Darn Tough Vermont Socks: The Premium All Weather Performance Sock. Made in America with American wool. ($12.95 ) This is by far the easiest review I have ever done simply because now I am a true believer. During the recent Outdoor Retailer show I had the pleasure of meeting with Ric Cabot of Darn Tough and discussing socks. Yeah it is one of the most over looked and under appreciated piece of equipment that we as outdoors folks ever use, it is also one of the most important. Fortunately Ric and the Darn Tough team do appreciate them and they know how to do it right.
When I met Ric I asked him what he thought of his product his response was, "We make the best socks ever…period". Pretty tall statement to which he followed up with info concerning Darn Tough's Guaranteed for Life, no if's, and's, or but's about it plug. So my question then was why wouldn't everyone buy a pair? To this he had no answer. And neither do I, because in my opinion everyone should.
The test I chose for this review was not a multi-day slog through the backcountry, nor a quick trail walk or even a nice stroll. I chose to wear them for the first time ever during the Pikes Peak Ascent which is a grueling lung and leg bust run up to the top of 14,115' Pikes Peak. The run starts on pavement then quickly turns up trails with a gain over 7000' in 13 miles, this is no walk in the park, and I knew that if there was going to be a problem with the socks this is where I would discover it. During this race I felt no hot spots no shifting or bunching my feet were comfortable the entire time. In fact I distinctly remember as I reached about 11,000' I was thinking how amazed at the socks I was, they had just enough padding to soften the foot strikes and as my feet were no doubt sweating there wasn't the slightest bit of moisture build up. For more of an idea on the intensity of the race I came in at 3hrs 43minutes, by no means scorching fast but then again there were tons of folks still out there after my first few celebratory beers!
The particular socks I used were the Merino Wool No Show Cushion which are in fact made of 67% Merino Wool, 29% Nylon, 4% Lycra® Spandex which is now in my mind the best combination for a pair of socks. Another astonishing feature of these socks is their "invisible seam" which is exactly what it means, this is a stitch technology that allows the toe of the sock to be sewn to the sock upperusing terry loops that leaves an anti seam, that is a seam that is thinner and less obtrusive than the rest of the sock, you never feel it, it is as if these socks were assembled magically. If wool is not your thing all of their socks also come in Coolmax® and darn tough has a wide variety of socks built specifically to your needs whether it is; Merino Wool Socks, Coolmax Socks, Outdoor Socks, Ski Socks, Snowboard Socks, Running Socks, Cycling Socks, Walking Socks, Fitness Socks, Endurance Sport Socks, Hiking Socks, Camping Socks, Climbing Socks, Work Socks, Boot Socks, Hunting Socks, Dress Socks, Travel Socks, Kids Socks, Military Socks they've got 'em! Here's where to get them!