The Alternate Stitch

Arming Our Forces with Merino Wool Socks

Moisture-wicking, durable, breathable, and thermoregulating, Darn Tough Tactical socks are first on foot for a reason and always your first line of defense. They help prevent blisters, thwart hotspots, and are the first – and best – choice for military and government personnel.

Community Connections: Alpenglow Sports’ Retail Magic
Years before owning Alpenglow Sports, Brendan Madigan’s experience in retail began like many other folks who’d moved to Lake Tahoe, chasing a powdery dream. What sets Brendan apart is a combination of thoughtful, compassionate focus on the greater good with the sort of drive it takes to skin thousands of feet up a mountain before clocking in to work the floor all day.
How to Prevent Blisters When Hiking
To understand how to prevent blisters while hiking, you first must understand what blisters are and what causes them to form. Blisters can develop almost anywhere, but if you’re hiking, backpacking, or long-distance walking, the most likely (and perhaps most adverse) location is on your feet.
The Rut: A Celebration of Trail Running

In 2013, The Rut Mountain Runs started off as a 50k and 12k race. We connected with Mike Foote, event organizer for the Rut, to learn more about his passion for trail running and what it takes to pull off one of the largest trail running festivals in North America.

How to Choose the Right Hiking Socks

What makes Darn Tough hiking socks so good? And, with dozens of styles and designs to choose from, how do you pick the right pair for you? In this post, I’ll guide you through how to choose the best socks for your next hike, whether that’s a quick jaunt to your favorite local spot, or a several-thousand-mile-long trek.

Which Came First, the Boot or the Sock? A History of Socks
We only make one thing — socks. And since ours are designed to last a lifetime, we’re jumping straight into the quirky history of what people have worn between foot and footwear over the last 5,000 years or so.
Planning a Thru Hike with a Dog: Four-Legged Trail Partners
This is everything I’m doing to get me and my dog Lassen ready to thru hike the Oregon Coast Trail. If you’re planning on doing a thru hike with your dog, I hope you find this helpful.
Of Sorcery & Socks: A Tale of Trail Magic
We recently put together a gear checklist, we made sure to ask hikers about their gear – particularly which items have helped them the most and any they thought were unique or worth sharing.
The Life-Altering Magic of Changing Your Socks
I remember reading someone’s story about camping with a friend, and how they kept rolling over in their sleeping bag, unable to get to sleep. The friend, a grizzled veteran, woke up and muttered, “Change your socks.” The writer did just that, putting on a dry pair of socks, and fell asleep soon after.
How to Choose the Right Lifestyle Sock
The best sock is one you want to wear every day, and we can help you find it. The secret, they say, is letting the sock choose you. But for someone with a lifestyle as adventurous and spontaneous as yours, we feel you might need a little help.
A Sock's Purpose: 5 Reasons Why You Should Wear Socks

Why do socks exist? Sounds like a question a fuzzy-eyebrowed professor might scrawl on a blackboard during a college philosophy course. Since we’re talking socks, let’s bring that navel-gazing proposition closer to the ground with the top five reasons why socks matter (We know you saw this spoiler coming: Socks do have a purpose. Multiple actually).

How to Wash Merino Wool Socks

If you’re standing by the laundry wondering how to wash Merino Wool socks, you’ve come to the right place. Here's detailed washing instructions for at home and in the backcountry.

A Lifetime Guarantee Starts with Quality at Every Step

Quality was a founding principle at Darn Tough, and we continue to pursue it to the highest degree at every step of the process. Being fully committed to excellence and high standards is how we can back our socks with an Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee.

Sock Marks: Why They Happen & What to Do About Them
If your socks make an impression (beyond just what people think of them) then you’re going to want to read this article. We’re covering performance socks: what they are, how to ensure they fit, the benefits they offer, and the marks they (might) leave behind.
Why You Should Wear Hiking Socks
One of the principal rules of hiking, especially multiple-day outings, is to take care of your feet. This means keeping your feet dry, warm in cold weather, and cool in hot weather with no sock slipping or bunching. The question is, do you need hiking socks to do that?
An Anti-Love Letter to Running
Consider this the opposite of a love letter to running. These are the thoughts that have occupied my mind and facts I’ve gathered about running (and runners), that make it the worst.
Seeing Stars: 100K Five Star Reviews
We recently hit 100,000 5-star reviews on our website. We wanted to express our deepest gratitude to all our customers who have taken the time to share their Darn Tough love with the world. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all the unwavering support from our fans.
Give Your Feet the Best Summer Ever — by Running in Merino Wool Socks.
If you’re a runner, then your dream summer is likely full of races, training plans, bucket list routes, or adventure runs. But let’s be honest — those plans are probably decided by your brain. What about your feet? When was the last time you asked them about their perfect summer?
What Is the Responsible Wool Standard? Ethical Wool Sourcing
Here at Darn Tough, we try to ensure that the wool that we use in our socks comes from happy, well-cared for sheep and farms that ensure their workers have fair and equal working conditions. When it comes to our wool, we follow the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS).
Father's Day Livestream Recap
A recap of our Father's Day Livestream with Owen "Van Grizzle" and Chad "The Resident Dad." Check out the different styles, find the perfect gift for dad, and learn some dad jokes to go along with it.
What Sheep Taught Us About Running in Merino Socks
Don’t sleep on sheep. From the fleece that provides our Merino Wool to the extremes they thrive in, these animals themselves are an inspiration. They’ve been running around some of the most rugged places on the planet, in some of the most unforgiving weather conditions, for thousands of years.