Updates to Danner Instigator

  • The Danner Instigator is a day hiking boot that’s meant to handle challenging terrain in a lightweight package. The brand’s sleek, low-profile Terra Force X Platform is a support system built on an X-frame design. Its ground contact area is filled with aggressive, triangular treads and beveled lugs for granting traction.
  • Hiking bootmaker Danner constructed this product using the Opanka method. It involves double stitching to attach the sock lining, sole and upper together. This construction process is known to deliver comfort and flexibility to the footgear.
  • The EVA midsole supplies the boot with cushioning. The inclusion of a TPU shank yields arch support and reduces foot fatigue.
  • The upper is made from full-grain leather to deliver durability and strength. A toe cap is also included to serve as a shield for the user and the boot itself. It is lined with a Gore-Tex membrane for water protection and moisture expulsion.

Size and fit

The Danner Instigator comes in men's sizes. It is built on Danner’s 850 last which caters to users who are looking for high mileage performance footwear. It provides a fit that feels like an athletic shoe and is supportive. It also grants enough room for natural toe splaying. A quick lacing system with metal eyelets is found on its upper to hold the foot securely and prevent the heel from slipping. A padded collar is incorporated to provide plush comfort to the ankles.


The Approach TFX outsole has parts responsible for braking during descents, improving acceleration and side-hill traction.  The boot’s outsole incorporates beveled lugs to prevent debris from building up.


The Instigator uses Danner’s lightweight Terra Force X Platform as its sole unit. Its midfoot portion has an external molded shank for medial and lateral stability. This component also improves the user's maneuverability and serves as protection from overwork and fatigue of the arch.

This lightweight hiker uses a midsole made of EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate, to give cushioning and flexibility to the foot. EVA midsoles are known to be durable and lightweight, making them suitable for hikers.

An internal shank made of thermoplastic urethane, or TPU, is another component of the Instigator’s midsole. It is resilient and built to maintain torsional rigidity (meaning, it's hard to twist). With this TPU shank, sufficient arch support is supplied to the user to lessen foot fatigue. It also works with the X-frame to promote heel-to-toe energy transfer. An EVA footbed is included to supply additional cushioning.


The Danner Instigator’s upper is crafted from full-grain leather and nubuck. This combination is responsible for the upper’s durability. Its defense against water is made possible by Gore-Tex. This liner hinders water from entering the boot while allowing moisture from the inside to escape, so breathability is not compromised.

In its forefoot section, a scuff-proof toe cap can be found. This upper component is resistant against abrasions. It prevents rocks and other obstacles from damaging the boot. It also shields the hiker from stubbing his/her toes.

Additional Info

  • Danner has discontinued the production of the Instigator for women.
  • The Instigator also comes in a work boot variation that features a steel toe cap in its upper.
  • Looking for other day hiking options from Danner? Check out Danner Light or Danner 453.


The current trend of Danner Instigator.
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Paul Ronto
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Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran 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 analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.