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Field Tested :: Men’s Danner Mountain 600 Boots

There are two types of people in this world; I like to call them the Bright Oranges and The Dark Blues. I am a Dark Blue. The Bright Oranges are social, outgoing, and eager for interaction. The Dark Blues are quiet, understated, and dream of a winter cabin alone. Your clothing reflects who you are, and we could all learn to pick up on those signals, to better communicate with the human standing in front of us. I was always told that you can judge a person by their shoes, and, generally, this is true. If I am to be judged by my shoes, then I am quite content to be judged by my Danners; they suit me and, even better, they serve me.

Inspired by decades of iconic hiking boots, the Mountain 600 combines the comfort of a Vibram SPE midsole with the grip of a Vibram Fuga outsole to deliver excellent traction on wet and dry surfaces while maintaining lightweight cushioning. These boots feature a durable full-grain leather upper and Danner Dry waterproof lining.

These boots, in rich brown, have indeed served me well: light, durable, comfortable, and easy to wear. I think I may have found my new favorite boot. Coupled with a Darn Tough sock, these boots can keep your feet warm and in traction even when the ground beneath you is cold, hard, icy, or wet and muddy. To preserve the boots further, I treated them with a Nikwax waterproof leather wax. I tested the boots thoroughly on an overland journey to the Arctic in March (I swapped them for snow boots in Dawson City), followed by a hiking tour of Jasper and Banff national parks. Occasionally, while hiking, I would find a foot in a crystal clear pool or stream, but it took three feet into the snow for moisture to finally enter the boot. Surprisingly the boot dried inside and out as we drove half an hour to our camp beside yet another sky-blue lake; perhaps the socks were exceptionally absorbent. For everyday walking, wearing, or trekking, the lightweight boot molds to your feet, leaving you with the impression that they are not even there, even when working hard.

As a traveler who may find himself in and out of the camper multiple times a day, I enjoy the ease of getting the boots on and off. It is as if they were made for my feet. The laces slip easily from the hand, the only drawback of the boot and my sole criticism. For day-to-day use over varied terrain and through the gamut of hiking, walking, driving, diesel spills, or a sloppy spring, the Danners have proven equivalent to my favorite axe, my EDC, and my favorite Fjallraven jacket. This boot is like an old friend, a leather wallet you have owned for a decade, an obvious choice when you reach for your everyday footwear.

Exceptional quality is what you pay for, and that is precisely what you receive; a winner for an outdoorsman, a hiker, an overlander, or anyone who appreciates good gear, very well made.

$210 | danner.com

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Graeme Bell is an author and explorer who has dedicated his life to traveling the planet by land, seeking adventure and unique experiences. Together with his wife and two children, Graeme has spent the last decade living permanently on the road in a self-built Land Rover based camper. They have explored 27 African countries (including West Africa), circumnavigated South America, and driven from Argentina to Alaska, which was followed by an exploration of Europe and Western Asia before returning to explore the Americas. Graeme is the Senior Editor 4WD for Expedition Portal, a member of the Explorers Club, the author of six books, and an Overland Journal contributor since 2015. You can follow Graeme's adventures across the globe on Instagram at graeme.r.bell