Pack It: Darn Tough Socks

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Image from Darn Tough

What would you drive 600 miles for? For one Ohio couple, it was socks. Darn Tough socks.

They arrived before dawn to the Cabot Hosiery Mills outside the Green Mountain town of Northfield, Vermont, where the annual sock sale had already garnered a small crowd waiting for the doors to open at 5 a.m. Inside they would find bins of the company’s standard sock line as well as the coveted Darn Toughs – a finely-knitted, exhaustively tested collection of well cushioned and ultra-light hiking, running, and lifestyle socks that have been known to outlast a pair of shoes. It goes without saying that they were nearly gone by noon.

Although Darn Toughs have been on the market for less than a decade, the collection is supported by more than 35 years of knitting know-how and a year of testing. It started about a decade ago, when competition began outsourcing jobs to keep costs down, forcing the Cabot family to either follow the herd or to take their product to the next level to keep afloat domestically. They chose the latter, and so set out to test some of the top socks on the market, and a range of yarn combinations and designs to find what they now tout as their “magic formula” for the ultimate high-performance sock. The result was a sock with a rare balance of durability and comfort, two qualities the brand can attribute to its high percentage of merino wool, as well as a fine-gauge needle that sews at 1400 stitches per inch. The high density terry loops hug the foot in all the right places, and enable low-bulk cushioning and moisture wicking for sweaty feet. To boot, these socks are constructed with elastic arch support, ribbed ankle support, and their virtually seamless toe keeps hotspots at bay.

Until Cabot Hosiery Mills’s next annual factory sale, you can find them online here.

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