I’m a World Record Holder.
Three days in a row is all it took. It wasn’t intentional; I just couldn’t find a clean pair of socks for a few consecutive days, so I kept putting on the same pair of grey Darn Tough 1466 Hiker Micro Crews.
On day four, I realized that my feet didn't smell, the socks didn’t feel crusty or gross, and they didn’t even look dirty at all. That’s when the idea came, one that apparently had been thought of by one person prior.
The Terms of the Challenge
Lance Pitcher, who actually works at Darn Tough, decided to rock the same pair for 40 days straight a while back. As I investigated this concept, I had to understand the parameters set by the OG. They were as follows… no washing the socks, no barefoot days, and the only time the socks come off? Showering and sleeping.
Competition is in my nature, so obviously beating Lance was the goal, but I wanted to do it in a way that had some significance. My first thought was to rub it in a bit, and just beat him by a single day, but after I overcame my own pettiness, a better idea hit.
Roy Tuscany, founder of the High Fives Foundation, is a wonderful human being, and the organization that he started back in 2009 might be even better. After talking to Roy and his team, we decided that raising money for High Fives every day was the move, for 55 straight days, the date of their Charity Golf Tournament.
To make things a bit harder, I committed to doing one outdoor activity every single day of the challenge.
If you’ve ever worn a pair of Hiker Micro Crews, you know that, at midweight with cushion, these are not thin socks. The cushion was welcome, but my biggest concern was how they’d handle the heat of July. I was concerned for my digits.
Through the beginning of the feat - no pun intended - I was feeling arrogant. “This is easy” and “I should have committed to 100 days” were phrases repeatedly said. My feet, and the socks, just felt normal. Honestly, the biggest concern during these days was whether I’d be able to keep my dog from eating them, and not how long they could stay on my feet.
Until about day 20, you couldn’t even tell that the socks hadn’t been washed. Zero smell, zero crust, and honestly I didn’t even think about the thickness. Everyone always talks about Merino being naturally anti-microbial and how well it regulates temperature. I always thought this was marketing, but it turns out those Merino mammals don’t lie.
No Turning Back
At day 30-ish, I started riding bikes in wet conditions for the first time all summer. While my feet stayed warm, putting them back on the next day was by far the grossest part of the whole challenge. I wasn’t about to do anything other than air dry the socks, so I dealt with the consequence of soggy feet. The success of fundraising until this point kept me rolling rather easily.
Over the next few weeks, I spent more time riding bikes, kayaking, running, and even soaking it up on the beach, all in these 1466s. When posting about wearing socks on the beach, I was met with a lot of “ew” in the comment sections, but by this point the socks and I were one unit.
The last few days were tougher, because the socks finally started to develop a crust. Still, 50 days in with no ick? Absurd.
World Record? Check
Day 55 came to a perfect end at the High Fives Charity Golf Tournament. Never have I seen a more bluebird day in Vermont in my life, and it very much felt like a reward for the “hard work” that was put in over nearly two months.
As much fun as it was to talk about wearing the socks, along with the side benefit of absolutely tanking my dating life, finishing was a relief. We might have set a world record, but the best part about it all was the support the whole team, including High Fives, received during the challenge. For that, I can’t thank you all enough.
Oh, and shout out to the actual best socks on earth for making this happen, couldn’t have done it without you.
About the Author
Adam Jaber is the creator and owner of The Out of Collective, a collection of outdoor podcasts, gear reviews, and content. Over the last five years they’ve used their combined experience in the outdoor industry to create fun, engaging, and productive media that’s unlike anything else in the space. Follow along on all socials at @outofcollective.