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Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX hiking shoe review: sock-like comfort but sturdy enough for rocky terrain

These breathable, waterproof hiking shoes boast a comfortable, sock-like fit and keep you surprisingly sure footed on slick, rocky hikes

Danner 2650 Campo GTX shoe
(Image: © Danner)

Our Verdict

These lightweight, breathable hiking shoes pull on like a sock and with all the flex of a trail running shoe, you’ll be surprised at the protection they offer from rocky terrain and wet conditions

For

  • Waterproof and breathable
  • Vibram Megagrip soles
  • Removable OrthoLite Footbed
  • Comfortable, sock-like fit
  • Leather and abrasion resistant fabric uppers offer decent protection
  • Wide sizes available

Against

  • Difficult to pull on with high arches
  • Non insulated, might not be enough for frigid temps
  • Pricey

Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX hiking shoe: first impressions 

The Danner Trail 2650 GTX looks and in some ways acts like a trail running shoe, but is surprisingly robust for hiking in wet weather and over uneven, rocky terrain. This sock-like style of shoe is designed with a heel tab to pull them on while the laces serve just for a little tightening. They can take a little effort to pull on if you have high arches, but once they’re on they feel fantastic with a snug, comfortable fit, lots of flex and three layers of removable, breathable cushioning.

With uppers made from durable leather, abrasion resistant and a Gore-Tex membrane plus chunky Vibram Megagrip soles, these hiking shoes are sturdy and suitable for long hikes and give loads of stability on rough trails. 

These shoes are priced on the high end, but built to last and once you shoehorn your feet into them, you won’t want to hike in anything else.

Specifications

• RRP: £180 (UK) / $200 (US)
• Gender specification: Men’s and women’s specific fit available
• Sizes available: Men’s 7 -14, Women’s 5 - 11
• Materials: Leather and textile upper, Gore-Tex membrane, Vibram Megagrip sole, open-cell Polyurethane footbed
• Colors: Brown/Meadow Green, Blue/Orange, Black/Red
• Weight: 24oz per pair
• Best use: Hiking 

Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX hiking shoe review: on the trails 

Danner 2650 Campo GTX shoe

This sock-like style of shoe is designed with a heel tab to pull them on while the laces serve just for a little tightening (Image credit: Danner)

After living in the Rocky Mountains for years, where the trails tend to be well-maintained bone dry all summer long, I’m a big fan of wearing lightweight hiking shoes on the trail. However, moving back to Scotland has meant I’ve had to get used to significantly soggier conditions and waterproof footwear with very grippy soles in key. So I was thrilled to get my hands on a pair of Danner Trail 2650 Campos since they seem to offer the sturdiness and protection needed for hiking in the lightweight, comfortable format of a trail running shoe.

These shoes feature a sock-like construction, meaning they’re stretchy and pull on as opposed to being able to loosen the laces. I have slightly high arches and find them actually quite hard to get on and if I wasn’t convinced they were the right size, I might have given up on the first attempt. That said, once my foot is in them they’re probably the most comfortable hiking shoes I’ve ever worn, so it’s worth the mild struggle. They have a nice, snug fit, loads of flex and good cushioning underfoot. My only hesitation around these shoes is that if the pull tabs on the heels ever break, I physically wouldn’t be able to get them on my feet.

I’ve worn these a lot on rocky and muddy trails and in fairly torrential downpours and they perform really well with loads of grips and stability on slick and uneven surfaces. At the end of my hike, I usually try to find a small stream to stand in to wash all the mud off which is also a great way to test the waterproofing and I can say they are watertight. I’ve also worn them on warmer hikes and found them to be nice and breathable for sweaty feet.

Don’t let the sock-like description fool you into thinking these are flimsy summer shoes either – the leather uppers and abrasion resistant panels offer a fair amount of protection on the trails too. Though I will certainly wear hiking boots for frigid, snowy hikes, I’m planning on wearing these shoes on many trails to come.

Here’s how they performed:

Sizing

The sizing is right on. Just know that if you have high arches, you might need to try harder to get them on in the first place but once your foot is in, you’ll find that your regular size is the right option for you. 

Fit

Like a glove for your foot, really. The sock-like construction creates a nice, snug fit that moulds to your foot and feels really supportive. 

Comfort 

Definitely some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve worn, thanks in part to the cushioning in the soles and the snug fit.  

Temperature regulation 

These aren’t insulated shoes; rather they are breathable so the focus is on not letting your feet overheat. I’ve been out on some pretty chilly days in them and never had a problem with cold feet. 

Breathability 

I love the breathable construction and footbeds, which is key for waterproof shoes. No clammy feet here. 

Durability 

Well constructed with good quality leather uppers and chunky rubber soles. These are built to last. 

Here’s where we tested the Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX hiking shoe: 

The name Ben Venue is derived from the Scottish Gaelic words meaning "the miniature mountain". The summit delivers stunning views of nearby Loch Katrine

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.