May 11, 2010
Bourjaily: The Swiss Army Sock
By Phil Bourjaily
Napoleon famously said an army marches on its stomach but he was French and cared about food. The Swiss are pretty sure an army marches on its feet and they have therefore invented the new Swiss Army sock.
In a better world a Swiss Army sock would have files, toenail clippers, a foot powder dispenser and a variety of other foot and shoe-care tools built in. Instead this one is made of a new blend of wool and nylon that is supposedly highly sweat and blister resistant. In recent tests sixty recruits wore mismatched socks for five days, hiking around Switzerland to compare the new socks to the standard issue. The tests were described as “grueling” although I don’t see how a six-kilometer (3.72 miles) hike is “grueling” unless it’s straight up the side of an Alp. This news follows reports of the Israeli military developing a sock with two-week capabilities, which means there is now a Sock Gap between Israel and Switzerland.
If the US military has entered the Sock Race it’s a secret for now. Eventually this new military sock technology will trickle down to the civilian market and we hunters and anglers will benefit.
If you think about it, nothing has changed so much for the better in hunting than clothing and footgear. Wouldn’t you rather hunt with a 100 year old gun and wear modern clothes and boots than shoot the latest and greatest while wearing your grandfather’s hunting gear?