Ask a child to draw a picture of a someone wearing hiking boots. They’ll likely illustrate footwear that’s somewhat clunky with some heavy tread, and if you give them colored pencils, chances are that boot will be brown. Task an adult with the same assignment and the result may be a more skillful reproduction (depending on the adult) but the image will essentially be the same — a brown leather boot, heavy tread; it’s the icon image that’s come to stand for the entire hiking boot category.
It also happens to be a very close representation of Danner’s most iconic hiking boot, the Mountain Light. That boot is a contemporary iteration of Danner’s very first hiking boot, the 6490, which was released in 1973 and quickly gained acclaim from numerous outdoor publications at the time. The boot was durable, comfortable and lighter than any other rugged hiking footwear at the time.
The Mountain Light continues the legacy of the 6490. It’s built with an upper made from a single piece of full-grain leather and hefty Vibram Kletterlift rubber outsole. The construction provides ample stability and support, and after the requisite break-in period, the Mountain Light’s leather conforms to the foot for a close fit akin to which only a custom bootmaker can provide. Treat them well, and they’ll last long enough to pass on to the next generation.
Right now, Danner’s Mountain Light hiking boots are on sale at Backcountry for 30 percent off, with plenty of sizes and colors in stock. It might be the cheapest way to pick up a pair (other than searching for the ones that Reese Witherspoon threw off of a cliff in Oregon’s Willamette Forest during the filming of Wild).
Note: Danner recommends buying a half-size down from what you typically wear for the best fit.
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