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 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 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 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 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.
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 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.