One Sock to Rule Them All? Made in Vermont and Darn Tough

May 9, 2016
Darn Tough socks
Made in Vermont, Darn Tough socks are designed to be seriously tough. Would you want to argue with this guy?

Darn Tough makes some serious socks for lovers of the outdoors at its mill in Northfield, Vermont. And they guarantee them for life, no questions asked. As a serial sock abuser, I’m intrigued.

Over the years, I’ve trashed many a sock on the trails. Most have fallen victim to my big toes, gargantuan phalanges of destruction that inevitably stretch the front of the sock thin over time and miles. These same giant toes then worm open an increasingly large hole that soon renders the entire sock essentially unusable. I have a whole drawer full of these fallen foot soldiers at home, waiting for rehabilitation that will likely never come.

But if they were Darn Tough socks—instead of the socks that have long been my staple—I could just ship them back to the company for brand new replacements. Anytime. For life. Hmmm.

What’s more, buying Darn Tough socks helps support that great rarity in the outdoor world these days: apparel that is not only manufactured in the United States but right here in the Northeast. And with it, all of the local economic benefits and jobs that accrue.

The Boston Globe ran a great profile of the company recently, or you can learn more about the mill from Darn Tough’s web site, but the important thing to know is that they make socks. Just socks. And have been for nearly four decades. As their tagline says, “We really know socks.”

Indeed, the company makes a full spectrum of socks: for men, women, kids, hiking, biking, running, skiing, hunting, work, and more. The pair I’m most intrigued by, however, is the Mountaineering Sock Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion (pictured above; $27), which looks like their warmest, cushiest, and beefiest sock for the trail.

Even better, they’re available in XXL for my size 15 feet, which might help mitigate the destructive power of my big toes. I’ll let you know who wins this newly engaged battle of tough.

Until then, hike on!


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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.