Hands-on Gear Review

Danish Endurance Unisex Merino Wool Review

Best Buy Award
Price:  $30 List | $11.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, quick to dry and wick, comfortable, good quality
Cons:  Thinner materials, not super breathable
Bottom line:  If you're on the a budget and looking for a boot-length sock with a merino-blend, this is the sock for you.
Editors' Rating:   
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Material:  33% Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic, 33% Polyamide, 1% Elastane
Sock Category:  Mid-weight
Length:  Mid-calf
Manufacturer:   Danish Endurance

Our Verdict

On a budget? The Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock is an excellent boot-length merino-wool blend that kept our tester trucking for miles on the trail. The unique 33% Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic, 33% Polyamide, 1% Elastane blend provides decent warmth and superior wicking and drying speed on the trail. As one of the only socks with a higher concentration of synthetic fibers integrated with merino wool, it balances a lot of the elements required in a great hiking sock. It's also super affordable - working out to just $10 per pair!

As one of our highest value contenders, we were surprised to see very little wear and tear even after 60 miles of testing. Our testers loved the full-boot length that is compatible with both hiking boots and shoes. That said, we don't recommend it for warm weather hiking and would recommend a more breathable option like the People's Merino Wool Sock, another merino-sock blend (70% merino wool) that has an ankle-length design. This is another option for those on a budget as this sock only goes for $9 per sock or about $30 for a pack of three. Overall, if you're looking for a great merino-wool sock that offers superior breathability on the trail, the boot-length Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock comes with our top recommendation. Take it with you while backpacking, hiking, skiing, and more!


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Hiking Socks of 2017


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Wednesday
December 13, 2017

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The Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock is best for those in search of a great sock on a budget.

Performance Comparison


This full-length boot sock features a merino wool-blend that kept our feet comfortable through all sorts of conditions.
This full-length boot sock features a merino wool-blend that kept our feet comfortable through all sorts of conditions.

Comfort


Featuring 33% Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic, 33% Polyamide, 1% Elastane, this mid-calf length sock is a strange blend between synthetic and merino wool materials. It is compatible with both hiking boots and shoes. The foot is fairly cushioned with areas of compression paneling around the arch and calf that prevents it from falling down while adventuring. While it's not as a comfortable as some of our higher scoring contenders, our testers thought it did a great job on day hikes and overnight backpacking trips. It earns a seven out of ten in this category.


More comfortable contenders like the SmartWool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Sock offer plush cushioning and a tight fit that we didn't observe in the Danish Unisex Merino Wool Sock. While the sock does have a cushioned underfoot, it was much thinner, much like the Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew or the Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool. While this makes it more comfortable sock for warm weather, it's not the best all-around. Our testers preferred to slip their feet into the People's Merino Wool Hiking Sock (unisex) for additional comfort due to extra plush underfoot.

Compatible with hiking boots  this full length sock provides additional warmth through the calves.
Compatible with hiking boots, this full length sock provides additional warmth through the calves.

This sock also didn't hold its shape well when wet. While hiking through a river, our foot got completely water-logged, and the contender became misshapen and bunched at the toe. However, once dry, it returned to its original shape, which helped its structure. Overall, this sock does well for most outdoor adventures, but it's not the best when it comes to comfort.

Warmth


Featuring a boot-length cut, this sock provides additional warmth around the calf and performs well in a wide range of temperatures. When day hiking and camping we experienced a wide range of temperatures that went from the high 90s (in degrees Fahrenheit) to just below freezing. In all conditions, it did a decent job of regulating temperature. It started to get cold once temperatures dipped below freezing and when we weren't moving. In wet conditions, our feet were kept warm while day hiking through the cold river in late Fall. Overall, this sock scores a seven out of ten in this category because it provides the warmth you'd expect from a mid-weight sock, but comparatively, it wasn't the warmest contender.


If you're looking for the best sock for cold weather, we have a couple of recommendations. The Smartwool Hike Medium Crew is our Editors' Choice for women and did well in temperatures that dipped below zero. The Darn Tough Full Cushion is another excellent option that kept our feet warm at similar temperatures. Both have a more extended sock length that holds in warmth on the coldest of days. The Smartwool PhD is also a very warm sock that kept our feet warm below zero while standing around in Alaska. All of these are warmer options than the Danish Wool Unisex Sock

Wicking and Breathability


Boasting great breathability throughout the foot of this sock, we gave the Danish Unisex Wool Sock an eight out of ten in this category. While it's not the coolest option out there, we thought the integration of the synthetic fibers did an excellent job wicking moisture away from the foot (which ultimately contributes to better overall warmth). On a warm hike in the desert, we wore it with the People's Merino Wool sock. TheDanish Wool was hotter and clammier because of its longer sock design, but we were surprised that our foot was drier. From these tests, we concluded that even though the sock doesn't breathe as well as other contenders, it does a great job wicking away moisture.


If you're in the market for a sock that's not as warm as the Danish Wool, ankle-length varieties are other great options. The People's Merino Wool Hiking Sock was our favorite cheap warm weather option. The Darn Tough lightweight socks like the Lite Hiker for men and the Hiker Micro Crew are both more breathable and better wicking options. Both are Top Picks for Warm Weather because of their lightweight and more breathable construct.

Comparing comfort and fit of our two best priced unisex award winners. The Danish (left) and the Peoples (right) are both inexpensive and high value. They're also both pretty comfy with a decent fit for the price.
Comparing comfort and fit of our two best priced unisex award winners. The Danish (left) and the Peoples (right) are both inexpensive and high value. They're also both pretty comfy with a decent fit for the price.

Other thinner and breathable socks include the Wigwam Hiker Pro, a model with all-synthetic materials and the Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool, the only five-fingered toe sock in this review. Overall, if you're in the market for a cheap boot-high model that offers decent breathability, the Danish Unisex Merino Wool is a pretty darn good option.

Durability


After roughly 60 miles of hiking, running, biking, and straight-up adventuring, we were surprised to learn that this sock doesn't show a whole lot of durability issues. We did notice a little pilling around the foot of the sock with some slight cushion compaction, but no serious wear and tear. As a result, we give this sock an eight out of ten in this category. Great durability for such a low price!


In comparison to the People's Merino Wool Sock we thought the durability of the Danish Sock is just better. Also, its construction quality seems a little better as the People's sock stitching appears wide and sloppy.

A look at the pilling after a 20 mile hike and two washes.
A look at the pilling after a 20 mile hike and two washes.

If you're in the market for the most durable sock out there, be sure to check out the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro, earning a perfect ten in this category! We loved its fabrics that integrate highly durable synthetic fibers, showing little to no wear after our testing period.

Drying Speed


As the second fastest sock to dry, the Danish Unisex Wool Sock is quick to dry. This is due to its blend that is made up of mostly synthetic fibers and integrates a little merino wool for added comfort and warmth.It doesn't absorb water readily making it a great option for hikes where you might encounter river crossings. Because of its performance during this test, it earns a nine out of ten in this category and is recommended for a wide range of conditions that extends to wet weather.


If you're in search of an option that will dry out quickly on the trail, the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro is our Top Pick (and a Best Buy award winner!). The synthetic fibers are not only durable, but they wick well and are super quick to dry. This sock dried out in just 90 minutes in our dryer tests, while the Danish Unisex Wool Sock was about ten minutes behind. If you prefer a different merino-blend with a faster drying speed, be sure to check out the People's Merino Wool Sock, another low-cost option that dried out just 10 minutes after the Danish Unisex Wool and offers an ankle-length construct with more merino wool.

A look at the socks participating in our drying tests.
A look at the socks participating in our drying tests.

Best Application


Given its great performance in the area of wicking and breathability and drying speed, we'd recommend this hiking sock for endurance days in warmer to cool weather. Taking it with you backpacking, fastpacking, hiking, and more!

Looking to do a stream crossing? An insulating wool sock like the Danish Unisex Merino Wool is key to ensure your feet stay warm when dry and wet.
Looking to do a stream crossing? An insulating wool sock like the Danish Unisex Merino Wool is key to ensure your feet stay warm when dry and wet.

Value


On a tight budget and need a high-value sock? This is one of our top recommendations! Cashing in at only $10 per sock with decent durability we think it's one of the best values in this review. If you're looking for a similar value but a more comfortable and ankle-length option, be sure to check out the People's Merino Sock for just $9 per sock. If you don't mind paying a little more, check out our official Best Buy award winner, the Wigwam Hiker Pro that offers a super durable and quick-to-dry design for only $14.

Conclusion


The Danish Unisex Wool Sock features a blend of merino wool and synthetic that does a great job wicking away moisture and drying out on the trail. While it's not our Top Pick for comfort or warmth, we certainly think it does the trick for backpacking adventures and day hikes. Not only that, but it's our Best Buy for those on a shoestring budget meaning that it's affordable! For only $10 per sock, this is one of the best valued products in this review.

This mid-calf merino-wool blend hiking sock is quick to dry  warm  and cheap. and provide a great value.
This mid-calf merino-wool blend hiking sock is quick to dry, warm, and cheap. and provide a great value.
Amber King

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Most recent review: December 13, 2017
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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