Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot Review
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Danner, a long known name in the world of hiking boots is on the road to reinvigorating the brand name. Starting in 1932, Danner was built from the idea of building an affordable work boot. The cost of their boots were $4 a pair. Fast forward 30 years and shift your mind to quality. Through the 60’s, Danner kept its main focus on work boots, but also began to expand into the hiking boot scene after Kennedy’s push to get people outside. Today, Danner has books for nearly all boot categories, including; hiking, military, casual, hunting, law enforcement, and work boots.
The Danner Mountain 600 hiking boot is one of its most recent hiking boots in the Danner lineup and having this been my first pair of Danner boots, I question why I haven’t been Danner boots before. As I ask myself this question, I am pretty quick to come up with the answer.
Historically, Danner hiking boots have stuck to their traditional style which includes a heavy rubber outsole and thick durable leather. They call the line “light hiking” but compared to most other hikers on the market, the traditional line is more like heavy hikers. The new Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots fits today’s term of a “light hiker” and just like that, Danner is back on the map!
First Impressions for Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot
I have to admit, I had my hesitations when I first tried on the boots. I had in my mind from the start that these boots would take a long time to break in and they would be heavy and clunky. After wearing these boots for 2 months straight, I can tell you that these boots are anything but heavy and clunky on your feet. The first time I wore them was at Outdoor Retailer where I was on my feet for 10-12 hours a days, walking about 10 miles a day. While OR is not the great outdoors, when you can wear any pair of boots for 10 hours a day and still be comfortable, it’s a good sign.
From a looks point of view, the Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots aren’t too hard on the eyes. They have the classic old school look, but don’t let that fool you on the fit and performance. There are also a number of other color and height options for the Danner 600’s.
Traction with Vibram Megagrip
The Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots and shoes use Vibram Megagrip for the outsole. This rubber compound has been around for a few years and from a traction and durability standpoint, Megagrip is amazing. I’ve used this outsole rubber compound for both hiking and trail running over the last couple years and I have nothing but good things to say about it.
While many brands such as Danner can use Megagrip, it’s up to them to create the lug pattern that works best for the boot and activity. Danner uses what they call the self adaptive lugs. This lug is in the shape of a diamond where one half of the lug is more flexible and one half is more stiff. These lugs are spread throughout the outsole in two different sizes, but there are also more traditional triangle shaped lugs that do a good job at giving you solid traction on rocks and soft dirt.
Soft and Smooth Ride with Vibram SPE Midsole
While this review might start sounding like a Vibram sponsored review, it’s not, I promise! The midsole of the Danner Mountain 600 hiking boot uses Vibram SPE, a rubberized EVA that is as soft as traditional EVA, but is a little more durable. I’ve worn these boots for hundreds of miles and there is no sign of the midsole wearing down. You would usually see some break down of the midsole at this point, but nothing to be seen.
Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot Fit
The Danner Mountain 600 hiking boot fits like a glove from the moment you lace them up. The inside of the boot has a silk like lining that makes it easy to slide your foot in and out of and it doesn’t rub your foot wrong when you’re on a long outing. The width of the toe box is normal for a hiking boot in my opinion. I find that you have enough room to splay your toes completely if you have a normal width foot. The eyelets that you pull the laces through have a small amount of rotation to them, which allows the boot to flex more in your stride further up the boot and also contours to different foot shapes.
For comfort on the bottom of the foot, the Mountain 600 hiking boots use a Ortholite footbed. This is a sponge like footbed that is extremely comfortable on the foot and holds up throughout the life of the boot.
Having worn the Danner Mountain 600 boots for many miles and many days and I’ve never had a day where my feet overheated. I’ve worn them at work on all day hikes and long days at the office and no sign of my feet getting super sweaty. They will from time to time get a little warm, but given they are leather boots, I thought they would get much warmer and be much less breathable than they are.
The Danner Mountain 600 Boots are waterproof, plain and simple. The boots have a waterproof lining that Danner calls Danner Dry. I’ve submerged the boots in water and had dozens of days out the snow and no water was able to get in.
Overall, I’ve been more than happy with Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots. The boots have everything that you could ever ask for in a hiking boot and I am more than happy to recommend these boots for anyone looking for a solid pair of hiking boots. Keep in mind, you don’t have to be a hardcore outdoors person to make good use of these boots. If you happen to put your hiking boots through the paces, the Mountain 600’s are sure to treat you well. For more info visit rei.com or amazon.com/danner.