New Colors for 2016
While no longer offered in the grey/tan version that we tested, this sock is now available in two new colorways: Charcoal/Lime and Smoke/Cranberry, seen below left to right.
The Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew is a perfect option for those in search of a high-quality lightweight sock.
The Darn Tough Light Hiker proved to be durable, breathable, and comfortable. We found ourselves reaching for it on day hikes and runs.
This is one of the best fitting socks we tested. We loved its compression paneling and thin material that was soft to the touch.
Stacked with merino wool in the heel and sole, this sock was perfect for many long adventures through the mountains. Our feet felt continuously fresh and ready for to take on the next day. Additionally, the material on the top of the sock is light and thin, allowing ample airflow and breathability. This sock didn't score as high as others in this category because of its lightweight design. Even though there was additional cushioning, it wasn't nearly as thick as other contenders like the Darn Tough Full Cushion
, our Editors' Choice award winning sock. This is all the more reason it's perfect for warmer days on the trail.
Additional cushioning was found in the heel and forefoot, while the top of the sock was light and thin. The compression panels around the arch and ankle provided additional comfort that was hard to find in any other sock tested.
Given the lightweight design, this sock was the second to last in the warmth category. In our dry tests, our feet stayed warm for about ten minutes before going numb. However, in our wet warmth tests we were happy to learn that it does a great job insulating when wet. As a result, consider carrying this sock on rainy days with temperate temperatures. If you're in the market for something warmer, check out the warm Smartwool PhD instead.
At first we thought this would be one of the fastest socks to dry, but were disappointed to learn that it actually took the longest! Most of the moisture evaporated well from the top of the sock, but sat pooled in the foot before drying after five hours. If you want a sock that dries faster, check out the Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool
toe sock instead. It was able to dry in just two and a half hours.
Wicking and Breathability
One of the highest to score in this category! We were happy to see how well moisture wicked from the foot to the shoe and that it breathed pretty well out the top of the fabric. Even though the material is thinner, we found the bottom of our foot felt pretty hot, which meant a little less breathability at the bottom of the sock. As a result, it wasn't our highest scorer for breathability. Check out the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro
, our Best Buy award winner, if you want a something that breathes and wicks well.
This Darn Tough Light Hiker is perfect for warm days on the trail. Its thinner design coupled with many breathable panels on the top of the foot keeps it dry and comfortable.
Even though our Darn Tough Full Cushion sock did well in the durability category, this Darn Tough variety showed pilling and signs of wear and tear after just 10 miles of use. Even though wear was quick to notice, the long term wear and tear was pretty impressive! In general the sock held up pretty well with some merino fibers worn, but still very much in tact. If you're in the market for the most durable option around, check out the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro.
After about 20 miles of use, we see some pilling in high use areas - however this was also the extent of it after 60 miles of trail trekking. This Darn Tough sock has lived up to its name!
Given the lightweight design and decent level of breathability, we would recommend this sock for cool to warm weather for backpacking and hiking. It even does well in wet conditions, but don't expect it to dry out quickly.
This light hiker has a tight fit that is more accommodating for those looking for a durable and cushioned running sock. We wouldn't recommend it for hiking in super wet conditions as you would require it to dry quickly. However, it does maintain its warmth when wet and would be a great option for rainy day hikes. Overall, this lightweight hiker is quite versatile and is best used for warmer weather.
Josh lounges by the lake after a 10 mile run to altitude. This lightweight sock helped to keep his feet fairly dry during high intensity activity.
For a lifetime guarantee and decent performance, a sticker price of $20 isn't half bad! You can't beat the comfort of this material and the durability is pretty fantastic as well. Even though we thought the value was good - our Best Buy winner - the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro features unbeatable value and fantastic durability for only $14!
This pair of hiking socks is a lightweight merino wool blend, perfect for any three-season trail adventure. Take it with you on rainy day hikes or through warm desert temperatures.