Because Shooters Need Socks, Too: Darn Tough Socks

darn tough socks

In June of 2016, I threw out all of my socks and replaced them with half as many pairs from Darn Tough Vermont. Soft and cozy Merino wool plus a dab of Spandex with various levels of cushion, they ain’t cheap but they have an unconditional lifetime guarantee. They’re warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and keep your feet smelling fresh. Even if you wear ’em multiple days in a row.

darn tough socks

No, even Darn Tough’s Tactical Socks, which you’ll find on U.S. Military and LE feet around the world, aren’t gun-related. Sorry. But as most of us are (or try to be) outdoorsmen, we’ve all learned the importance of good socks when hiking, hunting, camping, and otherwise being on our feet.

Plus, what’s more tactical than my ankle carry tourniquet as seen in a pair of my Darn Toughs above? In a Sticky Holster Mag Sleeve, the RATS TQ never budged despite climbing, crawling, jumping, swinging, sliding, rolling, and running through that insane play structure with the kids (my own kids; no Hollywood stuff).

Through the end of 2017, all orders on ship for free as part of their Holiday Free Shipping promotion. No coupon code needed. The specific model I purchased and have been very happy with are the “Hiker Boot Sock Cushion,” which have the medium level of cushion under the foot only. Other models offer more or less cushion in different areas of the sock, plus different heights, fabric blends, and more.

Darn Tough’s five top sellers are:

•  Hiker Boot Sock Full Cushion
•  Mountaineering Over-The-Calf Extra Cushion
•  Mountaineering Micro-Crew Extra Cushion
•  Paul Bunyan Over-The-Calf Full Cushion
•  John Henry Boot Sock Cushion

Spending $18 to $25 on one single pair of socks used to seem patently insane to me. But I had heard people sing the good word of Darn Tough for years, and with a new pair of cowboy boots that needed breaking in, I bought one pair to help me through. That did it. A month or two later and my sock drawer was emptied out and replaced with eight more pairs of Darn Toughs. I still have all nine pairs, and wear ’em every day. Yes, I fully admit that I usually wear the same pair a couple days in a row. The natural wool just doesn’t smell and feels clean way past the point where cotton socks get gross.

Highly recommended for hunting, hiking, shooting, fishing, running, work, trade show duty, daily carry, tourniquet carry, skiing…you name it.


  1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I discovered the value of merino wool when I was on a Harley for my job. 7 years in every kind of weather.
    Yup. Merino wool and gortex are my friends.

  2. avatar WI Patriot says:

    Been wearing Browning Merino wool socks for yrs…all yr around…nothin’ beats a nice soft pair of Merino wool socks…

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Browning socks? What color were they before?

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Hey now!!! I’m STILL laughing at my own joke. Sheeeeiiitt. That’s some of my best material!

  3. avatar Jimmy james says:

    Just thinking about wool makes me itch.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      You’re doing it wrong.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        It’s better than ‘horny’.

        Just sayin.

    2. avatar Skinnedknuckles says:

      I had the same reaction until I tried Merino wool socks. The fibers are different from regular wool and don’t itch. Give them a try. Get the ones that are primarily Merino wool, not the cheap ones that are only 10-15% Merino.

  4. avatar jwm says:

    Wool is wonderful. Take that pair of wool socks you’ve worn all day and hang them up near a window and they’ll be laundry fresh in the morning.

    Wool is a natural scent blocker.

    I have lighter weight wool socks for city use. They’re comfortable and even on rainy days my feet are good to go. In the boonies I wear heavier wool socks with a base layer of merino wool long johns.

    Wool rocks.

  5. avatar Swarf says:

    These socks, in particular, are the best.

    If 22 year old me knew that I even had an opinion about socks, he would kick my old ass.

    But they really are that good. Lifetime warranty also. Only socks I buy now.

  6. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Socks Wool : Care and cleaning 1. Remove foot before immersing sock in boiling water

    1. avatar Joe R. says:


  7. avatar strych9 says:

    Darn Tough currently, IMHO, makes the best socks of this type on the market.

    For hot weather Columbia makes the best hiking socks. If you get hiking socks too thick your feet will sweat, soaking the socks and greatly increasing the risk of hot spots or blisters.

    For running, lifting or other sports Puma socks made from bamboo fiber (sounds weird huh?) are the bee’s knees super comfortable and naturally antimicrobial.

  8. avatar Topher in Texas says:

    It’s too bad you didn’t bring this up last weekend, REI had all Darn Tough on sale 25% off. **Just checked, some still are**

  9. avatar RCC says:

    I use Darn Tough socks nearly every day. 5 countries this year ranging from deep snow to very tropical.

    Just wish the free shipping included Australia. I stock up whenever I’m in USA.

  10. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “Yes, I fully admit that I usually wear the same pair a couple days in a row.”

    Try wool underwear. The ‘brown stuff’ just flakes off naturally.

    You’re a braver man than I, Jeremy …

  11. avatar John Thomas says:

    can confirm. darn tough socks are pretty great.

  12. avatar Blake says:

    Never tried these, but I’m a big fan of smartwool socks. Replaced all my regular wear socks which are now relegated to yard/garden/dirty work uses.

    The price does seem a bit insane at first, but some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

  13. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    The only socks I wear that are not Merino wool are alpaca wool socks.

    If you think Merino wool socks are comfy, wait until you slip your feet into alpaca socks.

    It feels like you’re “walking on sunshine.” Seriously. Merino is good, don’t get me wrong. If you’re hiking and packing a heavy load, alpaca socks are so smooth against your skin that you won’t get blisters. The downside is that alpaca socks cost about 4X what Merino wool socks cost.

    Merino wool long underwear, merino socks, merino outerwear. Just say ‘no’ to synthetics. Synthetics stink, they melt in exposure to fire, they won’t wear well if they get snagged on something.

    The reason why you haven’t seen Merino wool in quantity before the last 10 years is that American sheep producers used to prefer black-faced sheep for meat production, and their wool would be bought up by rug mills, which didn’t need the fine, fine fibers of Merino wool. Suffolk sheep wool is 31+ microns in diameter with a short (3″) staple. Merino is expected to be 21 microns or less (especially when young), with a staple length up to 4″, maybe more. This finer, longer wool fiber “itches” less against your skin . When you think of that scratching, coarse wool of Army blankets, old CPO coats, etc – you’re thinking of Suffolk wool.

    Why did American ranchers run Suffolk sheep? Because Suffolk sheep wean larger lambs, which puts more money into your pocket if you’re producing for meat. Sadly, many Americans have no clue how to cook lamb any more. When I was a kid, lamb chops were on the table about once/week in our household, and racks of lamb were served on special occasions.

    Today, many sheep ranchers here in the west are running white-faced flocks, with Merino/Columbia/Rambouillet breeding programs. They’re seeking to produce heavy fleeces of 20.5- micron fibers, 4″ staple lengths, which bring big premiums for the wool. With the off-shoring of rug & blanket textile factories, Suffolk fleeces often go begging for a break-even price.

    1. avatar What About Bob says:

      I think I know what I’m getting myself for Christmas….

      I wonder what type would be best for roller skating with the kiddos. My lower calves, ankle to about top of skate boot always feel like they have been sandpapered after a couple hours, no matter what I wear. Alpaca sounds tempting.

  14. avatar tmm says:

    Darn. Socks. I get it.

  15. avatar Gabe says:

    I threw out all of my socks over the period of a couple years and slowly replaced them with Darn Tough. Now it’s all I own and they are awesome. I go 2 days before washing but you can definitely go longer.

  16. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    Just don’t let the kid’s new puppy get into the sock drawer…


    I’ve been wearing smartwool socks for several years now, but only in the winter. I’m anxious to try the bamboo socks.

  17. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i won’t get the itchies from the wool, it’s the nylon (lycra, spandex?) that i have a sensitivity to. pretty tough to find 100% anything socks.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email