Danner is an American classic – perhaps best known for their iconic brown leather and often red-laced hiking boots. Inspired by the Grand Canyon’s South Rim trail, the South Rim 600 takes the brand’s proven comfort and performance and merges it with a design that offers their most breathable and lightest weight hikers to date.
On Performance & Design…
Inspired by the original Mountain Light, the Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots offer a blissful blend of retro styling with modern performance and comfort. Admittedly when a boot has this much aesthetic appeal, it’s easy to judge a book by it’s cover – but as long time readers know, that’s just not our style.
And so we slipped into two versions (full grain leather and suede upper) of the Mountain 600 and headed for the hills. After months of tracing through the volcanic fields of Lassen National Park, granite strewn forests above Lake Tahoe, and Hawaiian rain forests, we got in plenty of mileage to confirm everything our outdoor loving hearts first wanted to believe about these boots.
Admittedly, for the typical hiker, picking the right pair of hiking boots is a little bit of a Goldilocks situation: You can go with the overbuilt clunky boots that feel as though they’ve been stuck in an evolutionary standstill since 1972. By contrast, a hiking boots built on a light and fast running platform can fail to provide adequate support and protection resulting in its own set of issues. But the Mountain 600 hits the sweet spot of lightweight performance, protection and comfort.
The Mountain 600 falls into what Danner describes as their Performance Heritage category – a combination of classic styling with lightweight innovation. In other words you get a hiker that doesn’t eschew its roots but keeps up with modern design and industry progress. The result is a classic style people crave, while performing like an absolute dream in the great outdoors.
As an adventurer, when you spend long days on the trail covering bit miles, the last thing you want is your body to feel like it’s fighting against the boots on our feet. Which is why we appreciated the Vibram SPE (Specialized Performance Elastomer) midsole, an all-new, technical compound engineered to deliver greater comfort and flexibility. Created with a unique co-polymer blend of synthetic natural rubber and EVA, this midsole improves resiliency, cushioning, and durability, while minimizing weight.
Outside of the stunning styling, part of what makes the Mountain 600 such an impressive boot is the Vibram Fuga outsole. It features self-adaptive lugs and Megagrip compound for traction on wet and dry surfaces alike. It also guaranteed sure footed traction on our adventures no matter the pitch, angle or terrain. Whether we were rambling over the loose dirt of Trinity National Forest, or criss-crossing the jagged and unpredictable lava fields of Kona, we never had to worry about losing our footing.
All told, the design team at Danner deserves a ton of credit for crafting an hiker that performs as beautifully as it looks. From the Danner Dry waterproof membrane down to the Vibram Fuga outtosle, each element of this boot masterfully comes together to offer an impressive trail experience any outdoor enthusiast will enjoy.
The Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot carries Danner’s legendary quality with premium protection from the elements and aggressive traction on the trail. It’s a boot saavy enough for the city streets, but smart enough for technical weekends full of switchbacks and talus fields.
*Gumption Gear Review received the item featured in this review from Danner at no cost and receives no monetary compensation for this or any related review. The item featured was provided solely in return for our honest views and opinions.