Verdict from 1 expert and +100 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • A number of users found a true-to-size fit in their Danner Explorer boots.
  • Many owners were impressed with the hiker’s effective waterproofing.
  • Its high comfort level captivated several wearers.
  • The Explorer was praised by a group of reviewers for having superb durability.
  • Less than a handful of testers, including a shoe critic by profession, commended the outsole’s amazing grip performance.
  • An expert spoke quite positively of the boot’s astonishingly flexible collar.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some hikers were not happy about the its narrowness, especially around the forefoot.
  • A few patrons criticized the Danner Explorer for its unflattering heaviness.
  • This above-the-ankle hiking footgear disappointed a professional blogger with its hit-or-miss arch support.
  • A couple of customers detested the boot’s time-demanding break-in phase.

Bottom line

Danner designers are known for making long-lasting footwear, and in the case of the Explorer—concerning its durability, they have seemingly made yet another masterpiece. Their brilliance in boot-making can also be seen in the hiker’s A-grade waterproofing, super-precise fit, and overflowing amounts of comfort. That said, the gear, with all its trail-worthy characteristics, is not without a few faults. Indeed, some questioned its width, while some lambasted its cumbersome weight. Nevertheless, the Danner Explorer is an excellent choice for those who find its strengths quite empowering in their adventures.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Good to know

  • The Danner Explorer 6” brown leather boot is adequately equipped with trail-specific features suitable for day-long hikes. Its stitchdown construction gives it a wider platform, thus granting users improved stability.
  • This hiking gear is part of Danner’s lineup of recraftable footwear; once pre-conditions are met, its outsole may be replaced with a new one for a nominal fee.

The Danner Explorer is a fairly true-to-size, mid-cut leather footgear for male and female hikers. Lengthwise, its sizing options include whole and half sizes. In terms of width, the men’s boot comes in D – standard and 2E – wide, while the women’s version is only offered in B – standard. It is built on the 650 last, making its overall profile sleek and its confines a bit on the narrow side. The brand, thus, advises those with bulkier feet to consider getting a pair of Danner Explorer boots in 2E – wide. Its lace-up closure provides a personalized fit.

Trail seekers are promised security on precarious backcountry surfaces, may they be in wet or dry condition, with the Explorer’s grippy Vibram Kletterlift outsole. Its slip and skid resistance comes mostly from its numerous lugs—both the blocky protrusions along its edges and the cross-shaped studs at its center.

This Danner hiker has a hardy yet springy midsole to help wearers keep their balance on tricky trails with enough cushioning and shock mitigation. It comes with a shank made of fiberglass for improved underfoot support, especially around the arch. Atop it is a brand-exclusive footbed called Danner Airthotic, a special kind of insole that cups the heel and doubles down on arch support.

The Explorer, which uses the silhouette of the Danner Light boot, owes its earthy look to its stitched-on upper made of full-grain leather. It has a liner engineered with a Gore-Tex membrane, rendering the boot capable of staying breathable and waterproof in harsh weather conditions. It has a semi-gusseted tongue to keep intrusive debris out. A round synthetic lace and combination eyelets comprise the entirety of its front closure.


How Danner Explorer ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 41% hiking boots
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Bottom 43% Danner hiking boots
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Top 41% day hiking hiking boots
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The current trend of Danner Explorer.
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Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.