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Tested: Darn Tough Socks

all my darn tough socks

Made in Vermont. Guaranteed for life.

That’s what I like to hear! Darn Tough Socks are my kind of socks.

First of all, Vermont is a wonderful place to be. I love it. And I love socks. I really love wool socks. Make them colorful wool socks and you’ve won my heart.

I will live happily ever after… unless the socks wear out!

All my good socks I look back on with fondness. Some, like DeFeet’s, withstood eight years of abuse before getting holes. We had a wonderful relationship! But I’ve had others (which I don’t even want to name) that barely lasted eight months.

The point is, just the fact that Darn Tough offers an unconditional lifetime guarantee makes me happy.

darn tough lifetime guarantee

That is a lifetime guarantee if I’ve ever seen one!

Most products with “lifetime” guarantees really mean that the product will function properly through the reasonable life of the product (not your lifetime.) But in this case, it says “if you can wear these socks out, we’ll replace them.” So it sounds like they do stand behind it.

Do they really honor it? That’s a good question. I guess I have to wear out the socks first, then I can find out!

Let’s See The Socks

I received three pairs of socks for testing – one for running, one for cycling, and one for XC skiing.

darn tough run socks

Tab No Show Light Cushion

Most of my running socks have light cushioning, but this is the only one that was available in the “Wasabi” color scheme. Looking at them gets me excited, and wearing them keeps me comfortable when running (or any other time I’m on my feet.)

Also, they are way cushier than other socks with the same amount of padding!

darn tough bike socks

Tab No Show Ultralight

When I’m on my bike, I like my socks thin and light, just like this. This beautiful blue sock simultaneously feels as soft as silk and as tough as iron.

And it has the cool tab thingy, which must be a new trend!

darn tough hiking socks

Nordic Micro Crew Cushion

When winter rolls around, I need some socks that are a little taller and thicker so they better match my XC ski boots. And the freezing temperatures!

This sock appears to have the right amount of cushion to keep me comfortable when skiing 4-6 hours, and the olive green and brown color scheme is classy.

Note: This sock was updated and now comes in a black/red color scheme.

Just How Tough Is “Darn Tough?”

So far, I’ve only spent a little over three months using and abusing these socks. The socks still look just as good as the second day I used them. (Because no sock, once worn, can ever be quite as good as it was the very first day you wore it!)

First up, I started wearing the ultralight socks.

My initial thought was that they feel “durable” when I put them on. They feel good, but where some socks are soft and comfy and luxurious, you can tell these are a blue collar sock ready to get the job done. They’re not going to pamper you along the way, either.

I used these for hiking, trail running, road biking, and even rock climbing a couple times. They became more comfortable every single time I wore them, while still retaining that sense of durability.

For their intended purpose, 2-4 hour bike rides, they were wonderful!

And they’re thin enough to fit into my dress shoes! (I know where I’m buying dress socks from now on!)

For now, though, even a single pair is fine. Since they’re wool, I don’t mind wearing them every day, all week long. They smell and feel fresh and clean, so why not?

It’s a great all-around sock!

Eventually, I wanted to run in the Wasabi-colored socks. (Whether it was due to the cushioning or the color, I’m not totally sure!)

When I finally slipped into the running socks, “WOW!! It’s like my feet are in heaven!”

These socks are super comfortable and sooooo soft!! They fit perfect, they’re super cozy, it’s simply amazing. They don’t have the cushion of clinically-padded Thorlos, but they’re a lot more comfortable.

I don’t know how a sock this soft can be durable! They’re even softer than the Defeet Woolie Boolie I love.

Whether it’s trail running, jogging, or walking, these are nice! They cushion the trail just enough to be super awesome without getting in the way. Major props to Darn Tough for these super awesome socks!!!

I did try these for biking one day, just out of curiosity. Let’s just say it went as expected (i.e. it did not go well.) The soft cushioning that’s so awesome when running made it feel like I wasn’t connected to my pedals. For bike riding, I like my shoes a certain way, and I like to feel connected to the pedals. For that, I need thin socks – cushioned socks are a bad idea. So, this was just a good way to confirm my suspicion. (This is in no way saying anything bad about the socks.)

Lastly, since there was no way I was waiting until winter, I slipped into the XC ski and hike socks. As with the others, I thought “these are also glorious!!” and uttered some profanities to emphasize my excitement!

These are snug, comfortable, and cushy – just how I like them. With these socks being taller, it gave them even more opportunity to smother me in comfort. Darn Tough did not disappoint! I noticed the inside design on the upper part is sort of ribbed, making it extra super duper comfy. It looks cool, too, if you turn them inside out.

I just had to go for a big hike in these socks!! For my first real hike of the year, I did right around 16 miles on rough, hilly terrain. In my XC running shoes, no less! The shoes were not a great choice, but holy crap the socks were outstanding!!

Wool is so amazing at temperature regulation. These are XC skiing socks, and I wore them for a long hike in May, when it was 80+ degrees. I never once even thought my feet were getting warm!!

And the color scheme is great since most of my hiking gear is green or brown.

darn tough socks on rock

Remember how I said these felt durable?

I knew a sock that felt durable was going to be tough to wear out, so I wanted to put them to the test, to see if I could find any hints of weakness.

They’re just so tough, I figured rather than wear them inside shoes, I’d wear them instead of shoes!

Not around the house. Not around the yard. Not on the beach.

On a rock wall!

How did it go? Well, I have a newfound appreciation for rock climbing shoes. And my toes got a good workout.

As far as the socks and their durability, though, let’s put it this way – many, many years will pass before I have to come back and update this review!

In the mean time, enjoy the view!

darn tough socks top of ledge

My final verdict is…

Not only are these socks tough enough to deserve the Darn Tough name, they could just as easily be named “Darn Comfortable” or “Darn Stylish.” I’ve never come across a better sock in my life! If they keep their word on the lifetime guarantee, they have me as a customer for life!

Official website: DarnTough.com

Product Review Details
Company: Darn Tough Vermont
Product: Darn Tough Socks
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-08-05
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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Hometown, PA