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Danner Mountain Pass hiking boots review: a beautiful boot for lightweight comfort underfoot

These stylish leather boots combine a classic look with the sturdiness required to hold up against rainy hikes and rocky terrain – but you’d be forgiven for wearing them on city streets too

Danner women's mountain pass boot
(Image: © Danner)

Our Verdict

These lightweight, comfortable leather hiking boots will get you across rocky terrain and keep you dry on rainy hikes but are beautiful and versatile enough to be worn off the trails

For

  • Classic, beautiful look
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Traction works on wet and dry ground

Against

  • Pricey for the casual user
  • Non-insulated
  • No narrow or wide sizes available for women

Danner Mountain Pass hiking boots: first impressions

Modelled on a classic look, these beautiful leather hiking boots (available in both men's and women's versions) are technical enough to tackle tough terrain, but stylish enough to be worn around town.

The Mountain Pass ankle height boots are intended to be more lightweight than some other boots from the Portland brand, but they don’t sacrifice sturdiness. These boots are made using full-grain leather with a Vibram rubber compound sole that is thick enough to absorb shock and provides great traction and stability on both wet and dry surfaces.

These non-insulated boots have a 100% Gore-Tex liner so they are breathable for long, warm walks and keep your feet dry on wet days. For extra comfort, they also feature a Removable OrthoLite Footbed, made of open-cell polyurethane for better heat dissipation and air circulation.

These boots come in both men's and women's sizes, with a wide option available for men and women's coming in a standard medium width.

With a classic look, high quality construction and resoling options available, this could be the last pair of hiking boots you ever buy.

Specifications

• RRP: $390 / £350
• Sizes available: Men's US 7 - 13 / Women's US 5 - 11 / UK 5.5 - 10
• Materials: Leather upper, Vibram rubber sole, Gore-Tex liner
Height: 5”
Weight: 38 oz / 1077 g per pair
• Colors: Black, brown, smores, gun metal, horween rio
• Best use: Hiking

Danner Mountain Pass hiking boots: on the trails

Danner women's mountain pass boots

With a classic look, high quality construction and resoling options available, this could be the last pair of hiking boots you ever buy. (Image credit: Danner)

A little backstory: for the past 12 years I lived in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where it seldom rains and a good pair of trail running shoes gets you up pretty much every slope. I thought my days of wearing hiking boots were over and had long traded in weather protection and durability for lightweight shoes. 

Then I moved home to Scotland, where it rains a lot and our hiking terrain is often boggy at the best of times and it was the perfect time for these swoon-worthy boots to come into my life. In truth, they’re so gorgeous I just sort of admired them for a while and sent pictures of them to my friends. 

Finally, I decided it was time to put them to the test and even though putting them on felt like sliding my feet into two pillows, given my long history with boot rub, I sensibly wore them around town a few times to break them in. As it turns out, this was a good idea as despite how comfortable they are, they still threatened to rub a little. But as I said, this probably has more to do with my feet than the boots.

Anyway, I got so many compliments on them I started to wonder if I could ever take them up a hill and subject them to the horrors of rain and mud. But then I remembered I love hiking and I live in Scotland now, so of course I could. I’ve worn these on quite a few hikes now that the weather has turned a little colder and they perform fabulously on the trail. 

They’re comfortable and while it’s a surprise to me to feel any weight at all on the ends of my legs, if you’re used to hiking boots already these will feel surprisingly light given how sturdy they are. I’ve found they work best with a thin or medium hiking sock rather than a thick one, and though they’re not insulated I do find them extremely warm. 

I’ve waded through some fairly deep pools in them and not a drop of water has made its way in, the boots provide good stability on uneven terrain, and the soles provide great traction on wet and dry rocks. The only place I found myself sliding a little was on a very smooth, frost covered beam that had been placed across a bog, though I’m not sure any footwear would hold up to that. 

These beautiful boots come at a high price, but given their superior quality, performance on the trail and versatility, I imagine you won’t be replacing them any time soon.

Here’s how they performed:

Sizing

Fits true to size, medium width.

Style

At 5” tall these are ankle height and feature a classic, streamlined design with dark brown leather, cream sole and green laces.

Comfort 

The Removable OrthoLite Footbed provides loads of cushioning so you don’t feel like you have to remove them as soon as you get back to the car.

Temperature regulation 

These non-insulated boots are designed for air circulation and heat dissipation and with a medium sock on cold days, my feet never got cold or hot. I did wear them once on a warmer day with thick socks and my feet were a little warm.

Weather proofing 

The Gore-Tex lining keeps water out, even when wading through ankle-deep pools.

Traction

I’ve had no problem on dry rocks, slippery wet rocks or steep slopes of wet grass.

Ankle support

These don’t tie really tightly around the ankles, but with the inner cushioning, sturdy exterior and thick sole, they provide really good stability on uneven terrain.

Durability 

These are superbly handcrafted for amazing quality and Danner offers recrafting services like resoling so I expect these to last a lifetime.

Here’s where we tested Danner Mountain Pass hiking boots:

This walk made our pick of best hikes near Glasgow. The so-called Whangie is an unusual-looking rock feature in the Kilpatrick Hills, and boasts wonderful views towards Loch Lomond, the Highlands and the Campsies.