North 40 Outfitters

Sock of the Month: Foot Love

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There is a pilgrimage through Europe named the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Way of Saint James. There are several routes through France, Portugal, and Spain that conclude at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, where it is said that the remains of the Apostle James are buried. Thousands of people walk this journey every year. It can take up to a month’s time to travel, unless apparently, if you are a speed walker, the shorter routes only take a couple of weeks. Regardless of the path taken, it’s said that the journey begins once you step outside your front door.

I’m not making a pilgrimage through Spain or France. I am walking out in my own backyard along the River’s Edge Trail, which follows the Missouri. The mayflies swarm like some kind of spring snowflake storm, getting stuck to my sunglasses. The Canada Geese, standing at the river’s edge, sound like barking dogs. And today, my feet are in love.

Sock of the Month: Darn Tough's Women's No Show

I am testing out Darn Tough's Women's Portland No Show Light sock. It’s crafted to be a, “year round, all-weather favorite. Light, simple, laid back” sock. I’ll be honest. I hate wool. The thought of wearing Merino wool socks on a warm spring hike makes me start scratching myself like I have the pox. As promised, these socks do not itch. In fact, my feet feel wonderfully supported the longer I wear them. The socks do exactly what Darn Tough promises them to do. The socks do not bunch, slip down and disappear around my toes, or give me blisters on my long journey. Nor do I have any hot spots on my feet, which if I do, I probably won’t share as that sounds gross and not very attractive.

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What is attractive are the promises Darn Tough commits to in their excellent product. First, Ric Cabot, Darn Tough President, writes, “ For over 30 years my family has been knitting socks here in the Green Mountains of Vermont. We pride ourselves on the quality of our product and our commitment to making it local.” I like a family company that makes a commitment to their community. I think of this as I pull out a used Coke bottle drifting along the riverbank. Putting it in my daypack to recycle later, I walk on.

Secondly, Darn Tough unconditionally offers a lifetime guarantee on your socks. In fact, Darn Tough says that, if you wear out your beloved socks, they will replace them for free. For life! My Grandmother had this superstition. She taught me that if I dip my toes into a body of water like an ocean, or a lake, or a river –you’ll end up returning to that place once again. I like the thought that I could return to this river trail wearing my Darn Toughs and my feet will always feel this good. I think, girl, you’ve got this and it’s just outside your front door.

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Gwen is new to North 40 Outfitters, but not new to the farming, ranching, outdoors lifestyle. She holds degrees in Business, with an emphasis in Marketing, and in Visual Journalism. She has lived from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and is always happy to return home to Montana.

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