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 hiking 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 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.Editor's Note: This hiking gear review now includes new sections designed to help in your decision-making process and was last updated on March 6, 2022.
Danner Trail 2650 GTX Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Comfortable, good waterproofing
Cons: Not very supportive, average traction
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Danner Trail 2650 GTX
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|Pros||Comfortable, good waterproofing||Excellent performance, lightweight, great traction, water resistance, support||Secure fit, strong traction, stability||Supportive, versatile, well-cushioned||Lightweight, breathable, great dry traction, inexpensive|
|Cons||Not very supportive, average traction||Cuff can be uncomfortable on ankle for some, Quicklace lacing not everyone's favorite||Narrow, tongue absorbs water||Average traction, regular width is relatively wide, hard to lace tightly||Durability concerns, not good for wet weather|
|Bottom Line||This is a great shoe for light hiking and all-around casual use||This is a rugged hiking shoe that can do everything from day hikes to tackling long multiday backpacking trips||This comfortable and waterproof shoe has solid traction and a narrow fit||A comfortable and versatile pair of hiking shoes with a casual look great for taking from trail to town||A 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...||Salomon OUTline Low...||Columbia Facet 60 O...||Vasque Juxt|
|Water Resistance (5%)|
|Specs||Danner Trail 2650 GTX||Salomon X Ultra 4 G...||Salomon OUTline Low...||Columbia Facet 60 O...||Vasque Juxt|
|Weight (per pair)||1.73 lbs (size 11)||1.76 lbs (size 11)||1.62 lbs (size 10.5)||1.78 lbs (size 10.5)||1.90 lbs (size 11)|
|Upper||Suede, textile||Synthetic, textile||Waterproof textile||Seamless mesh||Suede leather|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular||Regular||Regular||Regular, wide|
|Waterproof Lining||Gore-Tex membrane||Gore-Tex membrane||Gore-Tex||OutDry||None, just a gusseted tongue|
|Flood Level||2.75 in||3.25 in||4.25 in||4.25 in||2.5 in|
|Last Board/Shank||TPU||ADV-C chassis||TPU arch shank||Not specified||Torsion stability TSS|
|Outsole||Vibram 460 with Megagrip||Contagrip MA rubber||Nonmarking Contagrip rubber||Omni-Grip rubber||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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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, 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 better contact the terrain below.
This is a hiking shoe that can handle light trail use and 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.
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 is 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.
Durability is one area where 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. So the choice to use a durable material like leather/textile is a good one regarding this shoe's longevity.
Should You Buy the Danner Trail 2650 GTX?
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. 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.
What Other Hiking Shoes Should You Consider?
For an all-around great hiker with versatility, you can depend on the Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex. This shoe is lightweight and comfortable with good traction and water resistance — all at a very fair price. Overall, it is the better shoe, no matter your hiking goals. If you want the best for comfort and support, the Hoka One One Toa Gore-Tex is a better pick with top-ranking results in these metrics that prove it is the one for those looking for general comfort on and off the trail.
— Ryan Huetter
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