Danner Mountain Light II - An on-going review

Charlieboucher

Wandering Charlie
Not very much other than the different leather and laces. I believe the Mountain Light II are cut slightly differently.

Maybe the Mountain Light I doesn't have the goretex liner either ?
The mountain light originals have goetex also. I asked the sales lady about the difference and the one thing that stood out was sizing. It mentions it on the Danner website about the wide fit vs more narrow.
I bought mountain light ii and after wearing them for about a week around the house, I realized they were becoming softer... But also more loose. I have shorter wide feet. I normally wear 9 wide. That's what I got but after feeling too much heel lift and my feet slipping around... Went back and traded in for an 8 ee mountain light original. Man what a difference in comfort and such. I wonder if some who have had bad experience with comfort just have a slightly off size. Danner website says to go half a size smaller.
I took my time the second time around with rep and talked about how and where the boots stretches, and how to fit them properly.
 

Jesush91

New member
I enjoyed this thread! However, i have a concern. I have a pair of merrell wilderness, alico summit, and alico new guide, and a 1970's (?) pivetta for dmc big sur boots.

I am aware boots like yours as well are are made to last to the point of being resoled several times given you care for the leather.

However, I called Dave Page, a well respected cobbler, and he told me that he does not recommend obenauf's products, snoseal and other beeswax products because he says they penetrate leather. According to him, it compromises the boot in the way that it prevents effective sticking of new soles to the boots when it comes time to resole them.

I'm not sure about anyone else, but I want my boots to last many years because of the large sum of cash i spent on them. If such a statement made by mr. Page is true, it should raise red flags about using these footwear products in like minded people's heads. Any thoughts on this matter?
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
I enjoyed this thread! However, i have a concern. I have a pair of merrell wilderness, alico summit, and alico new guide, and a 1970's (?) pivetta for dmc big sur boots.

I am aware boots like yours as well are are made to last to the point of being resoled several times given you care for the leather.

However, I called Dave Page, a well respected cobbler, and he told me that he does not recommend obenauf's products, snoseal and other beeswax products because he says they penetrate leather. According to him, it compromises the boot in the way that it prevents effective sticking of new soles to the boots when it comes time to resole them.

I'm not sure about anyone else, but I want my boots to last many years because of the large sum of cash i spent on them. If such a statement made by mr. Page is true, it should raise red flags about using these footwear products in like minded people's heads. Any thoughts on this matter?
Always lots of different opinions on stuff like this. He may be right, but most boot companies recommend oiling your boots to keep the leather from cracking and drying it.

I guess we will have to wait and see once I need a resole, but I had no issues with my Red Wings despite oiling them every couple of months for two years
 

Kristofa

New member
Great on-going review!

I came across this on-going review while researching insole alternatives to the airthotic that comes with the Mountain Light II and decided to register and become part of the voices. I purchased my MLIIs from a gentlemens vintage shop in Tacoma, WA, about four years ago for USD $65. They were already well worn, but the green laces and outsoles were like new. Therefore, my guess is they had been resoled once and new laces put in them at that time. I had always wanted a pair, so I jumped at the chance for such an inexpensive trial!

I really love them, and I will post pics as soon as I figure out how to do that.

Thanks again!
 

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Caoimhin

New member
My first pair of MLIIs (vintage early 1990s) never gave me a problem and I wore them out, so I recently bought a new pair directly from the Danner store in Portland, where they're made. After about 150 miles, they began to cause painful agony and I can no longer wear them. The internal heel cup inside the liner digs into the back of my left, outside ankle bone making every step extremely painful. The cup they now use is thicker, higher and harder than in the older boot. Buyer beware. This is a poor design change on an otherwise fine boot. I'll be taking them in to see what they can possibly do about it, but I imagine not much can be done.
 

Bum

New member
I have been wearing my MLII's for about 3 years now... it took me forever to break them in, they dug into my Achilles tendon very bad at first...it took me wearing them at work with two pairs of socks for a long time to get used to them... I had to buy good wool socks for them to work well with my feet...If I had it to do over again I would have bought the 10.5 Wide instead of the normal 10.5....that being said, toss on my wool socks, I added very thin insoles, put on my kennatrek gators, and i can conquer anything. very supportive, responsive, and build bomb proof.
 

Kingsleyj

New member
I am a SAR K9 handler. I have used 2-3 pairs of Merrell Sawtooth boots over the last decade or so. They were an outstanding tool for what I needed and I'm disgusted they don't make them anymore. So my search for something that will last, that will do what I need, that I can count on no matter what the conditions, brought me to look at the Danner Mountain Light (and the II's).

This thread has been the most comprehensive evaluation of new Danner Mountain Light II's, and the break-in process, I could find on the web. Thank you for putting in the time to share this information! I finally pulled the trigger and got mine as an early Christmas present this year, mostly because I found a REALLY good price on Amazon. I normally wear a 10.5D, but after reading about the narrow last of the MLII, I ordered the 10.5EE. When I order online, I also try to use the EU sizing. I wear a EU44.5, this seems to be more accurate than the 10.5 for some brands/models. As far as I can tell the 10.5EE it fits really well. I've been wearing them constantly for the last three weeks, and they continue to get more and more comfortable.

When I first strapped the boots on I was a little surprised because the toe box was perfect. This was a pleasant realization as I had read so many times the heel was huge and the toe box small. Wearing them tight also reminded me of when I used to wear brand new Adidas - Copa Mundials, my go-to soccer cleat. The first few times I wore new Copas my feet would ached (moderately) right around the arch until they broke in. I had the exact same sensation with these.

The next thing I noticed was the shoe felt slick, like frictionless on the bottom. I felt like my foot was sliding around a lot and it made me nervous because I had read a lot about the cavernous heel of this boot.

I think the airthotics contribute a lot to that feeling because they are so slick! After wearing them for a week or so that feeling faded. I then bought a cheap Dr. Scholls insole (for work boots? $15?). I thought it would be good to protect the floor of the boot and make my feet feel a little less "slidey". That was a huge mistake. The insole tightened everything up and this resulted in what feels like a bruise on the top of my left foot. It is very painful, but came on slow so I didn't realize how much it hurt until it was too late. I went back to the airthotics for now, but plan to get something different in the future. I'm looking at a 3/4 orthotic to retain the room in the toe box and still get some arch support, but I'll try to update on how that works out later.

The tongue is also feature I've been curious about. I really focused on trying to make it lay straight during the break in phase, but I swear the thing does not fold neatly. If I play with it a little it feels fine so I've just adjusted it to lay straight, while its not creating any overt pressure points on the top of my foot. That seems to be working. I'm hoping whatever wonky fold it ends up with will work in the long-term.

Another thing I wanted to mention is the leather conditioner. I have never owned a nice, full-grain leather boot like this. I've tried to read up on this because I plan to own these boots for as long as possible, and hopefully through a couple recrafting events. So I read if the leather is chrome-cured you should not use a wax-based conditioner on it. I could not, for the life of me, find how the leather is tanned. Do they use chrome or a more natural method? So I got some Obenauf's and used that a couple times. Then I read that using Obenauf's would void the warrantee... Not sure how true that is, but I then ordered some Danner boot dressing, which should arrive today or tomorrow. I don't think either product will be negative on the materials. I've been considering designated one boot to each conditioner, but I'm not sure if I have the patience for that.

The Obenauf HD LP seems to work well. I put it on by hand and let them sit a while. After they sit for an hour or two, I wipe off all the excess with a terry clothe. It does seem to collect dog hair, which is a constant battle at my place. But if I do a good job wiping it down, its not too bad.

I'll try and post some pictures in the next couple days. Hopefully this info will contribute to the previous review - which helped me a great deal in making my decision. Thanks!
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
I am a SAR K9 handler. I have used 2-3 pairs of Merrell Sawtooth boots over the last decade or so. They were an outstanding tool for what I needed and I'm disgusted they don't make them anymore. So my search for something that will last, that will do what I need, that I can count on no matter what the conditions, brought me to look at the Danner Mountain Light (and the II's).

This thread has been the most comprehensive evaluation of new Danner Mountain Light II's, and the break-in process, I could find on the web. Thank you for putting in the time to share this information! I finally pulled the trigger and got mine as an early Christmas present this year, mostly because I found a REALLY good price on Amazon. I normally wear a 10.5D, but after reading about the narrow last of the MLII, I ordered the 10.5EE. When I order online, I also try to use the EU sizing. I wear a EU44.5, this seems to be more accurate than the 10.5 for some brands/models. As far as I can tell the 10.5EE it fits really well. I've been wearing them constantly for the last three weeks, and they continue to get more and more comfortable.

When I first strapped the boots on I was a little surprised because the toe box was perfect. This was a pleasant realization as I had read so many times the heel was huge and the toe box small. Wearing them tight also reminded me of when I used to wear brand new Adidas - Copa Mundials, my go-to soccer cleat. The first few times I wore new Copas my feet would ached (moderately) right around the arch until they broke in. I had the exact same sensation with these.

The next thing I noticed was the shoe felt slick, like frictionless on the bottom. I felt like my foot was sliding around a lot and it made me nervous because I had read a lot about the cavernous heel of this boot.

I think the airthotics contribute a lot to that feeling because they are so slick! After wearing them for a week or so that feeling faded. I then bought a cheap Dr. Scholls insole (for work boots? $15?). I thought it would be good to protect the floor of the boot and make my feet feel a little less "slidey". That was a huge mistake. The insole tightened everything up and this resulted in what feels like a bruise on the top of my left foot. It is very painful, but came on slow so I didn't realize how much it hurt until it was too late. I went back to the airthotics for now, but plan to get something different in the future. I'm looking at a 3/4 orthotic to retain the room in the toe box and still get some arch support, but I'll try to update on how that works out later.

The tongue is also feature I've been curious about. I really focused on trying to make it lay straight during the break in phase, but I swear the thing does not fold neatly. If I play with it a little it feels fine so I've just adjusted it to lay straight, while its not creating any overt pressure points on the top of my foot. That seems to be working. I'm hoping whatever wonky fold it ends up with will work in the long-term.

Another thing I wanted to mention is the leather conditioner. I have never owned a nice, full-grain leather boot like this. I've tried to read up on this because I plan to own these boots for as long as possible, and hopefully through a couple recrafting events. So I read if the leather is chrome-cured you should not use a wax-based conditioner on it. I could not, for the life of me, find how the leather is tanned. Do they use chrome or a more natural method? So I got some Obenauf's and used that a couple times. Then I read that using Obenauf's would void the warrantee... Not sure how true that is, but I then ordered some Danner boot dressing, which should arrive today or tomorrow. I don't think either product will be negative on the materials. I've been considering designated one boot to each conditioner, but I'm not sure if I have the patience for that.

The Obenauf HD LP seems to work well. I put it on by hand and let them sit a while. After they sit for an hour or two, I wipe off all the excess with a terry clothe. It does seem to collect dog hair, which is a constant battle at my place. But if I do a good job wiping it down, its not too bad.

I'll try and post some pictures in the next couple days. Hopefully this info will contribute to the previous review - which helped me a great deal in making my decision. Thanks!
Awesome! Glad things are working out pretty well to start off.

I got the 10.5 and really likely needed a 10 but bought the danner full insoles and it's perfect for me.

Still very happy with these 3.5 years later.

Not even close to needing a resold but I also really avoid wearing them on concrete or asphalt as thay accelerates the wear. I bet I can get another 4 or 5 before it's needed.

I use obenaufs on them, no idea why this would void the warranty.

Pretty sure they are not chrome tanned leather.

The danner stuff is good too so no harm there.

Looking forward to some updates and pics.
 

Kingsleyj

New member
20171221_164934.jpg

Took the pup out for a couple miles today. The airthotics felt like they were slipping forward in the boot today. Kind of annoying bc I could feel the back edge until I stopped to adjust them. Still, great looking pair of boots!
 

Kingsleyj

New member
I forgot to mention, I got a pair of black Miscly laces for them, too. I wanted to wear them around the office at work, and didnt want to draw attention. These laces feel a lot like the Danner's laces, possibly a smidge thicker, but not much.
 

Kingsleyj

New member
So I'm struggling to find an insole that works well for me. I did get the Dr. Scholl's CF inserts ($50/pr) - the ones where you step on the machine, answer a few questions, and it tells you what model to get. That didn't work out well at all. The inserts didn't feel right from the beginning. After a day of wearing them, my back was killing me. Next, I went to a "Good Feet" store and they had me all set, for $700+ out the door... Yeah, couldn't quite pull the trigger on that. I then went and got custom insoles molded to my feet ($80/pr). They felt pretty good, but I started having the same tightening sensation I did with the $15/pr, especially in the toe box. I tried to cut them down to 3/4 size without much success. The problem was there was too much padding on the custom ones, so even when I got them short enough it left a big drop off that never felt good. I tried to chamfer the cut, but it still doesn't feel right. Currently I'm back to the airthotics, which were never that bad to begin with. At this point I think the best solution is to find a very thin, 3/4 shoe liner and use it on top of the airthotics... what a pain.
 
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