For women looking for a comfortable, versatile hiking boot that offers excellent ankle protection and superior comfort, Danner’s new Mountain 600 boots are a good place to start.
On a muddy, post-snow storm day on the trails of Chautauqua, I laced up my new boots for the first time and ventured out along the Woods Quarry trail. As an avid hiker with a consistent track record of rolling my ankles, I immediately noticed how sturdy and supported my ankles felt.
Though their primary use is for mountain exploration, I got multiple compliments from my roommates and friends when I wore these around campus. I wore these babies out all weekend long and I firmly believe these shoes can double as Colorado casual daily footwear. They feel so comfortable and sturdy, I wanted to wear them casually. This gear made me feel like a confident mountain pro. I hiked Woods Quarry trail in them when it was sunny and warm out, and then up to the first flatiron on a slightly cloudy day after it snowed. On Saturday afternoon, the day after a Boulder snow, I put on these boots with lightweight high socks and walked up to Chautauqua, a little over a mile from my house. I was nervous about rolling my ankle, as I do often while hiking in my old boots, but my worries were alleviated while hiking in these. The boot rises up on both sides of the ankle, and the modern design laces tie the foot securely in place. Now I wonder if my old boots were just too big. I felt so confident climbing up the steep rock steps on Woods Quarry Loop trail, alone at Chautauqua. One less thing to worry about. The boots are so comfortable and cushioned—I felt like there was a great deal of protection between me and the trail. The Mountain 600’s did not disappoint my expectations for quality hiking, my feet still felt comfortable and supported as my legs grew tired on the way down. On a typical weekend in Boulder, you can find me in these DANNER Mountain 600 boots, which make me feel like a chic mountain woman that can take on any challenge, whether that be the mountain, the office, or anything in-between. I would highly recommend these shoes to the novice or frequent trail hiker/mountain explorer.
(Side note: In my experience these shoes run large, so buy a half size down. I am a Women’s size 7 shoe normally, but these shoes were Women’s 6.5 and they fit perfectly.)
Pros: Comfort, style, and durability. These boots pack the most into a sleek look. This is the type of boot you can wear casually all day, and then run up and down the flatirons in the evening. The arch and ankle support on these boots is extra cushioned, thanks to the Vibram SPE (Specialized Performance Elastomer) mid-sole, a new sole designed by Danner for flexibility and support. The blend of synthetic natural rubber and EVA in the soles is so lightweight it feels almost like wearing no shoes at all. The stability from each high-rise side of the boot kept me from rolling an ankle when I was hopping from rock to rock down the Chautauqua trail, which was a welcome relief. My favorite part about the boot is the criss-crossing laces that keep the shoe set in place on my feet, and help the boot fit me like a glove. I felt totally secure hopping from rock to rock on my way down, because the boot had sufficient grip, and held my ankles in place. My feet were warm even on trails covered in melting snow as the protective outer layer kept my feet dry. I walked through some snow and mud puddles on the trail, and my feet were still warm and dry.
Cons: These shoes are technically water resistant, not waterproof. I only know this from their website. I found them keeping my toes sufficiently warm, though it is spring and I was careful to avoid walking directly in the snow. I wish these were fully waterproof.
Where We Took Them: Multiple times to Chautauqua park, my favorite local trail. Also, everywhere around Boulder.