Editors’ Choice 2018 Gold Award
by, BACKPACKER Editors
Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Cushion
Your socks should last at least as long as your boots.
Assistant Photo Editor Louisa Albanese in camp on the Whanganui River
Photo by Louisa Albanese
We’ve taken socks to the corners of the world and the extremes of heat and cold. We’ve gotten them wet and muddy, dried them in our sleeping bags overnight, and worn them the next day. And the day after. And here’s what we’ve learned: Most socks are good for a year or two. Some make it three. But for five years and hundreds upon hundreds of miles, the Darn Toughs have always returned to our sock drawer to bear witness as lesser socks lose their shape, lose their elasticity, and lose their yarn, leaving behind a sad nylon skeleton.
One dedicated editor put the Darn Tough Hiker head-to-head with every other major and minor brand of sock and it won every bout. Most recently? Five days in a row in Colorado’s Eagles Nest Wilderness, no washes, in a lined shoe frequently overtopped by mud and slop. Still, the Darn Tough persisted—and it was four years old by that point.
Why so durable? Credit the construction: Darn Tough’s engineers analyze wear patterns and come up with specific yarn configurations to meet the abuse, varying combinations of merino, nylon, and elastane across the foot. Need more convincing? Darn Tough backs up the durability promise with a lifetime guarantee. Not that we’ll ever need it. –C.L.