In The Wild: 17-Year Army Combat-Vet Test, SFC Joseph Inskeep - FITS®

May 03, 2017

How do FITS really hold up in the wild? Don’t hear it from us – here’s Sergeant First Class Joseph Inskeep sharing his experience putting FITS to the test.

I have been serving in the U.S. Army for 17 years in a combat arms MOS (military occupational specialty), I’ve been deployed twice to Iraq, once to Afghanistan, as well as completed four more years overseas in Korea and Kuwait.

"From scorching deserts to monsoon rains, I've put my feet through hell."

Unfortunately, I was not blessed with feet that hold up well under arduous conditions. No matter what I tried or how much I cared for them, my feet were always the first thing to go. In fact, I have never been able to push through a 24-hour operation without getting a pretty brutal case of athlete’s foot if I didn't continually change my socks. Even then, I could still only make it 48-hours before my feet started to itch, then burn, then blister.

sfc joseph inskeep hiking with fits socks on ridge in glacier national park

My buddies and I started planning and researching a seven-day backpacking trip through the back country of Glacier National Park, Montana. (Side note - if you haven't ever been up there, put it on your bucket list). As I started looking into hiking socks I stumbled across FITS. I had never heard of them nor had I ever owned a pair of Merino Wool socks. As I knew we were in for a pretty serious hike I figured, "What the hell?" - I paid a few bucks more for a quality product and ordered three pairs of FITS Merino Wool socks. 

Before I took them hiking, I wanted to test them out. My unit was scheduled to go on a 3-week training event in the woods of Wisconsin. I figured that would be perfect opportunity to see if these socks really were worth the time. Day one in Wisconsin we got to our bivouac sight, and put on a brand new pair of FITS socks. 

I’d determined the test would go as follows:

Wake up, put on the socks, take them off to sleep, put the same pair back on, then continue until my feet can’t take any more. The forecast was 90's with occasional showers. Knowing my feet were going to be wet from either rain or sweat most of the time, my best guess was that even a great product attempting to live up to the hype would only get me best.

I was wrong. 

Eleven days later... yeah, eleven days... my feet felt great! I had never experienced anything like it. My mind was blown away. No itching. No burning. No blisters. No athletes foot rot. To be honest FITS socks beat my 17-year Army Combat-Vet test. FITS are now the only brand of socks I trust, and the only brand of socks I wear. 

“After eleven straight days in the same pair of socks, taken off only for a few hours a day while I slept, my feet still felt like day one…. I quit before your socks did.”

sfc joseph inskeep sitting on a tank wearing fits tactical socks
 From left to right: SPC "Doc" Avila (Platoon Medic), SFC "Old man" Inskeep (myself), PFC "Johnny Bones" Johnson (gunner), and PFC "Robaire" Robinson (driver).

This was last year in NTC (National Training Center) Fort Irwin, California before we deployed to Korea. This is the crew on the M3A3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle at the end of a 28-day deployment to NTC for force-on-force exercises. I don't know if I would have made it to this day without the comfortable and perfectly fitting socks you guys put on my feet. (Okay, I would have made it, but it would have sucked). 

Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference. While it seems absolutely ridiculous to get even the slightest bit emotional over a pair of socks, I mean it when I say thanks, guys.