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89 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2009
This review is for those who need a wider, medium duty hiking boot. I wear 9 4E in sneakers. At 9 2E, and with thick socks these Danner Mountain Light II boots are very comfortable. My experience with Goodyear welt and Vibram soled leather boots includes super stiff Vasque and Alico Summits. I am (or was) a heavy pack hiker needing excellent support only stiff boots like this can provide. The Vasques and Alicos are wonderful for heavy pack hiking in mountainous terrain. But in my old age, these Danner Mountain Lights are better since I can no longer carry a pack. The Danners are lighter. They are more flexible and they are not padded or insulated. The GoreTex lining is effective. During several hikes, my feet stayed reasonably cool. Leather quality is excellent. They come supplied with some odd but very comfortable hard plastic orthotics. I did not think these would work but they are great.

As to stiffness, these boots cannot compare to the Vasques or Alicos. But for general use they are much better than the sneaker based rubber soled, so called "hiking boots" that most manufactures have switched to. Now, I know there are those who think that light duty hiking boots are acceptable for long hard hikes. I can tell you, at age 59 I out hiked a bunch of younger folks wearing sneaker boots. Their feet were so sore they could barely walk. If you are planning any kind of serious hiking, especially with a pack, you need stiff soled boots. The Danners are not that kind of boot. But they will walk the guts out of any sneaker boot. If you do buy those super stiff boots, wear them around for at least a month so your feet can acclimate to them. The Danners won't need much break in. They are great for regular no-pack hiking. Two additional pluses: these are USA made. Also, resolable. Nice.

I have two complaints. The boot tops need a little padding. I got used to them fairly soon so no big deal. Also, the tongue gusset stops at shoe top height. This is why I gave these four instead of five stars. Serious hiking in the rough demands a full height gusset. Otherwise, the boots fill up with dirt. This does make them easier to put on and take off, so there is some benefit.

Unfortunately, 2E wide boots like this are getting harder to find. I will definately buy these again after I wear this pair out in 15-20 years. %-))

Update after trip to Glacier National Park:

After hiking approx. 25 miles through very rocky terrain, I am very impressed with these boots. Good light weight hiking boots. This was over sharp rocky trails and rock hopping.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2014
I have never heard of this "No break in period" people are claiming exists, for starters. So if you've recently purchased the boot and charged into a ten mile walk like an over zealous chump for the sake of a streamlined break in (like this guy) or the ignorance of how quality leather works (like those guys), do NOT be discouraged, these boots will break, your blisters will heal.

Okay, now that having been said.
I love these boots. I've worn my fair share of boots; I grew up on a farm, I worked in a warehouse, and have blazed many'a trail. These boots are the best I've had to-date (and very possibly the last I will ever need). For starters the boot's got support. The weird support souls have accommodate the boots have worked to provide the best arch support I've ever felt on my feet (and I have ABSURD arches). Further more, the break-in process has left leather that softly hugs my feet to said souls, without being too tights or too loose. Further more, the boots are SOLID. I ride a motorcycle and have accidentally put my feet in some s*** situations. Not only have these boots withstood every blow, but have done so without any grisly scarring. In the short time I've owned these boots I've maybe put about 120 miles on them, as I wear them non-stop. They're my work shoes, my casual shoes, my stroll around town boots, my hike books, my everything really (short of cycling...SPD outlet? Think about it Danners...). They have been outstanding. What's more, they're FINE. I mean FINE. I get compliments on them a lot. They look good, be it in a cafe of bucking hay, they look good. They're an excellent blend of bad-@$$ and beautiful. They'll compliment that NorthFace jacket you've instagramed on every hiking trip capitally AND they'll finalize that lumber-jack look you've been trying to dial in for so long.

These boots are the...stuff...they're really awesome. Honestly, best purchase I've made all year.
Oh, and for those of you who question the obscure fit or have troubles with breaking them in here's how to fix your future problems:
Unless you know you're feet.
Buying the right boot size is an art, and not something you should pretend you know when dropping a near $300 online. Go into a store, talk to someone who knows, measure your feet, read sizing reviews, then make an educated purchase, or yes, the boots will hurt. Danner offers an array of resources to combat this issue, including width variations, meaning that they're an accommodating range of sizes, but also that dialing in YOUR boot will be more difficult and very specific. There's no scale here; no such thing as "close enough", there is only one size for your feet, know it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2010
These were a gift for my husband. He had his last pair of Danner boots for 13 years, and wore them daily through harsh winters, hiking trips, all over Europe, had them resoled at least two times. Finally, this year, he was ready for a new pair. He insisted on getting exactly the same kind, and even waited several months after Christmas, for his size to come in. He is thrilled with his new pair, and hasn't even needed a breaking-in period. These are high quality, waterproof boots--built to last!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2012
Having owned multiple Danner boot products over the last thirty years and having been 100% satisfied with previous purchases, I was very surprised at the poor quality of construction of these Mountain Light Hikers. The front eyelets on the right boot were not installed symetrically and the gussetted tongue on the left boot was installed incorrectly. Can't understand how this pair slipped past quality control inspection. I am returning them to Amazon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2014
I have written a review for these boots already but felt inclined to add a few things that I didn't in my last review of these boots.

Breaking them in... It took four days and a whole lot of reading others reviews of properly breaking in these boots to ensure I wouldn't ruin them but here goes. I used warm water and dish soap and worked it into the outside of the boots after I removed the laces. I did this for a full half hour. I then dried the outsides and put on two pairs of socks. I left the boots on for four hours while walking around in them occasionally to dry the insides of the boots. Once this was complete I took off the laces once again and lathered them in mink oil and let them sit for three days. I made sure to to lather the inside strip of leather that goes around the ankle as well.
Once the three days was up I wiped the excess off and polished it with a brush.
Once this process was complete I put on a thick pair of socks and folded them down around my ankle a few times to give extra support for my first full day of wearing them. This helped the back of the Achilles to avoid a blister, yet after a few days of soaking in mink oil the boots were very soft.
I have also read reviews about the tongue hurting the top of the foot... Well that just takes you working it with your hand to the coverture of your foot to keep it from bunching up.
After wearing these boots for a solid week now they are by far the most comfortable pair of boots I have ever owned.
Hopefully this review will help any of those people out there that are on the fence about buying these.
These are fantastic boots but like anything nice you will need to take care of them to ensure they last. If you take the time to care for these boots you will love them!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2015
These boots have been previously sold under the Cabelas label, and for several years I have tried to find who made them. When I saw them by chance on Amazon, I was excited beyond belief, because my first pair (having lasted for 15+ years) had carried me everywhere in the backcountry. I had them resoled and patched, but I got to the point where even the patches had holes, and it was time to buy another pair. I ordered these the day I found them, and love/recommend them to the point that I will be returning some other boots I ordered (but have not yet received) before I found these, because at that time they were the closest thing I had found to these Danners.

If you are like me and do serious hiking and are looking for "lifetime" boots, don't let any of the negative reviews dissuade you. These have lasted, and lasted, and lasted. They do take time to break in, but when they have been broken in, there is nothing better. I would recommend finding insoles/arch supports that fit your feet well. The factory-supplied insoles aren't that great. Once you do, the wear is fantastic! I would also recommend leather laces and a high quality leather oil to keep the boots well conditioned (I have used Obenauf's and can recommend it).

This review assumes that these boots are the same ones I have owned for many years (I will post a photo of the old boots). But from the photo and description, I'm quite sure this is the case. I will be posting a follow-up once I get the boots and inspect them. If they are the exact same, I'll be buying another pair in case they stop making them. Yup, they're that good!

I received no compensation, financial or otherwise, for this review.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2014
Product reviews are all relative. This is the second pair of Danner boots that I have purchased, and both pairs were purchased via Amazon. For consumers who are unfamiliar with the Danner brand, due diligence is always a good idea. Check out their website, educate yourself on the history of the company and what it stands for. Don't simply read amazon reviews. Some people just aren't life. There will always be haters to balance out the non-haters. If you're looking for a quality pair of boots then look no further than Danner.
Is there a break-in period? Yes. There's brand new leather and gore-tex liners so obviously new leather needs to be broken in. If you want boots that don't require a break-in period, then go to a thrift shop and buy used boots. When I receive a new pair of Danners, I wear them around the house so my feet can start to mold the boots to conform to my feet. I wore these boots out the first day I received them in the mail and they were fine. There is ample leather folded in the tongue area which is what most of the complaints are about that I have read. Would you prefer Danner to use less material? less gore-tex? less quality? then go buy a cheap pair of boots at Wal-mart. These aren't for you. I wear Danners with pride, knowing the craftsmanship and effort that goes into making a pair of these. If you're the type of person who doesn't appreciate the finer things in life, then simply look elsewhere, it's that simple. Danner makes a quality product and I will be a customer for life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2015
I'm not sure why people are complaining about the break in period? I put these boots on and have worn them for 2wks solid. No complaints, yeah my Achilles' tendon was a little sore.....get a pair!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2015
Can recommend with reservations.

The good:
-Solid construction with quality leather. Good materials and workmanship.
-Made in USA
-Classic, timeless style. Looks good off and on the trail
-The Vibram Kletterlift sole is fantastic

The not-so-good:
-Painful break in period, but you knew that by reading the other reviews. Be patient and give time for the leather to supple up before you hit the trail.
-Sizing is tricky. I usually wear size 9 Nikes and Chuck Taylors. I sized down to an 8.5 and it still felt very roomy until I added some insoles. I imagine the sizing is generous to allow for insoles and thick wool socks so bear that in mind when you try them on. You can call Danner's customer service line for advice on the sizing before buying.
-You'll want some insoles. The ones provided in the box are uncomfortable plastic, and without them the boot offers little arch support. Based on other recommendations, I went with Superfeet (the bright green ones) and it improved the fit immeasurably. It also adds forty-five bucks to the price of an already pricey boot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2014
These were comfortable pretty much out of the box. I haven't done any multi-day treks yet but I have been trying to break them in little by little. The rear upper was a little stiff and caused chafing at first but that has mostly worked out. For this caliber of boot, that is pretty mellow, and I would expect a little more break-in period as soon as I strap on a pack and walk a couple days in a row.

On sizing, they are fairly roomy internally and can definitely sustain heavy socks. The lacing system easily cinches down but if your feet are particularly narrow or thin I would try these on first to make sure they will work out. Length is true to size.

They feel totally rock solid without having an over-stiff sole. They are light and flexible enough where you can wear them comfortably around town in inclement weather, which I do, but they feel really stable on trails and more difficult terrain. Very happy with the boots.
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