The Mountain Light Mojave Brawler has been discontinued. It was replaced by the Danner Mountain Light.
Handmade to an exceptionally high standard in Portland, Oregon, using the best possible materials, these rugged boots are built to withstand as much punishment as you can give them and last a lifetime. They look superb and if needs be they can be resoled and refurbished to an "as new" standard.
- Build quality
- Heritage brand
- Issues with rubbing in the toe box
- Very difficult to pass laces through the tongue lace hole
Buying a new pair of boots is a big event as along with socks it is probably the most important purchase you will ever make (and at significant cost too!) as once worn you are stuck with them for years potentially. These boots were purchased more for "work wear" at my Forest School, but I have also worn them on numerous day hikes on the (very muddy) South Down Downs, in Southern England.
The handmade construction is exceptionally good and I really like the style of the boots. They are built on a hard wearing Vibram sole which provides good grip over a variety of terrains. In fact the quality is so good, there is no need for an inner sole though one can be purchased if needs be. This felt strange at first but I soon got used to it. Though not as comfortable as the Meindl boots I am used to, they are comfortable enough. Along with a decent pair of warm wool socks these boots have kept my feet warm including my toes—even during all day wear.
They fit well round my heels (which are quite narrow) and despite not having an inner sole my arches feel supported.
The lacing system consists of basic eyelets and this leads me to my only significant issue with the boot. The eyelets are further down the toe box than other boots and this has led to some blisters on the tops of my middle toes as there is not sufficient flex in the boot. They are well worn in, but the problem has persisted. I have resorted to wearing plasters for longer distances, so for this reason I mainly wear them for work rather than longer walks. They are quite heavy too, so my feet are quite tired after a days hiking in them.
The boots are a standard height and along with trousers (and on occasion, gaiters) no dirt or water has penetrated the boots, so they appear to be waterproof (I have worn them in some very wet and muddy conditions for several hours and not had an issue with water penetrating the boots). Danner use Vibram soles which are an industry standard and they provide adequate grip and add to the looks of the boots over all. Added to this, they are easily replaced should they eventually wear out, thus improving the value for money of the boots after the initial high cost.
The tongue has a slot which the laces are passed through in order to keep the tongue in central position. This leads me to my other issue with the boots. The laces are not sufficiently stiff at the ends to pass through the slit and it took me an age to thread all four lace ends through. Either use laces with a stiff end or make the slot bigger.
Furthermore, once I had done this it actually made it worse for two reasons. Firstly, because basic eyelets are used it is very difficult to pull any slack through lacing the tongue slit and maintain the tightness around the top of the foot. Also, I dare not remove the laces for fear of having to repeat the process of threading the laces ends through the tongue slit, which makes cleaning the boots thoroughly more difficult.
Over all, I am happy with the boots and they will certainly last a very long time (I may not need to buy another pair of work boots in my working life again!) even if they may not be used for long distance walking as I had hoped (the issue of the toe box has scuppered that idea). The quality and construction of the boots is exceptional and they are very rugged. However, whether they are worth the hefty price tag (over £330 currently on Amazon) is another matter. I got lucky on eBay and paid £175 which is the still the same price as a decent new mountain boot.
However, if they get constant use and get sent back to be refurbished from time to time it might just be worth it. That and the satisfaction of pulling on an exceptionally well constructed honest pair of work boots from a company who are passionate about what they do.
I have owned the boots for around four months and I have used them as work boots at Forest School and tramping the South Downs in Southern England in the worst weather conditions–heavy rain and very muddy paths.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: £175