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Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion - Women's Review

This Top Pick for Warm Weather is a great option for women looking for a lightweight hiking sock best for three seasons.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $22 List | $19.93 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Breathable, durable, lightweight construction, ankle-height
Cons:  Not super warm
Manufacturer:   Darn Tough
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 13, 2017
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 11
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Warmth - 25% 6
  • Wicking and Breathability - 25% 9
  • Durability - 15% 9
  • Drying Speed - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Darn Tough Micro Crew for women is built to last while you crush it on the trail. This lightweight Merino-wool blend sock boasts a balance of comfort and breathability making it a Top Pick for Active Wear. Our testers love wearing it during day hikes and trail runs…and it wasn't left home for mountain bike days either. Best for the Fall, Spring, and Summer, we chose warmer options like the Smartwool Hike Medium Crew, our Editors' Choice winner for women on colder days. If you're in the market for an ankle-length hiking sock that does best in warm weather, this Top Pick is our top recommendation for women.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Darn Tough Micro Crew features a female-specific design with super cute color patterns. It's our Top Pick for Active Wear because of its lightweight design and fantastic breathability.

If you like the sounds of the Darn Tough Micro Crew for Women but you prefer a male-fit, be sure to look at the Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew, designed with men in mind.

Performance Comparison


This lightweight hiking sock is built to take on the miles. Its perfect for trail running  hiking  or camping in cool to warm weather. This Top Pick will keep your feet protected for miles - and they are built to last.
This lightweight hiking sock is built to take on the miles. Its perfect for trail running, hiking, or camping in cool to warm weather. This Top Pick will keep your feet protected for miles - and they are built to last.

Comfort


With cozy and plush fabrics, this is one comfortable sock! For a lightweight product, we are surprised by the level of cushioning. The 59% Merino Wool, 39% Nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex blend provides great cushion underfoot with lighter materials on top to ensure great breathability all-around. The elastic materials provide areas of excellent compression around the arch and heel. Also, the above-ankle design is a nice feature that is a "must-have" during warm summer months. While this sock is not compatible with most hiking boots, our testers love it with a sturdy pair of hiking shoes. Also, this sock has pretty cute colors and a female-specific design (a narrow heel) that ensures fabric doesn't bunch in any odd places.


While rock climbing in the Black Canyon in Colorado, our main tester wore a pair of thicker Smartwool Hike Mediums, testing warmth and overall versatility. By the end of the climb, our chief tester was wishing she had used the Darn Tough Micro Crew socks because of their tighter and more fitted design that is much more compatible with tighter fitting shoes - like a rock shoe.

While we think the Darn Tough is pretty darn comfortable for a lightweight sock, it's not the most comfy option out there. It provides a superior fit to other socks in this review; it doesn't have ample cushioning underfoot like the Smartwool Hike Medium Crew, our overall women's favorite. Many of our testers prefer a thicker sock when traveling for days on foot, especially in cooler temperatures. That said, we prefer a thinner design for hot days. If you want a lightweight hiker for warm weather, the Darn Tough Micro Crew is our favorite for women.

This sock has a female-specific fit that is tight with great compression panelling.
This sock has a female-specific fit that is tight with great compression panelling.

Other options that did well in this comfort category include the People's Merino Wool Hiking sock with a unisex fit and a super cozy interior fabric that hugs the feet. We like the plush and softer fabric offered in the People's sock in comparison to the Darn Tough with a more compacted fabric design. If you want the ultimate in comfort, the SmartWool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Sock features the softest and coziest materials tested that fit both men and women.

Warmth


Being a lightweight hiker, warmth is not this socks' strong suit. While it does a great job in the Fall, Winter, and Summer, we wouldn't recommend it for the Winter months. The length is too short to be compatible with any outdoor winter boot, and secondly, it's simply not that warm. During a cold Fall night, when the temperature was just above freezing, our feet were cold within minutes. We promptly had to switch to the Smartwool Hike Medium Crew for the night because it is a warmer sock option. During our wet tests, it provides great insulation when wet, but once again, when the mercury drops, it won't keep your feet warm.


If you're interested in a sock that regulates through a wide range of temperatures but isn't the warmest, be sure take a gander at the Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion, our Editors' Choice Award winner. While it fits a male foot best, it still provides a decent fit for most women (it has lots of compression paneling) and regulates well through most seasons.

Wicking and Breathability


Featuring a lightweight construct, the Darn Tough Micro Crew for women crushes it in this category. We are utterly impressed with its wicking ability and breathability. This is why we awarded it our Top Pick for Active Wear. Our testers spent many days wandering around in the desert with this model, serving as protection from trail debris underfoot. In warm weather, it wicks and breathes very well. We attribute this to its fabric construction that uses a lightweight layer of both Merino wool and synthetic fibers to quickly remove sweat and moisture from the surface of the skin to the exterior of the sock.


If you want a sock that breathes and wicks just as well as the Darn Tough Micro Crew for women, but you want a male-specific fit, check out the Darn Tough Light Hiker. Take it running, backpacking or fastpacking in warm weather.

The thin fabric is cozy and breathable. The tight fit gives it great wicking capabilities as well.
The thin fabric is cozy and breathable. The tight fit gives it great wicking capabilities as well.

Durability


This is sock is seriously tough! With over roughly 60 miles of testing, we've noted minor pilling in areas of high abrasion, but other than that, nada, zip, zilch. Typically compaction of the fabric in the heel or forefoot indicates durability flaws, but none were noted in this review.


Of all the other products tested, others on the same level also were manufactured by Darn Tough, so be sure to check out these highly durable competitors. The only product that scored a perfect ten in this review for durability is the Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro, a sock constructed from highly durable synthetic fibers that showed no wear and tear after 60 miles! Overall, the Darn Tough Micro Crew model is a fantastically durable option, but if you want something even more durable, look at the Wigwam Outdoor Pro.


Darn Tough products are backed by a lifetime guarantee. If you put a hole or ruin in the sock in your lifetime, the company will send you a pair of brand new socks without question.

Drying Speed


Drying speed is moderate with this sock, performing well for any traditional hike or backpacking trip. In comparison to the rest, it's not the fastest to dry, but it isn't the slowest either. In our dryer tests, it took 130 minutes to completely dry. We attribute this to absorbing more water at the beginning of our tests then most socks tested, and the higher concentration of Merino wool found in comparison to others that have a similar design. The only sock that dried slower is the Darn Tough Full Cushion. On the trail, we noticed that drying speed is as expected. When dunking our feet in rivers, the water beaded right off, but if saturated, it took a little longer to dry then other contenders - roughly five hours in the straight sunshine.


If you're in the market for a Merino blend (with a similar style) that dries a little faster, we'd recommend the Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew, which dried ten minutes faster (it has a bit less merino wool). The Danish Unisex Merino Wool is a Merino-wool blend option that is the second fastest to dry in our tests (100 minutes). But if you want a sock that dries the fastest of them all, check out the synthetic Wigwam Hiker Pro, drying in only 90 minutes!.

A look at the comparative weights during our dryer tests. Here the vertical line with the name of the sock shows the time at which each dried in our controlled in-lab tests.
A look at the comparative weights during our dryer tests. Here the vertical line with the name of the sock shows the time at which each dried in our controlled in-lab tests.

Best Applications


It's no surprise that this sock performs well for all sorts of outdoor endeavors. It's great for either high-intensity activities like trail running or while hanging out around a summer fire. Working best in fall, spring, and summer, this lightweight hiking sock is designed to keep your feet protected over miles and miles of distance.

Value


With a list price of $22, one might think the sticker price is pretty steep. In comparison to other contenders out there, it's definitely on the expensive end. That said, Darn Tough products come with a lifetime guarantee, which is a huge selling point. They are high quality and perform well. As a result, the value is good.

High-intensity activities are no big deal for this Darn Tough sock. It's quick to wick and breathe. Take it trail running or hiking  whatever you please.
High-intensity activities are no big deal for this Darn Tough sock. It's quick to wick and breathe. Take it trail running or hiking, whatever you please.

Conclusion


This lightweight hiker features a Merino-wool blend that is comfortable and breathes well, with colors that are adored by both male and female testers. It also has a narrow fit that many of our female testers love. Take this Top Pick on any adventure in the Fall, Spring, or Summer, but choose a warmer option for colder days.


Amber King