Darn Tough Socks – American Made by the Other 99%


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  
Proudly made in the United States, by fellow countrymen, Darn Tough Vermont socks.

Proudly made in the United States by fellow countrymen, Darn Tough Vermont socks.

Recently I was able to tour the factory where feet are saved. After two dirt roads and a few U-turns, I arrived at Cabot Hosiery Mills, tucked away in the small town of Northfield, Vermont smack dab in the middle of the Green Mountains. The mill was started in 1978 and Ric Cabot, 3rd generation sock maker, took over the reigns in 2004 to create the Darn Tough Vermont brand.

Picture

Picture perfect factory setting -- dirt road, 15 minutes to the nearest ski area, and bountiful sunshine. Darn Tough HQ in Northfield, VT.

Ric’s office is littered with sock samples, American flags and slogans burned into wood. One in particular, a company favorite, is “Nobody ever outsourced anything for quality.” There is no doubt in my mind that statement is true, thus we began the tour through his factory. I even discovered Darn Tough Vermont has an unconditional lifetime guarantee with an astonishing .002% return rate.

He explained how a small factory can easily attain greatness: produce 25,000+ socks a day with smiling employees, some working for him for more than three decades. Ric said, “You’re not just buying socks, you’re buying us, the 99%.”

Darn Tough Vermont is very proud of their entirely seamless ultra thin ski sock. DTV was also the first company in the USA to order Vector knitting machines from Italy to create the seamless socks.

Darn Tough Vermont is proud of their entirely seamless ultra thin ski sock. DTV was the first company in the USA to order Vector knitting machines from Italy to create the seamless socks.

Darn Tough socks have an extremely large line which also feature seams.  Every sock that needs seam closure is hand-sewn. All socks are prewashed by commercial washers and dryers.

Darn Tough also make socks with seams. Every sock that needs seam closure is hand-sewn. All socks are prewashed by commercial washers and dryers.

Once washed every sock is placed on a form by hand to properly shape the sock. It is steamed to form the final shape. Bottom right is Ric Cabot's trusty ruler that he keeps in his back pocket as he walks the floor almost hourly everyday of operation.

Once washed, every sock is placed on a form by hand to shape the sock. Steam forms the final shape. Bottom right is Ric Cabot's trusty ruler that he keeps in his back pocket as he walks the floor almost hourly every day of operation.

Once formed the socks are inspected one by one for quality. Then they are hand folded and prepared for packaging. Darn Tough also makes socks for popular retailers such as J.Crew and Brooks Brothers.

Once formed, the socks are inspected one by one for quality. Then they are hand folded and prepared for packaging. Darn Tough also makes socks for popular retailers such as J.Crew and Brooks Brothers.

Ceiling to floor with boxes of socks. This mega order is headed to REI locations nationwide for the holidays.

Ceiling to floor with boxes of socks. This mega order is headed to REI locations nationwide for the holidays.

All employees live within a half an hour of the factory and some employees like Harvey, pictured to the left besides Ric Cabot, have been with the company from the start. Darn Tough is truly a family business and it shows all around. If you want to see proud American workers look no further then this little factory in Vermont.

All employees live within a half an hour of the factory and some employees, like Harvey, pictured to the left of Ric Cabot, have been with the company from the start. Darn Tough is truly a family business and it shows all around. If you want to see proud American workers look no further than this little factory in Vermont.

I can attest after 16 days of wearing the same sock without washing they remain stink free, warm, breathable, soft, and the fit is still spot on. Darn Tough socks, you really are a savior.

We at Wildsnow.com agree that these are some of the best socks out there. Or as Lou says, it may be The Sock. Believe us and check out Backcountry.com to pick yourself up a pair.

Comments

11 Responses to “Darn Tough Socks – American Made by the Other 99%”

  1. Ryan December 10th, 2012 7:51 am

    They are like no other socks I’ve ever owned……by far the best socks ever and last forever. No idea how they do it, but they’ve got my money for socks for a lifetime!!

  2. John Young December 10th, 2012 8:10 am

    From trail runners to mountaineering socks – they are all fantastic. I’ve replaced all my SmartWool socks as they’ve worn out with Darn Tough… I’ve never had to replace a Darn Tough sock yet.
    John

  3. Daniel Dunn December 10th, 2012 9:37 am

    Guys, I couldn’t agree more. I think their product is as good as it gets. And I’ve met with Darn Tough people on a few different occasions, and I don’t know who, or what, mirrors what (although I can guess) but they are top notch people. They believe in what they do, they believe in their product, and they believe in the people working for them. It really is this kind of little fairy tale, with all the awesome endings you would want. Keep it up Darn Tough, you have lots of supporters in Colorado!

  4. gktele@yahoo.com December 10th, 2012 2:50 pm

    Cool story, 16 days without washing your socks? You must be single :-)

  5. rangerjake December 10th, 2012 4:17 pm

    affiliate money aside (it is ok to support wildsnow) maybe consider buying the socks from http://www.gearx.com; the VT gearshop that helped get DT off the ground and continues to build the local outdoor economy in the northeast.

  6. Lou Dawson December 10th, 2012 5:49 pm

    Way ahead of you Jake, shop http://www.gearx.com using this link coming from WildSnow.com, and you support BOTH GearX and a young man’s college budget. And thanks everyone for helping out!

  7. Joe December 10th, 2012 7:19 pm

    @gktele not single. Key is, I live with a bunch of folks who make curry on a regular basis that alone seems to fend off any sock odor pretty well. :wink:

  8. Ryan Stefani December 10th, 2012 8:11 pm

    I’m now desperately afraid of the Ski Trailer Hut built by Lou… If Joe Risi is invited. I heard that guys goes more than two weeks at a time between sock-washing.

  9. Jason December 11th, 2012 1:33 am

    Can anyone compare the thickness of the ultra thin to Bridgedale’s ‘Micro’?

  10. kale December 13th, 2012 4:28 pm

    Awesome!! Great to see an American Made Company. I love there socks!! I am trying to stick to non Asia Products. Clothing is my hardest task. Any suggestions? I finally got rid of all my blackdiamond china products so my setup is almost complete.

  11. Kaye December 13th, 2012 5:26 pm

    A great product!! and American Made!!! Who woulda thunk it??!!

    (They are terrific socks even for just a day at a time!!)

    Always good to get the word out!!

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