In my previous review of the Danner Powderhorn hunting boots, I mentioned that those were my go-to boot for most situations. One of the situations those boots don’t call for, however, are long hikes with minimal breaks.
That’s where the Danner 2650 GTX mid-height boots come in.
According to the man who sold these to me in Frederick, Md., the 2650 hiking boots are rated for 2650 miles, the length of the Pacific Crest Trail. With Danner being a west coast company, based in Portland, Ore., it’s a nice nod to the trail that runs close to their headquarters.
The 2650s are incredibly comfortable, and I have been crushing the trails in them. They don’t slip back and forth on declines and are great for steep inclines. And even though they’re mids, they feel like shoes.
Danner was smart with the 2650s for many reasons, but I’ll start from the heel counter. Normally inside a boot, the heel counter can feel rigid and, at some point sharp once the surrounding fabric deteriorates. Danner moved the heel counter outside of the boot, which still does its job while making the boot much more comfortable.
But I didn’t just buy these boots for their comfort, I also snagged them for two other reasons.
First, the pair I bought at the store has GORETEX. I know some people don’t like it, but I find that it does well. It’s good for water resistance and sweat, though you do need to take care of them and dry the boots out after each use. The second reason I bought these boots over competitors like the Merrell MOAB 2 was the Vibram 460 outsole. Now, the MOAB 2 has the Vibram TC5+, but the 460 outsole has much better grip. Though a small thing, because the trails in my area are full of different sized rocks and steep shortcuts, I figured the better grip was best for me. Regardless, with a Vibram outsole, you’re going to have excellent traction, so really it comes down to preference.
While aesthetics don’t matter to me when it comes to hiking gear, Danner does provide better-looking boots than competitors. On their website, there are 18 different options, but I decided to go with the “dusty olive” color scheme as I’m partial to green. The 2650s are uninsulated, so keep this in mind when considering buying them, they’ll probably do you well if you’re constantly moving but you’ll need some warm socks when you stop to rest or camp.
Regardless, just three months in, I couldn’t be happier. As with other products, I will do a follow-up review after a year of wearing them to update you on changes and long-term issues or praises.