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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Darn Tough Boot Midweight Hiking Sock > Test Report by jerry adams

DARN TOUGH BOOT SOCKS
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
LONG-TERM REPORT
July 10, 2021


CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Jerry Adams
EMAIL: jerryaadamsatyahoodotcom
AGE: 67
LOCATION: Northwest U.S.
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
WEIGHT: 195 lb (88.50 kg)

I started hiking about 50 years ago. My first backpacking trip was about 45 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay in the Western half of Oregon and Washington. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 12 lb (6 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, down bag, simple bag style pack.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Cabot Hosiery Mills Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2021
Manufacturer's Website: http://darntough.com/
Measured Weight: 3.3 oz (94.1 g) for one pair of size L socks
No Listed Weight
Other details:
The Darn Tough Men's Hiker Boot Midweight Hiking Socks are medium weight Merino Wool socks for hiking.

I got the Olive color, size L (for shoe sizes 10-12 U.S. Mens).

I received three pairs of socks to test. I'll wear one most of the time. I'll wear another just a few times. The third one I'll leave unused just to compare.

Two of the three pairs of socks showing sides, front, back:
IMAGE 1

The socks contain 64% Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, and 3% Spandex.

The socks have extra cushioning at the bottom, heel, and toe. These socks are mid weight. Darn Tough also makes light weight and heavy weight socks.

The socks go 12 inches (30 cm) up my calf. This is the "boot sock" length. They also make socks that are "over-the-calf" that's taller, and shorter lengths "micro crew", "1/4 sock", and "no show".

There is a Darn Tough logo at the top of the socks. "Darn Tough" is printed near the toe. These are part of the knitting.

The socks are made in Vermont, USA.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Examining the socks they seem well made with no defects.

I wore them a bit. I have men's shoe size 12. The L size is supposed to fit 10-12 U.S. men's shoe size. That seemed accurate - they fit fine but there wasn't a lot of excess. If my feet were any bigger I'd get the next larger size.

They seem a little "tougher" and less soft than other merino socks I've worn. My testing will reveal if they feel good after a day of hiking. Maybe this toughness makes them last longer. The three month test period isn't really long enough to test this though. Maybe a year or two of testing when some socks start getting thin on the heel.

The socks are a good amount of tightness around - a little stretchy but not like compression socks. The socks stay up around my leg.

I will test these on a number of backpack trips, about 2 for the Field Report period and 2 for the Long Term report period.

I received three pairs of socks for this test. I'll use one for most of my testing. The second pair I'll use a few times just to make sure they fit good. The third pair I'll leave at home and not wear at all. I'll just use them to compare at the end of the testing.

SUMMARY

The Darn Tough Men's Hiker Boot Midweight Hiking Socks are medium weight Merino Wool socks for hiking.

They are medium weight and medium height.

They seem well made.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

May 6, 2021 - 6 day car camp at Mill Creek Wilderness near Prineville Oregon, USA. 5400 to 5800 feet (1650 to 1750 m) elevation. 30 miles (48 km). 1000 feet (300 m) elevation gain. 25 to 65 F (-4 to 18 C). Some snow and rain.

May 27, 2021 - 5 day backpack and 2 day car camp in Trinity Alps near Weaverville California, USA. 3800 to 7600 feet (1150 to 2300 m) elevation. 32 miles (51 km). 7000 feet (2150 m) elevation gain. 40 to 85 F (4 to 29 C). Dry.

June 21, 2021 - 4 day backpack in Olympic National Park near Brinon Washington, USA. 400 to 3600 feet (100 to 1100 m) elevation. 35 miles (56 km). 4300 feet (1300 m) elevation gain. 48 to 85 F (9 to 29 C). Dry.

July 13, 2021 - 6 day backpack on Mt Hood near Zigzag Oregon, USA. 2200 to 6000 feet (700 to 1800 m) elevation. 45 miles (72 km). 7500 feet (2300 m) elevation gain. 47 to 75 F (8 to 24 C). Dry.



PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

During the Long Term Test I wore the Darn Tough socks on 4 trips. I did a total of 142 miles (229 km) and 20,000 feet (6,000 m) of elevation gain.

I got three pairs of socks. The first pair I used for all 4 trips. I washed them in warm water and regular detergent after each trip. The second pair I only used on the last trip and washed them after that last trip. I didn't wear the third pair of socks so that I could compare the condition of the socks against the pair not worn.

I wore the socks on a variety of wilderness trails - dirt, rocky, sandy, steep up/down, and level. I did some off trail but mostly stuck to trails. Most of my hiking was carrying my backpack which was as much as 22 pounds (10 kg).

The socks were comfortable. I have size 12 (US men's) size feet and boots. I used the size L Darn Tough socks. They say size L is good for size 10 to 12 (US men's). My testing verified that this sizing is pretty accurate.

I didn't get a lot of wet weather testing. On my first trip it rained but my socks stayed pretty dry.

I got some good hot weather testing. My socks got a little wet from sweat but performed fine. I got some cold weather testing, down to 25 F (-4 C). The socks were warm enough at that temperature. I'd consider the Darn Tough's as a good compromise between hot and cold weather socks.

I wore these leather waterproof breathable boots with gaiters for all my testing:
IMAGE 1

Wearing the socks:
IMAGE 2

On my last trip I had to cross the Sandy River which was running strong. I removed my socks and put my boots back on, then crossed the river getting the boots full of water, then removed my boots and squished as much water out of them as possible, then put my socks and boots back on. The socks got quite wet but not "squishy". I walked about 4 more miles that day. I have found in the past that walking in wet socks can sometimes damage them but the Darn Tough socks were fine. For the next several days, each night I put on my other pair of socks that were dry, then dried the wet socks over the course of the next day.

On the other days of testing, the socks were a little damp at the end of the day. I wore them inside my sleeping bag. They dried out overnight.

Of course boots and socks don't smell real good after a day of hiking, but some socks get really smelly. The Darn Tough socks didn't smell too bad.

The stretchiness of the socks was good. They stayed up around my ankle but didn't have any uncomfortable compression.

At the end of the test I compared the pair of socks I used the most (on the left), to the unused socks:
IMAGE 3

As you can maybe see from the picture, the used socks have a little pilling and they are slightly shrunk. This is all cosmetic in my opinion. I think the shrinking all occurs on the first washing and is part of their sizing recommendation. There is no thinning at the heel which is the first place to show wear that matters, in my opinion. I think I'll be able to continue to wear these socks much longer.

SUMMARY

The Darn Tough boot socks are medium weight merino socks with nylon and a little spandex to make them stretchy.

I think these are among the best socks I've tested. I don't have any criticisms.

They wore well - the nylon makes them last longer compared to socks made with just merino in my opinion.

This concludes my test of the Darn Tough boot socks. I will continue to wear these socks until they wear out, which could be long enough for the rest of my hiking career.

Thanks to Darn Tough (Cabot Hosiery Mills) and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Darn Tough Vermont gear
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