Danner Mountain Light II - An on-going review

mortonm

Expedition Leader
#1
My current boots have had their last day in the sun. They were made by Asolo, but I cannot remember the model. They were an older version similar to the TPS 535 V

They were great boots and have lasted me through 12 winters and summers. The leather upper is still in pretty good shape, but unfortunately like most things today, the out soles are toss always and they cannot be resoled/re-crafted. It was when I realized this, that I knew my next boots would be of stitch-down/Norwegian welt construction. I love the idea of having something for a long time, not just a few years and then send it off to the trash heap with so much of our other waste.

I looked at quite a few boots, and eventually found myself at the Danner website. They had quite a few options but the one that really caught my eye was the classic and venerable Danner Mountain Light II. They are a one piece full leather upper, with stich-down construction with a Vibram kletterlift out-sole. They are heavy, and that's okay, some people will profess the virtues of ultra light boots and trail shoes, but they aren't for me, and that's okay. Everyone has different feet and different wants/needs out of a pair of footwear, and thats okay too.

Here is a picture of the model I chose, the Mountain Light II. They have a few very minor differences against the original Mountain Light.



They are made in the USA, which although I am from Canada is still an moniker of quality North of the Border, just as hopefully Made in Canada is down South. These boots are built to last, and hopefully will last me well over a decade. At that point I can box them up, and send them back to Danner to be re crafted, which can be anything from new soles to complete reconstruction.

Believe it or not, this is the same pair of boots. The one of the left is how the boot came into the Portalnd, Oregon facility, and on the right as it left. I believe this is the second time that theses have come back, the difference is astonishing. Although a different pair and style of boots to those I have bought, obviously a lot of time, effort and love has gone into making these look almost new. I am happy to have that passion behind the makers of my boots.



I am currently anxiously awaiting the arrival of my boots (they are somewhere between British Columbia and Ontario), and should hopefully have them mid next week. A tough leather boot like this will take some time to break in. My intention of this thread is to create an on-going review of the break in process, the pros and cons, as well as some picture documentation as the boots age (all boots look better with some miles under them).

If you have any questions or comments feel free to reply.
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
#3
I'm a big fan of Danner military boots. I am sure your expectations will be met or surpassed.
Im sure they will,

they are really hard to find up here, but I did find a store that had one (1) Danner Mountain Light in stock (the original). Unfortunately it was in size 11 and it was just a little too big. So the size I ordered i knew would fit (10.5 EE)

I only wore them around the store for 5 or 10 minutes but I was very pleased with the workmanship.
 
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#4
mortonm, I have been looking at these boots for about a year. but alas, I haven't had the extra cash. they sure look like a great boot. I also like the one piece leather upper I find boots built this way wear considerably better. I have danner military boot and find it to be a good boot. I am looking forward to a review. btw I consider goods made in Canada to be top notch. with replacement parts for my truck I always look for made in usa or Canada. highdesertranger
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
#5
mortonm, I have been looking at these boots for about a year. but alas, I haven't had the extra cash. they sure look like a great boot. I also like the one piece leather upper I find boots built this way wear considerably better. I have danner military boot and find it to be a good boot. I am looking forward to a review. btw I consider goods made in Canada to be top notch. with replacement parts for my truck I always look for made in usa or Canada. highdesertranger
I hope my thoughts help you make a choice.
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
#6
Boots came in today. Very happy with the workmanship upon initial visual inspection.

Wore them around the house a little and am 90% sure they fight properly. When laced up they feel great, but undone they feel large. The construction of the tongue allows it to pull far forward and let's the foot loose.

Here are a couple pics.









The plan is to wear them around inside the next few days to ensure they are the proper fit, and then start the dream in process. I would like them to be broke in for my trip to Pennsylvania in about two months.

I am currently using the provided plastic airthotic insoles and likely will continue to do so unless my feet start to hurt.

I bought the Danner boot dressing for keeping them well conditioned and maintained. I hope these last me a long time.

These are good looking boots...
 
#9
The secret is to find something that is not too thick. Normally I like Sole inserts but I've had really good luck with Filson's cork insoles in my mountain lights.
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
#13
Happy to help. Enjoy them and feel free to let us know if you have any questions.
My biggest worry about these boots will come next winter, I plan to wear them around town and they put a lot of salt on the ground here for snow control. I will have to be diligent in cleaning it off after I am done wearing them.
 
#14
We get new Acadia boots every few years for work (gortex and leather). I slather them up with sno seal and place them next to a low heat source and let the stuff melt in. Then I put on the thickest socks I own and lace them up on my feet as tight as I can stand it. Then I wear them for a few hours around the house, inside. After a few days they have stretched out rather nicely.
I have custom orthotics made. They are neoprene/foam like over hard plastic that have been custom molded. These slide right in. I've never used those plastics inserts from danner.
What's really nice is, even after several years of use at work, I have a great set (4 really) of boots that i use when I'm not at work. One time, I even ordered the all leather ... I think it has like 8g of thinsulate (????)
And....they can be re-soled for like fifty bucks (USD) at just about any shoe repair that does vibram soles :)

O...btw....I just saw that they are opening a store in Renton, WA (retail?) just south of Seattle and home f the Seahawks....
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
#15
We get new Acadia boots every few years for work (gortex and leather). I slather them up with sno seal and place them next to a low heat source and let the stuff melt in. Then I put on the thickest socks I own and lace them up on my feet as tight as I can stand it. Then I wear them for a few hours around the house, inside. After a few days they have stretched out rather nicely.
I have custom orthotics made. They are neoprene/foam like over hard plastic that have been custom molded. These slide right in. I've never used those plastics inserts from danner.
What's really nice is, even after several years of use at work, I have a great set (4 really) of boots that i use when I'm not at work. One time, I even ordered the all leather ... I think it has like 8g of thinsulate (????)
And....they can be re-soled for like fifty bucks (USD) at just about any shoe repair that does vibram soles :)

O...btw....I just saw that they are opening a store in Renton, WA (retail?) just south of Seattle and home f the Seahawks....
I like the Acadias, nice that you get them for work!

I wish I could wear some safety toe shoes from Danner for work but they aren't CSA certified which is needed here in Canada