Inspired by the work boots of days past, these simple, durable contenders are a stylish but heavy-duty option. The Danner Mountain 600 are an all-leather boot with a Vibram sole, metal eyelets, and a large, padded tongue. They run a bit large and are best for a higher-volume foot. The leather upper, treated with a water-resistant coating, proved to be fairly successful in keeping our feet dry in wet conditions. Overall, these boots did well in our metric comparisons, but are perhaps a better option for a work boot than a hiking boot due to their weight, size, and lack of breathability. The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped - Women's are comparable in terms of design, but with more mesh integrated into the upper, they are a more breathable, lighter-weight option.
Danner Mountain 600 - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Stylish, well-made, durable, water resistant
Cons: Lacked support, lacked breathability, not ideal for slick conditions
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Our Analysis and Test Results
We had a few issues with the overall comfort of the Danner Mountain 600. In other metrics, like durability, the boot did well against its competitors.
These all leather boots may look like a throwback, but underneath the aesthetic are all the features of a modern-day hiking boot. In general, we found these boots to be comfortable and quick to break in. The lacing system and tongue are bulky, though, and we had a hard time tightening the boots down enough to reduce movement of the foot. This is a warning to those with a low-volume foot, as it could be hard to get the Danners tight enough to be comfortable for long periods of time. Our lead tester has a very wide foot and ended up getting a hot spot in the toe box after a few hours in these boots in the initial days of testing. We felt like this was related to both the all-leather upper, which lacked breathability, and the difficulties we had tightening the boot. The toe box can be a source of pain for those with wide feet in any boot. If a wide toe box is something you are looking for, the Keen Targhee III Mid is a good option for wide-footed ladies.
In terms of support, the Danner Mountain 600 did not wow us. Though the boots have a Vibram SPE midsole and a Vibram Fuga Outsole, we still felt pain underfoot after a few hours of hiking in these boots from lack of support. The boots did not seem to provide very much torsional rigidity, which added to the discomfort that we felt underfoot after a few hours on the trail.
In terms of ankle support, the Danner has a low-profile ankle that also allows for lots of flexibility. With a measured shaft height of 127 mm, the Danner Mountain 600s are 13 mm shorter than the Lowa Renegade. This difference means that the Renegade provides much more ankle stability than the Danner. We realize comparing these boots to the powerhouse that is the Renegade is not entirely fair, so in comparison to the Columbia Newton Ridge boots, the Danner is stiffer overall.
The Mountain 600 weighs 2 pounds 1.6 ounces in a size 7.5. This places them among the lowest ranked boots in terms of weight in this review. The La Sportiva Nucleo High weighs just over 2 pounds and the Vasque Breeze III Mid weighs in at 2 pounds 3.2 ounces, for a comparison. The design of this boot, with its thick leather upper and dense rubber in the outsole, makes it feel heavier than its actual weight. Similarly, boots with mesh uppers of comparable weights can feel much lighter, perhaps due to the weight distribution of the materials on the boot, with the lighter materials on the top of the foot and heavier ones at the bottom. And then there are boots that don't just feel lighter; theyare plain lighter. The Columbia Newton Ridge is similar in style to the Danner, but only weighs 1 pound 12 ounces due to an upper consisting of both mesh and leather.
Made with the popular Vibram MegaGrip sole, the Danner Mountain 600 are grippy on rock, but performed poorly in mud and wet conditions. We had trouble with the Danner boots ability to hold traction on wet, muddy hills — which was the same case we had with The North Face Fastpack III. Both boots have tread patterns that do not provide a ton of grip on this type of terrain. In wet conditions, even the stickiest Vibram soles won't dig in.
Danner uses a waterproof coating, Danner Dry, to ensure these leather boots keep water out. For the most part, we found this to be true in mildly wet conditions. Puddles, light rain, or a missed rock on a creek crossing, and the boots shed water with ease. Full submersion or prolonged exposure to water did cause a bit of dampness to leak in. This is something that we have found to be common among most boots that claim to be waterproof. For a fully waterproof boot, one of the best options we have found is the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3, which has kept our feet dry through numerous slushy spring slogs.
For a boot company that has been making boots since 1932, Danner knows how to make footwear that is made to last. The Mountain 600 seems to be no exception. The leather uppers, heavy-duty eyelets, and Vibram soles make for a reliable, all-around shoe. Though they are simple in design, these boots should last a long time if used in moderately rugged situations. Compared to the similar-looking Columbia Newton Ridge, the Mountain 600 is a more durable boot.
The Danner Mountain 600 is a level up from the Columbia Newton Ridge, though the two appear to be very similar in design. While the Newton Ridge is a great introductory hiking boot, the Danner is a bit burlier and a little bit more expensive. Both boots have the stylish, timeless look of an old work boot, and the Danner actually does work well as one. As a boot to wear for yard work, trail work, hikes, or for simply looking woodsy around town, the Danner Mountain 600 is a great option.
For $180, the Danner Mountain 600 is a bit of an investment. This is on the upper end of the average price range of boots in this category; usually pairs range from $150 to $180 on average. Though they cost a fair amount, these boots are undeniably built to last, so in that way, they are a good investment. They are not the most versatile boot in the fleet, though, and they may not be the best option for hot weather or long distances, due to their lack of breathability and their weight.
The Danner Mountain 600 is a stylish and classic leather hiking boot. These boots seemed to run a little big, and thus we had a few issues with comfort and fit. These may be the type of boot that is best to try on in the store to ensure the correct sizing before buying them. That aside, we found many of the other features of the Mountain 600 to be impressive. The boots are durable and, for the most part, waterproof. The Vibram soles are fairly sticky, but the overall tread pattern did not provide a ton of traction on mud or scree. These boots are a good option for a work boot that also doubles as a hiking boot. If technical trails are what you seek, a different boot might be a better option.
— Jane Jackson