The Danner Mountain 600. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Danner Mountain 600. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Price: £140.95
Weight: 1,098g/pair
Country of manufacture: Vietnam
Sizes: men’s medium width 7-14; wide 8-13; women’s medium width 6-11
Uppers: suede
Waterproofing: Danner Dry

Danner is a US brand, based in the Pacific North-West, with its roots in making industrial boots. It moved into production of hiking boots in the 1960s and the Mountain 600 has strong heritage looks.

The uppers of this particular model – the Mountain 600 comes in several versions, including fabric and leather – are in tan-coloured water-resistant suede. The boots have a style that doesn’t shout ‘outdoors’ and don’t look out of place around town.

But don’t be deceived into thinking these are just some urban leisure wear dressed up as walking boots. The Mountain 600 boots performed very well on the hill, with the Vibram Fuga outsole providing grip on a par with some very technical boots we’ve tested previously.

The Danner boots were also very comfortable, with good underfoot cushioning. The Vibram SPE midsole uses rubberised EVA in it to provide good shock absorption but with better durability. The sole unit itself is a sort of extended wedge, with no arch in the middle. This enables more of the outsole to remain in contact with the ground. There was no depreciable reduction in braking downhill due to the lack of a heel forward edge.

The uppers are water-resistant suede with Danner Dry waterproofing. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The uppers are water-resistant suede with Danner Dry waterproofing. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The uppers are supple but provided a reasonable amount of protection against stones and rocks. We used the Mountain 600s in a variety of conditions, including some very muddy sections. The combination of the suede and Danner Dry waterproof membrane kept our feet dry. The suede also cleaned up well with running water, even when badly soiled by Pennine mud.

Danner provided two pairs of laces with the boots: the red ones match the outsole, but for those who prefer more muted shades, there’s a brown pair too. The flat profile laces locked well. Lacing is via five pairs of metal d-rings, the uppermost of these set back slightly to direct the force towards the heel. Above these are two pairs of locking hooks which enable the ankle section of the boots to be tensioned separately from the lower part.

Padding around the ankle cuff and on the tongue is fairly thin, but adequate, as the suede is not particularly stiff. The padding is ventilated and helped wick away moisture.

There’s a stiffened toe box, and the heel cup is also hardened, with a plastic strip just above the midsole giving extra protection. The boots are fairly wide at the forefoot area, with no feeling of the foot being cramped here. The laced-up boots held the foot well, with no heel lift uphill or sliding forward on downhill sections.

The heel section of the sole has a deep channel. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The heel section of the sole has a deep channel. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The performance of the outsole was very impressive. The sole uses Megagrip rubber and has flex lines built into its pattern. The heel section has a deep y-shaped channel, which allows that section to flex laterally. The Danner boots provided very good braking downhill and traction uphill on wet rock and on wet grass. Performance on wet mud was good too, though the lugs are not particularly deep.

Weight was quite low and overall the Mountain 600 boots were very comfortable. They performed well in conditions ranging from wet hill days to strolls in the countryside to walks in soft snow. On longer walks there was very little fatigue, thanks to the low weight and good underfoot cushioning.

The Danner Mountain 600 gained grough's 'best buy' rating. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Danner Mountain 600 gained grough's 'best buy' rating. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

These Danner boots are a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They don’t look like full-blown technical boots and have enough street style for everyday use but when needed the performance was impressive. They are a good choice for a general-purpose walking boot for terrain short of full-on mountain routes and other than in winter conditions.

Although Danner says the Mountain 600s are slightly oversized, we found our size 44/UK 9½ pair were fairly true to size.

Performance 34/40
Comfort 26/30
Versatility 7/10
Quality 7/10
Value for money 7/10
Total score: 81/100

  • The boots were provided to grough by Danner.

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