In 1932, Charles Danner started a boot company that, over the years, has become somewhat synonymous with comfortable, well-made hiking boots.
This year, inspired by the rugged and often changing terrain of the Pacific Crest Trail’s 2,650 miles, the Danner Trail 2650 was born. Touted as a lightweight hiker or trainer, this shoe is all that as well as a burly-feeling protector of your feet.
I wear a men’s 13 and this shoe fit well and was comfortable out of the box. The footwear comes with plenty of lace and the option of heel-lock lacing if your heels tend to slip (though I don’t think that will be an issue with these). (As a side note, my kids thought the shoes were good looking for a hiker, and really loved the bright red laces.)
As mentioned above, heel slippage probably won’t be a factor for most folks, as Danner has shifted the heel counter to the outside of the shoe, using a softer material for their EXO Heel System on the Trail 2650.
Eight (8) mm of heel drop and a wider forefoot should keep all but most ardent minimalists happy, with plenty of space for toes to spread out, but minimal foot bang if any due to the supportive lacing system.
A mesh liner works with a perforated leather to keep air moving and feet cool and comfortable.
A semi-gusseted tongue keeps water, gravel, and other detritus out of the shoe, but doesn’t extend all the way up to the top of the shoe, so not everything will stay out ultimately.
Danner sourced Vibram’s 460 outsole for the Trail 2650 to make footing less treacherous. The deep, multi-directional lugs shed mud and wet sand equally well, keeping traction consistent across varied terrain.
Overall, I’d say that this could become a mainstay in your closet, as its relatively lightweight makes it comfortable for a quick jaunt to the grocery store, but the support and protection it offers make it ideal for longer outings on more technical trails.
*This product was provided for editorial purposes – all opinions are my own.