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ProView – Darn Tough Hunter Socks

Darn Tough makes socks that are comfortable, durable, high-performing, and boast a lifetime guarantee and made-in-america tag. The new hunting line from Darn Tough includes four socks: the Micro Crew Cushion, Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion, Boot Sock Full Cushion, and Boot Sock Cushion. I had the opportunity to put all of Darn Tough’s men’s hunting socks to the test during ten days of elk hunting in the Rocky Mountains, on multiple bike trips in Colorado’s Front Range, and while working as a wildland firefighter in Colorado during the 2020 wildfire season. 

Darn Tough Hunter Socks

Product Description: Darn Tough Vermont Socks are purpose built premium merino wool socks made in Vermont, USA. Our socks are guaranteed for life to be the best fitting, and most comfrotable.

Offer price: $22.00-$30.00 MSRP

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

I had the opportunity to put all of Darn Tough’s men’s hunting socks to the test during ten days of elk hunting in the Rocky Mountains, on multiple bike trips in Colorado’s Front Range, and while working as a wildland firefighter in Colorado during the 2020 wildfire season. I wear Darn Tough socks every single day. Get yourself a pair of Darn Tough’s today, I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

Overall
5

Pros

  • Warm
  • Quick-drying
  • Durable
  • Seamless
  • Great colors

Cons

  • Hunter Boot Sock Cushion not great for cold weather (use the Hunter Boot Sock Full Cushion)

Hunter Micro Crew Cushion

I have been able to test Darn Tough’s hunting socks in a variety of footwear, weather conditions, and terrain. While elk hunting this fall, I put all four sock types to the test. I wear a men’s size 11.5 boot, and the large size of Darn Tough’s fit me very well. The first pair of socks I wore while hunting was the Hunter Micro Crew Cushion. For the three days before opening day, my hunting partners and I put in some serious miles in hot weather while scouting the nearby terrain. The Micro Crew is a thin, lightweight, tight-fitting sock that thrives on long, hot days of hiking. The Micro Crew’s performance fit mitigates blisters, and its merino wool construction wicks moisture away from your foot and cools you off in hot weather. The Hunter Micro Crew Cushion extended above my regular hiking boots by approximately 2 inches. A perfect fit, in my book. 

Hunter Boot Sock Full Cushion + Hunter Boot Sock Cushion

Once hunting season began, I hiked fewer miles, the weather cooled off, and I put the Hunter Boot Sock Full Cushion, and the Hunter Boot Sock Cushion to the test. Both of these socks served me well, but I found that my foot was warmer and more comfortable in the Full Cushion sock. The Full Cushion version was able to stave off the cold during those long, motionless mornings waiting for the sun’s warmth to reach you, while the normal cushion model allowed my foot to succumb to the cold. The Hunter Boot Sock Cushion and Full Cushion both performed very well while I was hiking. Neither sock bunched up or gave me blisters, and the size large extended approximately 6 inches above the top of my boot. In addition to hunting, I tested the Hunter Boot Sock Cushion on multiple mountain bike rides in Colorado’s Front Range. This sock once again performed well, wicking moisture away from my foot when things got sweaty, keeping my foot warm after the sun set and headlamps came on, and never once gave my foot a hot spot or blister. 

Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion

Admittedly, when I received the Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion socks from Darn Tough, I wasn’t sure I was going to have the chance to test them while hunting. However, as hunting season drew closer and the weather forecast called for snow in the mountains, I made sure to pack the Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion socks. Sure enough, on day three of hunting season, the clouds came in and dropped a foot of snow on my hunting unit. I put on my Darn Tough Hunter Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion socks and laced up my mountaineering boots. I was immediately struck by how warm the Over-the-Calf socks were, and how well they fit my foot and lower leg. The socks extended about 8” above the top of my mountaineering boot, and ended nicely below my knee. Darn Tough calls this sock their “burliest hunting sock” and I will absolutely validate that claim. These socks kept my feet warm and dry during two days of hunting in below-freezing weather. I brought heated insoles along for my hunting trip, but I never bothered putting them in my boots because I knew that my feet would be fine with the Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion socks alone. In addition to hunting, I used the Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion socks while working as a wildland firefighter this fall in Colorado. Once again, these socks performed flawlessly. Wildland fire boots are notoriously uncomfortable, but the Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion socks prevented any blisters and allowed me to perform at my highest level day after day. After a sixteen-hour day of firefighting, I was always ready to take my boots off, but I never felt in a rush to take my socks off. It’s rare to find a sock that performs well while hunting in mountaineering boots in sub-freezing temperatures, and while wildland firefighting for weeks on end, but Darn Tough’s Hunter Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion socks do just that. 

Look/Comfort

Darn Tough’s Hunter line of socks is composed of earthen-tone socks that fit all your hunting needs but can be used in many more of life’s applications. I am a fan of more muted colors in general, but if I had to choose one of these pairs based on looks it would be the Micro Crew Cushion. All of Darn Tough’s Hunter Socks are made from merino wool, making them moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, and durable. In addition, the Micro Crew Cushion, Boot Sock Full Cushion, and Boot Sock Cushion feature Darn Tough’s True Seamless feature, ensuring that your toes don’t rub on any seams within the sock. For the record, I didn’t feel any seams on the Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion socks either! All four pairs of these socks performed exceptionally well in a variety of environments and tests. They are constructed as well as any sock I’ve ever worn, and they are backed by Darn Tough’s unconditional lifetime guarantee. If your socks don’t meet your expectations, or if you wear a hole in your socks, Darn Tough will give you a new pair. It’s that easy. 

Eco-Friendly

Another reason to support Darn Tough is they are environmentally-conscious. In 2021, all of Darn Tough’s socks will be made with merino wool that is Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified. Using RWS-certified wool ensures that sheep farmers progressively manage their land and promote respect for animal welfare. Additionally, Darn Tough will be eliminating polybags from their shipping practices in 2021, and all of Darn Tough’s packaging is made from recycled paper, water-soluble glues, and vegetable-based inks. Darn Tough continues to research new and innovative ways to be more environmentally conscious, and their website is full of information on their sustainable initiatives. 

The Final Word

I’m no stranger to Darn Tough Socks. I wear Darn Tough’s every single day. If you look in my sock drawer, you’ll find only a few pairs of socks that aren’t made by Darn Tough. Darn Tough’s are made in Vermont, they’re comfortable, durable, good-looking socks, and they have an unconditional lifetime guarantee. Additionally, Darn Tough values minimizing their environmental impact and protecting the health of their community. I’m not sure what more you could ask for from a sock company. Get yourself a pair of Darn Tough’s today, I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
sam-kilburn
Sam Kilburn
Ranger-Naturalist :: Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks

Sam has spent his entire adult career working on public lands throughout the United States. Starting at age eighteen Sam began an early career as a trail builder for the Forest Service, Appalachian Mountain Club, and the City of Boulder. Sam now works as a Ranger-Naturalist for Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. During his winter’s, Sam has worked as an ice climbing guide and hut caretaker, but he has recently found a home as a ski patroller. When not working as a ranger, Sam can be found building furniture in his woodshop, volunteering with the local fire department, or playing ultimate frisbee.

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