User Review: Danner Men's Light II
Break-in Period: not much, but give it some for better comfort
Weight: not light-weight
Price Paid: $200
I have heard about the quality of Danner from a friend who has owned his boots for over 20 years. I tried on others at the store but these felt the best right out of the box. I got the 12 EE and they were just big enough for me. I didn't have much time for break-in and it turns out, I really didn't need any.
I set out for a 35 mile hike. The first couple trail days I spent more time than usual adjusting the laces and sock combo to get the right feel. The laces and studs are an excellent features of this boot, making lacing up in the morning easy. By day three I had a good sense of tightness and they felt as good as they could for 13 mile days. I will admit I had a few blisters, but they were minor and more of my issue rather than the boots. My right foot is about a half size different so it took me a while to dial in the laces and socks. My feet were refreshed every morning and boots felt more and more like slippers with every new step.
I crossed several streams and never once got my feet wet. I also hiked in some wet, mucky terrain after rain and never felt a drop on my feet, nor slipped. I had about 6500 feet of elevation gains and never had toe jams or bad heel lifts. This was a huge PRO in my book.
Overall the boots took a solid beating right out of the box. I wouldn't recommend no break-in, but they performed as I expected. At the end of the trail the boots had a few scars but otherwise still looked fairly new and I actually look forward to wearing them more often.
A boot I can grow old with and made in the USA, nice.
Perhaps the only CON - they are a bit heavy despite the name.
Update: September 27, 2010
This is merely an update to a previous review.
After another 35 miles or so in the Yosemite wilderness these boots just get better. I didn't have one major foot issue this trip (which is rare for me). Yes, I got a few hot-spots on my toes (edge of big toe and pinky toe) but those were quickly averted with some quick duct tape patches. More of my fault for being a bit loose on a steep downhill.
Perhaps my only issue would be a larger, more protected toe box. Larger because this seems to be the only area I have any significant issues (and those were minimal, I was going down 4k feet in an afternoon). I am sure a cobler can stretch the toe box a bit for me.
As far as protection in the toe box, I simply mean the front of my boots have a few battle scars that perhaps some material over the leather might help reduce potential problems. I am a bit lazy with my feet sometimes and I never once hurt my toes or did an ankle-bender (the boots saved my ankles more than once). I do wear gaters which help a lot, both in terms of hitch-hikers and water penetration.
Besides the weight, which I am used to, these are very comfy boots and they only seem to get better. (laces are excellent and stick right where you set and tie them, wow).