Be a Friend to Your Feet With the Best Hiking Socks from Darn Tough Socks

When you’re ready to hit the trails, it’s important to make sure you’ve got all the right gear. That probably brings to mind images of fancy backpacks and hiking boots.

Sure, these things are important, but make sure you’re not overlooking one of the most important bits of hiking equipment: a great pair of hiking socks. 

It may not sound exciting, but the right hiking socks can make all the difference between an enjoyable hike and a miserable one. You’ve got to have socks that can make it for the long haul. 

Your socks have got to keep you comfortable and dry no matter where your travels take you. That also means they have to have a great fit to protect against bunching and blisters. 

Enter Darn Tough Socks. This company is well-known for its durable and comfortable hiking socks. Amateur and seasoned hikers alike love these socks for their comfort, breathability, and unrivalled lifetime guarantee. 

Darn Tough offers socks in many different styles, fabrics, and cushioning levels. Here are a few of their most popular designs. Read on to discover which one is the right fit for you.  

Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion

darn tough socks
Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion

The Light Hiker Micro Crew sock with light cushioning is perfect for the hiker who wants something with a barely-there feel. These socks provide lightweight comfort to keep your feet cool and dry in all kinds of weather.

This style is made of merino wool in a fine-gauge knit. This high-density knit is very tough and durable without any extra bulk or weight. Darn Tough uses ethically-sourced merino wool for all their socks. 

The material is moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and oh-so-soft. This makes these socks perfect for hikers in warmer climates or those who are worried about excess sweat. They also have mesh panels for increased breathability. 

The light underfoot cushioning provides comfort without extra thickness. The seamless construction provides a snug fit without any uncomfortable bunching, rubbing, or slipping. The smooth ribbing upper is supportive and will keep the socks in place for the entire duration of your hike. 

The “micro crew” fit means these socks are just slightly shorter than the average crew sock. They come to the top of most hiking boots. The height is just tall enough to provide plenty of support and protection while allowing your legs to breathe.

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Hiker Micro Crew Cushion

Hiker Micro Crew Cushion

This sock has all the same great features as the Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion style with just a little extra padding. This means they provide more protection during high-impact activities. These socks also feature small-gauge merino construction with moisture-wicking and quick-drying benefits. 

Because of the extra padding, these socks are slightly thicker. Although they’re still well-suited for most weather conditions, they are a bit on the warmer side and slightly less breathable than the Light Cushion variety. 

The Hiker Micro Crew Cushion comes to just below crew height, as well. This means plenty of support without constricting your legs.

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Coolmax Micro Crew Cushion

Coolmax Micro Crew Cushion

The Coolmax Micro Cool Cushion Socks are the ultimate choice for anyone looking for maximum breathability without sacrificing underfoot comfort.  The Coolmax fabric is designed for great performance in all weather conditions.

These socks are cool in the heat and warm when temperatures drop. They pull moisture away from the skin and dry very quickly, so you’ll stay comfortable and dry no matter what the weather. 

This material is also naturally antimicrobial. That means they’ll cut down on that after-hike aroma. 

Even though they are made of a different fabric, these socks still have the same great fit as the classic merino wool variety. Their seamless construction and performance fit ensure they’ll stay in place for the long run. 

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Hiker Boot Sock Cushion

Hiker Boot Sock Cushion

If you’re looking for a durable, well-loved classic, you can’t go wrong with the Hiker Boot Sock with underfoot cushioning. These socks were awarded the 2018 Backpacker Editor’s Choice Gold Award for their great durability and comfort. 

Made of sturdy, moisture-wicking, fine-gauge merino wool, these socks are designed to keep you comfortable in all kinds of weather and temperatures. The cushioning means they are a bit on the thicker side, so they provide plenty of protection when hiking long distances over demanding terrain. 

These socks are slightly taller than an average crew sock, providing a supportive fit and a little extra coverage. While they do have great temperature-regulating properties, they may be a little warm for hiking in the hottest climates. 

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Hiker 1/4 Sock Cushion

Darn Tough Hiker 1/4 Cushion Sock

A more low-profile option, the Hiker 1/4 Sock Cushion sits just at ankle height. This shorter take on the Hiker sock is perfect people who prefer to wear running shoes or other low-top hiking boots. 

Although this style looks smaller, it’s still got all the big benefits of the taller styles. You can rely on its merino wool construction and seamless design for durability and a great fit. This style also has plenty of cushioning underfoot for support and comfort. 

While preferred sock height is a matter of opinion, these are probably not the best choice to wear with traditional hiking boots, as your ankle and lower calf will likely rub against the boot. If you plan on hiking through tall grass or wet/cold conditions, a taller sock would be best to provide more protection.

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Mountaineering Over-The-Calf Extra Cushion

Mountaineering Over-The-Calf Extra Cushion

If you’re planning a trek across a frozen tundra or up to a snowy peak, you’ll need these Mountaineering Over-The-Calf Socks with extra cushion. These socks are ideal for the coldest, most demanding conditions. 

These socks are made of merino wool and feature Darn Tough’s thickest, warmest level of cushioning. They reach almost to knee height, ensuring you’ll have plenty of warmth and protection. And like the other merino socks, the Mountaineering variety has all the moisture-wicking comfort you could want.

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How to Choose the Right Darn Tough Socks for Your Next Hike

When it comes to choosing hiking socks that are best suited to you, a lot is left up to preference. Some hikers feel more comfortable with plenty of cushioning to protect against impact while others prefer socks that are as lightweight and streamlined as possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind when picking out your next pair. 


The most common materials for hiking socks are merino wool and synthetics. Darn Tough offers socks in both these materials. 

Merino wool is great for providing plenty of warmth and insulation while wicking away moisture. It’s also good for controlling odours. 

Synthetics are cooler, making them well-suited to hot weather. They’re also durable and lightweight. 


In general, you’ll want to choose a thicker sock if you plan to be hiking in cold temperatures. That seems like common sense.

However, you should also consider how long you plan to be out on the trail. The longer your hike, the thicker your socks should be in order to provide support and protection. In the end, it’s a balancing act between the length of the hike and the weather and environment you’ll be hiking in. 

For example, the Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion is perfect for day hikes in mild weather. For longer treks, you’ll want something more like the Hiker Boot Sock Cushion. 


Wearing the right size sock is crucial for comfort. Socks that are too big will slip and rub against your skin, causing blisters and uncomfortable bunching. Socks that are too small will be constrictive and cause pressure points

There is also a slight difference between men’s and women’s hiking socks. Women’s socks tend to have narrower panels than men’s. 

A well-fitting sock will be snug but not tight. The heel cup should line up to your heel properly, and the panels should sit at the correct spot of your foot. 

Your sock size is not necessarily the same as your shoe size. If you’re unsure what size socks to buy, be sure to measure your feet to determine their exact length. 

Happy Feet for a Happy Hike 

Before you head out on your next hiking adventure, make sure to show your feet a little extra love. Wearing the right hiking socks will help ensure you get to enjoy every step of the way without having to worry about damp, cold feet or blisters. 

Darn Tough Socks are a well-loved hiking sock company with plenty of different styles to choose from. From lightweight micro crews to rugged mountaineering socks, there’s a pair sure to be perfect for you. 

Want to learn more about all the best camping and hiking gear on the market? Check out our gear guides for info on all your equipment needs.