963 users: 4.3 / 5
2 experts: 85 / 100
Weight: Men 865g / Women 865g
Use: Day Hiking
Cut: Mid cut
Features: Vintage / Orthotic friendly

Verdict from 8.8 hours of research from the internet

8 reasons to buy

  • A score of satisfied owners applauded the Light II for its excellent heel and ankle support.
  • A large number of hikers couldn’t help but commend the amazing traction this boot provides.
  • The second generation Danner Light impressed a huge chunk of its user base for its durability. According to one of them—a US Army soldier—it’s one of the sturdiest boots he has ever owned.
  • Many wearers found a high level of comfort in this hiking footwear.
  • This above-the-ankle hiker gained positive remarks from a multitude of owners for its waterproof performance. One expert reviewer even conquered streams, snowy regions, and wet grasslands with not a trace of moist on his feet.
  • Many Danner enthusiasts considered the Light II a worthwhile investment.
  • Quite a number of customers were all praises for this leather hiker’s satisfying breathability.
  • This boot is surprisingly lightweight, according to a good number of users. One of them even likened it to a pair of slippers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Many users weren’t too thrilled about the long break-in time the Danner Light II demands.
  • A considerable number of owners came away irked by the narrowness of the boot. A couple of hikers got further disappointed when the supposed wider version was still too narrow for them.

Bottom line

The Danner Light II is a tough-as-nails, mid-cut day hiking boot that takes comfort and stability to a whole new level. It’s a beautifully crafted footwear with a surprisingly lightweight build, satisfactory traction on challenging terrain, and a price tag that—although quite expensive—is considered a worthy investment by many. Water intrusion and heat buildup also do not pose a problem as the Light II has a breathable waterproof membrane by Gore-Tex. On the flip side, buyers criticized the boot for having a too-narrow default fit and requiring a long break-in period.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

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  • The second edition of the Danner Light is a leather hiking footwear that is supportive as it is comfortable. Its upper is a fusion of stitched nubuck or full-grain leather and 1000-denier nylon fabric. The waterproofness of the boot is powered by Gore-Tex.
  • The designers used a 650 last type for this boot as opposed to the previous edition’s 650 EE. This specific last makes the footwear’s interior narrower by default.
  • This hiker now comes with Danner Airthotic which is the Light II’s removable footbed. It is a stiff, half-length insole that provides arch support and cups the heel.
  • The boot’s extra-thick EVA midsole lessens shock upon ground contact and provides stability during maneuvers. Traction on various terrain types, on the other hand, is provided by the Vibram Kletterlift outsole.

The Danner Light II is a hike for men and women. A secure fit is achieved through the lace-up closure. The amount of lace coverage of this closure system gives the wearer a personalized lockdown, especially if enough pressure is applied to the upper laces. The boot is constructed with the 650 last which makes its overall profile narrow.

Vibram’s Kletterlift outsole is what gives the Danner Light II its traction on both wet and dry surfaces. This proprietary rubber outsole is made of Vibram’s Megagrip compound which is characterized by durability and adaptability. Its heel zone is specifically engineered to absorb shock upon landing.

The boot’s primary lugs are tire-like and strategically placed along the borders of the outsole. This lug placement allows the Light II to bite into various surface types and conditions from practically every direction.

This boot is made using Danner’s stitchdown construction, which allows recrafting. The recrafting process involves reworking the leather, restitching the seams and replacing the boot’s outsole.

This mid-cut hiker gives wearers comfort and stability, thanks primarily to its EVA midsole. A midsole made of EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate, is not just cushy, it’s flexible and durable as well. The extra arch support is made possible by the embedded fiberglass shank—a supportive, non-metal component that is both lightweight and flexible.

The removable, stiff footbed cradles the wearer’s heel and supports the arch. The raised arch can maintain its form over time. It is also perforated, which promotes breathability.

The Danner Light II is a 6-inch day hiking footwear with a nubuck or full-grain leather upper. The ankle coverage is made of 1000-denier nylon which is lightweight and contributes to the boot’s overall breathability.

Helping the leather upper keep the wearer’s feet dry is the waterproofing membrane by Gore-Tex. This piece of waterproofing technology is also breathable and windproof.

The boot’s lacing system secures the foot all the way to the ankle cuff. It consists of a combination of plated eyelets and riveted, metallic speed hooks.

  • Boots made using stitchdown construction, just like the Light II, can be recrafted by Danner. The shoe can undergo this service if the welt base has no cracks, the flex point has no deep cracks, the eyestay has no holes, and the sole has plenty of welt.
  • For potential buyers searching for other hiking boot alternatives from the same maker, see Danner 435 or Danner Mountain 600.

Size and fit

True to size based on 437 user votes
Small (19%)
True to size (71%)
Large (10%)
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How Light II compares

This shoe: 90
All shoes average: 88
40 99
This shoe: £380
All shoes average: £210
£50 £500
This shoe: 865g
All shoes average: 593g
234g 1220g
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.