Are socks the most underrated piece of outdoor gear? Chris Townsend assess the best for hillwalking. On test Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion socks

As the name suggests Darn Tough socks are designed to be very durable. They’ve built a reputation in the USA for toughness and, after using the Micro Crew ones for a year, I think it’s justified. I’ve worn these socks for everyday wear as well as on many walks, including the TGO Challenge when they were worn every day for two weeks without being washed, and they are still in good condition. How has Darn Tough achieved this? Obviously top quality materials and top quality manufacture are part of the answer. Also significant though is high density knitting, which means more stitches per centimetre. This results in a noticeably denser sock, especially in the terry loop cushioned sections. At the same time the socks are comfortable. The leg is ribbed so it fits snugly and doesn’t slip down and there’s a stretch panel across the instep to help keep the socks in place.

The Micro Crew socks are good for year round use, being reasonably cool in the summer and warm in all but the most severe winter weather.

Reviewed in January 2015 Issue