There are a lot of great talking points for why Darn Tough Socks are among the best socks made for the backcountry hunter. For close to 40 years Darn Tough has been a family owned business that has been knitting socks from start to finish in one mill in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Their merino wool comes from hand selected premium wool producers from north America, Europe and Oceana. Every sock is knit on small needle, fine gauge machine which yields durable high density stitching with less bulk. Less bulk equates to a better fit. The inside and outside of the sock is reinforced with lycra and nylon for added comfort and fit. The details in how their socks are made is what truly separates their socks from other brands. Perhaps my favorite thing about Darn Tough Socks can be summed up by referencing their name. They truly are Darn Tough, built to last and with a warranty that states, “If you wear a hole in them, we will replace them free of charge, for life.” it’s easy to see why we chose to carry them in the goHUNT gear shop.
We carry four models of Darn Tough socks; the Merino Hunter Micro Crew Cushion 2010, the Merino Hunter Boot Cushion 2011 (charcoal & forest green), the Merino Hunter Boot Full Cushion 2012, and the Merino Hunter Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion 2013 (charcoal & forest green). We have chosen those models to cover the assorted conditions western hunters face, from early season archery to late season rifle hunts.The Micro Crew 2010 is shorter more concise sock that is tall enough to sit just above a 6” or 8” inch boot. It provides a mid-level cushion and effectively wicks moisture away from your feet during high intensity hikes. It’s a great choice for early active season hunts for individuals that prefer a shorter boot or trail running shoes.
The Hunter Boot Cushion 2011 is my favorite all around hunting sock. I’ve worn them from ten day archery elk backpack hunts in Sept to multi-day sitka blacktail hunts on Kodiak Island in mid Nov. They offer mid level cushion primarily in the toe box and heel with a ribbed arch support to keep it from moving or bunching. They wick sweat extremely well, repel odor, and dry relatively quick. The 2011 sits mid-calf and is tall enough for an 8” boot and perhaps just tall enough for a 10” boot. It’s a great choice if you want one sock that can do just about everything.The Hunter Boot Full Cushion 2012 has high density full cushioning throughout the entire sock. This is a great sock for low volume feet or individuals that need a bit more cushion across the whole foot to accommodate a heavy pack. Like the other Darn Tough models, they wick well, dry fast, and they won’t bunch or slip. The 2012 warm and is an excellent choice for mid to late season active hunts. Tall enough that they’ll sit above an 8” boot and will work for a 10” as well. The Hunter Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion 2013 is the the thickest highest density cushion sock for late season warmth. The over the calf sock height works will with the tallest mountain or pack boots. The 2013 also works well for low volume feet. Ideally this sock is built for cushion and warmth, but still wicks and drys well enough that early to mid season hunters that prefer a tall sock can use them.
If you have blistered sore feet that hurt with every step you will not have a good hunt, in fact, having healthy feet might be the most critical piece of a successful hunt. Darn tough socks do everything that their marketing says they will. They are extremely comfortable, do not slip or bunch and will not cause blisters. They wick well, dry fast, are cool in the early season heat and warm in the late season snow. They repel odor and have proven year after year to be exceedingly durable. I have personally worn the same pair of socks for 10 straight days of September backpack elk hunting where I was covering several mountainous miles with a fifty pound pack every day and I never experienced a hotspot or sore feet. In truth, I will use the same pair this coming September to do it all again.
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