I have to say that, before I began climbing, I had a lot of trouble with my feet. My street shoes weren’t sized correctly, I bought cheap and purposeless socks, and my attire was that of a shell-shocked soldier (which I am, but I really tended to show it in my choice of clothing). One of the things that climbing really did was home in on my feet – what size were my feet, really? Well, I found out that I didn’t really know. I’d worn military boots for three and a half years, officially, and referenced all of my shoe and boot sizes from the boots I’d been issued in Basic Military Training 17 years prior (when the military had no real prior knowledge of my shoe size, either!). So, on 30 April 2016, instead of measuring my feet like we should’ve, we went with the climbing shoes recommended based on my knowledge of my street shoe size. That turned out to be a mistake! The owner, Jim, graciously accepted an exchange for a more correct size of climbing shoe, but we still had the brace on my right ankle to deal with from a military injury and didn’t measure my feet the way we normally would for the truly correct shoe fit. (As a side note, I finally got ahold of Jim’s foot-measuring plate just a couple of months ago and measured my right foot. It was indeed the size I had experimentally, through many orders and returns and reorders, found on my own, haha!) The thing that Jim did at that time, though, because of my brace and the need to wear a sock under it with my climbing shoes on, was introduce me to Darn Tough light-cushion gym socks, which he sold there in the store of the old gym. Those socks solved a lot of interim problems for me while I strengthened my ankle enough to get rid of the brace and no longer had the need to wear socks with my climbing shoes. Those socks also reminded me of the value of good socks!
There is great value in a a good pair of socks!!! First, make sure they’re Merino wool socks. That’ll keep the foot odor to a minimum (if any odor at all is produced!). Merino wool is also awesome at keeping your feet dry and drying out quickly once the socks are off your feet! Second of all, make sure your socks have some built-in cushioning, whether light, heavy, or in-between. This makes a world of difference!!! I had no idea how comfortable socks could be until Jim Rott, the bouldering gym owner in Billings, Montana, put a pair of Darn Tough Merino wool cushion socks on my feet. I even discovered, through further sock purchases, discussions with Jim, and experience, that socks could serve a worthwhile purpose outside the military!!! My military boot socks had been wool. I remembered that and when I finally read on the card of the Darn Tough socks what they were made out of, I read “Merino wool”. Jim had done me a great service in introducing me to Darn Tough socks. Not only had he rekindled my love for wool socks and their benefits, but he had also introduced me to socks with a lifetime guarantee. I scoffed at that a bit in my mind, but that was before I experienced how durable Darn Tough socks are! Their promise is that, if you can wear them out, they’ll replace them. I haven’t even come close to wearing a pair out yet!!! I’ve had my socks for over three years, now, and they’re still like new, with the exception of the few colorful lint balls on them from washing them with the towels (my husband does that and I’ll never know why, but I’m not complaining). I’ve experimented with Darn Tough’s full-cushion socks and they feel heavenly on my feet, especially during a long ascent or a day on my feet of any kind. They got me through the winter with flying colors! The great thing is that they work during the summer, too! My feet aren’t overly warm in them, and are instead nice and comfy, cushioning my feet in a way that only a Darn Tough full-cushion sock can.
I’m definitely a fan of Darn Tough socks. They’re made in Vermont and I just got a few pairs of Darn Tough micro-crew full-cushion Merino wool socks yesterday. This morning, I stuck a pair on my feet and put my Guide Tennies on over the top of them, and oh, the bliss I’m feeling right now!!! I love these socks!!! I’ve never tried the micro-crews before, so we’ll see how they work out, but so far, so good this morning in wandering around my basement apartment. They seem like the perfect height for a pair of low-topped approach shoes (for my liking, at least). These are a real comfy pair of Darn Tough socks, and I think today’s going to be a good day! I love a good pair of socks!!!