Clay, are you really gonna write a column about socks? Yes. Yes, I am. Socks are an underrated part of your combat chassis unless you happen to be an ex-Grunt. For a Grunt, socks are of the utmost importance. If boots are the equivalent of tires, then socks are the air in those tires. A good sock can make the difference between arriving at your destination ready to fight or hunt, and arriving with blisters and boo-boos.
But this time, I don’t have to tell you how great the performance is on Darn Tough Socks. You can read other reviews, or just take my word and try a set. They feature a Merino wool that is good summer or winter, non-itchy, and padded appropriately for every occasion or task. None of which is why we are talking about them today. Instead, I am going to relay a personal story to you about the type of company Darn Tough is.
About seven or eight years ago, I got my first set. I was on a job and needed some warmer socks, so I picked some up at a ski shop. Tough life, I know. Welcome to PSD in Aspen, terrible conditions over near the million-dollar coffee shop, blah blah. Anyway, I just grabbed a set off the shelf, but was struck by the very large print that said “Lifetime Warranty.”
That is worthy of a giggle to anyone that was in the infantry. An infantryman knows there is no such thing as lifetime socks. We have shredded everything ever made, including some weird Gov issue stuff that had literal silver inlays for hygiene. Try not to think about that when you pay your taxes this year. Anyway, I have seen nothing that holds up to walking with a ruck on for more than a year or so. Just doesn’t happen.
As time went by, I did end up with more Darn Tough socks, mostly thick ones for winter. Until one day I rather by accident bought a set of their ultra-thins. When they arrived, they lived up to the name. I wasn’t really happy with the purchase, but I opted to put them in the rotation anyway. The Ultra Thins were of a material that was almost like pantyhose, allegedly. Not that I would know that feeling. Anymore. In Minecraft. Let’s move on.
Long story short, the ultra-thins did develop a hole inside of a year or so. So rather on a whim, I decided to test out that Darn Tough lifetime warranty. Of course, I didn’t have the receipt, and I fully expected them to tell me to pound sand. I half expected them to tell me the warranty didn’t apply to something so obviously fragile or call it normal wear and tear, or really anything to weasel out of covering it.
Much to my surprise, even with something so obviously banged to hell and back by my filthy Fred Flinstone feet, Darn Tough rogered up. No questions asked. Send them back to us, thank you, sir, here is a coupon for a free pair. Shipping included! In a world of corporate lies, I was stunned that someone lived up to a promise.
This time around, I chose the latest creation from Darn Tough, the work socks. Like everything else, they are made in Vermont by American workers. The mill has been running for 40 years, keeping the little town of Northfield, VT on the map. The work socks are fantastic, and after my initial pair, I plan on upping my numbers over the next few months. Durability is something we should all be looking at right now. Darn Tough socks aren’t cheap, but they live up to their name. Buy once, cry once. With Darn Tough, you are never going to regret it.