Feetures vs. Darn Tough: both of these companies make exceptionally durable socks that are guaranteed for life. I have no problem recommending both brands here at WellRigged.com. However, there are some differences between the brands that may influence your choice and are worth pointing out.
Generally, I recommend Darn Tough socks over Feetures because they are slightly more durable and offer a wider variety and applications. However, Feetures gives Darn Tough a real run for their money especially the athletic sock category.
Both brands produce premium Merino wool and synthetic blend socks that are, as I mentioned, guaranteed for life. If you ever wear a pair of socks from either brand, you can just send the old pair in for replacements.
(Note: There are at least three other brands that offer lifetime sock replacements.)
I’ve worn Darn Tough socks for years(see the full review.) My wife, on the other hand, wears both Darn Tough socks and Feetures. Neither brand of has failed or worn out for either of us.
Which is Cheaper?
Both brands price their socks very similarly. Prices begin around $13 and go up from there.
However, Feetures frequently offer additional discounts through bundle deals. Darn Tough doesn’t typically offer bundle deals.
Who Are Darn Tough Socks For?
Darn Tough socks are a solid choice for most of us ordinary folks who like our socks with a little bit of pzazz. They eye-catching socks for a wide variety of activities from leisure to skiing, hiking and running.
All of there socks are made in Vermont and their emphasis is on merino wool..not the scratchy kind either.
Merino is very thermal-stable. It keeps you cool when hot and warm when its cold out. Merino also has anti-microbial properties which gives ther socks an uncanny odour fighting ability. Their socks make ideal travel wear.
Unique looks are Darn Tough’s thing. They just don’t do boring.
That means that Darn Tough socks aren’t really for those who prefer conservative solid colors or monochromatic socks (ie. white or black.) It is nearly impossible to find a Darn Tough Sock in a single solid color..
They have a massive range of socks and are constantly refreshing the linup with new catchy designs. Folks particularly like Darn Tough’s hikers and leisure socks.
Also, from my observation, Darn Tough seems to use higher percentages of Merino wool in their socks than Feetures.
For more on Merino wool, check out my full review of Darn Tough Socks here.
Who Are Feetures Socks For?
Feetures socks are made by runners for runners and are a consistent top pick among avid long-distance runners.
Athletics really is Feeture’s forté.
Feetures socks use an anatomically fitted design that fit the left and right socks foot individually. Beyond that, they offer multiple levels of breathability, footbed cushioning, moisture control and thermal regulation. This allows you to dial in your running socks to the specific requirements for your terrain, season, and personal comfort preferences.
Note: Keep in mind that many of Feetures athletic socks are not actually Merino wool blends so look closely at the label if you wan the Merino versions.
Feetures Vs. Darn Tough: Running Socks
This is where the Feetures vs. Darn Tough battle really heats up.
Avid runners tend to favor Feetures socks. However, I believe a lot of that popularity has more to do with higher brand awareness of Feetures socks within the running community rather than any actual performance differences.
The 150 Mile Test
My lovely wife volunteered to take both brands through their paces by running over 150 miles in each pair. I then asked her to score the socks (out of 5) in various categories.
She noted that her Darn Tough Socks tended to pill more than Feetures.
Feetures socks show less durability and thin more unevenly. This is primarily because Feetures socks are assymetrical (L/R socks.) This leads to a shorter life span because your fore-foot (toes and pad) are always contacting and wearing on the exact same spot. Darn Toughs can be rotated from left to right which extends their life.
This is why people rotating their car tires. It minimizes uneven wear.
The higher blend of Merino wool in the Darn Toughs also offer a slightly warmer run in cold weather and better odour control.
As you can see the scores were really too close to call:
|Cold weather run||5||4|
|Warm weather run||4.5||4.5|
What Are The Primary Differences?
- Darn Tough tends to pill more than Feetures due to their higher Merino wool content.
- Darn Tough leans toward Merino. Feetures leans toward synthetics.
- Feetures socks use asymmetrical fitting (L/R socks) and Darn Toughs does not.
- Feetures use 300 needle knitting machines vs. Darn Tough’s 168 needle knitting machines. The more needles the finer the yarn and higher the density.
- All of Darn Tough socks are made in the USA, but only Feeture’s Merino 10 line are made in USA.
Suggested Running Socks
Conclusion: Feetures Vs. Darn Tough
Both brands are neck and neck when it comes to running socks. they are equally comfortable, but Darn Tough has a lead in durability.
Darn Tough is all-American made, primarily uses Merino wool and has wider variety, and more psazz.
Feetures have a slight cost advantage if you use their bundle deals. They make very good running socks that are left/right-fitted, and a higher density knit.
It really comes down to two factors:
- A minor difference in durability
- Personal preference of merino wool (Darn Tough) vs. synthetics(Feetures.)
- American made(Darn tough) vs Imported (Feetures)
Ultimately, one thing is for certain, buyer’s remorse is a rare thing for either of these brands. The most compelling thing about these sock brands is never having to pay to replace them again.
Free socks for life! I like that. That’s why I’ve been slowly replacing my worn-out old walmart socks with them.