3 Best Danner Hiking Boots in 2024

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
3 Best Danner Hiking Boots in 2024
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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.

We put fantastic Danner hiking boots to the test to bring you our top picks. We tackled every possible feature in detail, both positive and negative. Each must-have featured here we used ourselves. And, for variety, we selected a corresponding best pair for various categories.

How we test hiking boots

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

  • RunRepeat doesn’t rely on anyone to purchase Danner hiking boots. We buy all the boots ourselves to eradicate any form of bias.
  • We take our time to test every shoe, putting each hiker through the wringer to unveil its full potential—from the level of comfort to longevity.
  • In order to make our reviews multi-faceted and comprehensive, we include the data we gather inside our lab. One of the things we test is how hard the outsole is and how deep the lugs are for us to be able to investigate more about grip, as well as outsole durability. We also cut the shoes into pieces to examine the parts of the shoes that are not normally displayed.

Best Danner hiking boots overall

What makes it the best?

Among the Danner hiking boots we assessed in our backcountry journeys, the Danner Mountain 600 was the optimal fit for our standards. From the very step, this hiking boot brought instant comfort. With the Mountain 600, our treks are not only bearable but actually delightful. We are completely won over by its highly effective moisture-resistant construction.

The support delivered by the sturdy collar as well as the cushioned yet stabilising insole of this hiking boot safeguarded our ankles from trembly strides even on bumpy trails. The boot ensured our steadiness and comfort all throughout the day. Scrapes and blisters, which we ordinarily stumbled upon with hiking boots on long heights, were absent in the Danner Mountain 600. 

We also attested that our feet would remain dry as long as they didn’t leave the Danner Mountain 600. For this kind of performance, its £210 price tag is expected. However, we don’t recommend it to frugal hikers and shoppers as it is 13.4% pricier than the average.

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
Full review of Danner Mountain 600

Danner hiking boots with the best quality

What makes it the best?

The Mountain Light sets the standard for top-notch quality, showcasing unquestionable durability, reliable grip, and dependable protection among Danner hiking boots. In lab tests, it exhibits exceptional resistance to wear and tear, maintaining its integrity even after our most challenging hikes with the harshest terrain conditions.

During our explorations, it withstands diverse environmental conditions with ease, serving as a shield against freezing temperatures and moisture. The boot's waterproofing and insulation properties are further proven by our lab with a 1/5 breathability score. Its handmade leather construction showcased resilience, with minimal signs of damage even after rigorous testing, receiving a perfect durability rating. The same was observed for the heel padding, cementing the boot’s quality craftsmanship.

The Vibram outsole provides superior traction on rugged and rocky paths, boasting harder and thicker rubber than average for extra underfoot protection and longevity. Our durometer reveals a high 91.6 HC reading while the rubber measures 4.8 mm thick. Moreover, its 5.8 mm aggressive lugs enhance stability and control, boasting exceptional braking power on steep slopes.

However, the boot is extremely stiff and requires a taxing break-in period. For hikers prioritising immediate comfort, it might not be the ideal choice initially.

Pros

  • Highly durable leather and rubber
  • Premium materials and craftsmanship
  • Top-notch waterproofing
  • Can be resolved and recrafted
  • Secure lockdown and support
  • Very stable and reliable platform
  • Sexy and snazzy vintage look

Cons

  • Breaking in takes time and effort
  • The heaviest boot out there
  • VERY expensive
Full review of Danner Mountain Light

Best town-to-trail Danner hiking boots

Danner Jag
88
Great!

What makes it the best?

Blending style with function, the Danner Jag offers a retro charm with modern durability that withstands harsh environmental elements remarkably. We found its lightweight design extremely versatile, offering the most seamless town-to-trail transitions among Danner’s hiking roster.

At 17.0 oz (482g), this heavy-duty boot weighs even lighter than the 18.5 oz (523g) average. It makes it a great companion for casual wear, especially with its classic look. In the lab, our bend test reveals it’s as flexible as the average, making it versatile enough for other activities.The Danner Jag effortlessly moves between trails and pavements, thanks to its 3.7 mm lugs. These are slightly shallower than the 4.2 mm average, ensuring a smoother feel on the road without compromising traction on loose terrain.

This premium boot excels in durability, withstanding our rigorous Dremel test across its outsole, heel, and upper. Scoring an impressive 92.1 HC on our durometer, it's built to last. Meanwhile, the heel and upper both received remarkable 4/5 durability scores. The upper is not only protective against abrasions but water and cold weather too. We never went home with wet and cold feet in our trials due to the impermeable material that embraced us. However, its low breathability makes it feel like an oven during summer hikes. Best to use this pair in colder seasons only.

Pros

  • Versatile for both city and trail
  • High-quality materials
  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Indestructible outsole
  • Lighter than average
  • Minimal break-in period
  • Firm and grounded platform
  • Stylish retro aesthetic

Cons

  • Lacks cushioning for longer hikes
  • Not for severe overpronation
Full review of Danner Jag

Danner hiking boots are possibly the most iconic boots out there. They've been making hiking boots in the US for almost 100 years now and have become well-known for their long-lasting designs. Even the celebs were them which has made Danner a bit of a fashion brand too, but that hasn't compromised their quality. Here’s a deep dive into the American hiking boot brand.

What makes Danner hiking boots special?

With almost a century of boot-making heritage, Danner has refined their products to ones that are based on tradition, but not afraid of innovation.

Danner hiking boots are best known for:

  • Quality
  • Comfort
  • Fit
  • Performance
  • Sustainability

Quality construction

Danner hiking boots are built to last, with quality construction that stands the test of time. Every pair is crafted from premium materials like full-grain leather and Cordura fabrics for durability and comfort. Reinforced toe boxes provide added protection against the elements while speed lacing systems lock your feet into place for a secure fit on any terrain. With top-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, Danner boots will provide brilliant protection and performance on a wide variety of hikes.

Comfort in tough conditions

All hikes want an ample level of comfort and support, and Danner is known for both. Their anatomical footbeds are designed to match the contours of your feet, providing cushioning and arch support that reduce fatigue over long hikes. The leather uppers also provide breathability while locking in warmth. With the dependable Danner fit and high-quality materials, this brand keeps your feet comfortable and supported.

A good range of sizes and widths

The fit and size of your hiking boots should be a primary consideration when choosing the right pair as every foot is unique and the right pair of boots should provide the perfect fit for your individual needs. From narrow to wide widths, Danner offers multiple sizes in every model, so that you can find your ideal fit.

Performance when you need it

When it comes to performance, Danner hiking boots lead the pack. With brilliant support and traction in tough conditions, you can trust that these boots will help you navigate your way through challenging terrain. Vibram soles, used in many of their boots, provide an aggressive grip against slippery surfaces, while the shock-absorbing midsoles cushion your feet from impact. From muddy trails, rocky terrain, or icy slopes, Danner boots have a solution so that you can hike comfortably and safely.

Sustainability in all the right ways

Dannersay they’re committed to creating sustainable, environmentally conscious products, a lot of brands say this but are they actually doing it? Through their 'Earthkeepers' initiative, create products that minimise environmental impact without compromising on quality. All of their leathers and fabrics are sustainably sourced and certified, while their eyelets and other hardware are made from recycled materials.

They also use sustainable manufacturing processes and energy-efficient technology to ensure that their products are as eco-friendly as possible. There's more info below on their eco-focused Recraftable initiative.

Danner has dozens of styles and types of hiking boots and hiking shoes, here we take a look at three of their most iconic creations:

  • Danner Mountain 600
  • Danner Trail 2650
  • Danner Mountain Light

Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots explained

The Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots are one of the most popular and reliable options for hikers. Featuring a classic, leather upper and breathable mesh fabric lining, these boots provide durable protection while still being comfortable enough to wear all day long. The Vibram Fuga outsole provides brilliant traction on both wet and dry surfaces, while their shock-absorbing midsole reduces fatigue on long hikes.

Where the Danner Mountain 600 excel

These boots also feature a removable OrthoLite foot that provides cushioning and arch support for enhanced comfort. With a waterproof and breathable membrane, these boots also keep your feet dry in all types of weather.

Where the Danner Mountain 600 falls short

The biggest downside to the Danner Mountain 600 is its somewhat stiff fit, which can be difficult to break in. They are also quite heavy due to their thick leather construction, so they may not be ideal for long backpacking trips. But, for day hikes and other outdoor activities, these boots could be a winner.

Danner Trail 2650 explained

The Danner Trail 2650 hiking shoes and mid-boots are a very popular choice for plenty of outdoor enthusiasts. With a trail-running-inspired design, these lightweight and breathable shoes provide optimal cushioning and stability while still having an athletic fit. The leather upper is both durable and water-resistant, while the Vibram sole brings a good level of traction on wet and dry surfaces.The shock-absorbing midsole also reduces fatigue and ensures a comfortable ride even on long hikes.

Where the Danner Trail 2650 excel

The Danner Trail 2650 hiking boots could be the perfect choice for any hiker looking for a lightweight option. With a lightweight and breathable design, these shoes provide optimal cushioning and stability while still having an athletic fit. The leather upper is both durable and water-resistant and there are even Gore-Tex options if you feel the need for more waterproofing.

Where the Danner Trail 2650 falls short

The Danner Trail 2650 aren't perfect though, as they may not be as durable or waterproof as other leather boots unless you upgrade to the Gore-Tex variant. There have also been reports of the laces coming undone easily during long hikes, so it is important to double-check them before heading out. They're best suited to people looking for a lightweight and very mobile solution.

Danner Mountain Light Boot explained

The Danner Mountain Light Boot is a classic, full-grain leather boot that provides durable protection and comfort. It’s got a waterproof Gore-Tex lining, plus a Vibram Kletterlite outsole for superior traction on wet and dry surfaces. Despite their retro and almost clunky look, these boots are lightweight and breathable, making them an ideal choice for hikers on long hikes.

Where the Danner Mountain Light Boot excels

The Danner Mountain Light Boot is one of those boots that you either love or hate, based on how it looks. Personally, I love them and if you’re in the market for a hiking boot that stands out on the trail or when you wear them in town, then you should consider the Danner Mountain Light.

Where the Danner Mountain Light Boot falls short

The Danner Mountain Light Boot can be difficult to break in due to the boot's stiff fit and thick leather construction. The biggest deterrent though will likely be the price as you’re paying for that unique design, quality materials, and cost of producing in the US.

This is just a sample of some of Danner's most popular options. To give you a sense of how diverse their range is, check out our comparison table below.

Feature

Danner Mountain 600

Danner Trail 2650

Danner Mountain Light

Upper Material

Suede Leather / Mesh

Suede Leather / Mesh

Full-Grain Leather

Waterproofing

Danner Dry

Danner Dry

Gore-Tex

Midsole

Vibram SPE

Vibram SPE

Vibram Kletterlift

Outsole

Vibram Fuga

Vibram 460

Vibram Cristy

Weight (per pair)

2 lbs. 8 oz. (men's)

2 lbs. 2 oz. (men's)

2 lbs. 7 oz. (men's)

Height

4.5 inches (ankle)

3.5 inches (low-cut)

5 inches (mid)

Heel-to-Toe Drop

20 mm

14 mm

24 mm

Recraftable

Yes

Yes

Yes

Made in USA

No

No

Yes

Danner Recraftable explained

Danner has a unique and sustainable feature in their footwear line called Recraftable. These boots can be repaired and restored to their original condition through the process of “recrafting”. This involves using new materials and techniques to extend the life of the boots. In a world where every brand claims to be sustainable, repairing your boots is much better than buying a new pair.

They're still the Danner boots people know and love

Danner's Recraftable boots are designed to be durable, sustainable, and environmentally responsible without compromising on quality. They’re made using high-quality materials such as full-grain leather and dependable Vibram soles that can withstand wear and tear. When the time comes, these boots can be easily repaired when worn out.

Repaired in America

The recrafting process involves skilled craftsmen disassembling the boot, replacing damaged or worn parts, and then reassembling it using the same techniques and materials as a new boot. All of this is done at Danner's factory in Portland, Oregon.

Keep your favourite boots wearable for longer

Recrafting a Danner boot can extend its lifespan by years, reducing the need to purchase new boots, minimising waste, and most importantly reducing the amount of carbon created. It also allows you to keep wearing favourite pair of Danner hiking boots, even after years of use.

What does recrafting actually do?

Danner offers several recrafting options for its boots, including resoling, full recrafting, and restoration. Prices for recrafting vary depending on the extent of the repair needed, but the cost is generally much lower than purchasing a new pair of boots.

A brief history of Danner hiking boots

We've mentioned that Danner is an almost 100-year-old company, but how did it start and survive? Its past shows why Danner boots are so well-loved.

Created for the Pacific Northwest

Charles Danner founded Danner in 1932. It was located in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Initially, Danner produced logging boots for the Pacific Northwest logging industry, a notoriously steep and wet region of the world. Their boots were crafted to withstand the harsh conditions of the logging industry on uneven terrain, rain-soaked worksites, and heavy machinery.

Danner branches out into hiking boots in the 60s

Danner started adding hiking boots and outdoor footwear to their product line in the 1960s, in line with the rising interest in outdoor activities such as hiking and camping among Americans. In the 1970s, they released their first piece of hiking-specific footwear, the Danner Light, which revolutionised hiking footwear with its lightweight build and exceptional comfort. The boot gained popularity among outdoor enthusiasts and became the benchmark for hiking boots for a long time.

Embracing new technology since the 80s

Danner made advancements and grew its product line during the 1980s and 1990s as new technologies were released. They added tech like Gore-Tex waterproofing and Vibram soles and began producing work boots, military boots, and hunting boots, this established them as a leading brand during this time.

Danner boots today

Today, Danner is now known as a premier brand for outdoor footwear, particularly hiking boots, they still make workwear boots, but are predominately focused on hiking and lifestyle footwear now. The company still produces many of its boots in the Pacific Northwest and has a reputation for quality craftsmanship and durability. Danner's commitment to quality and innovation has helped it maintain its position as a leader in the outdoor footwear industry for nearly a century.

Six facts about Danner hiking boots

With so much history and heritage behind the brand, there are some surprising facts out there about Danner that show how they’re attractive to both hikers and non-hikers.

1 - Danner boots are used by military forces

Since World War II, the US military has been wearing Danner boots, which are highly regarded for their quality and durability.

2 - Danner hiking boots have been on the silver screen

The hiking boot, Danner's Light II, became popular after being featured in movies such as "Wild" worn by Reese Witherspoon and "The Great Outdoors" starring Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. Witherspoon's movie saw a huge surge in interest and sales in Danner Light II boots.

3 - Even more celebs have worn Danner hiking boots

Danner boots have been worn by a number of famous faces, like Barack Obama, Steve McQueen, and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. They've carved out a good niche in the burgeoning 'gorp-core' world in fashion and have been featured on the likes of the style-focused site Hypebeast.

4 - Danner boots are made in the USA

The factory owned by Danner in Portland, Oregon has a workforce of more than 100 employees. Thousands of pairs of boots are produced in the factory every year.

5 - Danner has a history of being environmentally friendly

Danner has a significant record of backing conservation and environmental efforts. They've collaborated with organisations like the Oregon State Parks to safeguard and conserve natural resources.

6 - Danner boots have been worn in the most extreme locations

Danner boots have been worn on some of the world's most challenging expeditions, including Mount Everest and the North Pole. Professional mountaineers and adventurers trust Danner boots for their reliability and performance in extreme conditions.

Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto
Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run 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.