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Danner Inquire Mid Insulated Review

A stylish, high-quality sneaker boot that will maintain warmth and traction from the city streets to the mountain-side trails
danner inquire mid insulated winter boots women review
Credit: Danner
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $200 List | $134.96 at Backcountry
Pros:  Very warm, versatile style, waterproof, high-quality construction
Cons:  Minimal coverage, little stiff around ankle, pricey
Manufacturer:   Danner
By Liz Chamberlain ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 23, 2022
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 8.0
  • Weather Protection - 25% 6.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 9.0
  • Durability - 15% 7.0
  • Traction - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Danner Inquire Mid Insulated was our favorite sneaker-style winter boot, demonstrating surprising performance and cross-functionality in winter climates. It unites the best characteristics of a hiking-style boot and a streetwear-oriented shoe. Built with 200 grams of PrimaLoft insulation, you'll stay warm and dry through most conditions. However, it has a little less volume in the forefoot and less protection and coverage around the shin and ankle than taller snow boots. While this may not be your big storm day boot, it is a great go-to option for those in need of warm everyday footwear. Use it on the city streets or take it to the snowbanks; you'll be happy with its comfort and performance either way.

Editor's Note: This review was updated on February 23, 2022, with new sections to help make the buying decision easier.

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Pros Very warm, versatile style, waterproof, high-quality constructionFull coverage protection, highly durable, reliable tractionCozy wool lining, very warm, highly waterproof, versatile constructionGood value, ultra warm, great traction, highly waterproofProtective, durable, very warm, breathable, excellent traction, high value
Cons Minimal coverage, little stiff around ankle, priceyPricey, very heavy, retains moisture, difficult to drive inExpensive, slightly bulkyOnly ankle-high coverage, hiking-specific style, narrow fitLess stylish, somewhat heavy, stiff collar
Bottom Line A stylish, high-quality sneaker boot that will maintain warmth and traction from the city streets to the mountain-side trailsThis highly durable boot is completely waterproof and great at insulating, though it's a bit too bulky to wear on low-snow days or during high-output activitiesThis boot is the epitome of comfort and warmth wrapped in a versatile, high-performing, waterproof packageThis well-priced boot hits all the marks with a winter-friendly design that maintains great traction, weatherproofing, and warmthGreat for winter hiking on slippery trails thanks to incredible traction, support, and weatherproofing
Rating Categories Danner Inquire Mid... Muck Boot Arctic Ic... UGG Adirondack III Merrell Thermo Chil... Keen Revel IV Polar...
Warmth (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Weather Protection (25%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
9.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Traction (15%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Danner Inquire Mid... Muck Boot Arctic Ic... UGG Adirondack III Merrell Thermo Chil... Keen Revel IV Polar...
Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking 4.5" 16" 9" 6" 7"
Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft) 5" 16" 8" rolled / 10" extended 6" 7"
Measured Weight (per pair, size 7) 1.76 lbs 4.59 lbs 2.36 lbs 1.79 lbs 2.41 lbs
Type of Boot All-around winter wear Winter workwear All-around winter Winter hiking Winter hiking
Fit Details True to size Runs big True to size True to size True to size, wide
Lining/Insulation PrimaLoft Gold (200g) Fleece UGGpure wool M Select Warm (200g) 200 grams KEEN.WARM Recycled PET
Removable Liner? No No No No No
Footbed OrthoLite bioDEWIX EVA Kinetic Fit BASE EVA
Upper Material Suede and nylon Rubber Waterproof suede and leather Waterproof PU-coated leather and mesh Mesh and Leather
Toe Box Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber Leather
Outsole Vibram Megagrip Vibram Arctic Grip A.T. Molded White Spider Rubber M Select GRIP KEEN.Polar Traction
Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating Not stated Not stated -32°C/-25°F Not stated -32°C/-25°F
Temp Change in Ice Bath -7 F -9.5 F -7.2 F -5.2 F -3.8 F
Animal Products? No No Yes Yes Yes
Sizes Available 5 - 11 5 - 11 5 - 12 5 - 11 5 - 12

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Inquire Mid Insulated winter hiker has a trendy sneaker-boot design that looks great walking down city streets or on crunchy winter trails. We wore this winter boot throughout an 8-hour workday and underneath our Goretex ski pants on the way to the ski resort. It may not have the most coverage, but it has tremendous support and maintains a quality, waterproof construction that doesn't sacrifice performance, comfort, or warmth.

Performance Comparison


danner inquire mid insulated winter boots women review - the inquire mid is a comfortable and reliable option for all types...
The Inquire Mid is a comfortable and reliable option for all types of surfaces and weather conditions.
Credit: Kati Clark

Warmth


The insulated version of the Inquire Mid is stuffed with 200 grams of PrimaLoft Gold insulation, a high-quality and lightweight insulation used in various outdoor apparel and footwear. PrimaLoft Gold is made of 50% recycled content and maintains breathability in wetter conditions — which means dry socks and warm feet. We tested the insulation's ability to retain warmth in icy conditions with a controlled ice bath test. After submerging the boot in ice for 10 minutes, the internal temperature only dropped 7 degrees Fahrenheit. This result is one of the smallest temperature changes of any boot we tested and reinforced our trust in the high-quality leathers, nylon, and insulation used to construct this boot.


We wore this boot in both 40-degree and 20-degree temps. We walked through streams, muddy trails, and icy streets. Through it all, our feet kept warm and dry. Danner describes the upper as suede and "textile," which we believe is a nylon/suede combination. The PrimaLoft membrane paired with this upper does an excellent job of maintaining breathability. We were impressed at the boots' ability to maintain comfort in both thin and thick socks, whereas other boots felt too tight or too roomy in one or the other. While this isn't the boot we'd recommend for standing around on snow days or in the coldest weather, it performed super well on our daily commute, trail walks, and during active days at work.

danner inquire mid insulated winter boots women review - we used a short range infrared temperature gun to measure the...
We used a short range infrared temperature gun to measure the internal temperature of the boots after a timed period packed in ice and snow. This helped us quantify the warmth retention capabilities of each one.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

Weather Protection


This high-quality low-top boot is constructed of a suede and nylon blend. Danner's in-house 'Danner Dry' waterproof barrier is integrated into the lining to resist water penetration and support air permeability. Despite the 200 grams of fuzzy PrimaLoft insulation that feels like a blanket for your feet, this boot is surprisingly breathable. High-output activities like long elevation-gaining hikes generated some dampness in our socks, but for the most part, any moisture on our socks resulted from snow exposure, not sweat.


We love the low-top style of the Inquire Mid because it provides the same flexibility and range of motion as a shoe. On the flip side, the lower shaft height does mean less coverage in wintery conditions. At 5 inches, the shaft on the Inquire Mid is one of the shortest in our lineup, reaching just above the ankle. The boot is fine on packed snow, mud, puddles, and ice, but it does not keep snow from the collar area in roughly 4 inches of fresh snow. If you intend to use this boot predominantly for hiking, you may want to search for a boot with a taller shaft or purchase gaiters to keep the ankle region dry.

danner inquire mid insulated winter boots women review - the inquire mid is truly waterproof right up to the collar, even in...
The Inquire Mid is truly waterproof right up to the collar, even in running river water.
Credit: Kati Clark

Comfort and Fit


The Inquire Mid has a supportive fit throughout the footbed and the shaft length. The contoured sides hug narrow feet to provide a close fit that feels secure in uneven terrain. The boot is not as rigid as others in our test, though the upper serves as a thick barrier that not only keeps the shoe insulated but protects from obtrusive objects like sticks and stones. The firm upper also provides structure to limit ankle rolling on uneven surfaces.


This boot features a low-pile liner that wicks away moisture. The firm cuff can be stiff when breaking the shoe in, so we experienced a bit of rubbing on our ankles for the first few wears on hiking trails. The cuff softened up after 2-3 wears and felt unobtrusive during active pursuits. Despite the rigid upper, the boot is torsionally flexible, ultimately making it one of our favorite all-day walking and hiking options. Danner designed a stiff exterior that can move with you, not against you. Overall, the Inquire Mid offers superior all-day comfort with a fit that's slightly smaller than the other winter boots we've tested.

danner inquire mid insulated winter boots women review - the inquire's ortholite footbed is insulated and one of the cushier...
The Inquire's Ortholite footbed is insulated and one of the cushier footbeds in the entire review lineup.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

While the fit is true to size, the Inquire has a narrower profile through the toe box and a little less volume through the shoe's body, which our testers with wider feet did not love. We found that a thinner wool sock works best for those with wider feet. You may notice a bit of heel rise when wearing thin socks for those with narrow heels. Luckily, the laces and eyelets are high quality and keep a tight fit over the arch. If you're in between sizes, we would recommend sizing up a half size, especially if you prefer to wear thicker socks through the winter.

danner inquire mid insulated winter boots women review - the inquire mid is a highly comfortable and well-designed boot. if...
The Inquire Mid is a highly comfortable and well-designed boot. If you don't need something taller, this is a great all-around cold weather shoe to add to your closet.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

Durability


Danner is well-known for its products' timeless style and thoughtful construction. The brand focuses on using high-quality, durable materials that maintain longevity and performance throughout the boot's lifetime. The craftsmanship is seen in the attention to detail. Danner even provides care instructions for each boot style and offers a "recrafting" service for customers to send boots in for repair.


The DPDX last and TPU shank in the midsole helps the boot to maintain structure and durability over time. PrimaLoft Gold is one of the highest quality options for outdoor gear insulation. The ventilation and heat conduction creates a superior level of breathability that ultimately slows down the pack-out phase of the side walls. The Vibram Inquire Outsole features Vibram's Megagrip compound, which provides optimal grip outdoors with a stiff, rugged rubber compound built for longevity.

These boots have high quality laces, eyelets, and overall upper...
These boots have high quality laces, eyelets, and overall upper construction to keep you safe and secure on rocky terrain.
We stomped and scraped this boots over rocks, trees, and other...
We stomped and scraped this boots over rocks, trees, and other rugged features to observe the level of durability of the exterior materials.

Traction


The Vibram Megagrip outsole of the Inquire Mid provides great traction, but it did not stick out as a top contender. The lugs on this boot are a bit shallow, though they sport a multi-directional design that helps maintain grip on various surfaces and inclines. The split Y-shape in the heel allows the boot to adapt to varying surfaces and slopes. This functionality is beneficial when hiking.


The malleable rubber of the outsole conforms to rocks and icier surfaces, while the midsole maintains a firm grip below the foot. The rubber is firm enough that it doesn't feel sticky on the pavement on warmer days. The Inquire Mid is also compatible with snowshoes and microspikes for those who want greater traction on icy hikes.

danner inquire mid insulated winter boots women review - the lugs on the inquire are far more minimal than some other...
The lugs on the Inquire are far more minimal than some other options, but we found that they still offered a similar level of traction on slippery slopes.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

Should You Buy the Danner Inquire Mid?


The durability and quality of the Danner Inquire Mid footwear are undeniable. However, the initial price feels slightly high when you compare the amount of coverage this boot has to others in the lineup. Ultimately, the value is derived from its all-around versatility. Considering the boot's application to various uses and activities, the Inquire Mid checks many boxes regarding functionality and overall comfort. If you're willing to spend a little more for an all-purpose boot that delivers on quality, warmth, and comfort, this is the boot for you. Just be sure to upkeep the leather with treatments and conditioners to protect the upper structure. The Danner Inquire Mid Insulated is a cross-functional winter boot for city slickers and mountain folk alike. It offers high-quality style and caters to movement on all planes, easily keeping your feet warm and cozy in most cold weather. The fit is on the narrower side, which may rule out those with wider feet, though you can always size up for more room. Overall, this boot was made with a purpose-driven design and holds great value.

danner inquire mid insulated winter boots women review - the waterproof exterior wicks away snow quite well but the ankle...
The waterproof exterior wicks away snow quite well but the ankle high collar can only keep snow out of the interior for up to 5 inches. However, for some people and in some locations, this will be more than sufficient without being overkill, and gators can always be added for edge cases.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?


This boot probably isn't the best for outdoor chores or deep snow, given its lack of height and leather care. We prefer the Muck Boot Arctic Ice Tall AGAT - Women's if working outdoors as the boot is warm, high, and rugged enough to take a licking and keep on ticking without a care for what you just stepped in. Alternatively, if you want a stylish boot that is also warm but somewhat taller, the The North Face Shellista IV Mid is a sharp-looking boot with a higher style and similar weather protection. If your climate demands something for the absolute lowest temperatures or extended periods outside, the UGG Adirondack III provides the best warmth in our tests, making it one for any cold maven's shortlist.

Liz Chamberlain
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