The Alternate Stitch

The Boots (and Socks) on the Ground: Partnering with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

In honor of National Trails Day this Saturday, we’re excited to share some history about one America's first national scenic trails and the nonprofit that is responsible for its conservation and stewardship.

Beyond the Big Names: Top 10 Small Mountain Towns for Hiking & Backpacking
We’re uncovering the top 10 small mountain towns that beckon hikers, backpackers, and nature enthusiasts alike. From beginner-friendly trails to rugged heart-pumping pursuits, these off-the-beaten-path gems offer up unforgettable natural landscapes, great local food, and splashes of unique culture.
The Support System Behind the Pacific Crest Trail
A lot of folks call the Pacific Crest Trail a home away from home. Every year, thousands of eager hikers set their sights on the path ahead, soaking up sunshine, taking on rainstorms, enjoying the unparalleled viewsheds, and inevitably encountering a few hurdles along the way.
Men's Hiking Socks: A Buyer's Guide
We make a lot of men’s hiking socks. Good ones, too. With a goal to make your purchase easier — and to create some passionate responses internally — we went ahead and picked our “best hiking socks” (at least for this year).
Women's Hiking Socks: A Buyer's Guide
We knit a lot of hiking socks. Specifically (at the time this post was written), we knit 48 different styles alone in women’s hiking socks. Safe to say, like any parent, we’re proud of all our socks. But today, we thought we’d lay out our buyer’s guide to the best women’s hiking socks.
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.
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.

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.
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?
Follow the White Blazes: How to Hike the Long Trail of Vermont
The Long Trail (LT) of Vermont is a 272-mile hiking route that follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Vermont-Massachusetts border all the way to Canada. Steeped in rich history, the Long Trail is America’s oldest long-distance hiking trail, conceived in 1910 by the Green Mountain Club.
The Simple Joy of Spoons

You can use only one utensil. What do you pick? Simple: Spoon. The unpretentious, effective, and appealing Spoon. While I occasionally use Forks, if I must choose, I will pick a Spoon over a Fork for most meals, assuming both have similar heft and quality (nobody needs to be using a flimsy utensil).

Training for the Appalachian Trail FKT: A Week with Kristian Morgan
Last summer, I became the second fastest person in the world to complete the Appalachian Trail (AT), completing a supported Northbound faster than the famous Scott Jurek. The odyssey isn't over yet. I pursue my dream of setting a new fastest known time (FKT) on the AT.
Thru Hiking the Florida National Scenic Trail

As of right now (February 10, 2023), I’m at mile 866 out of 1,287 miles of the Florida Trail. The trail starts in Big Cypress or “the swamp” (as most hikers refer to it), a 30 mile stretch through thigh deep mud and water, often labeled the “toughest stretch of hiking in the United States."

Q&A: What Do I Need for Winter Hiking?
Winter hiking is a truly magical experience – when being on the trail feels akin to stumbling into Narnia. That increased beauty is not without increased risk, but it’s a risk that, with some preparation, you can account for. Here’s some common winter hiking questions I hear, and my tips on how to be prepared.
Don't Get Cold Feet: Ice Climbing Foot Care Tips
Unsurprisingly, the biggest thing that can ruin your day while ice climbing is being ill prepared for the cold, especially when it comes to your extremities. Nothing ruins your day quite like frozen fingers and toes! For this post, I’ll be diving into how to protect your feet, considering socks, boots, and more.
How to Choose Walking Socks: Why Merino Wool Makes the Best Socks for Walking

Walking for exercise has many benefits for the body and the mind and is one of the most convenient activities we can do for our wellbeing. Some good, basic equipment will help ensure you get to focus on your walk and not your feet. Here’s a simple guide on how to choose the right walking socks.

What to Wear Hiking
Before heading out for a hike, you may think about what you should wear, considering trail difficulty and weather forecast. We will cover what materials are best for hiking, the clothing, shoes, and accessories and what to wear by the season as you set out for your hike.
Do I Need Sock Liners for Hiking?
In this post I’m going to get into the pros and cons of liner socks to help you determine your best footwear system. Spoiler: I truly don’t think you need liners if you have the right sock and shoe combo. So let’s get into it…
Enchantment on the Appalachian Trail - Darn Tough Does Trail Magic
A group of us at Darn Tough had the opportunity to participate in Trail Magic this July, and this is our story. But first, let’s pull back the curtain a bit to uncover what secrets aid in the pull of Trail Magic’s supernatural attraction.
A Collaboration in Creativity & Conservation: The CDTC & Darn Tough Partnership
In 2022, the CDTC is celebrating 10 years of supporting their mission to complete, promote, and protect the Continental Divide Trail. Last summer, we launched a sock collaboration with them to give back to that mission.