Danner is a brand that needs little introduction. Founded in Wisconsin in the 1930s, the company began making quality leather boots by hand in a small town, and has grown into an internationally recognised brand, synonymous with outdoor culture. The Mountain Lite is a silhouette which countless modern boots have been based on; the stumpy toe and low riding laces are a truly classic design.
This year, however, Danner has released a completely new line which stays true to their heritage but makes use of new materials and technologies. The Danner Mountain 600 is one of the new shapes designed with the modern explorer in mind, featuring a leather upper, Vibram sole and the iconic red laces.
I’ve been testing out the Mountain 600s in the hills of Sri Lanka for the past month and I absolutely love them.
Danner Mountain 600 Design
When I first looked at the Danner Mountain 600s, I instantly recognised the brand’s iconic design. They don’t pretend to be an extreme mountaineering boot- more of a lifestyle boot with some technical performance features. Danner has even labelled this new category of hiking boot as ‘Performance Heritage’; a combination of classic styling and lightweight innovation.
The shape of the Danner Mountain 600 is certainly reminiscent of the classic shape. However, the white EVA sole adds a slightly modern twist to the traditional hiking boot. You could wear them out on the trails just as easily as you could wear them exploring in the city.
The Danner Mountain 600s boast an impressive amount of technology. Firstly, the full-grain leather upper is treated with Danner Dry waterproofing to keep your feet dry in wet weather and dry in hot and humid conditions; perfect for hiking in Sri Lanka. Underfoot, the Vibram SPE midsole and Vibram Fuga outsole have been used for the first time and work together to provide an incredibly comfortable ride.
Danner Mountain 600 Performance
I’ve been wearing the Mountain 600s for the past month while travelling around Sri Lanka. They have been on my feet when travelling between cities and out in the hills of the Central Province. They have been incredibly comfortable straight out the box; the cushioned sole is similar to a running shoe so has been perfect for long travel days spent on my feet and they are so lightweight, I sometimes forgot I was wearing boots.
Out in the hills, the Mountain 600s have also performed well. Being so lightweight, the Mountain 600s are extremely comfortable and you can wear them all day long with no issues. But in making them so light, there has been some compromise in support and stability- there were times when I thought the ankle support could have been better, and I could feel jagged rocks through the soft midsole at times. The soft sole isn’t designed for alpine terrain, so I wouldn’t suggest using them for anything serious. However, for lowland hikes and well-marked trails, they are ideal!
| Looking for a dedicated mountaineering boot? Read our review of the Aku Tengu GTX
For casual hiking or urban exploration, the Danner Mountain 600s are fantastic. They are comfortable, lightweight and they look great. There were times that I felt the support around the ankle could’ve been better, but for the majority of the time, they were great.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, everyday boot then the Mountain 600s could be just what you’re looking for.