Exactly as hoped
These 100% Merino-wool quarter-crew socks were purchased primarily for running in both winter & summer, but I will also use them year-round for trail hiking (in low hiking shoes, not ankle-high boots) and for street walking. After trying one pair, I immediately ordered 5 more, while returning 4 pairs of Wigwam "Super Merino" quarter socks that appeared sadly inferior in disproportion to their lower cost.
Labeling indicates that they are machine washable in warm water and machine dryable on low, but I worry that any shrinkage could make them too tight instead of snugly XL-sized. If I can revise this review later, I'll let you know about the results of washing before yearend 2013.
I could not think of any real "cons" for these socks, but I was pleasantly surprised that the main color (used on top of the foot and front of the ankle) appears charcoal gray, not olive as advertised. Up close, I see some tiny flecks of olive, but the overall impression to my eye is dark gray with an almost imperceptible hint of taupe that no one will probably ever notice. Along with the other colors and overall design, the socks look classy.
As a longtime buyer of wool and Merino wool socks including reputable brands such as The North Face, Smartwool, etc., I have to say that these could be the best quarter socks I have tried, but this is my first purchase of anything made by Darn Tough Vermont.
The only sock you'll ever need.
I bought my first pair of Darn Tough socks 7 years ago. Since then I have bought a couple dozen more pairs in various heights, weights, and colors. They are now the only socks I wear for any purpose.
Hiking, biking, running, skiing, mountaineering, work, travel, leisure - if I have socks on my feet they are these. I have NEVER worn a pair out. Not one pair! I still wear the very first ones, and they show so little wear that I can not distinguish them from any other pair that color.
These thinks are like some sort of super-Merino or something. No residual odor, great temp regulation, great moisture management, stay up perfectly, and very comfy. I wash them in a normal wash cycle and air dry. Otherwise no special care.
Their very best use, in my opinion, is for backpacking. I can bring just two pairs on a trip - one to wear and one to wash/dry. They don't lose their shape, stretch out, stink, or anything else. What more do you need?
These socks can do everything. Period.
Lets start with this: I created this profile to review these socks because I though they deserved it.
After years of service prior to departing, these socks are the only ones I had that survived a 4 month trip across Europe by bike, and a trek through the Khumbu region of Nepal.
More amazing, is their ability to survive games of Ultimate, which leaves other merino socks (Smrtwool et al.) completely threadbare in the heels, toes, and ball of the foot after just a game or two.
All the benefits of Merino apply, including smell management, temperature/moisture regulation, and general comfort.
Downsides are very few. Due to their density, they air-dry slowly, and need thorough hand-washing when you don't have a machine, but they are fine in the regular wash.
If you care about where your money goes these socks are still made in the USA (Northfield Vermont).
A rare great product
Believe the hype.
I went from cotton socks to synthetic, and I thought those were good for a while, until I wore out several pairs after maybe 6 months.
I happened upon these on the internet somewhere, and gave them a try. The quality and comfort was excellent right away. After a while, I decided to buy some more. After two years, they show almost zero wear, and I won't wear anything else. I just bought some crew socks to wear in the winter.
I wear them everywhere: running, biking, working, casual, to bed-everywhere.
The odor resistance is excellent. I can sometimes wear them a few times in a row, although now I have enough of them so that it's not necessary.
They might seem expensive, but I could easily spend more on replacing lesser socks.
Perfect height and comfort
These socks are crazy awesome- they have kept my feet dry on several 3-4 hour hikes so far. I was worried that they would be too hot given that It was around 85F out at the time, but I was not bothered at all. On top of that, the manufacturer's warranty is for life (as of me writing this- i hope that doesn't change), so if they wear out I can just get a new pair. It's a little odd to call these an investment, but I do believe that they're worth paying a little more than I normally would. I was worried that these wouldn't work with my mid-height boots (they go an inch above my ankle), but they work well and don't 'look' or feel ridiculous.
Best Socks Anywhere
I discovered these socks in Vermont while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I was initially interested because the company has a lifetime guarantee: If these socks don't perform, they will replace them no questions asked. I was absolutely fed up with smart-wool socks after wearing out about a dozen pairs. So I tried Darn Toughs. With two pairs, I finished the trail (~500 miles) without a single hole. After several years, I still own these socks and wear them almost exclusively. I finally managed to wear a hole in the original pair on the PCT, but I definitely got my money's worth.
They dry really well, they are super comfortable, and insanely durable. These are the only socks I will ever need to buy.
Simply the best.
Used 3 pairs of these socks on my '12 AT thru hike. They performed phenomenally. They totally blew me away by their refusal to hold odors. Other socks I'd used for hiking would REEK. Don't get me wrong, these socks didn't always smell like sunshine and roses, but they did an incredible job of resisting odor.
On top of that, they felt great, looked great, were light, and very durable. I wore small holes in all of my pairs (that's what 2000 miles will do...). DarnTough held 100% true to their guarantee and replaced all of the pairs FOR FREE. Can't get better than that.
Gave 4/5 stars because they eventually started retaining more odor.
If I could marry socks... wait, can I?
I have feet that get blisters like it's their job. Every time I run, every time I hike, almost any freaking activity will leave me looking like some kind of ultra-marathon after-photo gone wrong.
Not after finding these babies. They are the sweat-wicking, blister-annihilating, heat-regulating masters of all things active.
Their return policy might even be better than REI's (shhhh, don't tell them). Anytime, for any reason, any condition, they'll replace your socks for free.
Buy them. Wear them. Love them.
Or else we're not friends anymore.
Do not hesitate to purchase
This is the most money I have ever spent on a pair of socks and believe me, they're worth every cent. Not only are they extremely durable, but very comfortable. I live in southern Indiana, near the Ohio river. Let's just say it's either hot and damp, or cold and damp. These are the only socks so far to live up to the challenge. I didn't even know you could still buy socks made in the USA. I can already forecast many years of service.
Good American made sock
I've worn these socks on a few long hikes (10+ miles) in the Whites and found that I need to change them out near the end of the hike due to a blister that forms on my toe. This doesn't happen with socks by their #1 competitor. I did hike in the rain up Mt. Madison and got completely soaked, but my feet stayed completely dry. I didn't realize that my boots were drenched until I went to retie my laces.