Hardcore and Unpretentious: Portland’s Unbeatable Danner Hiking Shoes
I love the Pacific Northwest. Tech companies, bookstores, and hipster coffee shops are only half the story of this unique corner of America, and when you get free of the cities, the Northwest has an undeniable tougher, grittier side. From the rocky surf-battered Pacific shores to ice-capped mountains cloaked in Douglas Firs and red cedars, the whole region beckons to lovers of the outdoors with some of the best hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting in the lower 48. The ample rainfall of the coastal region feeds vast forests so green you can hardly believe it, teeming with black-tailed deer and enormous salmon running up ice-cold rivers. But the rainy weather that blesses these mountains heeds no man. Nature does what it wants, and the Northwest can teach us all some lessons about outdoor preparedness. If you aim to get down and dirty in the backcountry - wherever you are - you’re going to need some good, strong waterproof hiking shoes to get the most out of the experience.
Danner Shoes embody the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. In 1932, Charles Danner came to Oregon to craft the best possible boots for the logging workers of the Cascade forests - rugged, well-made footwear to do one of the toughest jobs in the country. Nearly a century later, the Portland-based craftsmen at Danner are carrying on that legacy with a whole lineup of outdoor work and hiking boots.
Modern Hiking Boots With a Legacy
Danner hiking boots stay true to the classic tough designs of folks like Charles Danner while incorporating modern pedorthic comfort features unheard-of in his time. Case in point, the Danner Mountain 600 leather hiking boots. This thing was made for tackling a rainy forest trail. At 4.5” high, it’s high enough to hold your foot tight over a rough trail while still allowing you a high degree of ankle mobility. Its nylon shank runs along the arch of the foot, holding it firm against outdoor stresses, and the cushioning open-cell OrthoLite footbed cradles your foot in place and prevents internal slippage and blisters. Below, the Vibram Fuga outsole holds the whole thing tight to the ground, preventing slips and falls even on smooth wet surfaces. Available in full-grain leather or stylish suede, the Mountain 600 features Danner’s 100% waterproof lining to protect you from the elements. It’s exactly what you need to handle any backcountry trail whether you’re out for the day or loaded down with a heavy pack.
The Best Hiking Shoes For Trail Runners
For more fast-paced hiking or trail running, I’d go with the Danner Trail 2650 Campo. One of Danner’s lightweight designs, it’s got a leather and textile upper that’s ultra breathable, with a mesh lining that quickly wicks away moisture and sweat. At 3” high, it allows unimpeded ankle movement and works great with a dust gaiter. Built like a tough sock inside, the Campo holds its wearer’s foot snug to the OrthoLite footbed. Compared to the Mountain 600, the Campo’s got a lower 8mm drop to promote a runner’s midfoot and forefoot strike. That EXO heel system features a reinforced heel counter, shock-absorbing midsole, and a long-lasting, lightweight thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) shank highly resistant to splitting and abrasion. Keeping you nimble as you navigate over logs and through streams, the whole thing sits on Danner’s Vibram Megagrip outsole to keep your feet steady on the move.
Danner Shoes Brings Together Classic Style and Durability
The classic Danner Jag Nubuck leather hiking shoe holds the middle-ground between the backcountry Mountain 600 and the trail-runner’s Campo. The Jag debuted in the 1980s as a lightweight alternative to their heavier-duty offerings, and the new Jag is a redesigned and improved incarnation of its former self. You can get the Jag in a higher 4.5” design for more of a strong hiking boot fit, or the Jag 3” hiking shoe design that, like the Campo, provides the same open range of ankle movement. It’s got a heavier-duty leather and textile upper than the Campo, and its lightweight, shock absorbing EVA midsole works in conjunction with Danner shoes’ standard OrthoLite footbed for comfort and foot health on casual hikes. For its compact design, it’s got a surprisingly deep waffle-style outsole that maintains superb traction in the rain and muck.
Men’s and Women’s Hiking Shoes for Getting Outside in the Elements
It’s no secret that outdoor activity is good for you. Outdoor Equipped makes it our mission to get people outside not just for physical exercise and cardiovascular health, but for the mental and spiritual health that nature brings. Norwegians have a word, friluftsliv, for the physical and mental benefits of getting outside, rain or shine. Studies have consistently shown that a hike through the woods can be extremely therapeutic, especially as we age. Proper hiking clothes are made to carry you beyond a walk in the local park and protect you from the elements and obstacles you’ll find in the backcountry. Danner boots are made by craftsmen who know the outdoors and are as passionate about them as we are. They’re serious about outdoor footwear, and they break them in on the very mountains that make the Pacific Northwest so special. Danner crafts the very best hiking shoes for women and men, without gimmicks or pretense, and you’re not going to do better than strapping on a pair of their hiking boots for your next pilgrimage into the natural world.