Darn Tough Kelso Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock - Outdoors Magic

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Darn Tough Kelso Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock

Darn Tough by name Darn Tough by nature, this Vermont company knows how to make a sock

Why We Chose The Darn Tough Kelso Micro Crew: Great hiking-focussed construction and materials

Darn Tough are one of those companies it’s darn easy to fall in love with. Yes, on paper, it might seem like there’s not much to get misty eyed over when it comes to sock manufacturers but wait until you hear this lot’s story. It all feeds into why we’ve included the Kelso Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock in our Outdoor 100 this year.

Back in the early 2000s, the Cabot Hosiery Mills were on the brink of closing. Unable to compete with the lower prices offered by overseas competitors, they’d had to let 40 employees go and had started defaulting on loans. Then Ric, the son of Marc Cabot who founded the mill in 1978, had a brainwave. Changing direction, they started manufacturing the Darn Tough brand in-house. And then, in a bold gamble that ultimately paid off, they gave away 3,500 merino wool socks at the Vermont City Marathon.

“The sock stands proudly as one of Darn Tough’s most versatile and impressive products to date.”

Word soon spread about these super durable socks that came with a lifetime guarantee, and their sales rose about 60% every year in the first part of the 2010s. Today, they employ more than 200 people and have established themselves as one of the leading outdoor sock companies.

Enough from us, here from Mr Darn Tough himself when we met him at ISPO…


Who Is The Darn Tough Kelso Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock For?

Well, firstly it’s for anyone who wants their sock to be part of an epic comeback story (see above). Secondly, and more specifically in terms of this sock, it’s for anyone who wants a product on their feet that can essentially do it all. Whether you’re going for a long hike, taking part in sport, or just chilling at home the Darn Tough Kelso Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock has got you covered and then some.


This sock is 52% nylon, 45% merino wool, and 3% lycra spandex. The merino wool brings comforting breathability to the party, as well as quick-drying and stink-fighting properties; the nylon adds durability; and the little bit of lycra spandex helps with the stretch – leaving you with a super tough sock that works with your foot rather than against it.


The Kelso Micro Crew Light Cushion Sock has a performance fit. This means you don’t need to worry about potential slippage, bunching, or blisters. The fine gauge knitting here delivers superb durability and, as far as Darn Tough are concerned, a “put it on, forget it’s on” feel. This special level of comfort is heightened further by the True Seamless construction. This helps to give the sock an ultra smooth, invisible, feel.

The perfect balance of merino, nylon and spandex for a bit of stretch. Photo: Mike Brindley
The toe seam is carefully placed to eliminate any friction. Photo:
Different weaves are used throughout. Photo: Mike Brindley

Other features of the sock include a fast action wicking, which will pull moisture away from your feet and keep them dry even when you’re working up a sweat. The product offers all weather performance (cool in summer, warm in the winter), and is naturally antimicrobial meaning you don’t need to worry about your feet stinking out your shared tent at the end of a long day.

“It’s got ultimate all-rounder written all over it.”

All this and the sock, as is Darn Tough’s way, comes with a lifetime guarantee. No strings attached. No weird loopholes. What more could you possibly want from a sock?

Light Cushion

Darn Tough Vermont is in the business of building incredibly tough outdoor socks. Toughness, however, isn’t necessarily something you’d immediately associate with luxurious comfort. In the case of the Kelso Micro Crew, that’s where the light cushion spec comes into its element.

The ‘Light Cushion’ in the sock’s name refers to a thin layer of cushioning which runs along the base of the foot. It’s a nifty idea, this, and one of the main reasons the sock stands proudly as one of Darn Tough’s most versatile and impressive products to date.


Darn Tough makes great socks and this sock right here might just be one of their greatest ones so far. Tough, versatile, and comfortable – it’s got ultimate all-rounder written all over it.

Darn Tough Kelso Micro Crew

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