Darn Tough Vermont Socks

Darn Tough Vermont's Scent Lok line.

“Darn Tough socks start with fine gauge Merino wool.  The socks are produced with high-density knitting; more knit stitches per inch result in durability and cushioning without added bulk…  Darn Tough socks are made with the highest grade of shrink-treated Merino wool and/or with a unique blend of Coolmax® blend.  This results in comfortable, durable socks that offer superior moisture management.”

Long ago (feels like it) at SHOT Show 2010, I was contacted by Darn Tough Vermont socks to check out their new line of Scent Lok® Merino wool blend socks.  It has been said that the Scent Lok® system “is the closet thing to being invisible in the woods; it captures and contains human odor using activated carbon technology, and hunters using it get closer to deer than they ever thought possible.”

Sounds cool, yes?  Unfortunately, I rarely hunt.  Even if I did, Darn Tough Vermont did not have any samples at the show.  Roland, however, did have the Hunting Boot Sock, model# 1460 for me to try out.

“Our socks will not get funky or stiff…”

I love socks.  If there’s one thing I over pack besides ammunition and guns, it’s socks – Merino blended socks and silk or Merino liners.  I rarely wear cotton socks.  That’s how I roll

It wouldn’t matter if it were a cold day at Boomershoot 2009 or even cooler one at Gun Blogger Rendezvous 2008 – a good pair of socks is essential to a good morale.  I don’t need no stinkin’ patches – I need good socks.

I wore them all day on the third and fourth day of SHOT.  No.  I did not wash them.  Yes.  I let them dry.  My first impression?  Awesome.

I’m a casual hiker, so I had no idea what I’ve been missing out on.

I typically purchase REI Merino wool socks.  They work well, but after several washes and wears, the fabric naps and pills.  The naps and pills eventually become holes and I toss the socks in a fabric drawer for sewing purposes.  I buy a new pair and the cycle repeats within six months.  On the other hand, the Darn Tough Vermont socks I’ve been wearing since January are darn tough.  They’re my “go-to” socks for work, hiking, camping, and lounging at home.

No pilling.  No naps.  Still comfy and warm.  They’re the first pair of socks I seek out of the many pairs I own.

On a hike to Traverse Falls, my buddy and I had to cross the stream several times.  Of course, we eventually got wet, but I was still a happy hiker.  Sure.  It was cold, but the coolest properties about wool is that it will continue to keep you warm – even when wet.  Squishy as my boots were, Darn Tough pulled through on this pair.

“To help ensure many happy miles with your Darn Tough Vermont socks we recommend that you machine wash them in warm water on gentle cycle with socks in-side out. Do not bleach. Tumble dry on low. Do not dry clean.”

On a recent camping trip to a Nevada desert, the forecast was looking bleak for the first day. I would estimate that the temperature was around 30˚F.  It was snowing on our way to our destination, including on an unpaved historic highway.  The substrate in Nevada is primarily dust.  Paired with moisture, the dust turns into clay.  Sometimes, vehicles get stuck in that clay and someone must do the shovel work.  I did it while wearing Darn Tough Vermont socks.

Water? No problem.

Snow, mud and cold? No problem.

It’s now May.  As far as I can tell, they’re an excellent product.  Darn Tough Vermont socks appear to wick moisture away better than the REI variety I have used.  I often wear them alone, or pair them with REI Merino or silk liners.  The dense material appears to help immensely with pill and nap resistance and durability.  They don’t creep down the calf either.

Touring the facility and picking up slack.

I did not look at the MSRP before trying them out.  I simply said, “Hey, free socks!  Score!”  Had I been a casual shopper without knowledge or experience of this brand, I would have said no way to $20.

“Our team spent over a year testing yarn combinations and designs, confident that during this process we could create something unique; a sock that we could guarantee for life… As the maker and marketer of Darn Tough Vermont we are unique. In an era of outsourcing and corporate take overs, we are still true to our roots. Family owned and run, in Vermont, since 1978. In a word, local.  Our experience is our reputation and we back it up with our lifetime guarantee. If our All Weather Performance Socks aren’t the most comfortable and durable socks you’ve ever owned, return them for your money back. – Ric Cabot”

After my experience with Darn Tough socks, I’m sold and willing to spend the extra money for quality socks made in the United States that keep me happy.  For the sake of your feet, check out their online catalog displaying the variation of socks they produce.  If you’re the tactical teddy, they have tactical socks too.

Thanks to Alex of PMG Public Relations for bringing this sock to my attention.

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4 Comments on “Darn Tough Vermont Socks”

  1. May 5, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    the nice thing about REI is that you can return it even after wearing it or having it for a few months. I returned some socks after 9 months because of a hole. Just make sure you buy it under the membership.

  2. May 5, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    I remember you gushing about these things at SHOT and have been waiting for the review. My wife says she hates wool socks; we’ll try these and I’ll bet she’ll like them.

  3. May 5, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Daren. I did not know that. I’ll see if I can swindle some new pairs of socks after I dig through my fabric bag. haha.

    David. I’m willing to bet your wife will love them. Merino is the new cool and does not feel like traditional wool.


  1. Lessons forgotten and remembered « The Packing Rat - October 12, 2010

    […] – I have a pair of Hi-Tec V-Lite Mt. Nevis WPi hiking boots.  Paired with silk liners and Vermont Darn Tough socks, my feet were quite happy – even when wet.  it took awhile to get the boots broken in, […]

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