We check out the cool looking Danner Mountain 600 boot for mountain and urban adventures.
Many of you in the UK may not have heard of Danner, the US bootmaker but if you frequent the premium outlets in major cities such as London, Manchester and Leeds you would see the Danner Mountain Light range which sit alongside many top end, premium brands of boots and shoes.
Danner have been making boots since 1932 and were the first US bootmaker to feature Vibram sole units into their boots. So, the pedigree is there and they have a full range of shoes and boots ranging from hiking boots to lifestyle and military style boots. Our focus is on the Mountain 600 which we felt made for a great looking hiking boot that not only looks cool but is packed full of performance features.
The Danner Mountain 600 boots are light and performed well on a variety of walks and hikes. They weighed in at 530g per boot for my UK8.5 which meant that they had a nice, comfortable trainer feel to them. The Vibram SPE midsole made them very flexible on the feet so that they could cope with a variety of terrain features, but just as importantly it made them super comfortable all day long.
They have a great, retro feel to them and are very on trend with that folksy style that is popular. Don’t think for minute though that they don’t perform on the hill, they do. The range comes in a variety of colours and outer materials. I’ve been testing the suede outer, they also come in leather and a woven textile upper if you feel you want more ventilation. I liked the suede version very much they looked great whether out on the trail or urban exploring. It didn’t matter if it was too wet on the ground as the Danner Dry lining kept my feet nice, dry and warm whatever the weather. I didn’t want to wear them in extended wet or boggy conditions though as I felt it would discolour the suede too much. If you do a lot of hiking in boggy terrain I would suggest you get a pair of leather ones as they will provide extra protection. But they did clean up well if you let any mud dry and brush it off with a suede brush.
The fit of the Danner Mountain 600 is generous -I normally test a UK 8.5 boots and these felt a little big on me. I could have definitely got away with a UK 8, the Danner website does explain that they do size large so it will pay to go somewhere to try a pair on if you can. I think that they will become more popular in the UK and my city centre store (The Hip Store – where else would they be stocked!) stocks them so I think you will be able to find them as the brand becomes more widespread. On the whole though, they have fitted fine and the room allows for thicker socks on those cold, icy days. The lace system is traditional hook and eye (if it ain’t broke… and all that) and the laces are kept in place by a neat loop on the bellowed tongue. The nice copper fittings and red laces add to the styling and once laced the flat laces kept the tops nice and tight.
The sole unit on the Mountain 600 is Vibram Fuga, which is similar to Megagrip. It’s a softer compound than you’ll find on a more stiffer mountain/hiking boot and makes for a comfortable hike. There is some support at the heels and with the split heel it make heel strikes very comfortable on steep descents. They also have a self adaptive lug system which is designed to move with your foot stoke on dry, rocky ground and offer improved traction. I can’t say I’ve really noticed much, but then I’ve been testing through winter and spring. They have proved to be very grippy on rock and on most terrains other than mud and wet grass. They are a super comfy ride though and they are definitely an ‘all day’ boot. I’ve worn them for two weeks through the recent Beast from the East weather and they have been great.
I’ve really enjoyed wearing the Danner Mountain 600, they are well styled and feel modern in a retro way. They have proved very comfortable in a variety of terrains and look great whether on a mountain, urban adventure or huddled around a camp fire – or even next to the woodburner in the pub. On my visit to the 2017 Kendal Mountain Festival I was amazed at how many folk were wearing them and if the Mountain 600 aren’t retro enough for you can try the great looking Jag boots or if you are flush with bonus cash the classy looking Mountain Lite boots.
There are plenty of styles to choose from on the Danner website and they will ship to the UK. Be warned however, you are liable for international shipping and taxes (the website calculates this for you so there are no nasty surprises at the UK end). More retailers are stocking them now that there is a dedicated UK distributer so expect to see more styles appearing both online and on the high street.
The Danner Mountain 600 boots come in a variety of colour and material options- with a limited option available from UK retailers and a full range of sizes including half sizes – with that warning that they size on the big side.
SRP: varies between £149.95 and 199.95 depending upon the type of boot.
Available direct from Danner (who do ship to the UK) and various retailer outlets in the UK.