Darn Tough Vertex 1/4 Sock Ultra-Light Cushion
I don't know how Darn Tough does it, but I have put…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $15
I don't know how Darn Tough does it, but I have put over 500 miles on a single pair of Vertex Running Socks, and they still look and feel great! It defies explanation.
- 500 MILES and no end in sight!
- Does not retain odors (I only wash them weekly)
- Keep feet warm when it's cold
- Stay cool when it's hot
- Unconditional, lifetime warranty
- Price and value
- I didn't need the second pair.
Quick—Which of these two socks was run in once and which was run in 550 miles?
It's a trick question. It's the same sock. The BOTTOM picture was taken on Christmas Day, after a three-mile run. The upper picture follows 550 miles of running over the last five months (including one full marathon and one half marathon).
DT's reputation precedes them, and while I wanted to believe the hype, it just seemed highly suspicious that a single pair of socks can take the pounding of running 25-50 miles per week—in pouring rain, in snow, in cold, in heat.
So when my 12yo son gave me two pairs of Vertex for Christmas*, I put one pair away and stated I would not use them until the other pair has worn out. I can't even imagine when I might break out the second pair. (*Note: I listed that I bought these new so I could list the price. Plus, I gave my son money for Christmas shopping. Plus, I gave him the idea for the socks.)
Fit & Comfort
After 550 recorded miles (864,272 recorded steps) and 19 washes, the Vertex still hold their shape well. They are not stretched out. The padding continues to perform. These socks continue to be more comfortable than the new pairs of socks that I use for cycling and work.
Training for an April marathon, I ran through all kinds of weather. I ran in cold temperatures, and my feet stayed warm (I added liner socks below 20°F.). I ran in temperatures in the 70s (which is really hot for running), and my feet stayed dry and comfortable.
Since Christmas I have run 4-6 days per week and have only had time to wash my socks on Mondays. But honestly, the socks have had no noticeable odor week after week. They have simply been washed with the other laundry because it is my rest day.
Wear & Tear/Durability
What wear? Seriously! I have trained for three marathons. For the first two I knew I was going to go through 3-4 pairs of running socks. That's to be expected, right? After all, a pair of running shoes has to be retired around 400 miles.
Look at this picture of a pair of running shoes, retired after 359 miles. Note, the wear in the toe box, where my big toe hits the end of the shoe. That's the first place I expect to find a hole in a pair of running socks, usually before I hit 100 miles (and often less).
Here's the thing. If Darn Tough only guaranteed these socks for the first 500 miles or one year, I would still say they are an incredibly great deal. But they guarantee them for life. I am confident these socks will last me through my 1,000-mile running goal for 2017. But maybe I'll get even more out of them. 2,000? 5,000? 10,000? The point is, when they finally do crap out, Darn Tough will replace them.
How do they expect to make money on socks that never need replacing? I guess they are hoping people lose a sock in the laundry????
When my hiking socks give up the ghost, I plan to start using the unopened pair for backpacking. Darn Tough has proved to me its socks are indestructible.