Most durable wool blend socks?

Jun 9, 2005
Title says it all.

Price is no object. That being said, I do own a pair of $120 handmade alpaca wool socks that are about 3/4” thick and are tough as steel, but that’s not what the scope of my question includes.

I have an extremely active lifestyle both in and out of work, and so far no socks have held up more than six months or so of occasional wear. I’m guessing under 20 times of wearing each pair.

I’ve tried high-end LL Bean socks and their second-best as well, no luck. Many varieties of Thorlo, no luck. Almost every brand of outdoor socks in any major retail store or catalog has been disappointing.

I’m guessing that I’m missing a smaller brand that’s out there somewhere— what say you folks?

How has Darn Tough been lately? My experience with Darn Tough was years ago and it’s one brand I haven’t sought lately. I dated a woman who made yarn for them— from shearing the sheep, to soaking the wool, carding it, spinning it, dyeing it, all by hand the old fashioned way. She took tremendous pride in her work and so did some of the other people I met who sold their yarn to Darn Tough. The company is local to me and they do things for the community as well as have some annual sale where one can fill up a bag with socks for $50 or some such deal, as well as purchase slightly irregular socks that retail for lots of cash for a dollar or two a pair, etc. In other words, they seem like great business people, but I’m sick and tired of wasting my money if the product won’t last.
Realtree are right up there for durability. Mine have lasted for years and still wearing them.
You're asking for personal opinions on a qualitative measure which is an unanswered question, especially given the wear rate you're claiming. You might as well ask 'what's the best motor oil'.

The answers you get will all be 'I like these' and 'my neighbor hates those', but you'll never actually resolve the issue beyond a few suggestions of things to try on your own and figure out for yourself given personal usage patterns.

That said, Darn Tough socks are pretty good.

Good Luck!!!
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"Quantity is a quality," to quote Stalin. Pick a type that's done well for you and is high on your cost to quality index, and lay in a good supply.
Merino wool blend socks are all that I wear. Living in the South, most of mine are light weight or medium weight hikers. I do have a couple of pairs of heavyweights for winter. I’ve had the Smart Wool brand. They are okay but, not spectacular. I have some Darn Tough and they are better than the Smart Wool. Wigwam are decent. Farm to Feet are good brands. Fox River has some decent offerings.
My main choices are Darn Tough and Farm to Feet. They are USA made and use USA sourced material.
There are a lot of high end sock companies. Darn Tough, Smart Wool, Kentwool, Duluth, etc. I'd buy one pair from each and have a sock contest. People would be interested in your findings.
Thank you for all of the replies.

I’ll be more specific.

I’m a campus cop after retiring from a supervisory position at a federal LE agency. Prior to that I was municipal police. So my feet aren’t used to foot patrol like they were 20+ years ago. I spend about a third of my work hours on foot patrol. Better socks and foot beds are once again crucial in my life.

When I’m not at work I’m hiking, climbing, backpacking, or doing messy work outdoors on my hobby farm.

I tend to have a three season sock drawer and a winter sock drawer. My go-to socks most of the time are the three season ones, usually marketed as midweight and roughly 30 to 50 percent wool with the balance being synthetics. My winter socks are heavyweight, along the lines of 75 to 90 percent wool, with the rest synthetic.

I haven’t had luck with Smartwool and I’ve tried several tiers of their products. None have been durable.

Someone mentioned Realtree. Down in my winter sock drawer this morning I was doing an inventory and three pairs stuck out at me for being in unusually great condition. I asked my wife if she knew what brand they were or where she got them, and she said to look at the sides of the socks as she could see something- it was the Realtree logo! Wow! They clearly survived last winter looking nearly new. That brand will be on my list to try more of in a midweight offering next— so thanks to the person who mentioned that!
Alpaca is softer and warmer than merino if that matters. I'm currently draped in cashmere. A bit nippy tonight.
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I have no clue as to make and model of my wool and wool blend socks. I wash them with my clothes, but they are always air dried. When I start poking through my big toe, it is time for a pedicure. Working in the shipyard, I learned to wear a roomy boot and 2 pairs of wool socks year round. I prefer an uninsulated boot because they dry out faster. I have 3 pair of boots and a couple dozen pairs of socks. And when the heels go out, I toss them. I have recently been buying a Merino blend from the local job lots and my saintly MIL gets me fancy Irish socks every Xmas :cool:
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I've Smartwool, Patagonia, Kentwool, and others, but I bought a pair wool blend, and I don't usually go under 50% wool, Cabelas and they have been the best wearing. Not sure if you can still get this kind but they were low cost and not their high end.
I just went through a small sock test for myself. Ended up liking the darn tough the best. Duluth , smart wool and a couple of others. Govx had them at the best price but last I looked they were no longer there.
Darn Tough. I've got a few pairs that are coming up on 10 years old. The rest are about 8 years old. Used to have to buy cotton socks every year or less. Darn Tough are worth the cost.
I tried DT and still have some, they're pretty good. Lately, I've been wearing Cloudline and out of the 4 different brands of wool socks I have, they are by far my favorite.
I'm pretty tough on socks as well and the only ones that have held up for me are Darn Tough. If they failed at this point I would feel bad about using the lifetime warranty because they've lasted a few years where other socks only make it a few months.
The bombas I have have held up way better than the standard units I get.

I walk around all the time on a not perfectly smooth wood floor and cement floor gargage.

Normally I get 6 months and they are gone - and at 6 months I haven't yet seen wear.