Our verdict

The Danner Mountain 600 is a hiking boot that rides like a trail running shoe on steroids. Its superbly comfy midsole and well-padded interior made my long weekends on lighter trails a dream. As long as I didn't go wild on technical terrains, the grip did not disappoint! What's more, its simple yet eye-catching design makes it a stylish choice to boot.

Pros

  • Supportive
  • Very comfortable, like a running shoe
  • Oustanding grip
  • Durable
  • Feels light
  • Great out of the box
  • Waterproof
  • Awesome for casual use

Cons

  • Debris gets into the boot
  • Not for technical hiking

Audience verdict

91
Superb!

Who should buy

We recommend the Danner Mountain 600 as a great choice for:

  • Weekend hikers in the market for a comfortable and supportive boot that can tackle quick treks and full-day hikes alike. 
  • Those living in places with big temperature fluctuations as the seasons change and require a boot that performs consistently year-round.
  • Hikers in the market for a waterproof shoe with some level of breathability for river crossings and rainy days.
  • Fashion-minded folks looking for a stylish boot that's form as well as function and can be used for casual days about town.

Danner Mountain 600 uiu

Who should NOT buy

While the Mountain 600's outsole provided us with great traction over mild trails, we don't recommend it to those who frequent more technical terrains. The Salomon Quest 4 GTX is an alternative that can kick ass and take names no matter how challenging the trail.  

For those who prefer a boot with a firmer midsole that's better suited for longer backpacking adventures, we recommend checking out the Asolo Fugitive GTX as a similarly priced alternative. 

Danner Mountain 600 luvgu

The way the heel counter flares out slightly at the rear of the shoe means that some little bits of debris did manage to creep their way into the boot. That's one issue we didn't have to contend with at all when testing the Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 with its snug, sock-like fit. 

Breathability

to get a visual idea of how breathable the Mountain 600 is, we pumped the boot full of smoke in order to observe how easily it filters out. As we can clearly see, the Mountain 600's tongue lets out a rather steady stream of smoke while the rest of the upper remains airtight. This earns the Mountain 600 a 2 out of 5 for breathability; not great in the grand scheme of things, but still better than expected for a waterproof shoe. 

The Merrel Moab 3, on the other hand, quickly lets out plumes of smoke throughout the shoe, making it a much better summer hiking option. 

Inspecting a backlit cross-section of the Mountain 600, we can see that only the perforated mesh tongue allows any light to peek through, thus explaining the boot's adequate airflow in that section. 

As for the rest of the upper, our microscope reveals that it is indeed made out of solid slabs of suede which explains the boot's overall insular nature. 

Danner Mountain 600 Breathability

Danner Mountain 600 Breathability f
Test results
Mountain 600 2
Average 1.7
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

To simulate extreme wear and tear over time, we subjected the Mountain 600 to the relentless grinding of our Dremel, starting with the toebox. Spinning at 5K RPM, we set the abrasive element against the suede upper with 3.2N of force. 

Once the twelve-second test was over, we assessed the damage and found that our tool had merely smoothed over the suede at the point of contact a merely left a tiny scuff in its wake. As such, the Mountain 600 earns a perfect 5 out of 5 for toebox durability. 

Danner Mountain 600 Toebox durability
Test results
Mountain 600 5
Average 4.4
Compared to 17 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Next, we turned our attention to the Mountain 600's heel counter, this time only for four quick seconds. 

Despite the brevity of this test, our tool was able to inflict relatively heavy damage to the Mountain 600. It made quick work of the lining and managed to suck out much of the scant padding found at the heel. 

Danner Mountain 600 Heel padding durability
Test results
Mountain 600 2
Average 3.8
Compared to 17 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Pressing our durometer against the Mountain 600's Vibram outsole yields an average reading of 87 HC. This usually denotes a good balance of grip and durability, the latter of which will be tested by our Dremel in the next section. 

Danner Mountain 600 Outsole hardness
Test results
Mountain 600 87.0 HC
Average 87.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
81.0 HC
Outsole hardness
92.0 HC

Outsole durability

This time spinning at 10K RPM, we set our Dremel against one of the Mountain 600's lugs for twenty-two seconds of abrasive force. 

We then used a tired tread gauge to measure the indent left in the aftermath and found that we had lopped off 0.9 mm of material from the Mountain 600's outsole. Despite being renowned for durability, the Vibram outsole fell short of our expectations this time as the Mountain 600 didn't perform quite as well as the average hiking boot in this test. This shouldn't be too much of an issue when it comes to regular use as there is still plenty of rubber left behind to wear through.

Danner Mountain 600 Outsole durability
Test results
Mountain 600 0.9 mm
Average 0.7 mm
Compared to 14 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Using our caliper, we found the Mountain 600's outsole to be slightly shorter than average at 2.1 mm thick. 

Danner Mountain 600 Outsole thickness
Test results
Mountain 600 2.1 mm
Average 3.1 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1.8 mm
Outsole thickness
5.6 mm

Weight

Tipping the scale at 18.7 oz (529g), the Mountain 600 is heavier than the average hiking boot but not by that much. It still feels rather comfortable underfoot, even on ascents and descents, with a confidence-inspiring heft that makes us feel ready to take on the trails. 

Danner Mountain 600 Weight
Test results
Mountain 600 18.66 oz (529g)
Average 17.92 oz (508g)
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
11.71 oz (332g)
Weight
26.00 oz (737g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The Mountain 600's stack is right on par with our current lab average, measuring 36.8 mm thick at the heel according to our caliper. 

Danner Mountain 600 Heel stack

This provides us with ample foam underfoot that does a great job of dampening our landings and protecting us from harsh obstacles below. 

Test results
Mountain 600 36.8 mm
Average 35.9 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
26.2 mm
Heel stack
46.9 mm

Forefoot stack

The Mountain 600's stack is also within the average range for hiking boots at 23 mm thick according to our caliper measurements. 

Danner Mountain 600 Forefoot stack

In practical terms, this gives us an adequate amount of foam underfoot that feels comfy and protective while still giving us a good sense of the ground below. 

Test results
Mountain 600 23.0 mm
Average 22.5 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
17.0 mm
Forefoot stack
30.7 mm

Drop

The difference between our stack measurements leaves us with a drop height of 13.8 mm. This feels quite natural underfoot, especially for those accustomed to boots with an elevated heel. 

Danner Mountain 600 Drop
Test results
Mountain 600 13.8 mm
Average 13.4 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
2.6 mm
Drop
20.9 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

So far, it seems that the Mountain 600 is the epitome of the average hiking boot, even down to the midsole which gave us an average durometer reading of 24.3 HA.

Danner Mountain 600 jhgkh

This level of softness provided us with balanced cushioning that felt incredibly comfortable during our test hikes whether out for a quick jaunt or a gruelling full-day trek. Apart from softening our landings, the midsole also has a nice little pep in its step that feels pleasant whether on the trails or even out and about around town. 

Test results
Mountain 600 24.3 HA
Average 25.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
15.4 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
53.3 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
Danner Mountain 600 Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

To test the effects of cold weather on the midsole, we put the Mountain 600 in our freezer for twenty minutes. Once appropriately chilled, we pressed our durometer against the midsole once more, this time getting a reading of 29.4 HA. This is, yet again, within spitting range of our current lab average and only 20.9% firmer than at room temperature. As such, the Mountain 600 performs fairly consistently between warm and cold conditions, making it a great year-round boot. 

Test results
Mountain 600 20.9%
Average 21.5%
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Insole thickness

Using our caliper, we measured the Mountain 600's insole to be 6.9 mm thick. This is ever so slightly thicker than average and provides us with a nicely padded internal surface that effectively compliments the boot's midsole cushioning. 

Test results
Mountain 600 6.9 mm
Average 6.0 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
3.7 mm
Insole thickness
10.7 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

The Mountain 600 feels quite stable underfoot 

Torsional rigidity

We were met with so much resistance when attempting to bend and twist the boot in our hands that we could barely get it to budge, thus earning the Mountain 600 the stiffest torsional rigidity of 5 out of 5. 

This meant that the shoe actively resists the natural contortions of our foot as we traverse uneven surfaces, leaving us with a nice and level base that promotes stable and surefooted landings as we hike in this boot. 

Test results
Mountain 600 5
Average 4.2
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter also proved to be quite resistant to our manual manipulations, earning an above-average stiffness score of 4 out of 5. 

As such, the Mountain 600 is able to securely hold our foot in place while still having a bit of wiggle room to allow for some natural lateral movements at the heel. 

Test results
Mountain 600 4
Average 3.4
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Using our caliper, we measured the Mountain 600's midsole to be 113.7 mm wide at the forefoot. It shouldn't be a surprise that this is within the average range for hiking boots and means that we had plenty of platform underfoot to ensure stable landings and toe-offs while testing this boot. 

Danner Mountain 600 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Mountain 600 113.7 mm
Average 112.2 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
96.3 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
124.6 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The Mountain 600's midsole is similarly average at the heel, measuring 91.2 mm wide according to our caliper. 

Danner Mountain 600 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Mountain 600 91.2 mm
Average 88.3 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
71.7 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

To see how flexible the boot is, we secured it to our workbench and found that 42.5N of force is needed to torque the Mountain 600 to 90 degrees which makes it a little stiffer than the average hiking boot. 

While a stiffer boot may not sound too appealing initially, they're actually quite effective over uneven terrains as they prevent excessive flexion when stepping on hard obstacles like rocks or roots. This not only promotes a more stable stride but also mitigates foot fatigue during longer hikes. 

Danner Mountain 600 Stiffness n
Test results
Mountain 600 42.5N
Average 40.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
16.6N
Stiffness
84.7N

Stiffness in cold

Danner Mountain 600 Midsole softness in cold

Difference in stiffness in cold

We also repeated the stiffness test after chilling the Mountain 600 for twenty minutes, with 50.3 N of force needed to bend the shoe to the desired point post-freezer. This is, yet again, on par with our current lab average. However, with only an 18.4% difference in stiffness between warm and cold conditions, the Mountain 600 is a little more consistent than average, making it a good choice for hikers with drastic weather fluctuations between summer and winter. 

Danner Mountain 600 Difference in stiffness in cold
Test results
Mountain 600 18.4%
Average 29%
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
100%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

Falling in line with the boot's average motif are the lugs which are 4 mm thick according to our caliper measurements. This provided us with great traction over most mild trails, given they weren't too technical or wet. We did experience some slips when scrambling across slick slick surfaces. 

Danner Mountain 600 jhhj

For a boot with a more beastly lug configuration, we recommend the Salomon Quest 4 GTX as a grippier alternative that can take on just about any terrain.

Danner Mountain 600 Lug depth
Test results
Mountain 600 4.0 mm
Average 4.1 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
3.0 mm
Lug depth
5.7 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Using our caliper, we found the Mountain 600's toebox to be 102.1 mm at its widest point. This is right on par with our current lab average and means that the Mountain 600 should be accommodating enough for most hikers. 

Danner Mountain 600 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Mountain 600 102.1 mm
Average 102.1 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
95.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
110.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

In the area around the big toe, the Mountain 600 is ever so slightly wider than our current lab average at 81.3 mm wide based on our caliper measurements. This gives us more than enough room for natural toe splay during our stride, even toward the latter mile marker of longer hikes when our feet tend to swell up due to repeated impact. 

Danner Mountain 600 Toebox width at the big toe

Only hikers with very broad feet run the risk of butting up against the boot's sidewalls and developing blisters over time. For a roomier alternative, we recommend checking out the Keen Voyageur Mid instead. 

Danner Mountain 600 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Mountain 600 81.3 mm
Average 79.0 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
67.6 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
91.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The Mountain 600's tongue is fully gusseted on both sides; a common attribute among waterproof hiking boots as it effectively keeps both debris and water from making their way into the boot. 

Danner Mountain 600 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Mountain 600 Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

At only 5.9 mm thick according to our caliper measurements, the Mountain 600's tongue is much less padded than our current lab average. Despite this, however, we found the boot to still feel quite comfortable internally during testing and didn't face any issues with lace bite across our instep once the boot was secure. 

Danner Mountain 600 Tongue padding
Test results
Mountain 600 5.9 mm
Average 11.2 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
5.9 mm
Tongue padding
22.3 mm

Heel tab

The Mountain 600 has a low-profile pull-tab at the heel that's easy to miss but makes sliding the boot on a little smoother. 

Danner Mountain 600 Heel tab
Test results
Mountain 600 Pull tab

Removable insole

The Mountain 600's insole isn't glued in so those in need of additional arch support can use custom orthotics with this boot. 

Danner Mountain 600 Removable insole
Test results
Mountain 600 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The Mountain 600 doesn't feature any reflective elements, so we advise using additional high-vis gear when hiking along the roadside at night. 

Danner Mountain 600 Reflective elements
Test results
Mountain 600 No