Danish Endurance Unisex Merino 3-Pack Review
Cons: Less wool content, deforms when wet, lacks stand alone warmth
Manufacturer: Danish Endurance
Compare to Similar Products
Danish Endurance Unisex Merino 3-Pack
$31.95 at Amazon
$28.00 at REI
Check Price at REI
$23.00 at REI
$16.01 at Amazon
|Pros||Great value, nice cushioning, soft on the skin, good thermoregulation, unique ventilation stitching||Durable, comfortable, wide temperature regulation, versatile, fitted||Comfortable, plush, high wool content, built for freezing temps||Highly breathable, comfortable, well-fitted, no itch, excellent wicking power, quick to dry, great cushion||Quick to dry, accommodates a liner, comfortable cushioning|
|Cons||Less wool content, deforms when wet, lacks stand alone warmth||Not ideal for hot temperatures||Slow to dry, too warm for summer hiking||Slippery fabric, shorter length, not super warm||Loose fit, lacks compression paneling, loses wicking capabilities in cold weather|
|Bottom Line||These Merino blend hikers come in a value pack with 3 pairs, giving you more mileage for your money than pricier options||An all-time favorite meant for long days on the trail in cooler seasons||This is a plush mountaineering sock built to keep your feet warm and dry in the coldest conditions||This lightweight sock is comfortable, breathable and will keep your feet happy in the heat whether you're under the desert sun or tromping through the tropics||A synthetic full-length sock with decent durability and a drying speed that excels in wet weather|
|Rating Categories||Danish Endurance Un...||Darn Tough Hiker Fu...||Smartwool Classic M...||Darn Tough Light Hi...||Wigwam Hiking Outdo...|
|Wicking and Breathability (25%)|
|Drying Speed (10%)|
|Specs||Danish Endurance Un...||Darn Tough Hiker Fu...||Smartwool Classic M...||Darn Tough Light Hi...||Wigwam Hiking Outdo...|
|Material||30% Merino wool, 36% nylon, 33% acrylic, 1% elastane||66% Merino wool, 32% nylon, 2% Lycra spandex||74% Merino wool, 17% recycled nylon, 8% nylon, 1% elastane||54% nylon, 43% Merino wool, 3% Lycra spandex||40% Olefin, 36% X2O acrylic, 20% stretch nylon, 4% spandex|
|Tested Length||Mid-calf||High calf||Upper calf||Lower calf||Lower calf|
|Time to Dry||140 min||180 min||200 min||100 min||160 min|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Danish Endurance Unisex stands out as the most value-priced Merino wool blend sock we tested. While it's not the warmest or the most durable, it's a good one to consider if you're on a budget and need several pairs of hiking socks that'll work in most types of weather.
Consisting of 30% Merino wool, 36% nylon, 33% acrylic, and 1% elastane, this mid-calf length sock is a nice blend of synthetic and Merino wool materials. It's compatible with both hiking boots and shoes making it ideal for any kind of hike. The sole has decent cushioning with areas of compression paneling around the arch and calf that prevent it from falling down while adventuring. While it's not as comfortable as some of our higher-scoring contenders, our testers thought it did a great job on day hikes and overnight backpacking trips.
While it does have a cushioned underfoot, the Danish Endurance is much thinner than other heavily cushioned contenders. The materials are soft against the skin, offering cozy comfort on colder days. The fit is somewhat specific with areas of compression, but we were not impressed when the sock changed shape when wet and started to bunch at the toe. Thankfully, once dry, it returned to its original shape and didn't bunch anymore. While this sock is comfortable, the fit is questionable in wet conditions.
Wicking and Breathability
Thanks to synthetic components, the Danish is breathable and wicks well. The integration of the ventilation stitching on the instep and along the height of the leg offers superior breathability on warm days.
The inclusion of synthetic fibers in the material blend of these socks provides prime wicking capabilities compared to most Merino wool blends. If you're somebody who struggles with sweaty feet, this sock might be a good option as it can keep the foot quite dry. Given the thinner design, it's more breathable overall. In a warm weather test, we wore two different socks on our feet, and the Danish Endurance provided better wicking and breathability overall than almost any other pair. Even in colder temperatures, it retains its wicking capabilities to keep feet dry and cozy. As a result, it's recommended for hot summer hikes and warmer winter days alike.
This sock offers middle-of-the-road warmth when both wet and dry. Unfortunately, because it integrates more synthetic material than wool, which isn't as warm, it's not recommended for situations where you would find yourself standing around or sitting in cold weather. However, it provides sufficient warmth for most moderate days throughout the seasons, even when wet.
The warmth this sock does have comes from both the materials and the length. When day hiking and camping, we experienced a wide range of temperatures in the high 90s (Fahrenheit) to just below freezing. When on the move, it performs just fine, regulating temperature well. When wet, the wool does a good job of insulating to keep the feet happy and healthy in moderate temperatures. Overall, the Danish provides the warmth you'd expect from a light to mid-weight sock, but there are warmer options out there.
After roughly 60 miles of hiking, running, and straight-up adventuring, we found this sock fairly durable. We did notice a little pilling around the foot with some slight cushion compaction, but no serious wear and tear. Some of our testers have been wearing this sock for years and have made this consistent observation.
In our most recent durability test, where we hiked around barefoot in each pair of socks to see which would wear holes or show thinning, the Danish Endurance performed better than other mid-weight socks. This is partially because this sock has a higher content of synthetic fabric than any of the other wool socks we tested. Thus they are slightly more resistant to wear since synthetic fabrics are generally considered to be more durable than wool.
As a quick-drying sock, the Danish Endurance is a decent choice when you know you'll encounter moisture. It will keep your feet warm when wet and was one of the quicker-to-dry socks during our testing.
In our drying speed tests, this sock dried in 140 minutes on the line in 80-degree weather. This was on par with other medium-weight socks in our lineup. While on the trail, we noticed this playing out. In light rain, the material beads and repels the moisture, with the sock drying relatively quickly when it's hot outside. Because the Danish is a little thicker than other options, it may not be the best option for warm hiking when you know you'll be wet the whole time. Yet you'll feel comfortable and confident facing most conditions during the warmer months.
Should You Buy the Danish Endurance Unisex Merino?
On a tight budget and need a sock that gives you the best bang for your buck? This is our top recommendation. Offered in a three-pack, you get a nice value for each pair. It will keep your feet warm when it's cold outside and provide sufficient cushioning and comfort underfoot while offering great temperature regulation. The Danish Endurance offers a unique synthetic-Merino blend that does an excellent job wicking away moisture and drying out on the trail or work site. While this sock isn't the highest scoring overall, it's still a nice lighter option with medium cushioning, all at a value price.
What Other Hiking Socks Should You Consider?
The Danish Endurance Unisex is a great lightweight sock with mid-weight cushioning. The high cuff means that they're boot-compatible for those who prefer more protection on their feet. If you need a lighter-weight sock that will do great in low-cut or ankle-top hiking shoes and still offers a wealth of cushion to keep feet happy over the miles, then consider our top lightweight hiking sock, the Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew. If you want something with a bit more warmth and cushioning, then check out our top synthetic sock, the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro. A bonus to the all-synthetic construction is that they will dry more quickly than a medium-weight wool sock — the Wigwam only took 20 minutes longer to dry than the Danish Endurance, and it's a considerably thicker sock. Whatever the occasion, you'll be able to find a sock to match your adventure amongst our impressive lineup.
— Amber King and Jon Oleson
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