When it comes to footwear and choosing your gear for the upcoming season the single most overlooked pieces of gear is your socks. What the average person doesn’t understand is that most hunting socks are built with a specific purpose. Some are made to be light and quick, some are meant to provide more cushion in your boot. One of the leading brands out there in our industry is Darn Tough, and they are the prime example of what makes a good sock. It’s a story of survival, a story of hard work, a story of never giving up, and all of those things make their socks “DARN TOUGH”.
Below is a film that Darn Tough put together last year that dives into the history and what makes a good sock. Definitely give it a watch when you have some free time. With that being said let’s dive into how and why to choose the right sock for you.
Let’s start with the basics. What makes Darn Tough so great?
Started and based in Northfield, a small town in Vermont, Darn Tough has been making socks for over 40 years, three generations, both of these things are true ingredients that represent passion, determination and the ability to develop and change the worlds opinion of socks. One line out of the video that really stuck out to me was said by the Co-Owner, President of Darn Tough, Ric Cabot, which was”Our socks go on a journey, long before your journey begins”. To me that just gives me comfort in knowing that it’s not just your average sock.
Making a sock that not only performs great on your first hike but hikes years and years after was their original determination. It was through all the years of development, trial and error, and generations of experience that have made Darn Tough the incredible resistant and durable socks that they are today. They own the entire process from beginning to end, the idea, the design, to making the final product, it’s all under one thing. Everything is centered around Comfort, Durability and Fit. Lastly but not least one thing you get with Darn Tough is that they stand behind their product 100% with a Lifetime Warranty. Think about that for a second when you look at their price tag. You’re not just buying some sock off the shelve that you can use for a year then ditch in the trash, your buying comfort for your feet that is guaranteed to last your entire lifetime. If you have any issues at all you simply call their customer service and within days you have new socks on your feet. It’s pretty incredible for a company to offer that in something as simple as a sock but we promise it makes the world of difference.
Just about every sock by Darn Tough is made of Merino wool. Why? Because it’s naturally scent controlled, maintains 80% of it’s heat when wet, and incredibly durable. Not only that but it takes color well, doesn’t shrink as well as naturally wicks moisture meaning that it pulls the moisture from the inside of the sock to the outside keeping your feet drier and more comfortable then ever before. It’s also an extremely fine gauge (thickness) which allows Darn Tough to make a sock that’s extremely form fitting giving you that custom fit feeling.
Quick little fact: One one square inch of a Darn Tough sock there is average of about 1,441 stitches. This is thanks to that fine gauge which makes these socks incredibly soft also.
Each sock is experimented with washing, experimented with drying, stretchability and are hand-checked for quality ensuring that the sock you receive is perfect. Knowing that you personally have someone overlooking your product not just a machine is just another reason why you almost feel a bit more soul and care into their product.
How to Choose the right sock for you
When if comes to picking the right sock, there is two main things to keep in mind which are Height and Cushion. Height is obliviously the height of the sock. Most sock manufactures sell three styles: Micro Crew, Boot and Over-the-Calf (OTC).
Micro Crew – This height is best for every day wear or for anyone using a boot under 8″ tall.
Boot – As the name implies, this height is perfect for anyone using a boot that is from 8″ to 10″ tall
Over-the-Calf (OTC) – These are typically the tallest socks that you can buy. These are perfect for anyone hunting in a 10″ or taller boot but also offer a bit of compression fit around your calf.
I’d say about 90% of hunters stick with the Boot Height unless they use PAC boots or any 12″ hunting boot.
When talking about sock cushion, you’re simply getting extra padding in the specific areas throughout the sock. Each have specific benefits.
Mid/Light Cushion – On a Mid Cushion you’ll have the extra padding that runs from the top of the heel to the top of the toes and wraps around the bottom of the sock. This is perfect for those who are looking for a bit of added padding to their footbed but still want something lightweight that takes up little to no extra volume inside your boot. Typically best to use in Insulated boots or for early season use.
Full Cushion – On a Full Cushion you essentially have complete heel to toe coverage and is wrapped all around your foot. This is best for early/late season hunts where you’re looking for an extra comfortable sock but don’t exactly need something that’s extremely warm.
Extra Cushion – The full on “pillow effect”. This is when the whole sock is has added protection. 100% extra padding. Perfect for those looking for maximum padding and maximum warmth. Best for late season hunts or those looking to add a bit of insulation to their boot.
All in all, it really just comes down to what you are looking to get out of a sock. if you’re looking for light and fast and are always active then most people search for a Micro Crew in a Mid/Light Cushion. These add no heat but give you a bit of extra padding on the bottom of your foot extending that comfort in each stride. If you’ve always struggled with cold feet no matter how insulated your boot might be then your best bet would be to pick up a Over-the-Calf in a Extra Cushion which locks in the heat, gives you extra padding all throughout your boot, while also still being highly breathable and moisture wicking. Everything else really falls between but now you can shop with ease knowing what each option more specifically means.
Here at BlackOvis, we offer the best of the best. We use the gear we sell and if you ask us all, Darn Tough is on each and every one of ours feet. We offer a huge selection of their lineup and stand behind their product just as much as they do. Darn Tough isn’t just a sock company, it’s a legacy of what a sock can be. If you still need help finding the right sock for your specific hunting style give us a call and one of our Gear Experts would be more than welcome to get you that perfect fit.