Those handsome retro looks make these boots versatile enough to wear in town as well as in the country, which goes further to justify the stiffer price tag.
Light weight for leather
The leather needs regular care
Not enough insulation to wear in winter
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Danner’s boots have accrued a hipster fan club for their beautiful looks and their starring role in the 2014 film Wild – but there’s plenty of substance as well as style packed into these all-American boots.
Our favourite model is the Danner Jag, which is a great marriage of fabric and leather. The Jags are pleasingly lightweight at 411g, and a waterproof liner proved weatherproof and breathable enough to work brilliantly in spring, summer and autumn when we tested them in the wild – there’s a reason these boots have been popular since they arrived on the scene in the 80s.
The Jag’s cushioning insoles and light, flexible outer soles are comfortable underfoot, but don’t offer enough grip to deal with rocks, roots and scrambles – these boots will only excel on country lanes and easier routes in the hills. Some reviewers have found Danner’s sizing off-kilter, so it could be worth trying on a few sizes around your usual fit.
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• RRP: $170 (US) / £145.70 (UK)
• Weight (per boot): 411g /14.5oz
• Materials: Nubuck leather and breathable Denier nylon upper; Danner Dry 100% waterproof membrane; low-lugged waffle outsole
• Colours: Steel grey and blue wing teal/Distressed brown and deep teal/Monk’s robe and bossa nova/Midnight/Java and black/Sandy taupe/Brindle and goblin blue/Carbon black/Barley/Brown khaki
• Compatibility: A three-season boot ideal for low-key trails – and versatile enough to wear in town, too
In the field
We tested the Jags while walking in the Lake District in autumn – on test they proved reliably weatherproof, and light and supple enough underfoot to feel comfortable even on long hikes higher up in the fells.
We were also impressed with breathability – your feet won’t overheat even when you’re hiking hard, thanks to an effect mesh lining. The inners soles are particularly comfortable, and were some of the most cushioned we tested – if you’re after a boot with leather looks but more comfort, these are a great choice.
The Jag’s fabric panels do start to look dirty quickly when you’re hiking on wet terrain – if you’re buying these boots for their good looks as much as for their performance, you’ll need to clean them regularly.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.