Review by: j_ung, 2005-11-30
[size=12][b]Full Disclosure: The company that manufactured this equipment provided it free of charge to RC.com and RC.com then provided it as compensation to the reviewer for his or her review. This company does not currently advertise on RC.com.[/b]
I canít think of any single piece of equipment that I take more for granted than my socks. I always buy the cheapest socks I can, without regard to how they perform and eventually Ė it always happens Ė I blow them out. I spend the rest of the day without the luxury of being able to take my socks for granted, and then I go to the store and buy the cheapest socks I can find... again.
Until this year.
In May, the Darn Tough sock rep handed me a pair and, with no expectation of getting a review in return, said simply, ďTry these.Ē So I did, and hereís what I found. One, DT socks are comfy. I also have a pair of Smart Wool (I am [i]not[/i] contradicting myself; I won them in an Access Fund raffle) and the comfort factor is, well, [i]smarter[/i], since the DT socks conform to the contours of my foot much better. Two, Darn Tough socks are appropriately named. Iíve logged countless miles on treadmills, trails, talus fields, sidewalks, streets and hardwood floors, and my socks havenít shown any inclination to break down, thin or become in any way threadbare. And three, my DT socks donít stink.
Says Roly Deliveau, Marketing Manager for Darn Tough, ďStart with great raw materials and you end up with a great product.Ē That this is an easy claim for Deliveau to make becomes obvious as he explains what sets Darn Tough socks apart from its competition. ďMost socks,Ē he starts out, ďare knitted on machines with anywhere from 84-140 needles. Ours are knitted with 168.Ē DT uses a very high-quality, fine-gauge winter wool and, as Deliveau continues, ďThe finer and softer the wool, the more durable and comfortable it is.Ē Darn Tough, in fact uses a finer gauge wool than any other sock maker. Combine that with 168 needles and you get what can arguably be called the best sock in the world.
As for the fact that my socks donít stink, Deliveau shrugs and states that, ďItís hard to quantify the benefits of better wool.Ē Maybe itís the Wick-it Dry Technology that pulls moisture away from feet like salt on a slug. Maybe itís magic. OK, whatever, but really, my socks donít stink and thatís saying something.
So whatís the catch? The price. For socks, Darn Tough is a bit steep. My ľ socks will run you $14.99 per pair and an over-the-calf hiking sock will run you close to twenty. But, you get a sock that will last twice as long as anything else out there and, if you buy them as a present for your partner/tent mate whose feet stink worse that Satanís, youíll come to think of it as an investment in a good nightís sleep. Itís hard to take those for granted. [/size]