Danner Boots Guide: What You Need to Know

Danner boots is based out of Portland, Oregon. Danner was started when founder Charles Danner ventured to the Pacific Northwest to build premium work boots for loggers in 1932 (source). 

Quickly, here is what you need to know about some of their most popular boots:

***Although Danner also makes hiking boots, in this article we are going to focus mostly on Danner work boots, and what makes them some of the most trusted boots on the market.


What are Danner Boots Good For?

Danner makes a wide range of work boots that can cover a variety of jobs and tasks. They make both indoor and outdoor boots.

Even their most popular boot, the Danner Quarry boot, has versatility. It is a heavy-duty, rugged boot built first and foremost for outdoor jobs, made with a rugged Vibram outsole. But if you work mostly on concrete or other smooth surfaces, Danner also makes the Quarry boot with a wedge sole.

The wedge sole version is better for the indoor trades (or outdoor trades that spend most of their day on smooth surfaces like wood, packed dirt, or concrete).

But Danner’s versatility pushes even into the actual design of their boots. They offer heavy-duty, traditional stitchdown boots, and more modern-style sneaker boots. Their boots cover a wide range of the market, and it is likely that Danner has a work boot that can fit your needs.

Danner makes:

  • Factory boots
  • Rugged outdoor boots
  • Construction boots
  • Logger boots
  • Uniform boots

Where are Danner Boots Made?

While it seems that present-day most boot companies are forced to manufacture overseas, Danner has done the best it can to keep some of its production here in the USA.

Are All Danner Boots Made in USA?

No, not all Danner boots are made in the USA. However, many of their most popular work boots are made in the USA.

Which Danner Boots Are Made in the USA?

Here is a list of Danner work boots that are made here in the USA:

  • Danner Quarry
  • Danner Bull Run
  • Danner Acadia
  • Danner Power Foreman
  • Danner Rain Forest
  • Danner Centurion

Best Danner Work Boots

If you are looking for the best Danner work boots, there are several popular options that can cover a wide variety of jobs. The Danner Quarry boot is their most popular work boot. Let’s start by taking a look at what makes it popular and one of the best Danner work boots.

Danner Quarry Boots

The Danner Quarry boots are heavy-duty boots that have a classic stitchdown style and build. These boots are built for power and durability, and can stand up to some of the toughest work environments.

If you are looking for something that is more like a sneaker (sneakerboot), then this boot won’t be for you. These Danner Quarry boots are heavy-duty boots that prioritize toughness and quality, and have a classic, traditional work-boot build. They are made here in the USA.

When you buy boots, you are presented with a choice: do you want comfort over toughness, or toughness over comfort? Ultimately, we all want both, but usually to gain on one you have to give a little on the other.

Although the Danner Quarry boots are quite comfortable to wear in comparison to other heavy-duty work boots, this boot first and foremost prioritizes toughness and durability. This boot will hold up on jobs where a more modern, lightweight boot will not.

This is not a flimsy boot, and sometimes if you have a job that demands the toughest boots on the market, you will have to sacrifice a few things, like weight and flexibility, to ensure the boot can hold up and protect your feet.

If you work in an environment that demands toughness from boots, the Danner Quarry delivers. It has a classic lace-to-toe design, where the laces drive down far near the toe of the boot.

In recent decades, the laces on boots have gotten higher and higher up the foot as boot and shoe companies try to save money. The problem is, the less lace coverage a boot has, the less control that is passed to the foot. The Danner Quarry boot does it the right way, and maximizes the laces to transfer the needed control to your foot.

This is a perfect example of prioritizing quality over weight. Danner could have reduced the weight of these boots by reducing the laces, which would also reduce the amount of leather needed for the laces, but they didn’t want to sacrifice the premium durability and build of this boot.

Yes, expect the Danner Quarry boots to be comfortable, but not like a sneaker. These are not sneakers. These are heavy-duty work boots built to last.

One things these boots do use to help increase the flexibility is they use a fiberglass shank instead of a steel shank (a shank is a supportive piece between the outsole and insole of the boot). Steel shanks provide extreme support, but can also make a boot stiff. Fiberglass shanks are a balance between support and flexibility.

The Danner Quarry boot is offered in two different types of outsoles: a wedge outsole and a more traditional 90-degree heel heavy-duty outsole. If you work on smooth surfaces, the wedge outsole would be a good choice because it is more comfortable (but doesn’t have the lug pattern to stand up to harsh terrain). If you work in uneven terrain, you will want to stick with the traditional outsole.

We also like the fact that Danner has proven it is willing to listen to feedback from its customers, and to consistently test their own products to make necessary changes. Let’s take this Quarry boot for example. During field testing of the Quarry boot, they noticed that the back heel stitch was a high wear area (due to workers kicking their boots off after work). So Danner implemented a small redesign by simply moving the back stitch to the outside of the heel to avoid future issues (source).

This Quarry boot uses what is called a “610 last”. A last is a foot-shaped mold that determines the fit of a boot. The 610 Last used for this boot is Danner’s most universal last and can be worn by many different types and shapes of feet.

According to Danner, this 610 last type is industry standard made true-to-size and has a relatively broad and deep toe box area, which provides more volume in the forefoot and toe. This design has a full length removable footbed (source).

These Danner Quarry boots come in plain-toe, safety-toe, and insulated versions. They have a 100% waterproof GORE-TEX lining to help keep your feet dry in wet conditions. These boots use a Goodyear Welt construction that is re-craftable.

The Danner Quarry is a general heavy-duty outdoor boot (although the wedge sole would also work for indoor jobs that need a heavy-duty boot). This is a boot that can be worn for a wide variety of jobs and trades. It has a traditional build and classic functionality.

Here are some pictures of a used Danner Quarry boot. Although the boot has taken on some wear and tear from heavy use, you can see that the seams have held up well over the long term:

Danner Bull Run Boots

If you are looking for the best Danner work boots to use on a factory floor, then the Bull Run boots will be a great option. You can get these boots in both a moc-toe and a round-toe.

The Danner Bull Run boots make for good factory boots because they use the wedge outsole. Wedge soles are built for comfort. They don’t have deep, aggressive lug patterns because these types of soles are intended to be used on smooth surfaces like concrete, plywood, tile, etc. 

If you work on a factory floor, these Danner Bull Run boots give you something tough and dependable, but the wedge soles provide a bit of comfort to help balance it out. I see people wearing heavy-duty boots on a factory floor all the time that have huge lugs, and I’m just left thinking there is probably a better boot out there for them.

If you stand in place and work at a machine, these boots allow you to wear something that is dependable and tough, but something that won’t feel like a brick on your foot.

Some people mistakenly think a wedge sole means that the boot will have poor grip. This is actually not the case. Yes, wedge sole boots are not built for uneven, rugged terrain, where a traditional lug outsole will be much more appropriate. However, one benefit that a wedge sole has is it has a larger contact surface area with the ground. 

Traditional lug outsoles have a raised heel that creates a gap (below the arch of the foot) in the outsole of the boot where the boot doesn’t contact the ground. A wedge sole does not have this gap. It is flat across the entire bottom of the boot.

The fact that the wedge sole has a larger contact surface area means it does actually provides quality grip and traction, as long as the surface it is being used on is a smooth surface like concrete, plywood, tile, etc. On a smooth indoor surface, or even some smooth outdoor surfaces, the wedge sole makes perfect sense. You just don’t want to be using a wedge sole on harsh terrain.

A wedge sole can also be more comfortable than a traditional lug outsole. The traditional outsoles that have aggressive lugs, raised heels, and a gap under the arch of the foot, make for a clumsy contact with the ground as you walk. Your heel hits, then a gap in the shoe, then the toe area hits. 

This inconsistent contact with the ground can make traditional lug outsoles a little harder on your feet. With a wedge sole, your foot takes on less shock as it walks across the floor because the bottom of the boot is smooth and contacts the ground without a gap.

I’ve worn a wedge boot for several years, and it is definitely a more comfortable wear than a traditional boot (in my opinion). One thing that I personally just notice is even when I stand, I feel much less stress on my heel. The raised heel of traditional boots consolidates stress to the heel, and I can tell when I stand on wedge soles the stress is distributed evenly across the bottom of my foot, and leads to less irritation. 

All that said, because these Danner Bull Run boots use the wedge outsole, they make for great factory boots for those of you who stand on concrete all day. And another added bonus is these Danner Bull Run boots are made in the USA.

These are unlined boots. This is actually another reason why they make sense for a factory worker who doesn’t need waterproof protection or insulation. No lining means these boots will breathe a little easier, and be a little cooler to wear. If you will be wearing these on a smooth surface outdoors, they make for nice summer work boots in dry conditions.

Danner Vicious Boots

Danner makes several types of classic stitchdown work boots (like the Quarry and Bull Run boots we just covered). But perhaps you are looking for more of a modern boot that is a sort of hybrid between a work boot and a hiking boot.

Modern boots aim to find a healthy balance between comfort, flexibility and toughness. If you are looking for a more modern boot, perhaps to use in construction, I would recommend the Danner Vicious boots.

These boots come in both a 4.5″ version and an 8″ version. They have a 90-degree heel to help reduce slipping, but the outsole itself is a low-profile outsole that keeps this boot from being bulky like other work boots. They come in composite-toe versions as well.

The Danner Vicious boots have a true-to-size fit. These boots are built with comfort in mind and use a DLE-01 last type mold.

According to Danner (source), the DLE-01 last type mold is “designed to be an extension of the foot to allow the user to feel the surface underneath them.” The DLE-01 provides plenty of space in the toe-box area. Ordering your normal sizing should work just fine for this Danner boot.

Here is a look at a pair of used Danner Vicious boots. As you can see, the boot has a modern look – a combination of a work boot and a hiking boot:

Best Danner Boots for Concrete

If you work on concrete all day, choosing a wedge sole boot might be best. As we discussed earlier, wedge outsoles are more comfortable than traditional heavy-duty outsoles and help take some stress off your feet.

If you are working on a smooth surface like concrete all day, you don’t need a rugged outsole. Now, if you are also climbing constantly, using a raised heel would be best.

Best Danner Boots for Motorcycle

If you are looking for a Danner boot to use as a riding boot, there are two specific boots that I would consider:

  • Danner Logger Boots – Due to the raised heel, the Danner Logger boots make for good riding boots.
  • Danner Quarry Vibram Sole – The Danner Quarry with the rugged Vibram outsole also has a raised heel (not as high as the logger) that can work for riding.

Are Danner Boots Waterproof?

You can expect many, but not all, Danner boots to be waterproof. This is something that will obviously depend on what type of boot you are looking for.

A large majority of Danner’s outdoor work boots do have some sort of waterproof protection. If you need waterproof protection, you will need to check to see if the boot has a Danner Dry Liner or a Gore-Tex liner. Both of these are waterproof liners.

The Danner Quarry boots (perhaps Danner’s most popular boot) do have a waterproof Gore-Tex liner. A popular factory boot by Danner is the Bull Run. Most versions of the Bull Run boot do not have a waterproof liner.

Danner also recommends treating the leather itself with waterproof gel to help protect the leather over the long term.

Are Danner Boots Worth the Money?

In general, Danner boots are considered to be a very reliable, premium brand of work boots. And so despite being more expensive than of the mediocre boot brands on the market, Danner is quite popular because they provide quality and comfort that many other brands can’t match.

Danner is a brand that still to this day emphasizes a hand-made process as much as fiscally possibly. As we discussed earlier, they still make a wide range of boots here in the USA at their Portland, OR facility.

I also like the fact that Danner has proven it is willing to listen to feedback from its customers, and to consistently test their own products to make necessary changes. Let’s take the Danner Quarry boot for example. During field testing of the Quarry boot, Danner noticed that the back heel stitch was a high wear area (due to workers kicking their boots off after work). So Danner implemented a small redesign by simply moving the back stitch to the outside of the heel to avoid future issues (source).

In general, Danner boots should be considered at the premium level of work boots, up there with Chippewa, Thorogood, and others. The only types of work boots that are probably better, are small USA boot companies that make custom hand-made boots (for example, White’s boots).

Danner is a premium boot brand that has been making reliable boots for over a century. They’re right for you if the mediocre boot brands out there just don’t get it done for your feet.

How Do Danner Boots Fit?

In general, Danner boots fit very similar to other work boots, meaning they can run a bit big in comparison to sneakers. One thing I love about Danner is they publish the last type for each boot, and what impact that last type will have on fit.

A last (or last type, last mold) helps determine the shape of a boot and can impact things like toe box space and how wide the boot is. Danner specifies what last type is used, and tells you how it might fit. For more information, visit our article about Danner Boot Sizing.

Are Danner Boots Insulated?

It’s winter, and you need a warm, insulated work boot. What are your options? Are Danner boots insulated?

In general, most all types of Danner work boots do have an insulated version for you to choose from (but not all of them).

Warmest Danner Boots

Danner doesn’t offer a warmth rating for their boots, so this is just my personal opinion. If you are looking for the warmest Danner boots, I would probably stick with either the Danner Quarry 400g boots, or the Danner Logger 400g boots.

Do Danner Boots Come with Insoles?

In general, most Danner work boots come with an insole. To verify whether the boot does or does not have an insole, under specifications on Danner’s website, take a look at what is says next to footbed.

If it says something other then ‘Danner Airthotic’ then it is a full-size insole for that boot. If it says ‘Danner airthotic’, then that is a plastic foam heel cup for that boot. If you’re not sure, contact Danner customer service.

Can Danner Boots be Resoled

In general, yes, most types of Danner boots are re-craftable. If you are concerned about a specific boot, then it might be best to reach out to Danner customer service before making your purchase.

To learn more about Danner’s re-crafting program, click here.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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