Updates to Danner Light

  • Danner Light is a reintroduced version of the classic boot sold in 1979. While it has kept a few attributes identical to the original model, it is updated with technologies apt for the demands of today’s rugged trails.
  • The built-by-hand boot has a full grain leather upper combined either by 1000 denier nylon panels or Cordura. Gore-Tex lined models are waterproof, while Dri-Lex lined ones are moisture-wicking.
  • It features a stitchdown construction inspired by the classic model. Apart from providing a wider platform, this construction type helps create steadiness. This method also allows for Danner Light’s Vibram Kletterlift outsole, that offers traction on different terrains, a chance to be recrafted.

Size and fit

The Light is the classic hiking boot model from Danner. The men’s boot is 6-inches while the women’s model is 5-inches high. It runs a little long, so Danner recommends going half size down to get the best fit. It is offered in whole and half sizes. It also comes in EE width for men and regular width for women. Its standard lace-up closure allows for a customized and secure fit.

All Danner Light men’s boots are built on the 650 EE last. This last is made for people with low foot volume. It has a characteristically slender profile and a narrow fit. The boot will hug the foot snugly out of the box but could stretch for 3-5% once broken in.

Meanwhile, all of the women’s versions are built from the 650 M last which delivers a women’s specific fit. Based on the 650 last, it offers ample room in the toe box while still having enough stability and support.


Danner Light features a Vibram Kletterlift outsole. This sole, made of various compounds, features the iconic Carrarmato lugs of Vibram. It is identified by the multiple hexagonal lugs for sensitiveness and grip. There are also mud clearing channels for when hikers tackle wet grounds. The heel provides shock absorption.


A fiberglass shank supports the Danner Light. This structure provides resilience to the boots, especially when tackling rugged grounds.

As it is built on the 650 last and its variations, the Light is also designed to be used with the Airthotic. This half-length molded polyurethane instep offers extra support. It works by cupping the heel and supporting the arch of the foot. It is characteristically more rigid than a foam footbed. It also gives a raised arch support and is perforated to promote better air circulation.


Reintroducing a classic shoe, Danner also sought out leathers which are similar to the ones used on the original model released in the 70s. Both men and women’s versions come in four options: Khaki, Black, Cascade, and Cedar Brown. While all of the women’s models come with full-grain leather and 1000 denier nylon, only three of the men’s versions share the same upper material. The Cedar Brown option for men comes with a full-grain leather and Cordura upper. Nonetheless, both are combinations of leather and heavy-duty nylon fabric that make a durable upper.

A Gore-Tex lining on the three options, except the Cascade, also makes the upper breathable and waterproof. This liner keeps water from getting in while moisture and sweat are allowed to get out.

While it’s Sienna Cache leather upper that gives subtle color variations make it noticeable, it is the Cascade’s waterproof lining that sets it apart from the other options. It uses the Dri-Lex, a multi-zone lining system that wicks moisture away. It keeps the boot dry while resisting odor and mildew. Because it is breathable, it is an ideal material to use for boots made for hot weather adventures.

Nice to know

  • An updated version, Danner Light II is also available.
  • This boot is eligible for the brand’s recrafting services which include part replacement, leather care, and restitching.

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 865g / Women 709g
Update: Danner Light II
Use: Backpacking
Cut: High cut
Features: Lace-to-toe, Vintage / Orthotic friendly / Removable insole
Waterproofing: Waterproof
Width: Normal, Wide / Normal

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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.