I don’t like unboxing videos. And I don’t like reviews of products that simply announce their availability. That’s the easy way out. And I’ve done it when there’s no choice but to include products in a themed list of say, gear for summer camping, or something like that.
Instead, I like to use a product and work it hard, and then tell my readers what I think about it. And that’s the case today with my review of Danner hiking boots. And this seems timely, because we can’t get close to each other, and we are being asked to stay at home, but most of us can leave the house to access public lands and part of that equation is hiking, whether to the banks of a river or beyond.
Last year I requested two pairs of “boots” from Danner and quickly received the Trail 2650 and the Springfield Low. I used the Trail 2650 mostly on the street and in the gym, and it wears like a athletic shoe/sneaker. They are super lightweight and really, really comfortable. Probably the greatest statement I could make about this shoe is that I spent three days wearing it in Denver at the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show and my feet and knees never felt fatigued. Usually those shows kill my feet and legs. I also wore this shoe on the common trail, nothing heavy, but just easy hikes in the Rattlesnake Wilderness area, and around my HOA in Missoula’s North Hills.
The Springfield “boots” are a bit bulkier, more aggressive for the trail, but still a lightweight athletic trail model that I wore for way more than a hundred days in the past year. These are my go-to boots whether I’m going outside in the snow and rain—even if it’s just to the grocery or the gas station—or going hunting for early season grouse, elk and deer. In fact, I felt confident enough in these boots to wear them elk hunting last September, in rugged off trail terrain, even though I am still nursing a bum ankle that I injured in 1987. Totally destroyed it, so going with a low cut lightweight boot was a big deal for me. A tough decision. Fortunately, when I laced these tight I felt confident. These boots got me on the elk several times; it’s not their fault that I came home empty-handed.
If you’re in the market for new shoes, to get yourself outside during this self isolation period—however long it lasts—look at these two models and feel confident that they’ll do the job for you. The 2650s and the Springfields are available in women’s models, too, and I’m thinking I’ll get both for my eldest daughter who seems to be taking an interest in hiking again. —Greg Thomas