10 Best Danner Hiking Boots in 2021

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on

Do you need the best there is for all-around performance? Maybe you’re looking for the lightest Danner pair? Or perhaps you’re desperate for something that simply works in the winter? Whichever category you fall under, the right boot awaits you here.

20+ (and counting) fantastic Danner hiking boots were put to the test to bring you our top picks. Each must-have featured here we used ourselves. And, for variety, every hiker has a corresponding alternative.

How we review Danner hiking boots

To showcase Danner’s biggest guns and remain unbiased, we use this approach:

  • RunRepeat doesn’t rely on anyone in purchasing Danner hiking boots. We buy all boots ourselves.
  • We take our time to test every shoe, putting each hiker through the wringer to unveil its full potential—from level of comfort to longevity.
  • In order to make our reviews multi-faceted and comprehensive, we include in the mix hundreds of reviews and opinions from both users and gear pundits.

With all that in the hat, we come up with a CoreScore. This grading system helps us determine which boots are worthy enough to be part of this list.

Best overall

Here comes the absolute Danner beast—the Mountain 600!

Can we just bask in the awesomeness of its Vibram outsole for a while? It might not have the most aggressive lugs, but the way this rubber layer latched on to wet rock was simply unbelievable. While it lacks a heel brake, the Mountain 600’s outsole still managed to secure our footing on descents.

The same outsole also took hard beatings like a champ in our tests. We found no scrapes on it, nor did we see any signs of blowing out. Mind you, we used the Mountain 600 on moderately rough terrain most of the time.

Mobility-wise, the Mountain 600 served us very well. Its support system (particularly around the collar) proved itself worthy without giving any hint of hindrance. And although it is by no means Danner’s lightest trail boot, we felt quite engaged to sprint the extra mile in the Mountain 600, almost as if it’s a trail runner, not a hiker!

Oh, but let’s not forget the plushness that is this Danner boot. Yes, the Mountain 600 comforted our feet from the off. Extra credit goes to its supportive-yet-oh-so-cushy footbed.

We can’t stress this enough: If you need fantastic performance for your day hikes, the Mountain 600 is all you will ever need!

See our full review and facts

Do you want something rather retro and powerful at the same time? Then, slip into the Danner Jag.

This blast from the past is a looker, alright. That said, behind its drawing aesthetics lies luxurious comfort without the necessary honeymoon phase (a.k.a. break-in). Our feet felt nice and cozy in its plush confines on day one!

We find the Danner Jag quite a versatile boot. It performed beyond our expectations on both moderately rugged trails and city streets and pavements. We link this great quality to the boot’s underfoot responsiveness and midfoot flexibility.

But can this vintage stunner take a serious beating? Well, let’s just say that, during our multi-day testing, the Danner Jag’s leather overlays did a remarkable job of keeping scratches and dents at a minimum. Yes, we’re confident that this boot will last long!

As for waterproofing, the Danner Jag was impressive. Our feet came out moist-free after we called it a day. This exemplary water protection came at the expense of less breathability, however.

Still, the Danner Jag is simply irresistible and a mighty fine alternative to our overall top pick.

See our full review and facts

Best lightweight

Out of the dozens of Danner hiking boots we’ve tested, we consider the Trail 2650 Mid GTX the lightest of them all!

It’s true; this agile hiker weighs no more than 400 g per boot. But, listen to this: During our rigorous testing, the Trail 2650 Mid GTX felt way lighter than its printed weight. Fantastic, no?

Comfort is synonymous with the Danner Trail 2650 Mid GTX. “Plush from the get-go” is how we’d describe it, actually. Did we ever get hot feet or blisters in it? Nope. This bad boy is sure to delight your tootsies fresh from the box!

There’s also no way we can let slip its super-grippy outsole from this discussion. Underfoot, the Danner Trail 2650 Mid GTX impressed us on both dry and wet terrain. Muddy inclines didn’t faze this boot, neither did pebbly tracks nor mossy roots.

And let’s not dare cross out its magnificent waterproofing, courtesy of Gore-Tex. We ended up with fresh tootsies after our half-a-day trail excursion. And the cherry on top? Our feet didn’t sweat at all!

We suggest you add the Danner Trail 2650 Mid GTX to your lightweight collection now!

See our full review and facts

Are you in search of a lightweight boot that also provides heightened ankle security? Save your clicks because the Danner Explorer 650 is really what you’re looking for!

At 850 g a pair, the Explorer 650 helped us get past more serious obstacles with extra fluidity. This lightness, which is rather rare in most supportive boots, can be linked to its breathable side panels made of nylon.

Speaking of support, the Explorer 650 is a doozy. You might mistake its slim collar for flimsy, but believe us when we say that it’s the opposite. It locked our ankles in place and gave us confidence over rocky terrain without fail!

We also want to talk about the Explorer 650’s surprisingly tough build. Although we tried our best not to bump into abrasive hazards, we still did. That said, this fantastic alternative to our top pick sustained only a few light dents and smudges.

And just like our top pick, the Danner Explorer 650 was also pampering from the beginning. We give its slender-yet-plush collar extra props here.

So, yeah, we recommend the Danner Explorer 650 despite its slightly higher asking price.

See our full review and facts

Best premium boot

Here it is: Danner’s premium-priced bad boy—the Mountain Light II!

In the area of comfort, this backpacking boot deserves 5 stars. Past its break-in phase, which didn’t take long, the Mountain Light II felt supple all over. Every inch within its pampering confines was simply magical. You really have to experience it for yourself!

Whether on muddy terrain or dry, rocky ground, the Mountain Light II didn’t hold back in terms of surface traction. Its deep, sticky lugs and pronounced heel brake ensured our safe passage on inclines, as well.

With loaded packs, we put the Mountain Light II to the test, traversing meandering paths and uneven terrain for hours. We never got tired feet after the journey—its enduring sole unit supplied us with generous amounts of heel and arch support!

And dare we leave out the Mountain Light II’s luxurious craftsmanship. Its virtually seamless upper is made with authentic leather, buffed into a royal sheen. This boot, with its dapper looks, begs to be brought to town for all to see!

Your time in Mountain Light II will be worth it, so ready your cash and get one ASAP!

See our full review and facts

If you find great amusement in classy boots, you have to add the Danner Explorer to your lavish collection.

Coming in at the same MSRP as our top pick, which costs $380, the Explorer provides rich comfort. It demanded a few days to loosen up fully, but after that, we got personalized plushness out of it. The way it hugged and pampered our feet was off the charts!

 

We experienced no slipping and sliding in the Danner Explorer. Its powerful lugs afforded us reassuring traction on treacherous surfaces (think grassy steeps, muddy slopes, and rocky hillsides).

On the support front, the Danner Explorer was quite impressive. We felt mighty secure around in its collar, preventing us from twisting our ankles during tricky maneuvers.

And what of its waterproofing, you might ask? Simply remarkable! We tested the shoe during a heavy downpour, which lasted approximately 20 minutes, and not one drop got in!

While we liked its semi-slim forefoot a lot (it gave us focused toe-ins, after all), we probably wouldn’t recommend the boot to hikers with bulkier feet because of it.

See our full review and facts

Best winter boot

Don’t let the dead of winter lock you indoors; suit up with the Mountain 600 Weatherized and show the season who’s boss!

Cozy, cozy, cozy! Yes, Danner’s Mountain 600 Weatherized IS cozy! Its 200-gram worth of Primaloft insulation got us enduring the biting cold for several hours. Never did we get cold feet in it, even while we got our tootsies buried in some four-inch of snow.

But what is the boot’s wondrous thermal insulation without softness and comfort? Fortunately, the Mountain 600 Weatherized brought us sheer pampering on day one! During our tests, the boot felt plush and didn’t give us burning sensations nor blisters!

Now, the Mountain 600 Weatherized is also watertight. We submerged the boot in melted ice on purpose, and our feet stayed dry. Moisture simply beaded off its suede leather upper as if it had nothing better to do!

Of course, the Danner Mountain 600 Weatherized wouldn’t be our top pick for winter adventures if it didn’t have the stickiness to match. Yes, its Vibram outsole is that sticky, particularly on ice.

So, to beat frigid trails this winter, you’d better wrap your feet in the Mountain 600 Weatherized!

See our full review and facts

Keep your feet fresh and toasty by gearing up with the Arctic 600 Side-Zip this winter.

Engineered with the same Primaloft tech as our top pick, this Danner offering is set to keep you warm anywhere on the snowy trail. As for our time with it, we couldn’t tell the difference between indoors and outdoors in terms of warmth. In short: We were cozy the whole time through!

The Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip is highly slip-resistant, as well. We hiked on iced-up level terrain, and we didn’t slide. On packed snow, the boot’s toothy lugs gave us reassuring purchase, especially in this one area where we had to climb to gain elevation.

Let’s talk about the Arctic 600 Side-Zip’s comfort level for a second. While some time was required from us to break it in completely, the boot was comfy enough in short bursts.

With an MSRP of $240, the Arctic 600 Side-Zip is more expensive than our top pick for winter hikes. Nonetheless, its excellent performance and matching tough-yet-stylish construction make it a worthwhile investment in our books!

See our full review and facts

Best budget boot

Right here—the Danner Skyridge—should put a big and shiny blip on your budget-friendly radar!

The most “water cooler” aspect about the Skyridge has to be its 150-dollar asking price. Yes, you read that right. This snazzy beast of a boot is a real steal, and complaints we have none!

Past its affordable surface, we dive into its supply of comfort. The Danner Skyridge amazed us from the get-go with its cozy interior. From above our ankles down, the boot was downright comfy. We never encountered bunching or hotspots around its instep, and its heel felt mighty plush.

The Skyridge’s proprietary outsole is one for the books, too. The tread pattern on it, especially at the heel, clung without a hitch on descents. Its multi-faceted lugs also made traversals over soft-soiled terrain slip-free for us!

But is the Skyridge impermeable, you might ask? Yeah! Its Danner Dry membrane (no, it’s not Gore-Tex) kept us going with dry feet through puddles and shallow streams. In moderate rain, droplets just slid off it, like a splash of water on oiled-up leather.

If you want your wallet and feet to thank you, go grab the Danner Skyridge right away!

See our full review and facts

If you adore Danner, and your heart skips a beat at the sight of affordable boots, there’s no reason for you to ignore the South Rim 600!

Selling for a measly $150 a pop (pre-deals), the South Rim 600 is a must-have for those green behind the ears. In our eyes, though, the boot is dirt cheap, just like our top pick.

When it comes to grip, the South Rim 600 is no pushover. Quite the contrary, in fact, as we didn’t slip or lose our footing on mulchy hillsides and dry gravel. We were particularly floored by its sticking prowess on this one muddy slope we had to negotiate.

Now, exceptional comfort is also synonymous with the Danner South Rim 600. It’s one of those plush boots that won’t bother you with drawn-out break-in periods. Yes, we enjoyed the South Rim 600’s cushy interior in just a matter of hours, not days!

While its collar gave us more than enough ankle security, its arch support could be a tad better. Nevertheless, what’s in store for you in the South Rim 600 is undeniably pro-consumer, so you’d better invest in it!

See our full review and facts

-

Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

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.