There’s something about Danner boots that just continually appeal to sportsmen and outdoorsfolks of all kinds, and many of these people will use nothing else.
On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, I was able to stop by the Danner factory for a tour, to learn more about the brand and the boots they create. I chose the Sharptail to test out for a variety of hard-wearing activities. It’s an attractive boot that excels in work, hunt, and trail situations, is waterproof, comfortable and proved durable over dozens of miles.
These boots were pulled from the Danner Factory Store shelf and immediately put to use. For the next two months the Sharptails were worn every day across a twelve state field-marketing trip. From the Pacific Northwest down to the Southern Atlantic region and the entirety of mini adventures in between. Starting with wet wading on the Sandy River in Oregon to try our luck at the incoming steelhead run. Unfortunately the fishing was a week or so early, though the boots held up and kept all moisture from entering through the Gore-Tex membrane. As we pushed off, the boots were on my feet every day as we traveled, set-up, worked shows, tore down and got back on the road. When it was time to head back to my family farm in Kansas I walked the grasslands and timber flushing upland birds, as well as working chores like chopping firewood for several weeks in them.
This mid-weight work/lifestyle/hunt boot has a platform that excels in non-technical conditions. Terra Force is the platform for the lightweight foundation to work like a boot and contribute the weight of a sneaker in the boot’s construction. The Gore-Tex mid material doesn’t allow for maximum ankle support as a full leather mid, but does it’s job as a breathable membrane.
The Sharptails are completely waterproof and my pair stood up to that test. My feet stayed 100% dry from being in water deeper than my ankles on the banks of the Sandy River in OR, Colorado snow and the precipitation in Kansas fields while chasing upland birds. The leather has seem to worn on the very front of the boots over the two months of heavy use but the Danner Boot Dressing helps moisturize and seal the leather and stitching. The Gore-Tex mid section has held up well to multiple types of abrasion as well as the laces. The boots are easy to lace and hold once tied up for work or the fields.
I’ve worn a vast number of boots from growing up on a cattle farm, joining the Army and deploying to Iraq, working as a wildland fire fighter, and other adventurous pursuits in the Rockies. The Sharptails are incredibly comfortable right off the shelf and have become more comfortable with continued use.
The Terra Force footbed cushioned my feet during 18-hour workdays standing on concrete surfaces. The mid sections of this boot flexed well and broke in without loosing any waterproof protection. The coverage of the breathable membrane creates a harmonious environment for your feet — match the boots with your favorite mid-weight wool socks and you’ve found perfection. The only aspect of these boots that lacked in comfort was the first lacing hook, as it pressed into my anklebone, but the solution was a quick lacing adjustment to fix the problem.
All photos courtesy of the author
The Terra Force soles of the boots have held up well on all surfaces with the exception of sheer ice. Oregon rains, Colorado snow banks and the South East’s rainy conditions threw a variety of moisture and conditions but the boots held tight to the ground. The tread favors a forward motion so it’s best to dig your heel in if you feel slippage.
The Sharptail is a relatively lightweight boot at 51 oz per pair. They are Gore-tex for breathable waterproofness, have a short break-in time, are extremely comfortable, and when cared for properly, will be a long-lasting investment.