Danner Mountain 600 Review Facts
Hiking boots have become quite fashionable recently. There's something alluring about the images of campfires and mountain peaks that a weathered boot inspires. Danner have captured that feeling with the Mountain 600. It sports a look from ages past, but has been modernized in many ways. They have partnered with Vibram for an innovative sole design. They have also made the boot more lightweight and pliable like a running shoe. These changes come together to create a performance hiking boot that is at home going on multi-day hikes through the mud as it is taking you on short jaunts to the grocery store.
Danner's partnership with Vibram has resulted in a very complex sole that is comfortable and lightweight. The outsole is made of Vibram rubber. Vibram is highly regarded for the soles they produce
, and the Danner Mountain 600 is no exception. It is made of something they call Megagrip compound, which will do a good job in any kind of conditions. The boot has self-adaptive lugs that are multidirectional. This gives you extra versatility on unpredictable terrain. The outsole also sports flex lines to add some pliability to a type of boot not often associated with flexibility. There is a nylon shank placed between the outsole and midsole for some added comfort. The midsole itself is made of Vibram's Specialized Performance Elastomer (SPE). This is a blended copolymer made of synthetic natural rubber and EVA foam. It capitalizes on both of these materials' strengths to create a durable, cushioned, and lightweight midsole.
Terrain & Traction
The Danner Mountain 600 was chiefly designed with versatility in mind. It can be seen in the many environments it was built to excel in. Firstly, it is a day hiking boot. The multidirectional lugs are very effective at keeping a grip on any surface. By avoiding being uniform, the lugs are more dynamic in their grip. Where some might fail in a situation, another set will do the job. The Maxgrip outsole is also ready for any kind of weather. It will keep its grip on the rainiest days. The waterproofing for the rest of the shoe is also very effective so don't worry about puddles.
Most hiking boots are too stiff to be taken anywhere but the outdoors, but the Mountain 600 is designed with everyday tasks in mind as well. The lugs are a little shorter than is usual for a hiking boot. This means you won't perch uncomfortably on the concrete. It is also much more flexible in the upper and midsole, which will help you feel more natural in a more urban environment.
The upper of the Danner Mountain 600 is made of 100% suede. Danner usually works with fullgrain leather, and that is one of the alternate styles for this shoe, but there are improvements in weight, waterproofing, and durability that come with using suede. The upper has a gusseted tongue built into it to improve the tongue's fit into the rest of the upper. This creates a better seal to protect your foot. Danner tried to keep the amount of seams to a minimum, which keeps the upper consistent all the way around. Compared to other hiking boots, the material of the upper is a little bit thinner. The inside of the upper there is a layer of Danner Dry, Danner's signature waterproof material. On top of that is a running shoe-like fabric
that emphasizes everyday comfort.
Size & Weight
A pair of Danner Mountain 600s weigh 37 ounces at a men's size 9. This is just over one kilogram. That's very lightweight for a hiking boot. It's also lighter than Danner's other types of boot. They will feel very lightweight on your feet, which may be to your preference. The weight is kept down by a few things. The suede upper is thinner than the usual upper. The midsole being made partly out of EVA foam gives it a little extra airiness. As far as the fit, Danner recommends going one half size for the best fit. This is for if you are a more serious hiker. If you plan on using it as daily walker, then it might be better for it to fit a little looser. The toe box gives ample space for you to spread out your toes
. It's 5.25" from arch to top of shoe, and 4.5" from heel up the ankle. This is a little lower than usual.
Airflow & Waterproofing
It appears the Danner Mountain 600 was built with wetter climates in mind. Specifically, the Pacific Northwest, where it's wet and mild all year. With that in mind, this boot does a great job at waterproofing. Suede is naturally waterproof, but Danner has also made other design choices that help with this. There's the minimal amount of seams in the upper's design. Then there's the gusseted tongue, which helps keep the seal intact. These things, coupled with another layer of Danner Dry on the inside of the boot, mean that this boot can be used to wade across streams and any other wetness you may find on the trail. However, all that waterproofing means that this boot is not especially breathable. Luckily, you won't notice how sweaty your feet get until you take the boots off. They don't hold the sweat against your foot. These boots haven't been designed for hot days, and you might notice your feet overheating if they are taken into warmer weather. Maybe don't take them off in front of company, or at least make preparations
Comfort & Cushioning
As far as hiking boots go, the Danner Mountain 600 is one of the most comfortable you can find. The midsole's compromise of less firmness for the EVA foam's responsive cushioning goes a long way towards you never dreading putting these boots on. The cushioning is made of an open-cell polyurethane, which does a very good job of keeping you comfortable. Important to note is that the shoe is still firm enough for you to take it on any long treks you may have in mind. Many reviewers claim this to be one of the comfiest boots they have remembered wearing. It speaks to its use as a daily shoe as much as a boot. However, there are a few exceptions to note. The lowered ankle in this boot means that it will sometimes rub against your Achilles. Make sure to wear socks that are long enough to cover it
. Also, the composition of the midsole is more than enough to keep most people comfortable, but if it isn't, orthotic insoles are actually too large for this boot and will only have the top of your foot rubbing uncomfortably against the boot's tongue. Keep this in mind if you need specialized insoles.
You probably recognize the Danner Mountain 600. The red on brown look is very iconic. Many people equate this boot with long trail hikes through the wilderness. Danner is actually hearkening back to its beginnings in the 1930's. That old school look gives the Mountain 600 a timeless style that looks good anywhere you go. You can get this boot in either the smooth suede or the shiny leather. If those looks aren't for you, then there are also other styles such as Dark Green on Brown, an all black Leather, and a more workboot looking Yellow on Dark Brown.
Longevity & Overall Quality
This may be surprising, given how lightweight and flexible this boot is, but the Danner Mountain 600 will last a very long time. The materials that come together to make this boot are all of high quality. The suede upper is made with 100% leather which will last a long time with little creasing. The outsole and sole are made by Vibram, a highly esteemed company in the business of making long lasting soles. There haven't been any report of the two pieces coming apart, which is thanks to the seamless design. The one thing that you may have to look out is that the waterproofing won't last forever. Water may come seeping in from the outsole after a couple hundred miles. However, this can be fixed with waterproofing spray. If you want your boots to last as long as possible, make sure to clean them correctly. Danner suggests using softer cloths and brushes when you clean your boots
. Also, don't dry them in heat, as it might damage the leather.
The Danner Mountain 600 does not have many features specifically designed to keep you safe, but its overall design is wellcrafted enough that you needn't worry. The outsole's grippiness is more than enough that you don't have to worry about slipping. The fit is snug if you listen to Danner and order them a half size down then you usually get your boots. There may be issues of heel slippage if you get them a bit roomier, though. You won't have to break them in as the cushioning is an instantaneous fit
. There were some complaints from customers that their feet became sore after wearing these boots for a while. This may be because if you order them as a street shoe they won't provide the same comfort as equivalent running shoes. This is something to keep in mind depending on the use you plan on getting out of the Mountain 600.
Something unique about the Mountain 600 is its increased flexibility when compared to other hiking boots. This is another area where it is similar to a street shoe. This flexibility comes from the pliable SPE midsole. The EVA mixed with synthetic rubber turns out to have the best of both worlds. The outsole has flex lines built into it that help the stiffer rubber of the outsole flex to match the midsole's flexibility. This may worry some hikers, but the added flexibility does give you some extra versatility on the mountain
Support & Balance
The Danner Mountain 600 doesn't have the support of more heavy duty hiking boots, yet many users take them on long, multi-day hikes. It has a thin upper that is not as reinforced as some tougher boots. It also has a pretty low ankle, which offers less ankle support than some of its competitors. It does make up for this with the extra balance that these attributes provide. The lower ankle of the boot gives your ankle more room to breath, which allows for more versatility. The thin upper also offers some extra flexibility. By staying lightweight, the boot gives you more options when you're out hiking. Couple this with the flexible outsole and the supportive midsole, and the Mountain 600 makes up for its lack of support with its emphasis on balance, as long as your feet can handle that sort of trade off
The Danner Mountain 600 sports a D-Ring lacing system. This mean the laces are looped through metal eyelets that are riveted into the shoe. D-Ring lacing is a more old-school version of loopholes, but they do the job just as well. There is cord that runs down the tongue and over top of the laces that keeps the laces strapped down to your foot. This helps keep the pressure of the laces evenly distributed. The laces are a little long, and some users had to tuck the ends in
Value & Cost
The Danner Mountain 600 is a bit more expensive than comparable day hiking boots. However, you will get good value out of this boot. The upper and midsole are made out of high quality material that will last you for miles and miles. The other big thing in this shoe's favor is its versatility. It is possible for this boot to cover many bases at once. It can be used as your daily walker, as well as your hiking boot. Hopefully, you enjoy cleaning boots.
Comparison & Similarities
Some people have experienced discomfort when wearing the Mountain 600. The cushioning is more moderate for those who are okay with a bit of a harder sole. For more cushioning within the Danner brand, try checking out the Danner South Rim. Some reviewers have remarked that it has more cushioning.
The breathability of the Danner Mountain 600 has been partially sacrificed for its waterproofing. If that's an issue, try the new edition that Danner has released, called the Danner Mountain 600 Enduroweave. It removes the waterproofing and weighs less. This could be for someone who wants to use the Mountain 600 as a street shoe exclusively.
-Vibram designed midsole and outsole
-100% suede upper
-Megagrip compound grips in rain or shine
The Danner Mountain 600 has a little something for everybody. It has the specialization necessary for long trips out in the woods. It also has everyday functionality for walking down the street. Danner has modernized this old school boot to great effect. If you have any special feet needs, like the use of orthotics or some extra ankle support, then you might want to look elsewhere. For everyone else, you can't do much better than the Mountain 600.