The Complete Buyer’s Guide To Danner Boots

Aug 4, 2020

Category: Gear

Whether you’re a blue-collar worker or an office-dwelling salaryman, the workboot is an undeniable staple that’s transcended the boundaries of rank and style. One of the genre’s most prolific proprietors is none other than Danner — a heritage-focused, All-American company that continues to build some of the finest variants around. And with over 90 years of experience at its back, it’s clear that the outfit is sticking around for the long run.

That being said, the centurial brand has never been one for the betrayal of its time-tested roots, fostering one of the largest catalogs of hiking, hunting, military, law enforcement, and lifestyle boots in the industry, while resurrecting popular styles at various points. This can make the perusal of Danner’s modern offerings seem a bit more daunting than it should, leaving many would-be buyers intimidated. Below, we’ve decided to break the company’s footwear genre’s into different sections — pulling our favorite silhouettes from each, and giving you some insight into what makes each boot (and style) so special.

Work

Jobsite Ready

The work boot is a tried-and-true staple for guys so spend most of their lives “on the job.” While these might not be the most prominent offerings in Danner’s catalog, they stay true to the company’s hard-wearing ethos, providing adequate protection, safety, and comfort for everyday wear.

Springfield

When it comes to the work boot, Danner’s Springfield is an undeniable essential. Not only is the shoe’s sleek, minimalist design a hit among the company’s devoted fanbase, but it seamlessly pairs a number of prominent traits from both trail, and work silhouettes to create something decidedly unique. The result? A formidable shoe that boasts oil and slip-resistant qualities, while also using trusted FLEX-X technology to provide a comfortable, 100% waterproof barrier for on-site, and on-trail use. Although, we wouldn’t recommend adopting the Springfield for your favorite hike, especially since Danner has an entire lineup of outdoor-approved boots that are far more versatile for rocky traversal.

Purchase: $150

Vicious

With a name like Vicious, it’s easy to see why one of Danner’s most durable work boots has made this list. Much like the name from which they draw, the shoe’s top-of-the-line materials have been contracted to maintain composure, even in the midst of strife. Calling upon a dependable suite of Vibram rubber, a dual-density EVA midsole, and GORE-TEX materials, the Vicious can take on anything that the job site will muster, and thanks to its widened toe box, which has been designed to accommodate workers while carrying heavy equipment, there are few things that this indoor/outdoor silhouette can’t do. To top things off, an abrasion-resistant heel cap, all-leather upper, and waterproof GORE-TEX liner keep the boot in-line with many of the industry’s contemporary, cutting-edge offerings, creating the perfect unison of style and function.

Purchase: $180

Logger

The Logger might come off as a bit uncanny, but it’s one of the company’s most important silhouettes — and for good reason. The high-laced classic boasts all of the trappings of Danner’s original shoe, while also introducing a handful of modern principles, including full-grain leather, a reinforced stitch-down construction, and an OrthoLite footbed to promote comfort throughout the day. But it’s the boot’s persona as a tried-and-true veteran of the forestal mill that makes it so appealing. Utilizing a velvet-like Nubuck Oiled Leather Upper, a 100% waterproof Danner Dry barrier, and a unified shank, lasting board, and midsole, the Logger brings dependable, lightweight composure to the brand’s workwear lineup — and with a silhouette as large and eye-catching as it is, it’s no wonder that the boot has captivated forest-dwellers for years and years.

Purchase: $220

Quarry

Danner’s Quarry boot was released a little over a decade ago, and since then, it’s become one of the most recognizable silhouettes in the company’s archive. It’s adored by workers around the country, thanks to its durable Nubuck leather upper, ultra-strong triple stitch, and specially-made Vibram Quarry outsole, which utilizes an oil- and slip-resistant rubber compound for unparalleled traction on virtually any surface. A fiberglass shank and 100% waterproof GORE-TEX lining ensure that your feet stay healthy and comfortable throughout the day, creating a dependable layer for moisture to escape, and stay out. Like the rest of Danner’s boots, the Quarry is an American staple that’s been crafted exclusively for an American audience, with each example passing through its Portland-based footwear factory.

Purchase: $270

Lifestyle

Urban Adventurers

Danner has spent almost a century refining its craft when it comes to work, hike, and hunting variants, but modern times call for modern measures. As such, the company has created a handful of lifestyle-approved variants that can help you transition from the trail to the tavern with ease.

Jag

Danner doesn’t always do work boots. In fact, the company’s “lifestyle” sector is alive and well with a handful of aesthetically pleasing models like the Jag. This all-original boot was one of the company’s most lauded silhouettes from the 1980s and was introduced as an alternative to its classic boot, which lent itself to a more ruggedized, off-trail audience. After the shoe was retired nearly 30 years ago, a gaping hole was left in the company’s hike-oriented catalog — one that has since been filled with the reintroduction, and revitalization of the Jag boot. A suite of durable, lightweight materials, including an OrthoLite footbed, DPDX last, and Retro Waffle outsole, have been contracted to improve heat dissipation and air circulation, working seamlessly with the boot’s mesh liner and 1000 Denier nylon upper to make it one of Danner’s premier offerings.

Purchase: $150

Mountain 600

In our opinion, the Mountain 600 is one of Danner’s most widely-recognized silhouettes. That makes even more sense when you learn that the heritage-inspired hiking boot is a product of decades of the brand’s most legendary variants, pulling the most attractive aspects of each, and implementing them in such a way as to create a near-perfect lifestyle shoe. Despite their name, the Mountain 600 are surprisingly adept when worn in virtually any ecosystem, including the city, thanks to the inclusion of dependable components like the Vibram SPE midsole, Fuga outsole, and full-grain leather upper that’s been carefully, and thoughtfully selected for each and every boot. A nylon shank, OrthoLite footbed, and 100% water-resistant Danner Dry barrier keep your feet healthy over the course of wear, and thanks to the 600’s inherent cushioning properties, you’ll feel inclined to utilize these bad boys on various occasions.

Purchase: $200

Danner Light

Few of Danner’s boots take the opportunity to innovate on the brand’s timeless construction principles, but the Danner Light is the exception. To dial back some of the classic hiking silhouette’s more cumbersome traits, the company has opted for the inclusion of premium, full-grain Sienna Cache leather, a Vibram Kletterlift outsole, and vapor-transporting Dri-Lex, which resists odor and mildew growth when used within warm-to-hot weather conditions. The boot still boasts the same dependable qualities as its peers, thanks to a widened stitch-down construction, 1000 Denier nylon, and 650 last that are pieced together in the heart of Danner’s Portland, Oregon workshop.

Purchase: $360

Danner Ridge

The Danner Ridge might just be the perfect pairing of modern footwear traits and classic characteristics, thanks to its subtle, but unique composition. Arriving straight out of the company’s artisanal factory, these attractive examples draw much of their inspiration from the previous shoe on our list — the Danner Light — while innovating upon their tried-and-true construction by combining the shank, midsole, and lasting board. As a result, the Ridge is endowed with a drastically-reduced weight, unparalleled comfort, and innovative materials that make them a value proposition for both city and country dwellers. When it comes to the shoe’s upper, a combination of full-grain leather and waxed canvas works seamlessly alongside the boot’s 100% waterproof GORE-TEX barrier, ensuring that water is repelled in virtually every way.

Purchase: $380

Hike

Trail Approved

With a long-running history in the world of outdoor use, Danner’s trusted boots have made more than a few waves for hikers around the globe. Luckily, a handful of the company’s silhouettes are primed to take your off-grid excursions to the next level, placing comfort and adaptability at the forefront, and creating some of the genre’s premiere offerings.

Skyridge

Although Danner has built its entire legacy off of renowned work boots, it’s safe to say that the brand’s influence in the outdoor realm is more than notable. In fact, we’d go so far as to assume that the Skyridge, a modern improvisation on the outfit’s most iconic silhouettes, is one of its best-selling models, especially when you take things like aesthetics and design into account. While the boot might employ a suite of interesting materials like suede, cotton ripstop, EVA polymer, and rubberized, directional lugs, it stays ominously true to the brand’s original ethos, calling upon a DPDX last, waterproof lining, and a 100% Danner Dry barrier that works to transport moisture away from the foot during urban, or off-grid outings.

Purchase: $160

Explorer 650

Like many of Danner’s boots, the Explorer 650 pulls heavy inspiration from the original Danner Light — the first hiking boot to adopt GORE-TEX’s weatherized liner. While the boot holds a place in history as one of the most iconic pieces of footwear, ever, there’s always room for improvement. Que the Explorer 650, a modernized version that places an emphasis on technical innovation and integrated characteristics. The evolution of the brand’s original GORE-TEX-lined silhouette calls upon a full-grain leather and nylon upper to achieve top-tier abrasion resistance, while a removable, three-layer OrthoLite footbed, self-adapting Vibram Escape outsole, and 100% waterproof Danner Dry barrier promote adequate grip and use in soggy climates. But what makes the Explorer 650 so special is its weight. At 33-ounces per pair, you’ll feel like you’ve got pillows on your feet as you make your way up, and down the trail.

Purchase: $190

Mountain Pass

The Mountain Pass silhouette is one of Danner’s most nostalgic, drawing a large amount of inspiration from the hiking styles of old. And though the shoe remains true to Danner’s sleek, rounded design principle, there are a number of improvements that have been made to modernize the Mountain Pass and make it more attractive to the contemporary buyer. With city streets and short urban hikes in mind, the boot takes on a lightweight persona, courtesy of an integrated, single-piece shank, midsole, and lasting board, enhancing comfort over time, and allowing it to remain in use for years to come. Pair that with Vibram’s low-profile outsole for even more weight savings, and you’ve got a quintessential hiker that can transition from the blacktop to the dirt-covered trail, all in the same evening.

Purchase: $370

Mountain Light

Danner’s Mountain Light is a favorite among seasoned hikers and backpackers, and for good reason. As one of the brand’s most iconic boots, it has served as an omnipresent standard for many of the industry’s alternative offerings for over 30 years, making it a legendary forerunner to Danner’s contemporary models. The reintroduction of the style did a lot to bring the shoe into the modern era, but Danner didn’t leave the Mountain Light’s history behind; instead, the outfit kept it as close to the original as possible, calling upon a hand-built silhouette adorned with full-grain leather, Vibram’s traction-approved Kletterlift outsole, and waterproof GORE-TEX liners for a functional, well-rounded boot that pays homage to one of hiking’s most lauded progenitors.

Purchase: $380

Hunt

Timeless Trackers

A history in outdoor-oriented footwear does wonders for Danner’s understanding of the space, making the company’s well-rounded hunting boots an exercise in awareness. These hard-wearing offerings were built to take on those long-winded treks into the backcountry, without sacrificing comfort, stability, and overall dependability.

High Ground

With history annotating Danner’s proclivity to create the industry’s most celebrated hiking variants, it’s obvious that the brand’s hunt-oriented boots would follow suit. The High Ground, for example, was built to hit all of the marks that an outdoorsman looks for in a traditional traversal boot, while also putting comfort and capability at the forefront. Nestled within the High Ground’s Oiled Nubuck and 900-denier Polyester upper, wearers are met with a capable nylon shank, DT4 last, and a cushioned antimicrobial polyurethane footbed to make those long backcountry treks a bit more enjoyable. The result? A GORE-TEX-lined that allows hunters to travel longer, faster, and quieter, while soliciting less foot fatigue in the process.

Purchase: $120

Alsea

One of the most notable traits of a well-rounded hunter is his ability to adapt to a variety of different ecosystems. To make this a reality, said hunters must prepare on all fronts, especially when it comes to capable footwear. Enter the Alsea, a genre-defining boot that was named after one of Oregon’s most celebrated units — true outdoorsmen who have honed their craft in the mountains, valleys, rivers, and oceans. A waterproof GORE-TEX liner gives the boot all the gumption it needs to achieve greatness, even when faced with the harshest weather conditions, while speed-hook lacing, an Alsea outsole, and Plyolite midsole join to create a quintessential unison of grip, durability, and comfort.

Purchase: $180

Pronghorn

Danner’s Pronghorn has over two decades of experience at its back, making it one of hunting’s favorite, and most trusted examples. Over those 20 years, however, there have been various upgrades to the boot, all of which have served to enhance its capability, standing, and poise, without betraying the brand’s heritage focus. The fifth generation of the Pronghorn is one such example — a cutting-edge silhouette built upon Danner’s TERRA FORCE NEXT platform, and gifted with premium full-grain leather that’s been tested under the most stringent conditions. When paired with the boot’s 851 last and waterproof GORE-TEX liner, it becomes relatively clear why the iconic Pronghorn has fostered such a devoted following and remained one of the brand’s most-loved silhouettes over the course of the past two decades.

Purchase: $250

Grouse

With a name like the Grouse, it’s obvious that this boot was created for hunting. That being said, it stays true to Danner’s genre-leading mindset, bringing a feature-rich persona, comfortable construction, and long-lasting durability to the forefront for overland treks. Built to perform in any condition, these well-rounded variants boast a full-grain leather and Cordura upper, waterproof GORE-TEX lining, and stitch down construction for unparalleled resistance to abrasions, scrapes, and deterioration over time. So, instead of worrying about penetrating moisture and trench foot, you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand: bagging as much game as possible while still remaining safe, dry, and steady-footed.

Purchase: $330

Military

Tactical Response

Though a bit niche, the need for tactically-approved, mil-spec footwear is a very real thing, especially for the armed forces. Luckily, Danner’s experience as a functional footwear provider transitions seamlessly into the realm of military peripherals, creating some of the genre’s finest, and most sought-after boots.

Desert TFX G3

Danner isn’t only confined to the realm of hunting, hiking, and lifestyle boots; they’re also one of the primary suppliers of United States military and law enforcement gear. The Desert TFX G3 kicks off our mil-spec section due to its attention to detail, calling on the same lauded design principles as the brand’s other genre-defining offerings, while also incorporating a Vibram Striker Torrent outsole and pentagonal pivot point lug pattern for enhanced grip in virtually every direction, making them perfect for troops who rely on their footwear for safety and mission-oriented tasks. A lightweight, breathable mesh liner and Danner’s cross-stitch TFX-8 platform provide a feather-light base for the G3’s rough-out leather and 1000-denier nylon upper, providing exceptional durability and performance throughout the entire range of movement.

Purchase: $102

Fullbore

The Fullbore is an aptly-named boot that’s all about tactical advantage. It utilizes an innovative cushioned Vibram SPE platform and Fuga outsole, Megagrip technology, and a suede and mesh upper to provide lightweight mobility for a number of militaristic uses while calling upon either waterproof, or breathable traits to keep it capable, regardless of your environment. A durable DPDX last, Air Mesh liner, and OrthoLite footbed provide the perfect medium for all-day comfort, which isn’t something that’s typically synonymous with other military-focused footwear.

Purchase: $150

Tachyon

The Danner Tachyon is one of the company’s most unique offerings, and thanks to over 80 years of experience within the realm of bootmaking, the company’s lightweight militaristic trainer is more than prepared to take on any mission. Instead of creating something that was outside of their realm of expertise, Danner opted to build a boot that contained all of the traits of an athletic/running shoe — not the other way around. A polishable toe, speed lace system, unlined leather upper, and open-cell polyurethane footbed promote improved air circulation, mobility, and comfort in warmer temperatures, making the Tachyon a surefire hit for military application.

Purchase: $150

Rivot TFX

We’re rounding out our military section with the Rivot TFX, a boot that looks, and acts like a traditional offering from the armed forces. What makes the Rivot interesting, however, is its 360-degree pivot point lug pattern, spacer mesh, Terra Force X platform, and space frame webbing, allowing wearers to make lightning-fast changes in orientation and direction, without losing their footing. A rough-out leather and 1000-denier nylon upper help to maintain the boot’s composure over months (and years) of daily wear, while a specialized mesh system helps to dispel any heat and promote airflow so that you don’t feel confined when you need to make a break for it.

Purchase: $350

Law Enforcement

On The Beat

Like the brand’s military-focused footwear, its law enforcement offerings are equally as poised to take on any abnormal situation. High-end fabrics, textiles, and technologies ensure that wearers will have one less thing to worry about while in the field, giving them sure footing, adequate responsiveness, and daily comfort that can make a world of difference.

Kinetic

As a natural parallel to military footwear, the needs of law enforcement officials aren’t drastically different. As such, Danner’s tailor-made Kinetic boot was built to take on the same daily stresses as its military counterparts, while focusing on urban use. An ultra-tough full-grain leather and ripstop nylon upper pairs with the brand’s polyurethane footbed and GORE-TEX liner to provide adequate comfort while on the beat, giving law enforcement officials an agile flagship for those long-winded days outside of the cruiser.

Purchase: $170

Stalwart

The Stalwart was crafted to keep foot fatigue to a minimum, which might seem like a godsend to most law enforcement officials. Like the company’s lauded Acadia silhouette, the Stalwart has become a staple within the world of police and special unit use, thanks to its single-form Bi-Fit board, which combines the shoe’s midsole, lasting board, and shank, an athletic 610 last, and stitch down construction to keep it durable and dependable after miles of urban traversal. Strength and stability are key here, but that doesn’t mean that comfort is pushed to the wayside; a removable footbed has also been implemented to help wearers trade out their worn-through components for yet another cushioned piece.

Purchase: $200

Striker Bolt

Danner’s Striker Bolt is the next generation of the brand’s original Striker, calling upon a decade of experience in the field, and a greater understanding of what it is that makes law enforcement footwear so vital. As an evolution of Danner’s tactical footwear, this next-gen silhouette calls upon the company’s TERRA FORCE NEXT platform, a waterproof, but breathable GORE-TEX liner, and Vibram’s proprietary Striker Bolt outsole to provide unparalleled responsiveness, comfort, and stability for those who live a life in action.

Purchase: $210

Acadia

The Acadia stands at the top of Danner’s law enforcement-focused footwear line, and for good reason. It incorporates the company’s famous stitch down construction, a 100% waterproof GORE-TEX lining, and a durable 1000-denier nylon/full-grain leather upper to battle against wear and tear throughout years of long-winded days on the job. Paired with the lauded Vibram Kletterlift outsole, which gifts enhanced shock absorption qualities and unsurpassed traction atop wet, and dry surfaces, and you’ve got an ultra-stable boot that’s sleek, smooth, and in-line with virtually any other high-end law enforcement boot on the market today.

Purchase: $360

The Complete Guide To Red Wing Boots

Danner has an extensive catalog of footwear, but their offerings aren’t for everyone. If you’re still on the hunt for that perfect pair of boots, you’ll definitely want to check out our complete guide to Red Wing boots.

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