UNORTHODOX GEAR REVIEW: DARN TOUGH FRED TUTTLE SOCKS
The wine-dark waters of the loud-roaring brook crashed
Down the mighty mountain, pride of Vulcan,
As mortals strove with time-bound step
To the high summit’s wide-watching peak.
Cold though the wind howled
over rocky and ever green-wooded slope,
The feet of High-Hearted Heroes,
clad in thricestrong socks of warmest wool,
Deemed no obstacle worthy of notice.
Onward, the intrepid hikers strode,
their feet embraced by Vermonter’s skill.
Fast Defended from blisters and cold,
the bane of Lion-Hearted Achilles
Felt neither chill nor scrape,
kept close-guarded against coursing waters and biting stone.
By the strength of finest wrought thread was every blow and shock turned aside,
Each foot a fortress,
in olive wool surrounded.
By ten years’ trial on the slopes of Mansfield,
breaker of blisters, tested,
Falling never to discomfort,
as if by Wind-Footed Iris guarded in their way.
In striding forth from the tents, others,
casting their eyes upon the bronze-shining symbol
Of mountains proud against the Northern Sky,
Despaired to triumph over those thus clad,
casting down their eyes to cold and battered toes.
For the Darn-Tough Socks of Mountain-Taming Vermonters,
hardy among New Englanders,
Bring comfort to those who stride league-long over the land of lesser States.
Envied are they most highly among Sure-Footed Hikers,
Who forever cry to Darn-Tough for succor,
as through Seven League Days of learning
Lesser, weak, and sole-forsaking socks,
unworthy of the praise of men,
desert them in their mile of most-dire need.
Once upon a time, I was part of a timed writing contest. The three judges each chose one part for us, in sequence, to determine our goal.
The first, setting his watch, give us ten minutes as our allotted time.
The second, dictated we should write in the style of Homer, writer of the Iliad and Odyssey.
The third, most devious among the judges, chose the subject of our poems: Our Socks.
Luckily for me, I just about exclusively wear Darn Tough Full Cushion Merino Wool Socks.
Specifically, I wear “Fred Tuttle” socks, found here.
This was the result of that competition. It shouldn’t need any clarification, I hope? Any pair of socks which can have an epic poem written about them is pretty Darn Good.
N.B.: I purchased these socks with my own money, and I’d do it all over again, if they ever wore out. Since I’ve been trying for several hundred miles thus far and they look brand new, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about it. I’m sure they can take a few thousand miles more if properly maintained. Even then, the Lifetime guarantee means I’d just have to ship them back for a replacement pair.
This is one of a sporadic series of “Unorthodox Gear Reviews” which will appear from time to time.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.
As someone whose Subaru sported a “Spread Fred” bumper sticker until its untimely demise, I am heartbroken that they don’t make these in dainty sizes. I am, however, grateful to you for bringing them to my attention.