Darn Tough Vermont vs. Timberland
Darn Tough Vermont vs. Timberland
The challenge: How does a third-generation sock-mill owner break into the crowded performance-sock market?

What they did: The Cabot family has been knitting socks in Vermont since 1978, mostly for brands like Brooks Brothers and L.L. Bean. But a decade ago, as more companies began sourcing from overseas, business looked grim. So Ric Cabot took a gamble: In 2005 he began making high-end athletic socks -- think hiking, running -- under a new brand, Darn Tough Vermont. He's taking on Timberland's SmartWool by vowing to make the most durable, best-fitting, and most comfortable socks (the key: merino wool and more stitches per inch than rivals). His socks even carry a lifetime guarantee: Wear a hole in one and get a new pair, no questions asked. While $20 may seem steep for socks, fans swear by them, and Cabot says the brand now accounts for two-thirds of the firm's $12 million in revenues.


By Jessica Shambora, writer-reporter @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 01 2012: 10:37 AM ET

The Van Winkle family has been in the bourbon business for 100 years. Its secret for the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery? Make prize-winning spirits and keep supply really low.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.