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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great long trip hiking boot.
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...
Published on May 19, 2009 by woodwacker

versus
74 of 95 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled by the Glowing reviews
I have used these boots everyday for about a year, and put them through the paces for sure. I Have owned many pairs of hiking boots in this price range.

So we'll start with those perty green laces, throw them out as soon as you get them. They wont keep tied, and will very quickly break. I think mine lasted almost a month, and during that time I would have to...
Published on October 30, 2011 by Bones


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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great long trip hiking boot., 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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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An evolved classic, February 25, 2007
This review is from: Danner Men's Mountain Light II Outdoor Boot (Apparel)
Danners Mountain Light II is a hiking boot with a very long heritage, going back to 1957. Before then, hikers pretty much used work boots or very expensive European mountain climbing boots.

The Mountain Light II is constructed using what is often called the "stitchdown" method, otherwise known as Norwegian Welt. The upper leather flares out where it meets the midsole and the two parts are joined by stitching which is visible around the outside edge of the boot. This method has a couple of advantages: it makes the sole of the boot slightly wider than the uppers, which gives a broad base for stability. When the sole eventually wears out, it is easily replaced. Disadvantages are that boots constructed this way can be heavier than boots in which the soles are cemented on.

Uppers are constructed of one piece of leather, with a vertical seam at the Achilles tendon, covered by a reinforcing heel counter. The tongue is interesting in that it is covered by a leather debris guard which opens toward the outer side of the boot, and which serves to close the space between the tongue and the uppers.
Laces run through five impressively strong sets of D-rings, then around two speed hooks. All the hardware appears intended to last forever, in other words to outlast the soles and leather and then be reinstalled on a new pair of boots several decades from now.

Soles are dual-density Vibram "Kletterlift", with a very firm outsole for traction, and a slightly cushier middle layer to absorb some shock when walking.

The entire inside of the boot is lined with a Gore-Tex fabric, and so is waterproof until the water depth exceeds the level of the tongue gussets. The boot is about 5 inches high, so provides good freedom of motion when walking, while still covering and protecting the ankle bones. For some people, this translates as "does not provide good ankle support" and prefer a boot with more height. I feel that not having a tight fit around the ankle allows the muscles and tendons to work more smoothly.

Walking in these boots after wearing foam padded "sneaker boots" can be puzzling at first. Danners start out feeling very narrow and stiff, as if there is no flexibility at all. Additonally, there is no foam padding anywhere, just Gore-Tex in contact with your feet, surrounded by leather, with a very slight give in the footboard. The debris guard over the tongue feels very thick and pushes down on your instep. I really don't know how anyone ever liked these enough in the store to buy them and take them home, unless like me, they had read favorable reviews from previous owners and gave them a chance.

As one wears the boot for short walks, an interesting thing is observed to occur. The soles begin to flex where they need to under the ball of your foot. The footboard gradually conforms to the contours of the bottom of your foot. The leather over the instep, around the heel and the toes slowly begins to flex and stretch until it fits your foot like the boots were custom fitted for you. After a few weeks, you reach a point where the boot is ON your foot, but doesn't call attention to itself because the fit has become so good. Any perspiration from your feet is very efficiently wicked away from your socks by the Gore-Tex lining, so feet stay dry and comfortable.

With each pair of boots, Danner provides their well-known "Airthotic" insert, a flexible ventilated plastic heel and arch support, which allows the user to fine-tune the desired degree of arch support. I experimented with and without the Airthotic, and with various thicknesses of socks, finally settling on no insert and two pairs of medium-weight hiking socks. This combination gives a good fit with a lot of cushion surrounding the foot, as well as exposing the full surface of the Gore-Tex liner for moisture absorbtion.

In sum, the Danner Mountain Light II is a classic design with excellent workmanship, updated with some modern materials to make them waterproof, and therefore providing a good climate for the wearers feet under a wider range of conditions.

Although not particularly comfortable initially, they soon achieve a very high degree of comfort, surpassing in some ways the comfort of many other boots. I don't wear mine at work, because I have to wear steel toe boots. However, when I get home, I very often put them on to wear around the house. The fit is so good, I enjoy wearing them while eating supper or watching television. I also wear them casually, with jeans and khakis, sometimes even to church.

Durability appears to be very good, many users report years of wear before resoling, with multiple resolings possible if the leather is cared for properly,
Their appearance is enough unlike other hiking boots that people notice them, and offer spontaneous compliments.

I found these to run about 1/2 size smaller than most of my other shoes and boots.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 years later, April 19, 2010
By 
cake (Bloomington, IN United States) - See all my reviews
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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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars negative reviews have validity, but..., December 31, 2012
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This review is from: Danner Men's Mountain Light II Outdoor Boot (Apparel)
After sorting through a lot of reviews, I finally decided to take the plunge and buy up these boots. I had reservations about getting them due to the negative reviews. I tend to mainly focus on the negative reviews to see what type of problems/issues may arise. I also look at the positive reviews and try and ignore the "lovers" and "haters" who will post completely one-sided reviews. I definitely recommend looking at some of the lower star reviews, but also keep in mind they are very negative. They bring about some valid points:

1. You will most likely need to get new insoles. Almost every review recommends the superfeet. The boots come with a plastic pair which I don't think are intended to be the sole support for the boot. Also, the size I bought was too big because there isn't an insole. I bought a pair of insoles (the superfeet) and it sucked up the excess volume and the boots fit near perfect. So, there is play with sizing depending on the type of insole you decide to go with (e.g. thick or thinner insoles).

2. These boots will dig into your achilles. The fold over tongue design will put pressure on the top of your foot. HOWEVER, this was from the first several times I took them outside to WALK. I have had these for about a month. With a proper break in, these will become non-issues. Please don't expect to immediately take them out of the box and go hiking. You will pay for it. If you break in the boot, you will be rewarded by your patience with a pretty comfortable boot. Now, I say "proper", which I consider to be wearing the boot casually for awhile (e.g. wear them to work, walking the dog, etc.). To be honest, I am still breaking them in a bit. The leather is pretty soft and will probably break in easier than most boots, but don't expect the one week break-in period some reviews claim unless you choose alternative break in methods which may speed up the process (e.g. soaking the boots in warm water, showering, etc.).

Those were the main "negatives" I remember from all of the reviews. A few other notes - I was mainly concerned with the heel cup and the ability to lock in my narrow heals. With the right insole and working with the boot and lacing them, I can get them locked in pretty well. As I am still breaking them in, I don't get as much rubbing on my heal anymore and expect that to only get better the more I wear them. Another note I noticed from reviews is that the 5" doesn't provide enough ankle support. I disagree, but each person is different. The top of the boot just comes to the top of my ankle, thus, providing ankle support (again, you can play with the height by thicker or thinner insoles). Some may desire more coverage. I have skinny ankles and during my break-in period, I had to work on the boot and lacing to get the desired "tightness" around my ankle. The top of the boot is wide and it was initially tough for me to get the desired ankle support out of it. With good lacing, this negative can be negated (good lacing resource - [...]).

A lot of reviews skip over the break in period and go straight to stating the fact that they have had the boots for 20 years strong. I don't doubt that claim, but the boots take some initial work, but the investment will pay off. Also, I get the impression that a lot of the negative reviews didn't give the boot the proper attention - I am probably wrong on some but not all.

The three take-a-ways from this review should be 1) buy this boot, 2) they need a break-in period, and 3) definitely work on lacing the boot during the break-in period that matches your needs. I didn't discuss the third point too much, but I can't stress that enough. The way you need the boot to be laced will be uncomfortable and put unwanted pressures and pains in undesirable places, but the boot will break-in. Then, hopefully, the boot will last you 10+ years. A good review that I found informative and pushed me over the fence is by upadowna (web search it). Good luck.

Edit: Forgot to mention "Bones" 3-star review on here. Very good and IMO accurate review.
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74 of 95 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled by the Glowing reviews, October 30, 2011
This review is from: Danner Men's Mountain Light II Outdoor Boot (Apparel)
I have used these boots everyday for about a year, and put them through the paces for sure. I Have owned many pairs of hiking boots in this price range.

So we'll start with those perty green laces, throw them out as soon as you get them. They wont keep tied, and will very quickly break. I think mine lasted almost a month, and during that time I would have to be constantly reminded that my shoes were untied...they were an annoyance to say the least, complete garbage if you really want to know. The cuff on the ankle is about a half inch too low and does not fully support the ankle. The leather is 1 piece, and have kept my feet very dry. The leather is also too soft, they again don't give any ankle support. I work a job that requires I have 100lbs+ on my back in remote mountain locations. These boots will offer NO support for sprains.

The plus side is that they break-in almost immediatly, week-week and a half, and they wont cause blisters during that time. The boot is also very comfortable. The Goretex lining really helps with drying the boot after tromping through mud and swampy trails. The eyelits and hooks are very burly. ALL of my other boots have had the eyelits pop out, leaving pencil diamater holes in them. The sole is good, I walk up wet slippery bedrock without any concern. They still have about 25% tread left.

So here's the deal, If you are planning on wearing these boots every once and a while and only taking day hikes with small weight on your back, If your into "urban" fashion then these boots will be fine. But If you require a little more ankle protection, If you want a boot that will last, I have to reccommend you buy LIMMER boots. They are made in the US, they have an unlimited lifetime warranty I.E will literally last forever, and they cost about the same. The down side is that they are much stiffer, meaning you have to suffer a very brutal break-in period, and they have to be worn fairly regulary to maintain that break-in. So if you think these boots have a tough break in two suggestions don't buy this boot, and grow a pair, Danners are practiclly slippers.

I also have a big concern with the Danner Website who directly controls what reviews are posted and ultimatly seen by their prospective buyers. Meaning that they don't want people to know the actual quality of their boot, they just want people to buy them. I feel duped into buying these after having read all of the glowing reviews on their site. These boots are NOT as good as you might imagine from reading the reviews, don't be fooled. Today I went to post on their review page and my review was rejected. It was a 3 star review! Very disapointed with the company's attitude towards its customers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Danner Men's Mountain Light II, March 27, 2014
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY happy with a pair of Danners, June 25, 2012
By 
R Swiers "Australasia" (Magalia, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danner Men's Mountain Light II Outdoor Boot (Apparel)
So I've gone through several pairs of Danner's (I reviewed the Explorer, only style I could stand for more than 2 weeks). There really was no break in period but it took a few days to find the right sock combination (don't be surprised if you need two pairs). The laces are holding up fine to 15 mile a day overland use (one reviewer had issue with the laces, good review by Hank Wordsmith, I recommend reading his as well). I'm not sure the boots are going to last me more than a year, but I got them for MUCH less than the $310 retail price, and less than several similar pairs of work/outdoor boots I've tried.

I had some rubbing at the heel, and I had read about this from reviews here on Amazon and elsewhere. It went away after 3 days. The boots have conformed to my feet, and I use green Superfeet insoles (I tried the blue, did not work for me - took out too much volume in the heel area and I was getting bad heel lift).

There is no heel shank, just a heel cup, and I've had to adjust my way of walking along basalt side slope so accommodate this but it has not affected the performance or my satisfaction with the boots. I have no heel rolling. There is still enough leather to prevent that.

The soles work well for me. I travel over basalt, through mud, through several seral stages of forests, granite, and everything else. They slip on loose scree, but what really wouldn't?? I've had no issues of consequence.

While I've been happy with these, and they are very comfortable, the fact that I've had to go through 5 styles and 7 pairs has soured me on Danner, and I will most likely try Limmer or another brand of boots when these wear out. I hope they last through at least one re-soleing, as I'd like to see how Danner's customer service and the whole process works.

I stated this in my Explorer review and I'd like to restate it here - it seems Danner boots MUST GO BACK TO DANNER to be resoled. They use a new proprietary process and heat bonding glue that must be done through Danner. I've checked with two cobblers and they have both said they cannot resole the new Danner boots.

let me know if this has been helpful!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Danner Boots Very Disappointing, December 17, 2012
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars truly isn't enough..., May 7, 2011
By 
This review is from: Danner Men's Mountain Light II Outdoor Boot (Apparel)
A while back I was preparing for an extended trip to Alaska and my trusty old USMC Belleville's were, frankly, a bit long in the tooth and not exactly what I wanted to bring along. With a wide foot, I searched high and low, in more places than I can even recollect, before I happened to come across these boots. I ordered a pair and, when they arrived, they fit like a glove. I wore them around locally before carrying them to Alaska because the last thing you want to experience in remote parts of Alaska is a failure in any manner of equipment, let alone among the most important pieces of equipment like solid footwear.

To boil it down - these are amazing. I could not wait to take them to Alaska and, once there, I wore them every single day, through 20+ hours of daylight, in every condition imaginable. I was absolutely brutal on these boots, putting them through every thing you can think of. They were soaked, but, thanks to being waterproof, my feet were dry and warm. They were submerged in mud, dirt, hiked over rocks, through forest, through riverbeds, glaciers, dirt trails, gravel, etc., etc., etc. I can't tell you how much I put these through but, through everything, the only damage they managed to sustain was a small nick on the toe of the left boot. Since then, I've also worn them in the Smokies, the snow, the ice and swampy marshes. They never fail to deliver the absolute best protection, traction and comfort.

More importantly, they were, and remain, the most comfortable pair of footwear I have ever owned in my life. I absolutely love these boots and, if my wife wouldn't hit me over the head with a cast-iron skillet, I'd wear them to bed. Kidding aside, they are incredible and, although they cost more than any pair of shoes/boots I've ever had, they are worth every penny.

For upkeep, definitely get some HUBERD SHOE GREASE 7.5 Oz Shoe Grease. It is by far one of the superior products I've ever used on my boots and, after coming back from Alaska, I worked a fresh coat of Huberd's into these boots and they looked absolutely brand new. My wife was amazed at how they appeared, especially her knowing first hand what I put them through. Outside of that little nick I mentioned on the left boot, you would have thought they had just come out of the box.

I can't recommend these boots highly enough. Worth every bit of acclaim and every penny they cost. They will last you many, many years.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars built to last, December 3, 2010
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I hike, bike or xc ski at least once a week. I bought a pair of merrill hiking boots which I used just for winter hiking . When I got them out I found that the sole had separated from the uppers. I went online and was looking at boots with stitched on soles. I decided on these Danners'. They are very well-built and they are fairly comfortable right out of the box. One reviewer noted the lack of padding around the top and I did notice it at first but it doesn't bother me at all now and I don't have to worry about the foam rubber padding breaking down or tearing. For less than $100 more that I paid for the Merrills', I have a pair of boots that I can re-sole when needed and with care should last a life-time. And they are made in the U.S.A.!
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Danner Men's Mountain Light II Outdoor Boot
$299.95 $229.95 - $349.95
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