I thought it was impossible to improve on the perfection that is Darn Tough’s ¼ Hike/Trek Sock. Then I met the Light Hiker Micro Crew.
As the name implies, it’s a lighter sock, which is something I was in desperate need of this summer. My feet tend to sweat (yes this has already come up multiple times in this blog!) and my original Darn Toughs were still just a little too thick for hiking around in waterproof boots for hours. You give up some cushioning for the lighter fabric, but I didn’t notice any difference. My Merrell hiking boots are extremely comfy, though (cough cough you should get yourself a pair cough cough).
These socks felt stretchier than the regular weight socks, but again that’s probably just because they’re lighter. They are still just as durable as the regular weight – I put them to the smell test the morning after spending several hours hiking in 75-80 degree weather and they passed with flying colors. Yes, smelling my hiking socks is a thing I do now.
The biggest advantage of these socks were the fact that they come up a lot higher than the quarter socks. The quarter socks covered my ankles and stopped just above my hiking boots, which is perfectly satisfactory for the average person. However, I’ve noticed that something about the way I walk tends to kick and lot of dirt and rocks up into my shoes, which became problematic with the shorter socks.
The crew socks keep dirt and gravel out, but don’t come up so high that they start making my legs hot. The crew sock hits almost exactly two inches above my ankle.
What I love the most about these socks is what you’ll find in any pair of Darn Toughs – the material. Wool being stretchy, soft, and uber comfy is a little counter-intuitive, but believe me when I say that these socks are all of those things. No matter how sweaty you get, you’ll never get itchy in these bad boys. Plus, they are straight up COMFY. I find any excuse I can to wear them and keep them in heavy rotation with the rest of my favorite hiking and running socks, which I admittedly also wear regularly to sit on the couch, eat ice cream, peruse Facebook, etc.
What you won’t find in every Darn Tough sock are those awesome stripes. I’ve gone over my obsession with stripes before, and if you want to pick up a pair of stripey socks for yourself, make sure you look for the Aztec Micro Crew. The Daphne quarter sock also comes in a lot of fun colors, but again, I’ve come to prefer the crew sock height. If you prefer earthy colors, have no fear, Darn Tough has something for everyone!
Darn Toughs are pricey for socks (the pair in this blog cost $19), but the fact that you can wear them multiple times without irritating your skin or your buddies’ noses means that the average beginner hiker really just needs one pair. If you can’t find them on sale (I advocate surfing sales and clearance racks), you can always wait until Christmas or some other excuse to splurge a little. Because hey, you’re worth it.
Darn Tough socks can be found at www.DarnTough.com and most outdoor retailers. I even saw them at a horse show vendor once…they’re so awesome, you can find them anywhere!
Note: Darn Tough provided these socks to me free of charge in exchange for a product review. They did not have any editing privileges for this review and all opinions are my own. I love Darn Tough and the free socks were an added bonus…and further evidence of how awesome they are! The only way they could be better is if they opened up their factory in Vermont for tours…