Inspired by the work boots of days past, these simple, durable contenders are a stylish but heavy-duty option. The Danner Mountain 600 are an all-leather boot with a Vibram sole, metal eyelets, and a large, padded tongue. They run a bit large and are best for a higher-volume foot. The leather upper, treated with a water-resistant coating, proved to be fairly successful in keeping our feet dry in wet conditions. Overall, these boots did well in the comparison of our top-ranked women's hiking boots but are perhaps a better option as a work boot than a hiking boot due to their weight, size, and lack of breathability. As a boot to wear for yard work, trail work, casual hikes, or for simply looking woodsy around town, the Danner Mountain 600 is a great option.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on October 28, 2022, to share info comparing different boot models.
Danner Mountain 600 - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Stylish, well-made, durable, water resistant
Cons: Lacked support, lacked breathability, not ideal for slick conditions
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Our Analysis and Test Results
We had a few issues with the overall comfort of the Danner Mountain 600. In other metrics, like durability, the boot did well against its competitors.
These all-leather boots may look like a throwback, but underneath the aesthetic are all the features of a modern-day hiking boot. In general, we found these to be a comfortable hiking boot that was quick to break in. The lacing system and tongue are bulky, though, and we had a hard time tightening the boots down enough to reduce movement of the foot. This is a warning to those with a low-volume foot, as it could be hard to get the Danners tight enough to be comfortable for long periods of time. Our lead tester has a very wide foot and ended up getting a hot spot in the toe box after a few hours in these boots. We felt like this was related to both the all-leather upper, which lacked breathability, and the difficulties we had tightening the boot. The toe box can be a source of pain for those with wide feet in any boot.
The Danner Mountain 600 did not wow us in the support category. Though the boots have a Vibram SPE midsole and a Vibram Fuga Outsole, we still felt pain underfoot after a few hours of hiking in these boots from lack of support. The boots did not seem to provide very much torsional rigidity, which added to the discomfort that we felt underfoot after a few hours on the trail.
The Danner's low-profile ankle also allows for lots of flexibility. With a measured shaft height of 127 mm, the Danner Mountain 600s provide very little ankle stability.
Made with the popular Vibram MegaGrip sole, the Danner Mountain 600 are grippy on rock, but performed poorly when hiking through more challenging conditions. We had trouble with the Danner boots' ability to hold traction on wet, muddy hills. Danner's tread pattern doesn't provide a ton of grip on this type of terrain. In wet conditions, even the stickiest Vibram soles won't dig in.
Danner uses a waterproof coating, Danner Dry, to ensure these leather boots keep water out. For the most part, we found this to be true in mildly wet conditions. Puddles, light rain, or a missed rock on a creek crossing, and the boots shed water with ease. Full submersion or prolonged exposure to water did cause a bit of dampness to leak in. This is something that we have found to be common among most boots that claim to be waterproof.
The Mountain 600 weighs 2 pounds 1.6 ounces in a size 7.5. This places them among the lowest-ranked boots in terms of weight in this review. The design of this boot, with its thick leather upper and dense rubber in the outsole, makes it feel heavier than its actual weight. Similarly, boots with mesh uppers of comparable weights can feel much lighter, perhaps due to the weight distribution of the materials on the boot, with the lighter materials on the top of the foot and heavier ones at the bottom. And then there are boots that don't just feel lighter; theyare plain lighter.
As a company that has been making boots since 1932, Danner knows how to make footwear that is made to last. The Mountain 600 seems to be no exception. The leather uppers, heavy-duty eyelets, and Vibram soles make for a reliable, all-around shoe. Though they are simple in design, these boots should last a long time if used in moderately rugged situations.
Should You Buy the Danner Mountain 600?
For those seeking a classically stylish leather hiking boot, the Danner Mountain 600 is an attractive option. The boots are durable and, for the most part, waterproof. They're a good option for a light-duty work boot, too. The Vibram soles are fairly sticky, but the overall tread pattern did not provide a ton of traction on mud or scree. If you frequently find yourself on technical trails, a different boot will suit you better.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
For a similar aesthetic at a much more affordable price, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus is a worthy option, especially for folks who just need a boot for occasional jaunts in the woods. If you expect to be venturing into more challenging terrain, we'd point you to a burlier boot like the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX or our favorite model, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX.
— Jane Jackson
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