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90 / 100 based on 7 expert reviews
For a fall boot, one that needs to perform in dicey conditions both on the trail and around town in funky weather, these are awfully hard to beat.
I’m pretty stoked on the Explorer 650’s as a hiking boot. They’re light, comfortable, durable, and waterproof.
For myself, the lightweight and flexibility of these boots can’t be beaten. They are waterproof, they have excellent traction, and they look great.
Modeled after the legendary Danner Light hiking boot, the Explorer 650 manages to find a comfortable balance between heritage-inspired design and modern technology.
We’ve been testing the Danner 650s out for a few weeks now and we’ve been impressed throughout.
Incredibly lightweight and very comfortable, the Danner Explorer 650 are great boots for easier hikes and trails.
- The Danner Explorer 650 has the Vibram Escape outsole. It features self-adapting lugs placed at strategic locations to provide optimal traction and long-term durability.
- The Vibram SPE midsole and the multi-density Ortholite footbed provide comfort. The combination also delivers two times more resilience than the conventional EVA midsole. The system distributes the effect of impact forces over the whole midsole, thereby reducing the risk of injuries.
- The Danner Explorer 650 has different variants. The one that features a full-grain leather upper with parts of nylon has sturdiness and durability. It can also adapt to the natural shape of the foot. The version with suede and nylon upper is tough and breathable.
This product is offered in standard width and lengths for men and women. The Danner Explorer 650 wide hiking boot is for men only. It generally runs true to size. The sturdy upper in all three versions of the day hiking boot provides the needed security. The lace-up closure gives a snug fit. The mid-cut design reduces the risk of twisting one’s ankle. The semi-curved shape ensures an adaptable fit. It uses the DPDX last for a sleek, low-profile look with enough room for comfort. Danner built the shoe on this last to promote surefootedness—the ability to tackle rough terrain safely—without the extra bulk.
The Vibram Escape outsole is a combination of strategically placed lugs and the Megagrip compound. The lugs self-adapt themselves to provide the needed traction in different directions. The rubber compound, which works in synergy with the lugs, further enhances the grip of the boot on tricky terrain.
The SPE (Specialized Performance Elastomer) midsole from Vibram is a new compound that combines ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and rubber. This component still has the same cushioning abilities as the traditional EVA midsole but has more durability. This blend promises enhanced support, comfort and bounce.
In its midsole, the Danner Explorer 650 features an Ortholite footbed. It has three layers varying in density to provide optimum support and cushioning. It has an open-cell polyurethane construction to allow dissipation of heat and circulation of air.
The shank is exposed—it can be seen from the bottom of the boot. Made of TPU, it stiffens the boot and provides a stable platform to the wearer.
The Explorer 650 has a sleek profile. Two of its variants feature a full-grain leather upper with parts of nylon. It provides the needed comfort and durability. Full-grain leather does not go through any sanding procedures and is, therefore, the reason for the dull shine of the boot. The suede and nylon upper variant offers similar features and has breathability.
The Danner Dry technology is a waterproof yet breathable barrier. It works in synergy with the mesh lining to allow the air to enter, keep the interior dry and maintain the temperature for the right amount of coolness inside the footgear.
The flat shape of the laces enables them to remain tied unlike the conventional round laces which tend to untie easily. Moreover, there is the cushioned tongue with a mesh liner featured over the waterproof layer for comfort. The tongue is gusseted to keep out the elements.