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.
Danner Inquire Mid Insulated Review
Cons: Minimal coverage, little stiff around ankle, pricey
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Danner Inquire Mid Insulated
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|Pros||Very warm, versatile style, waterproof, high-quality construction||Full coverage protection, highly durable, reliable traction||Good value, ultra warm, great traction, highly waterproof||Protective, durable, very warm, breathable, excellent traction, high value||Lightweight, super soft interior, durable leather exterior|
|Cons||Minimal coverage, little stiff around ankle, pricey||Pricey, very heavy, retains moisture, difficult to drive in||Only ankle-high coverage, hiking-specific style, narrow fit||Less stylish, somewhat heavy, stiff collar||Unimpressive outsole traction|
|Bottom Line||A stylish, high-quality sneaker boot that will maintain warmth and traction from the city streets to the mountain-side trails||This 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 activities||This well-priced boot hits all the marks with a winter-friendly design that maintains great traction, weatherproofing, and warmth||Great for winter hiking on slippery trails thanks to incredible traction, support, and weatherproofing||One of the most comfortable choices in our lineup, with a soft, heat-retentive interior and durable, waterproof exterior|
|Rating Categories||Danner Inquire Mid...||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||Merrell Thermo Chil...||Keen Revel IV Polar...||The North Face Shel...|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Danner Inquire Mid...||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||Merrell Thermo Chil...||Keen Revel IV Polar...||The North Face Shel...|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||4.5"||16"||6"||7"||7"|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft)||5"||16"||6"||7"||10"|
|Measured Weight (per pair, size 7)||1.76 lbs||4.59 lbs||1.79 lbs||2.41 lbs||2.25 lbs|
|Type of Boot||All-around winter wear||Winter workwear||Winter hiking||Winter hiking||All-around winter|
|Fit Details||True to size||Runs big||True to size||True to size, wide||True to size|
|Lining/Insulation||PrimaLoft Gold (200g)||Fleece||M Select Warm (200g)||200 grams KEEN.WARM Recycled PET||Heatseeker Eco Pro (200g)|
|Footbed||OrthoLite||bioDEWIX||Kinetic Fit BASE||EVA||OrthoLite|
|Upper Material||Suede and nylon||Rubber||Waterproof PU-coated leather and mesh||Mesh and Leather||Full-grain leather and ballistic nylon|
|Outsole||Vibram Megagrip||Vibram Arctic Grip A.T.||M Select GRIP||KEEN.Polar Traction||Surface Control rubber|
|Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating||Not stated||Not stated||Not stated||-32°C/-25°F||Not stated|
|Temp Change in Ice Bath||-7 F||-9.5 F||-5.2 F||-3.8 F||-6.5 F|
|Sizes Available||5 - 11||5 - 11||5 - 11||5 - 12||5 - 11|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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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