Jake Blauvelt on Developing the Backwoods Sock

Pro snowboard Jake Blauvelt pulling on the Backwoods sock he helped design

Pro snowboarder Jake Blauvelt is our hometown hero. We had the privilege of collaborating with him on developing socks that push performance to the next level. Some might say they're our best socks for snowboarding yet. We're excited to share Jake's perspective on his experience developing socks with us, as well as his tips on foot care and choosing the right snowboarding socks.

When you first started snowboarding, how much thought did you put into your socks?

None whatsoever. I think I probably wore cotton.

What issues have you run into with taking care of your feet and choosing socks for snowboarding?

Main issues I have would be feet getting wet from sweating even before you strap in, comfort, and feet getting cold.

Jake Blauvelt sitting on a porch in the snow

What advice or tips do you have for others, based on what you learned from these experiences?

For foot sweat on the way to the hill, before you even strap in, I’d say don’t put your snowboard boots on until the last possible second, don’t crank the foot heaters in the car on the way to the hill and try the Backwoods sock that I helped design. It has zoned cushioning so your feet breathe better than the average sock.

A closeup look at the Backwoods snowboard sock

All in all, just try the Backwoods sock or any snowboard sock from Darn Tough and I don’t think you’ll have any of the problems I had.

What do you look for in a pair of snowboard socks?

Comfort, warmth, and not too much cushion for good response when strapped in.

When did you first hear of Darn Tough socks?

In elementary school when my family would go to the “hunters windows” sock sale every year to stock up.

How long have you been wearing Darn Tough socks?

Pretty much my whole life. Most solid Vermonters do.

How did you come to collaborate with Darn Tough to make a better snowboard sock?

Darn Tough gave me the opportunity to design the best snowboard sock I could, and I took them up on it.

Jake Blauvelt learning about making socks from Abdija

We had several round table sessions and compared a lot of archive socks they had from previous years taking the best parts from each and putting them into the Backwoods sock.

What made you interested in collaborating with Darn Tough?

IMO they make the best socks in the world, and I wanted to learn more about what it takes to develop a sock of their caliber. It’s amazing how much goes into  really good socks. I never knew there was so much to them!

What was that experience like for you?

Jake Blauvelt standing on a table surrounded by Darn Tough designers, wearing sock prototypes

I thought I knew what it took to make a good snowboard sock, but I had no clue. Luckily all of the designers are amazing and they really helped coach me through what it was going to take to make a great shred sock. I’d say I walked away from the experience feeling grateful that Darn Tough was on my side.

Tell us about your visit to the Mill.

Every time I get to visit the Mill it’s amazing. The thing I think I like the most is how many locals Darn Tough employs. It’s cool to see a great company doing great things for the local community.

Jake Blauvelt standing in the rows of knitting machines at the Mill

I also love walking up and down the aisles of all the sock machines and seeing what kind of socks each machine is making, and what wool is being woven into them.

You were instrumental in developing the Edge and Backwoods socks. What experience and pain points did you work with Darn Tough to overcome?

Whenever I get to help develop product for brands, I always try to push performance while still maintaining comfort.

I wanted to make sure the sock didn’t have too much cushion so you don’t lose power transfer when initiating turns, but at the same time has enough cushion so you're comfortable and warm. The contoured cushioning on the foot gives you maximum comfort but helps keep your foot breathing and dry at the same time.

Jake putting on snowboard boots over his merino wool socks

Also, I really dislike any pressure points where the top of the boot meets the shin, so we have segmented cushioning there to give a good amount of comfort while always maintaining that responsiveness.

What did you think when you got to try the socks you’d worked on out in the field? Did they perform?

They performed great! Super comfy, good response, warm, and they look sweet too!

What are you proudest of accomplishing with the socks you worked on?

I’m stoked on how it looks, especially the segmented cushioning on the shin, and how the shin feels against the tongue of my boot. No more weird pressure points!

Jake at the Mill hugging a merino wool sock

What tips would you give someone looking for a good snowboard sock?

Not all socks are created equal! Definitely go for a good wool sock if you’ll be using it at the mountain for skiing or snowboarding and make sure they fit your foot well. Pretty much any Darn Tough snow sock will do the trick!