Darn Tough Vermont – Proudly American

Throughout the year, we try to run articles relevant to specific holidays and events. That might mean commuter cycling tips and reviews for Bike to Work Week, emergency supplies for National Preparedness Month, or even a series on the many uses of industrial hemp during the week of April 20th. (Yes, we did that) So it’s only fitting that during the week of July 4th, we mention some of our favorite American companies. Discussions about politics, as well as foreign and domestic policy aside, I think we can all agree that America is a great country. So we’re going to use this week to recognize companies that are US-based, employee local workers, try to source as much raw materials locally as possible, and also put out quality goods while minimizing their environmental impact. First up is Darn Tough Vermont, sock makers out of Vermont, naturally.

Darn Tough Vermont has been family-owned since 1978. Key here is “family-owned” – few companies take their perceived quality more personal than those that stake their own name on it. As Ric Cabot points out on their website, his family’s reputation is on the line. Their location is also ideal for R&D. With freezing cold winters and hot, muggy summers, the Cabot family has ample opportunity to test and develop their socks under conditions equal to, or more severe than most of us will ever experience. Whether you bike, hike, ski, or run, they’ve been there and done that in their socks already. Just for you. And me.

So what makes their socks so special? The single feature applied to every sock in their line is the high density knitting, which provides cushioning comfort with less bulk than other socks. It also allows them to create a sock so durable that they confidently offer a no questions asked, lifetime guarantee. They use Merino wool extensively, which not only contributes to the aforementioned comfort and durability, but has excellent wicking properties, and is naturally anti-microbial. I’ve tested that claim by wearing a pair for six days straight, and they stayed dry and stink-free right up to the end of the test. For those that prefer a synthetic sock, their Coolmax® blend provides additional softness and moisture wicking, with similar performance. Other features are proper shaping from the toe box through the arch and back to the heel, with elastic support at the arch for an excellent fit. Cushion options vary from full cushion for extra warmth, to a regular cushion utilizing their dense stitching so the socks never mat down, or their ultra-light socks, for the thinnest, yet most durable sock available. Where appropriate, they use mesh over the top of the foot for cooling as well.

All this goodness coming out of a town with a population of not much more than 6,000 means that Darn Tough Vermont is probably making a fair contribution to the local economy in the form of both wages and taxes. So when you’re shopping for your next pair of socks, keep in mind that the huge variety of high quality Darn Tough Vermont socks are not only guaranteed for life, but your purchase is going to support American workers, in small town America. That’s priceless.


– Brian