The Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion is a hiking sock that after testing it for a year became one of my all-time favorites. Read the review or watch the video!
- Weight: 71,3 gr (Pair size M)
- Sizing: Men S-XXL Ladies S-L
- Price: $ 23.00/€ 24,95
Writing a review about a sock is not that easy. Socks are a necessity for everybody that likes to hike. And from the past I know that one sock can be totally different to the other: fit, materials, sweaty or not, price and above all durability. At home my sock drawer is quite full and most of them are soso, some are fine and a happy few are excellent. The Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion belongs to the last category and deserves to be reviewed.
A year ago I did not know from the existence of the brand Darn Tough. It was brought to my attention at a bushcraft gig in The Netherlands when I spoke to the brand new Dutch distributer. We agreed that a quick test – I never do them – was not on option since socks are about… durability. After talking he sent me a pair and I started testing. And this test really raised my eyebrows.
About Darn Tough
Darn Tough sock are made in Northfield, Vermont in the US. It is a one family owned factory that started with socks some 40 odd years ago. What I do like is the fact that everything is done at this one plant or mill.
What I also like is that Darn Tough uses Merino wool and that the wool is from sheep – US sheep but outside the States too – that are mulesing free. Mulesing is a technique to remove the excessive wrinkly skin around the bum (that collects pee and poo) from the Merino sheep to prevent an infection from flystrike; flies lay eggs in these moist wrinkles. After a while the maggots hatch and eat the sheep to grow. This mulesing is mostly done without anesthesia or painkillers and that is cruel to the animals. So every brand that moves away from this – like Darn Tough – is positive. Want to know more about mulesing? Follow this link. Back to the socks.
The Hiker Micro Crew Boot Cushion from Darn Tough is made of a mix of 61% Merino Wool, 36 Nylon and 3% Lycra. More on this mix later. The socks are about mid-high; perfect for low and high hiking boots. If you hike on the really high Scandinavian type of boots, you might prefer a bit higher ones. The socks are almost seamfree except from one flat seam above the toe box. This toe box, the part underneath the forefoot and the heel is made thicker than the rest of the sock for more cushioning. Also on top of the shaft the sock has a thicker weaving to keep the socks in place.
The first time I put the socks on my feet I just had the feeling of very comfortable, a bit thick socks. And that is fine, but I have a few more of those. The difference started to appear after a few weeks. When I start testing socks, I never wash them until they smell so bad that walking around with them is irresponsible. That moment never came. After three weeks I had to wash them just because of the sweat and dirt that accumulated in them; not because they where smelly.
How is this possible? In the first place it has a lot to do with the big part Merino Wool in the socks. I have the experience – also in underwear – that Merino – like regular wool – has the characteristic of being less smelly. It has a sort of natural anti-microbial repellant. And that is sustainable; which I like as well.
The Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion socks are very comfortable. I do like that the wool is very soft to the feet while the Lycra provides enough elasticity to provide a nice snug fit without a hassle in putting the socks on. The seam at the toe-box… I don’t feel it. The socks are medium thick in general and that gives a very wide temperature range. I have been using them from plus 5 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius and that go’s without any problems. In colder conditions I just used a thinner Merino sock under the Darn Tough one and than -5 degrees is not a problem too.
On warmer days the Merino in combination with the Nylon pulls sweat away from your skin and dryer feet remain. Dry feet result in less chance on blisters. As I mentioned above: the toe-box and the heel part are thicker. This provides a nice cushioning while hiking. I also used the socks for the multiple-shoe test I made just before summer and in none of the shoes I had blisters except for one. I thought this was to blame on the shoes. It was not. I did not wear the Darn Toughs that one day. And… all shoes had a breathable waterproof liner. I have been using the socks also in non-waterproof full leather shoes and then the dry-feet-feeling is even better.
I have been using the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion for a year and I am absolutely blown away by their state in present day. No, they don’t look new anymore. That would be stupid. After being washed countless times they still feel soft to the skin and no pilling appears. The heel and the toe-box are not flattened out as I see with many other socks that provide cushioning here. They still don’t smell after a few weeks. Also the Lycra is still 100%. During the test my eyebrows kept going up… do they never wear down? These socks are made for walking a lifetime. That is sustainability! Darn Tough is convinced about the durability too, they give a lifetime guarantee on the socks. This year the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion became one of my all-time favorites and the price of $ 23.00 € 24,95 is cheap for what you get. I rate the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion 9.6 out of 10 points total.