Danner Boots Honest Review and Buying Guide For 2023

Danner Boots Honest Review and Buying Guide For 2021

So you’re curious about buying a pair of Danner boots but are wondering if they are worth the cost? Or maybe you’re confused about which are the best Danner boots for your needs? Well, you’ve come to the right place! This comprehensive Danner boots buying guide will answer all your questions. I am providing Danner boots reviews based on 5+ years of firsthand experience wearing them hiking and traveling. Plus, you’ll also get a men’s perspective from my husband who owns numerous pairs of Danner boots. We’ve got you covered!

Disclaimer: This blog post is in collaboration with Danner. As always, my thoughts and opinions are honest and entirely my own. This blog post features some affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you make a purchase (at no extra cost to you). It’s one of the ways I can keep producing free guides and resources for my readers. Learn more about my affiliate policy here. Thank you for the support!

Danner Boots Honest Review and Buying Guide For 2023

As I briefly mentioned above, I have many years of experience owning and wearing Danner boots. In fact, over the years I have traveled to 10+ countries with my Danners and also took them to every US national park on my 2017 parks road trip. I’ve hiked countless trails all over the US and internationally in Danner boots and worn them on numerous sight-seeing trips. I think in total I have 7 pairs… so I definitely know a thing or two about their comfort, durability, and function.

Are Danner Boots Worth The Cost?

In short, yes, I think Danners are worth the cost. In saying that, there is a wide difference in pricing between their boots, so it does depend on which boots you select and how often you plan to wear them. I am a big believer in buying high-quality items and taking care of them to ensure years of usage. If you treat your Danner boots with love and get ample use out of them, I definitely think they are worth the cost. Plus, I also think it’s worth investing your money in ethical and local companies (more on that below!)

Are Danner Boots An Ethical Company To Buy From?

If you’re anything like me then you definitely look into companies before purchasing from them. I like to ensure my money is going towards an ethical business that has a mission I believe in. The company was founded in 1932 by Charles Danner and has been Portland-based for almost 90 years now. A good portion of Danner boots are still USA-made, so you can feel good about shopping locally.

From a sustainability perspective, Danner uses high-quality materials to ensure their products are built to last, and they also offer boot recrafting in their Portland shop to help bring any well-worn boots back to life. High-quality, slow fashion will always outlast any trends or fads! And will ultimately mean you spend less money in the long run.

The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Danner Boots

Danner has a wide range of shoes to choose from, both for men and women. Their product line includes shoes for hiking, working, hunting, military, and law enforcement. They also offer more lifestyle-friendly footwear that are perfect for everyday life, low-key adventures, and travel. This Danner boots buying guide is mostly focused on their hiking and lifestyle ranges, as that is what I have personally tried over the years.

How Do Danner Boots Fit?

I find that the fit varies depending on which shoe/boot you are referring to. I am generally a standard size in their shoes but have come across a couple of exceptions. For example, in the Mountain Light Boots I take a half size smaller than their other boots. I find the descriptions on their website are accurate in terms of telling you to size up or down. I have narrow feet and my husband has wide feet and both of us have found Danner boots that fit well.

Are Danner Boots Comfortable?

Overall I definitely find my Danner boots to be comfortable. I would say that the heavier leather options take a couple of wears to fully mold to your feet but the more lightweight boots are instantly super comfortable. For example, the first time I wore my Mountain 600 Boots I hiked 5+ miles on a rocky trail without any blisters or rubbing. I find the Vibram soles of Danner boots to be more cushioned than some other options on the market and they are also adaptable if you need to add in your own insoles or orthotics (maybe 1/2 size up).

Are Danner Boots Waterproof?

Many of Danner’s shoes are waterproof, but not their entire range. It is very clear under each listing which ones are waterproof and which ones aren’t. For the boots that are sold as “waterproof” options, I can definitely vouch for their ability to keep your feet dry. Living in the Pacific Northwest means I am often hiking in wet conditions, and my Danner boots never let me down. They have an ongoing partnership with Gore-Tex, so you can rest assured that they use the highest quality waterproofing possible.

How Are Danners On Slippery Terrain?

Again, it does depend on which shoes your purchase, but overall Danners have good traction in my experience. Most of the trails I hike on are rocky and slippery and I find all of my Danners to hold up well on this kind of terrain. My Mountain 600 Boots in particular have been awesome on slippery Pacific Northwest hikes.

Do YouR FeeT Get Hot in Danner Boots?

I sound like a broken record… but again, it depends on which Danners you choose. For example, I do find that my feet get hot in the middle of summer when wearing my Mountain Light Boots or my Mountain Pass Boots. That’s because these boots are leather, on the heavier side, and more suited to colder temperatures (in my opinion).

For warmer weather hikes I opt for a lighter pair of Danner’s such as my Mountain 600 Boots or my Trail 2650 Shoes. The kind of socks you choose will also play a part in how warm your feet get. I personally love wearing merino wool socks because of their breathability, moisture-wicking nature, and odor resistance. There’s a whole section in my Best Hiking Shoes for Women and Men blog with tips to keep your feet blister-free and happy!

What Is Their Durability Like Over The YEars?

All of my pairs of Danner boots are holding up strong, and some I have had for over 5 years. My husband did notice the soles of his Mountain Pass Boots were losing some traction after 4+ years of hiking and backpacking in them but it seemed like a totally normal amount of wear and tear for having walked literally thousands of miles in them.

Danner uses the finest leathers in their manufacturing process and each hide undergoes a strenuous sequence of tests to ensure durability and consistency. They continue to supply boots to the U.S. Military and law enforcement, so I think that alone speaks to the quality and durability of their boots!

Are They Really As Cute As In All The Photos?

Yes! I literally get so many questions about my Danner boots because of how aesthetic they look in photos. I have also had numerous people stop me out on the trails to tell me how much they love my boots and to ask where I got them from. Aesthetics shouldn’t be your first concern when trying to find a good quality boot to wear, but it certainly is a factor for most people! I love how my Danner boots instantly make an outfit look more stylish, whether I’m hiking, traveling, or walking around town.

Best Danner Boots for hiking

The following selections are my top picks of the best Danner boots for hiking. There are others to choose from in their range but I think these are your best bet based on my own personal experience, my husband’s experience, online reviews, and insights from friends.

Danner Mountain 600 Boots

The Danner Mountain 600 Boots are a modern take on their classics. Made from durable suede and paired with Danner Dry lining, these boots provide good ventilation and protection from wet conditions. The Vibram SPE Midsole also ensures great grip on almost any terrain. These are definitely some of the most comfortable boots in my collection and I wear them for day hiking and backpacking adventures.

Note that any Danner boots can have their laces swapped out for another color. I sometimes switch out my red laces for brown, depending on the trip/adventure and what kind of outfits I have packed.

Best suited for? Day hikes, backpacking, warm weather.

Are they waterproof? Yes

Danner Adrika Boots

The Danner Adrika Boots are built to take you from the streets to the mountains. Cute enough for around town, but also durable enough to handle most mountain adventures. Similar to the Danner Mountain 600 Boots, the Adrika are made from suede and lined with Danner Dry lining to keep your feet dry in the wet. The Adrika Boots come up higher around the ankle, so I reach for these on hikes with uneven terrain where I feel I might like the extra ankle support. I’ve also taken these on overseas adventures to places like Iceland where I needed a sturdy, waterproof boot but wanted to still dress relatively casual.

Best suited for? Around town, day hikes, people who prefer high ankle support

Are they waterproof? Yes

Danner Trail 2650 Shoes

The Danner Trail 2650 Shoes are a newer model from Danner, and I’ve been absolutely loving them! I reach for these when I will be carrying less weight and want to move fast. They are amazing in warmer climates due to their excellent breathability and they also come in a variety of material, color, and waterproofing options. Choose one of the GORE-TEX (GTX) models if you need the waterproofing, or the regular model if you don’t. The non-waterproof models will breathe just a little better and are better suited to hot and dry climates. My husband also really loves his Trail 2650’s!

Best suited for? Fast and light travel, day hikes, hot weather, long distances.

Are they waterproof? Yes (GTX models only)

Danner Explorer 650 Boots

The Danner Explorer 650 Boots are a modern version of their classic Danner Light Boots. They are made from premium leather and nylon, feature the Danner Dry GORE-TEX lining, and have Vibram Escape OutsoleCustom outsoles with Megagrip compound (in other words, they have amazing grip on both wet and dry surfaces!) The Explorer 650s are a timeless hiking boot that can be worn on and off-trail.

Best suited for? day hikes, around town, slippery trails.

Are they waterproof? Yes

Danner Mountain Light Boots

The Danner Mountain Light Boots are their classic model that has been around in some form for over 30 years. People love the Mountain Light Boots for all types of hiking, but personally, I prefer them as a shoulder season boot for short to medium-length hikes. I find them a little hot for me on warm days and a little heavy for long trails, so I typically reach for other options on those days. An added bonus is that these boots look amazing, and I love that they pair well with pretty much any outfit! Note that the Mountain Light Boots come in waterproof and a non-waterproof option. I would recommend the waterproof option as you will likely get these boots wet!

Best suited for? Short to medium hikes, cooler weather, wet conditions, travel, around town.

Are they waterproof? Yes (waterproof model only)

Best Danner Boots for casual wear and travel

The following selections are my top picks of the best Danner boots for traveling and casual wear. There are others to choose from in their range but I think these are your best bet based on my own personal experience, my husband’s experience, online reviews, and insights from friends.

Danner Mountain Light Boots

In the previous section, I discussed my thoughts about hiking in the Danner Mountain Light Boots, but my favorite use for them is as a travel and casual boot. The Mountain Light Boots look amazing, pair well with almost any of my outdoor and travel outfits, are waterproof (waterproof model only), and have great support. I love these while traveling or road-tripping when I’ll be doing occasional short hikes from the car, potentially getting my feet wet, and taking cute travel photos.

A reminder that any of Danner’s boots can have their laces swapped out for another color. I sometimes switch out my red laces for brown, depending on the trip/adventure and what kind of outfits I have packed.

Best suited for? Short to medium hikes, cooler weather, wet conditions, aesthetics.

Are they waterproof? Yes (waterproof model only)

Danner Mountain Pass Boots

The Danner Mountain Pass Boots are a lighter-weight version of the Mountain Light Boots with slightly different aesthetics. For me, these serve a similar purpose to the Mountain Light Boots as a hybrid boot for casual wear and travel, plus some light-hiking. The Mountain Pass Boots were the first pair of Danners I bought 5+ years ago and they are still holding up!

Best suited for? Short to medium hikes, cooler weather, wet conditions, aesthetics.

Are they waterproof? Yes

Danner Light Boots

The Danner Light Boots have been around for 40+ years, and were actually the first boot to ever use GORE-TEX which is pretty cool! These are a really nice casual boot for around town that you can also take out on a short hike or stroll through the park. They are waterproof for when it’s wet outside, and the higher ankle support provides a little extra warmth as well.

Best suited for? Casual, urban walks, short hikes, wet conditions.

Are they waterproof? Yes

Danner Ridge Boots

The Danner Ridge Boots share most of the same design traits as the Danner Light Boots, but are 20% lighter. As a result they are a little more comfortable for hiking than the Danner Light Boots, but still thrive as a casual city and light hiking boot. Choose these over the Danner Light Boots if you want the same design but something a little less beefy.

Best suited for? Casual, urban walks, short hikes, wet conditions.

Are they waterproof? Yes

Danner 917 Series Boots

The Danner 917 Series Boots are built for urban exploring and everyday city life. They are minimal, look great, and their lightweight design ensures they stay comfortable all day long. The 917 Series Boots also feature Gore-Tex lining to keep your feet dry in wet weather.

Best suited for? Casual, urban adventures, wet conditions.

Are they waterproof? Yes

Final Thoughts On Investing In Danner Boots

I hope this Danner Boots Honest Review and Buying Guide has helped you make an informed decision about which options are best for you! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any additional insights and share which Danner boots you take with you on your adventures 🙂

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  1. Just bought 600 leaf….#62291
    Only walked 3+ miles on first hike and they are great.
    Not like the old days when extensive breakin required OR foot problems…..
    Decent traction on DG, going up OR down….
    Something a little more ambitious for tomorrow but regular walks will be the norm for summer.

    Unfortunately, in this day and age, a cost-no-object Lifetime boot will go over 400$.
    The Leaf is 1/2 that but given construction I think they’ll go the distance.

  2. I bought Mountain light GTX boots. I noticed they do not come with insoles. Do most hikers end up adding insoles or “built in” insoles usually provide enough arch support for average feet?
    Would appreciate comment!

  3. I bought my first pair of Danner Mountain Light boots in 1985. I was in college, could barely afford to eat. It took me months to save the money–$200 for boots in 1985 was a huge sum. But when I put them on and lived in them for six weeks in the mountains for a college field course where trails were non-existent, I was sold on them forever. I didn’t have time to break them in before the field course. No blisters. No hotspots. They were perfect. I’ve had a couple pairs of Danner Mountain Light II boots since then, because they stopped making the Mountain Lights. I just picked up a brand new pair of Mountain Lights (not “II”), and I couldn’t be happier.

  4. Junk work boots the steel yard metatarsal boots are horrible , 3 days in, no person could work 8 or 10 hours a day in these boots. Danner comfort system More like the most uncomfortable boot ever , no arch support, the insoles might as well be cardboard. First pair and last pair of Danner boots

  5. I purchased a pair of trail Danner shoes last year and tried to get help from the Danner Company. These shoes are junk. Soles came unglued. Although made in China is what to expect. I thought Danner was all USA but read closely. They do have USA boots starting around 400.00 Tom

  6. I have been reading many reviews of their recent boots delaminating, it seems to affect all their product lines and is symptomatic of foreign waterbased materials instead of good ol rubber. They are no longer the dependable boot they used to be

    1. I bought a pair of Danner Mountain Lights (my second pair)after my Lowa boots delaminated about a year ago. I started backpacking in 1972 and have been through at least a dozen pairs of boots. When I got the new Danners I saw that they have a layer of foam under the Vibram. Upon investigation I found that these urethane materials now in use do delaminate unless regularly worked. No more storage of boots long term. I have seen the term hydrolysis used to describe the action that the manufacturers are fully aware of. I looked at the Vibram website and found that they still manufacture all of their old school products that do not fail. I asked Danner to resole my boots on my nickel w/o the urethane. They said no. I bought Alicos. Up Danners.

  7. Hi. Great article. Glad I found it. Do you have any options for the Danner all leather explorer. It seems similar to the men’s Blackhawk II boot. Any reviews? I can’t find any.


  8. There needs to be a 12 and a half made, over size shoes/boots are uncomfortable a come apart easily in other word they don’t last as long as they should. I have the snake boots they are great but they are very tight because they are a 12 when I need the 1/2 to go with.

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