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Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Review

This merino-wool blend hiker is breathable and thin and performs well during high and low intensity activities.
Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $20 List | $15.00 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Breathable, comfortable, well-fitted, thin materials, merino-wool blend, no itch
Cons:  Lacks warmth in cold temperatures
Manufacturer:   Darn Tough
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 26, 2019
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Wicking and Breathability - 25% 9
  • Warmth - 20% 7
  • Durability - 20% 8
  • Drying Speed - 10% 6

Our Verdict

This Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew is our Top Pick as a lightweight cushioned hiking sock. Built with ample compression paneling and a 60% merino wool blend, it has one of the best fits tested. The merino wool feels soft against the skin while providing insulation when wet. It also breathes very well making it a great option for running or hiking in warm weather. While we do love its lightweight construction, a lack of warmth does come as a trade-off. In addition, because the merino-wool material is high density, it doesn't dry out quickly. Enjoy this top pick as it's one of the best hiking socks on the market, especially in warmer temps. If you prefer a women's specific fit, check out the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion - Women's.


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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $15.00 at REI
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$15 List
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Pros Breathable, comfortable, well-fitted, thin materials, merino-wool blend, no itchDurable, comfortable, wide temperature regulation, versatile, fittedGreat thermoregulation, incredibly comfortable, durabilityComfortable, breathable, quick-to-dry, calf-height design, compatible with hiking boots & shoesIncredible durability, quick to dry, accommodates a liner, comfortable
Cons Lacks warmth in cold temperaturesNot ideal for hot temperatures, tall cut not best for allSlow to dry, expensiveExpensive, not suited for hot weatherLoose fit, lacks compression paneling, loses wicking capabilities in cold weather
Bottom Line This merino-wool blend hiker is breathable and thin and performs well during high and low intensity activities.An all-time favorite meant for long days on the trail.A hiking sock that performs well through all seasons for any distance.This versatile hiking sock is a perfect option for everything from short to long days on the trail.This high value sock is a synthetic full-length midweight sock with exemplary durability and drying speed.
Rating Categories Light Hiker Micro Crew Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion Smartwool PhD Pro Light Crew Damascus Medium Weight Techn... Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro
Comfort (25%)
10
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8
10
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9
10
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9
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9
10
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7
Wicking And Breathability (25%)
10
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9
10
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7
10
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8
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8
10
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8
Warmth (20%)
10
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7
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8
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7
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7
Durability (20%)
10
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8
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7
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8
Drying Speed (10%)
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6
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Specs Light Hiker Micro... Darn Tough Hiker... Smartwool PhD Pro... Damascus Medium... Wigwam Hiking...
Material 40% merino wool, 56% nylon, 4% lycra spandex 66% merino wool, 32% nylon, 2% lycra spandex 62% Merino Wool, 36% Nylon, 2% Elastane 52% US Merino Wool, 45% Nylon, 3% LYCRA Spandex 41% polypropylene, 34% acrylic, 23% stretch nylon, 1% stretch polyester, 1% spandex
Sock Category Lightweight Midweight Lightweight Midweight Midweight
Length High ankle High calf Lower calf Lower calf Lower calf
Guarantee Policy Lifetime guarantee Lifetime guarantee 2 year satisfaction guarantee Lifetime guarantee 2 year guarantee

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew is perfect for those in search of a high-quality, lightweight, breathable product that still provides a great combination of comfort and durability. We have tested it for hundreds of miles and we are still happy with its performance.

Performance Comparison


As a favorite lightweight hiking sock  the Darn Tough Light Hiker is a great option for most conditions and our top choice for day hikes and long trail runs in the summer.
As a favorite lightweight hiking sock, the Darn Tough Light Hiker is a great option for most conditions and our top choice for day hikes and long trail runs in the summer.

Comfort


For a lightweight sock, it is pretty darn comfortable and well fitted. Stacked with Merino wool in the heel and sole, it is perfect for long adventures through the mountains.


After long missions, our feet feel fresh and ready for adventures on the next day, despite running over rocky or technical terrain. Additionally, the material on the top of the sock is light and thin, allowing ample airflow and breathability. Our male testers thought the fit was perfect for the size, without any additional material bunching at the toes or heel.

For a lightweight sock  Darn Tough has strategically placed the cushioning in high impact areas like the bottom of the foot  heel  and forefoot. To promote breathability  there are vents along the top of the foot and through the calf.
For a lightweight sock, Darn Tough has strategically placed the cushioning in high impact areas like the bottom of the foot, heel, and forefoot. To promote breathability, there are vents along the top of the foot and through the calf.

The 40% merino wool, 56% nylon, 4% lycra spandex blend prevents the sock from stretching out and maintaining its shape - even when wet. Generally, this sock offers an amazing fit and a great deal of comfort that will take you everywhere, from short day hikes to long backpacking missions.

Wicking and Breathability


This sock is super breathable with excellent wicking capabilities. Alongside the Women's Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew, we recommend it for cool to warm weather or high-intensity activities like trail running or fastpacking. The Merino wool blend in addition to the nylon and spandex material provides a tight fit around the foot that allows moisture to move to the surface of the sock, providing sufficient evaporation. The thinner fabric design is less absorbent, thus making it a great option for active activities.


While it breathes well, it is not perfect. Some of our testers reported that the bottom of their feet got warm on super hot days. This infers that there is less breathability at the bottom of the sock. Aside from that, this is a top choice for adventuring during the warmer days of summer high up in the mountains.

When skating down snowfields  the Darn Tough light hiker provides great wicking power  keeping feet dry  even though both the sock and shoe are saturated.
When skating down snowfields, the Darn Tough light hiker provides great wicking power, keeping feet dry, even though both the sock and shoe are saturated.

Warmth


Through the Fall, Summer, and Spring, this hiker offers sufficient warmth on the trail. It has been a great compadre on summer nights, and a wonderful trail friend on Fall days. However, given the shorter length and lightweight design, it isn't the warmest for the colder months.


In the sub-zero temperatures of Alaska, our feet were kept warm for a meager 10 minutes before we had to switch to a warmer sock in our tent at night. While it did okay during the day while we were moving, it's not ideal for these colder, sedentary conditions.

Durability


Backed by the Darn Tough Guarantee, we are happy to report this sock is super gritty and tenacious. Even though we noticed a little pilling after just 10 miles of use, we didn't notice anymore in the long term after owning it for over two years! This has been a similar trend with all the Dary Tough socks we've had the pleasure of testing so far.


This is one of the best lightweight wool-blend options when it comes to durability. If you happen to get a hole in the sock, Darn Tough will send you a new pair without question. As a result, this contender earns high marks in this metric.

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!
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!

Drying Speed


With its lightweight construct, it will dry out on the trail. The tightly packed wool fibers offer sufficient breathability and drying speed — especially on the move. During our dryer tests at home, it did very well, however during a fastpacking trip, we learned that this sock doesn't dry as quickly as other options.


When looking at the drying speed, we first observed that it only absorbed about 138% of its original dry weight when wet, which is pretty darn great! When drying, on low heat, it only took 70 minutes to dry, making it the second-fastest to dry. However, when hiking in humid and cold Iceland, our results weren't quite the same. After hiking for the day, our socks were completely wet and we had to hang them out to dry. The next day, the other sock that was drying dried faster, but the Darn Tough remained wet. When on the trail in warm conditions, however, it seems that the sock does a good job at drying out. Overall, the drying speed is good, but not the best out there.

Exploring in early Spring  we got a great idea of how quickly this sock can dry on the trail and the relative time each took in the dryer.
Exploring in early Spring, we got a great idea of how quickly this sock can dry on the trail and the relative time each took in the dryer.

Value


With a lifetime guarantee and great performance, it's worth the upfront cost! You can't beat the comfort of the material and durability it offers. This sock is built to last and it's worth every penny in our humble opinion.

Josh lounges by the beautiful azure lake after hiking and running up to 15 000 ft in the Peruvian Andes. The Darn Tough Light Hiker did a great job keeping his feet dry and protected on the treacherous trail.
Josh lounges by the beautiful azure lake after hiking and running up to 15,000 ft in the Peruvian Andes. The Darn Tough Light Hiker did a great job keeping his feet dry and protected on the treacherous trail.

Conclusion


The Darn Tough Light Hiker is constructed 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. In all conditions, it will hold up for years to come, coming full circle with a lifetime guarantee.

The Darn Tough Light hiker is our favorite lightweight sock for its awesome balance of comfort and breathability. A great choice for long days  trail running  and day hikes.
The Darn Tough Light hiker is our favorite lightweight sock for its awesome balance of comfort and breathability. A great choice for long days, trail running, and day hikes.


Amber King