Joy of Sox, day 3 – Darn Tough Vermont

Another family-owned company, Darn Tough Vermont got its start in 1978 in the town of Northfield, Vermont. Thirty+ years later, their insistence on using only the highest quality materials and strict quality control has earned them an enviable reputation for producing some of the finest socks available. Combining fine gauge Merino wool with  their exclusive blend of Coolmax® and a high-density knitting technique, Darn Tough socks are not only comfortable, but durable enough to be backed by a lifetime guarantee.

While they offer a very comprehensive line of socks, my test samples were limited to two pairs of their size XL Run/Bike socks, – the No Show mesh ultra light, with no cushion, and the 1/4 sock with cushion on the bottom. Both are primarily Merino wool, with a blend of nylon and Lycra® Spandex. Merino is an excellent choice for these socks, as it naturally regulates temperature as well being antimicrobial without the addition of any additives or chemical treatments. It’s also breathable, fast-drying, and when blended with Coolmax®, itch-free against your skin.

There are several features mentioned on the packaging that contribute to Darn Tough being able to offer an unconditional, lifetime, money back guarantee. Their fine gauge knitting, which provides excellent fit and comfort without bulk, combines carefully selected merino wool with 4-ply nylon, for increased abrasion resistance. While the No Show mesh ultra light is a very thin sock, it’s incredibly dense across the bottom and at each end, with a more open stitch on the top of your foot, to help regulate heat. The deep heel pocket and mid foot support work to eliminate blisters and hotspots, as well as slipping and bunching. That’s not just marketing talk – even this lightweight sock delivered all day comfort. For warm or cool weather cycling, they stand out as a top choice.

The 1/4 sock with cushion boasts all the same features and similar construction, but adds a generous amount of support without bulk. Again, it’s the density of the stitching that makes all the difference here. The sock isn’t terribly thick, but thanks to more stitches per inch, provides a gratifying experience for your feet. I don’t have any way to test the density and compare them to other socks, but my feet could certainly feel the difference, regardless of how long I wore them, or which activities I engaged in. If you don’t believe me, take Ric Cabot up on his risk-free guarantee. For running or cycling, these are probably the most durable socks you can find.

Darn Tough socks are also true to size, and their packaging consists of card stock made from recycled paper, using vegetable based inks all bonded together with water soluble glues.

For more information about these and other great socks, please visit the Darn Tough website.

If you want to get your feet in a pair right away, use their store locater to find your local or online retailer.

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