If you are in a hurry, we recommend Darn Tough socks because they are just so darn tough. The responsibly sourced merino wool makes the Darn Tough socks resilient, durable, comfortable and just right…whether it’s hot or cold because of the wool’s thermoregulation qualities. Other Darn Tough pros are the odor-resistance, moisture-wicking and softness of the socks.
I have a new appreciation for socks.
Imagine going hiking with the wrong socks on when your feet can sweat 96 fluid ounces (or a half pint) of moisture a day. That’s a big “no thank you”… especially since the best socks should be comfortable and moisture-wicking to keep your feet dry, and more.
How do I know this very interesting fact? A fellow adventurer who likes to share odd facts while we hike told me the other day that one foot’s sole has a whopping 250,000 sweat glands! That’s half a million sweat glands for two feet, so one-eighth to a quarter of the 2-4 million sweat glands we have in our bodies.
But back to socks now and the debate on Bombas vs Darn Tough socks: which is best since you would now agree (even more than before) you can’t go working out, hiking, running, and more without great socks.
A Definition of Bombas and Darn Tough
A quick look into the history of socks revealed that they were invented to keep our feet warm and protected from the elements. Socks definitely still do that (and even better nowadays than before), but this piece of often overlooked and unappreciated footwear also protects your feet from blisters, keeps them from rubbing on the inside of shoes, keeps your feet comfortable, and absorbs perspiration.
Popular sock options for hiking and adventure are Bombas and Darn Tough socks. What exactly are these socks?
Bombas is a brand that sells socks, slippers, T-shirts, and underwear. The company is well-known for their comfortable socks, and for every pair of socks you buy, they donate a pair to a homeless shelter. Bombas socks, specifically, range from dress, non-slip, and compression socks to no-show, calf, ankle, sport, and textured socks.
In general, the socks from Bombas are made from a variety of materials: cotton, merino wool, nylon, spandex, polyester, rubber. If you are into working out – like us here at Endurancely – you’re most likely interested in the sports socks, like the running socks and the merino wool socks. These socks, like the others Bombas sells actually, feature a smart design with practical and functional features for the ultimate comfort experience.
Another well-known brand when it comes to socks us adventurers love is Darn Tough. The company specializes in producing socks for hiking and backpacking (or rucking), hunting, running, skiing and snowboarding, tactical needs, lifestyle and casual dress, and work.
Darn Tough is all about wool, merino wool, that is. This kind of wool is resilient, versatile, comfortable, and soft. The company also fully supports the Responsible Wool Standard, so all their wool comes from farmers who help protect animal welfare, preserve land health, and engage in a chain of custody to assure that fiber content claims are accurate.
Each pair of Darn Tough socks are made of Lycra, nylon, and (you guessed it!) merino wool. The nylon and Lycra helps the sock hold its fit better and strengthens wear zones, which is essential when you are hiking, rucking, and so on.
Bombas Features & Benefits
Here are the top features and benefits you can expect from your pair of Bombas socks:
1. Two Types of Guarantees
Bombas offers their customers two types of guarantees: the Happiness Guarantee where they’ll do anything to make sure you are 100% happy with your order.
So if the socks don’t fit well, they’ll exchange or help you return them. If your dog ate your socks, Bombas will replace the pair. The company actually dares you to “try them” if you think your request is too out there to be covered by the Happiness Guarantee.
Under the Replacement Program, Bombas will happily replace the pair if you lost a sock (like in the dryer, which is where we always lose socks, right?). You can make your replacement claim within a year of buying your socks, and you’ll either get a gift card with the pair’s value or a replacement pair of socks.
2. Stay Up Technology
Bombas socks feature stay up technology so you know your socks aren’t going anywhere while they are on your feet.
You know, while you run, but you feel your sock slipping down, until it completely bunches up in your sneaker and you’ve got to go digging for the sock to pull it up, all the while trying to not fall over?
It makes the world of difference when your socks stay where they are supposed to. It adds comfort, prevents blisters, and makes your run, hike, or other adventure workout that much more enjoyable. Plus, it’s one less thing you need to worry about.
3. Hex Tec
Bombas’ Hex Tec is unique technology that you’ll find in their socks; however, these features can be found in Darn Tough’s socks too (just in other ways).
Hex Tec improves the breathability and moisture-wicking ability of your socks because of the proprietary blend of performance yarns with poly/cotton. The yarns help regulate temperature, ensuring your feet don’t overheat and stay warm when needed. The Hex Tec also improves the durability of the sports socks.
4. Left and Right Contouring
When you put on your Bombas socks, you need to make sure you put the right sock on the right foot – left sock for left foot and right sock for right foot.
The Bombas performance socks are left-right contoured, meaning each sock is designed to ergonomically fit the foot they are made for. This ensures a more comfortable fit than uni-foot socks.
5. Honeycomb Arch Support System
Some performance socks also have Bombas’ honeycomb arch support system. This technology hugs the arch of your foot.
The purpose of the honeycomb arch support is to offer support to this area of your foot while also enhancing the fit and shape of the sock for better performance (the sock’s performance and yours).
Darn Tough Features & Benefits
There are various features and benefits to choosing Darn Tough socks for your next hike, ruck, backpacking adventure, marathon, or other outdoor adventure.
1. “Guaranteed for Life” Warranty
If you’ve ever wanted long-lasting socks, then the Darn Tough socks are it. The company offers an “unconditionally guaranteed for life” warranty.
It essentially means that if the Darn Tough socks you bought aren’t the longest lasting socks you own and wear, you can return them – no questions asked and no receipt needed. You don’t even need to give a reason, but Darn Tough encourages you to share so they can learn and better their socks.
The company is all about improving their own standards and this guarantee simply drives them to do better.
The only things the company won’t accept is if your dog ate your socks, they got destroyed in a fire, and you lost them in the laundry while washing your other exercise gear. Darn Tough says they only assume responsibility for the socks and quality thereof. The hungry or bored dog, avoiding fire, and keeping your socks in pairs is on you.
2. Merino Wool
All the Darn Tough socks are made from merino wool (and Lycra and nylon). The wool offers various benefits.
Merino wool has a natural crimp that gives it space for insulation, so this helps thermoregulation of your feet so they don’t get too hot and sweaty. But this feature also ensures that your feet stay warm when you are outside in cold temperatures.
The wool is also odor-resistant because the chemical structure of the wool prevents the buildup of bacteria and sweat. That’s not to say your socks won’t ever stink, but you can wear your Darn Toughs for a few days before they start to smell.
The merino wool is also moisture-wicking, so it absorbs moisture from your feet before it becomes sweaty. The wool also absorbs environmental moisture before it touches your skin. Essentially, your feet stay dry.
3. Various Height Options
With every person being unique, we like different sock heights. For hiking, I prefer ¼ socks because they cover my ankles. These kinds of socks are ideal for low to mid-cut hiking boots, so I don’t need to worry about the boot chafing me.
Darn Tough socks come in a few height options: no show, 1/4 socks, micro crew socks, and boot socks.
Each sock also fits snugly, no matter what height you prefer. A snug fit is important because the socks won’t slip lower and lower while you ruck, hike, or run.
This prevents blisters on your feet since there won’t be any friction from the socks, your sneakers or boots, and your skin. This is a big win for me!
4. Seamless Toe
Have you ever worn socks and that seam by the toes just irritates you into an unhappy mindset that ruins your day outdoors? Well, with Darn Tough socks you don’t need to worry because the toe area is truly seamless.
Whether you are running or hiking, cushioning helps with shock absorption and durability. The cushioned parts of the socks also add softness for your feet, aid comfortability, and lessen vulnerability to your Achilles, for example.
Darn Tough sports socks all feature various levels of cushioning that’s ideal for your workout.
To Sum up the Features & Benefits…
If you like a prettier representation of the features and benefits of Bombas vs Darn Tough when it comes to choosing the best performance or sports socks… check out our infographic:
The Bombas vs Darn Tough Winner
You are probably wondering which sock wins: Bombas or Darn Tough.
Both brands have great features when it comes to the sports socks, but one is simply just better. We recommend Darn Tough socks because:
Darn Tough, however, is slightly more expensive than Bombas, but you pay for quality, and that’s what you get.
Final Thoughts on Bombas vs Darn Tough Socks
When choosing socks for your sneakers, hiking boots, or other adventure/exercise footwear, don’t just buy the first pair of socks you see (no matter how pretty they are). The health of your feet is vital, and choosing the best performance socks only helps you keep your feet healthy, blister-free, dry, and warm (when needed).
Bombas and Darn Tough are two brands that are quite popular with adventurists, and for good reason. Darn Tough socks are simply better because of the merino wool, lifetime guarantee, and level of durability and comfort these socks offer.
And since you’re committed to caring for your feet, be sure to check out our article on the best compression socks for preventing injuries.