, they maintained pretty good freshness.

I wore the socks mountain biking and golfing a couple days in the rain, and they did a good job of keeping my toes warm even though they got damp. When the socks got wet, the time to dry was fairly significant (they did not dry out during day hours for me but did overnight if left out in the open and conditions were breezy). On my long hike trips (e.g. 12 km (7 mi); 700 m (2300 ft)), and mountain bike rides, I appreciated the extra cushioning under foot and my feet did not feel sore. The seamless toe was probably my favourite aspect of the socks, as I hardly had the need to adjust my socks as I do more frequently with non-seamless toe socks. I also enjoyed the height of the socks – high enough to be above the top of any shoe, but low enough to be easy to pull over or under leggings. For my hikes, I would generally pull them up to or over my leggings. I also used the socks as an added warmth layer for cold water swimming in the backcountry. In this activity, the socks helped keep my toes from freezing and were a welcome addition in a situation where I didn’t have booties, allowing me to stay in the water for longer periods of time.

In closing, I would recommend these socks for more reasons than one (durability, comfort and quality to name a few), and see myself buying more from this brand in the future. The only cons I have are the slight pilling of the terry loops and the few loose elastic and thread ends on the inside of the socks.


A picture containing outdoor, ground, person

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An alpine lake @ 1800m (6000 ft) - Waterton

 

A person's feet in the sand

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Mountain biking

Thank you to Cabot Hosiery Mills Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test these socks.

 



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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Darn Tough Boot Midweight Hiking Sock > Test Report by Morgan Lypka



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