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Danner Trail 2650 GTX Review

This is a great shoe for light hiking and all-around casual use
Danner Trail 2650 GTX
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $180 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, good waterproofing
Cons:  Not very supportive, average traction
Manufacturer:   Danner
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 22, 2021
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 17
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Weight - 25% 9
  • Support - 15% 5
  • Traction - 15% 5
  • Versatility - 10% 6
  • Water Resistance - 5% 5
  • Durability - 5% 6

Our Verdict

The Danner Trail 2650 GTX is named after the famous Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Mexico to Canada. While a trail of that length is beyond the ability of this mid-range hiking shoe, we like it for its simplicity, comfort, and durability. Our reviewers like it for its easy-going, casual appearance, and its soft and plush leather/textile upper material. This is a great choice for the weekend day-hiker, and it performed well on trails, though it did not have the structure nor support that we would desire for longer backpacking trips especially when heavier packs are involved.

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Danner Trail 2650 GTX
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at REI
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Check Price at REI
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$169.95 at Backcountry
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Check Price at REI
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$82.46 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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65
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, good waterproofingExcellent performance, lightweight, great traction, water resistance, supportExtremely comfortable, lightweight, supportiveGreat value, waterproof, versatileLightweight, breathable, great dry traction, inexpensive
Cons Not very supportive, average tractionCuff can be uncomfortable on ankle for some, Quicklace lacing not everyone's favoriteNot as cushioned as previous Hoka models, some traction issuesAverage support, lacks long-term durabilityDurability concerns, not good for wet weather
Bottom Line This is a great shoe for light hiking and all-around casual useThis is a rugged hiking shoe that can do everything from day hikes to tackling long multiday backpacking tripsA blend of top-notch comfort with support in a lightweight package that makes them an excellent choice for long-distance hikers looking to shave weight and increase mobilityThis shoe is a great value for the all-around performance as well as waterproofness that it providesA budget-friendly hiking shoe that is a perfect choice for those hiking in dry climates
Rating Categories Danner Trail 2650 GTX Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Hoka One One Toa Go... The North Face Ultr... Vasque Juxt
Comfort (25%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (25%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Support (15%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Traction (15%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Versatility (10%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Water Resistance (5%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
1
Durability (5%)
6.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Danner Trail 2650 GTX Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Hoka One One Toa Go... The North Face Ultr... Vasque Juxt
Weight of Size 11 Pair 1.73 lbs 1.76 lbs 2.03 lbs 2.04 lbs 1.90 lbs
Upper Suede, textile Synthetic, textile Synthetic Performance mesh Suede leather
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular, wide
Waterproof Lining Gore-Tex membrane Gore-Tex membrane Gore-Tex membrane DryVent membrane None, just gusted tongue
Flood Level (inches) 2.75 in 3.25 in 5 in 3.25 in 2.5 in
Last Board/Shank TPU ADV-C chassis EVA ESS Torsion stability TSS
Midsole EVA EnergyCell Rubberized EVA EVA
Outsole Vibram 460 with Megagrip Contagrip MA rubber Vibram MegaGrip UtrATAC Vasque OTG

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Danner Trail 2650 GTX is a comfortable, casual shoe that also can hit the local trails, an important distinction considering that most of the shoes in our review are hiking shoes that might work as everyday shoes in a pinch. It scored reasonably well in all of our metrics, most notably in comfort.

Performance Comparison


The molded toe bumpers on the Trail 2650 give added protection...
The molded toe bumpers on the Trail 2650 give added protection against roots and other objects on the trail.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Comfort


The Danner Trail 2650 GTX is a dream to slip on and walk around in. The pliable blended leather/textile upper material has a soft and reassuring feeling around the foot, and it is clear that there will be zero break-in period required to make these shoes trail-ready. The fit is roomy, and the additional room created by the Exo Heel System cradles the heel.

Good looking and comfortable, the Trail 2650 is a great shoe for...
Good looking and comfortable, the Trail 2650 is a great shoe for daily use.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

The Danner PlyoGo EVA midsole does an adequate job of cushioning, though we felt that this was one of the softer shoes in our review and we felt a lot of rocks poking through on rougher trails. The molded rubber toe cap does a great job of protecting the toe against roots, rocks, and other unforeseen obstacles.

Weight


With an almost unbelievably low weight of 1.73 pounds, the Trail 2650 are nearly the lightest pair of shoes in our test. No wonder we hardly even noticed them when they were on our feet. These weight savings are easily felt and appreciated on longer hikes, especially when the trails are relatively smooth.

Our lead tester is impressed by the very low weight of this shoe.
Our lead tester is impressed by the very low weight of this shoe.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Support


To impart support and structure to this shoe, an ultralight EVA midsole called PlyoGO cushions the foot and a TPU shank adds stability. We found these structural components to be less rigid than many other models we tested. Certainly softer underfoot, these shoes do not provide as much support or protection as others, though this also makes them more comfortable in less demanding situations. While we wouldn't prefer these for backpacking trips, they were great on the local trail systems around town.

Reasonable support for general light hiking use, the Trail 2650 felt...
Reasonable support for general light hiking use, the Trail 2650 felt a bit overmatched in more aggressive hiking terrain.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Traction


These shoes use a Vibram Megagrip outsole, a well-known and trusted rubber compound from one of the most utilized developers of shoe rubber around. We have no complaints about the stickiness of the rubber, it works well in both wet and dry conditions. The lug pattern is on the shallow side, though, so there is not much bite available in looser conditions like sand, snow, or mud. These will be better suited for trail-based trips where firmer conditions allow the lugs to make better contact with the terrain below.

The Vibram Megagrip sole provides good grip even on the smooth rocks...
The Vibram Megagrip sole provides good grip even on the smooth rocks found on the PNW beach.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Versatility


This is a hiking shoe that can handle light trail use but also does well as a casual shoe to wear around town. It is supportive and comfortable enough to wear as a work shoe, and we found it to be great for slipping on and off with the easy-to-use heel counter.

Water Resistance


This shoe utilizes a waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex membrane to ensure that water stays on the outside where it belongs. The flood height of this low (up to 2.75 inches), making deeper puddles a bit of a risk, though that holds true for virtually all of the shoes in this category.

As long as you stay below the 2.75-inch threshold, the Gore-Tex...
As long as you stay below the 2.75-inch threshold, the Gore-Tex membrane does a great job at waterproofing this shoe.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Durability


Durability is one area in which this hiking shoe should have a leg up on the competition. The upper material is classically the most vulnerable to degrading first with hiking shoes, and so the choice to use a durable material like leather/textile is a good one regarding this shoe's longevity.

This shoe should hold up to normal use for some time, and the...
This shoe should hold up to normal use for some time, and the leather can be treated periodically to keep it protected.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Value


Despite having some name-brand technologies such as a Gore-Tex lining and a Vibram sole, these shoes are a bit spendy based on their lack of overall solid hiking ability in more demanding terrain.

Conclusion


The Danner Trail 2650 GTX is one of our favorite shoes to slip on to take on day hikes, as well as an all-around comfortable walking shoe that can be worn around town. Simple, with casual styling, they are a good choice if you don't plan on doing much aggressive hiking.

Ryan Huetter

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