Reviews You Can Rely On

Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip Review

Keeps your feet warm, comfortable, protected, and supported while completing chores at home, errands around town, tasks at the job site, or miles upon miles of wintery hikes
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Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip Review
Credit: Ian Cruess
Price:  $240 List
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Manufacturer:   Danner
By Ian Cruess ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 31, 2024
79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 15
  • Warmth - 25% 7.5
  • Weather Protection - 25% 7.5
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 8.0
  • Traction - 15% 8.0
  • Durability - 15% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip combines quality materials, optimal comfort, and classic mountain aesthetics for exceptional performance throughout many uses. These boots' suede leather upper construction makes them abrasion and puncture-resistant, providing superior protection and longevity, especially if you know how to treat leather. Beneath the stout uppers, Danner incorporated a unique Vibram Arctic Grip outsole for improved treading across wet ice that also performs exceptionally well on firm ground and snowy trails. We were impressed with the high level of comfort and performance while completing winter chores around the house, running errands through town, getting the job done on cold days at the worksite, and crushing miles upon miles of recreational winter trail endeavors. The versatility and durability of the Danner Arctic 600 set these boots apart from the other men's winter boots in our review.
REASONS TO BUY
Stout construction
Well insulated
Easy on the feet
Bolstered feeling
Multitalented
REASONS TO AVOID
More expensive
Medium shaft height
Slightly tricky laces

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Bottom Line Provides warmth, comfort, protection, and support while performing chores at home, errands around town, tasks at the job site, and hikes along wintery trailsThese boots perform great across the board, earning top accolades for being so well-roundedThis boot makes winter walks comfortable and secure, but it isn't a great option for deep snowWith good performance across the board, these low-priced boots deliver great valueThese boots are stylish, relatively warm, and protective, making them a solid fashion-forward choice
Rating Categories Danner Arctic 600 S... The North Face Chil... Merrell Thermo Chil... Columbia Bugaboot III UGG Butte
Warmth (25%)
7.5
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Weather Protection (25%)
7.5
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Traction (15%)
8.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
5.0
Durability (15%)
9.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Danner Arctic 600 S... The North Face Chil... Merrell Thermo Chil... Columbia Bugaboot III UGG Butte
Measured Weight 2.75 lbs (size 9.5) 3.86 lbs (size 13) 2.74 lbs (size 13) 3.69 lbs (size 13) 3.44 lbs (size 13)
Measured Shaft Height 8" 11" 7.5" 10.5" 11.5"
Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking 5.5" 8.5" 6.5" 8" 6.5"
Fit Details True to size True to size True to size True to size True to size
Appropriate Activity Town, errands, chores, hiking Town, errands Hiking, town Hiking, town, chores, errands Town, errands
Lining/Insulation 200g Primaloft 400g Heatseeker Eco 200g M Select 200g synthetic Sheepskin wool
Upper Material Full leather suede Waterproof leather & suede Waterproof polyurethane-coated leather and mesh Waterproof leather Waterproof full-grain leather
Toe Box Leather suede w/ thin rubber toe cap Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber
Outsole Vibram Artic Grip AT Surface Control rubber Rubber Omni-Grip Rubber Vibram
Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating Not listed Not listed Not listed Not listed -20 F
Animal Products? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Sizes Available 7-14 7 - 14 7 - 15 7 - 17 7 - 18

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Danner Arctic 600 boots feature a zipper that makes it easy to slip on and off. The Vibram outsoles grip onto ice and snow and felt burly enough to handle rocky trails. As long as you aren't venturing in snow over eight inches deep, these boots will keep your feet warm and dry.

Performance Comparison


danner arctic 600 side-zip - the danner arctic 600 side-zip is a technical, durable, and...
The Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip is a technical, durable, and supportive boot that remains comfortable while trekking in cold weather from trails to town and the job site.
Credit: Ian Cruess

Warmth


Constructed atop thick Vibram soles and insulated with 200g of Primaloft behind the leather outers, these boots kept the tootsies toasty, whether we were chillin' in the winter temps around the firepit or on the move. While working outside or hiking any distance, there was no question that they provided ample warmth, especially when combined with proper winter socks.


The Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip boots felt warmer than other boots in side-by-side subjective tests and this was proven in our objective tests. Considering the lower shaft height compared to some of the other boots, these boots hold in heat very well.

danner arctic 600 side-zip - after being worn for five minutes and plunged into ice water for 60...
After being worn for five minutes and plunged into ice water for 60 seconds, the Danner Arctic 600 retained 70.5 degrees.
Credit: Ian Cruess

Comfort and Fit


The Arctic 600's maintain a great balance between support and comfort with their leather suede upper and cushy midsole with a nylon shank. The uppers provide support but are not so rigid that they impede the range of motion or require much break-in. Walking on firm ground doesn't feel unnaturally clunky because these boots are a combined 2.75 lbs and the slightly upturned sole beneath the heel and forefoot provide a smooth heel-to-toe transition. The width of the sole also provides noticeable lateral stability.


As far as sizing, these boots can accommodate a wide range of foot sizes considering they are available in D and EE widths. We tested the D width and feel it will suit narrow to average lasts. If you have long or high arches and plan to be active in these boots 4-12 hours per day throughout the winter, custom footbeds will be ideal because the factory insoles are a bit flat. The length of the boots feels true to size.

danner arctic 600 side-zip - it's easy to chill, trek, and work in the danner arctic 600 side-zip.
It's easy to chill, trek, and work in the Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip.
Credit: Ian Cruess

Weather Protection


The leather outer is the first line of defense, and it has its own water-resistant properties depending on the full-grain, smooth-out option or leather suede, rough-out option. The full-grain smooth-out is going to repel water more naturally, but we tested the rough-out option, and it sheds water exceptionally well while hiking and passing through small bodies of water. After some use, both types of leather will need treatment to maintain water repellency, the suede sooner than the full-grain. Leather treatment is not a major concern because the entire upper is backed by Danner Dry, Danner's proprietary waterproof membrane, so even when the natural repellency of the leather diminishes, you will still have ample protection against water intrusion.


The maximum puddle height of the Arctic 600 boots is five inches, which is measured from the sole of the boot to the top of the gusset that connects the tongue to the upper shaft. We tested the waterproof metric by standing in five inches of water for 60 seconds and there was no water intrusion until we articulated the ankle in a way that allowed water to slowly trickle through the side-zipper. As long as you aren't spending extended amounts of time standing and moving in a body of water, these boots will keep your feet dry.

Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip can handle five inches of standing water for up to 60 seconds.
Credit: Ian Cruess

Considering the overall height of the shaft is eight inches, there is a potential lack of protection while tromping in snow depths higher than eight inches if and when your pant cuff is lifted above the cuff of the boot. If you're considering these boots and expect to find yourself in deep snow often, then gore-tex gaiters, or snow pants that secure themselves via hook to the laces, will troubleshoot this particular issue and provide a super solid solution.

danner arctic 600 side-zip - solid construction from the outsole, through the midsole, to the...
Solid construction from the outsole, through the midsole, to the upper, and everywhere in between.
Credit: Ian Cruess

Traction


The tread of the Danner 600 Arctic Side-zip ranges from four to six millimeters in depth and is formed of a few different lug shapes with differing angles, so there is traction no matter the direction of movement. A select few lugs interspersed throughout the sole are made of a special Vibram compound specifically designed for grip on wet ice, which we could feel made an improved difference when compared to other boots. However, these are not like having metal studded traction. When deliberately turned and twisted in compact snow, the broader lug pattern did not bite as quickly as other boots' treads but still provided safe traction.


We found that hiking through mixed snow conditions, such as wet and dry snow, there was an uncommon tendency for snow to accumulate beneath the arch of the boots, similar to the effect of snow clumping to backcountry ski skins. This was a rare occurrence and was easily mitigated with a sweep of the sole along the ground.

danner arctic 600 side-zip - the danner arctic 600 side-zip with vibram arctic grip at outsole...
The Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip with Vibram Arctic Grip AT outsole. The red-spotted lugs are a special, durable, fibrous compound made to grip wet ice.
Credit: Ian Cruess

Durability


For many of the aforementioned reasons, the six-panel leather-constructed uppers of the Arctic 600 Side-zip are a highlight of these boots. Leather is tried and true. We feel the seam lines are placed smartly, quality stitched, and bolstered with additional leather where necessary. There is very little exposed stitching, especially in crucial areas where abrasion is likely to occur, so threads are less likely to break, thus dramatically improving durability.


The Vibram midsole compound is a rubberized EVA, which is more durable than traditional EVA compounds, and the Vibram outsole feels tough and worthy of arduous activity. The lace eyelets seem well anchored and don't protrude much, reducing the risk of catching and being yanked out. Overall, we feel this boot will deliver what you need season after season no matter what activities it is subjected to. We hiked and scrambled through granite boulders and brush, plus worked a few days doing tree work. The leather triumphed through the arduous work and recreation.

As long as you're not trekking through deep puddles, your feet will stay nice and dry.
Credit: Ian Cruess

Should You Buy the Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip?


The Danner Arctic 600 side-zip boots are for you if you are ready to invest in footwear that will last more than a couple of seasons, conquering wintery towns, snowy trails, and cold working conditions while keeping your feet warm, protected, supported, and comfortable. If you need boots to keep your feet dry while standing or moving in five or more inches of water beyond 60 seconds, these boots are not for you. If you are consistently greeted by snow depths over eight inches and are concerned about snow infiltrating the cuff of your boots without the protection of gaiters or integrative snow pants, then these boots will not suffice.

danner arctic 600 side-zip - checking all the boxes; warm, comfortable, durable, grippy, and...
Checking all the boxes; warm, comfortable, durable, grippy, and protective against the elements.
Credit: Ian Cruess

What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?


If you're willing to compromise a bit of durability, support, and protection while maximizing comfort and maintaining some versatility, then check out the Merrell Nova 3 Thermo. If you're okay with sacrificing some versatility and want to maintain a similar level of durability and comfort while increasing the ability to keep high levels of water and snow out, then we recommend the The North Face Chilkat V 400.

danner arctic 600 side-zip - we believe you won't look back trekking away with the danner arctic...
We believe you won't look back trekking away with the Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip.
Credit: Ian Cruess

Ian Cruess