Who should buy the Danner Explorer 650 

Hikers who prefer a mix of suede and leather (strategically placed to achieve durability), will find the Danner Explorer 650 an excellent option if:

  • The hiker prefers a waterproof yet lightweight boot.
  • The hiker needs protection and support from a mid-cut boot.

Danner Explorer 650 logo

Sticky outsole

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.

Danner Explorer 650 rubber outsole

Durable, supportive cushioning

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.

Danner Explorer 650 shank support

Lightweight upper of the Explorer 650

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.

Danner Explorer 650 leather upper

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.

Danner Explorer 650 flat laces


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.

Danner Explorer 650 lacing

Danner Explorer 650's silhouette

The Explorer 650 is the reimagined version of the Danner Light. The classic waterproof hiker was released in the 1970s. The hiking boot brand Danner links past to the future through this boot by combining heritage features with their latest footwear technologies.

Danner Explorer 650 collar

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 16.5oz / Women 15oz
Base model: Danner Explorer
Use: Day Hiking
Cut: Mid cut
Features: Lightweight / Vintage / Orthotic friendly / Removable insole
Waterproofing: Waterproof
Width: Normal

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Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyzes every detail of the shoes that you might buy.