17634 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97230
The Danner name has always meant quality and the products that they make today are no exception. I don’t know that I can say it any better than they do . “As craftsmen, we pay attention to details. We pride ourselves in crafting product to the highest standards and we strive to meet the most important standard, yours…”
Since it was time for some new boots, I decided to try a new style from Danner and ordered a pair of the new Descender. DFA 4.5" GTX® Canteen Uniform Boots Style 15402.
These boots were designed as a “vertical assault weapon“ and feature low oil content nubuc leather, a lightweight 1000 Denier nylon upper, a hexagonal low lug outsole with a patent pending Vertical Insertion Arrestor (VIA) technology insert which provides abrasion resistance and superior control in fast roping applications.
Additional Boot Details
- 100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® liner is engineered to keep your feet dry and comfortable - even in extreme conditions
- Durable, low oil Nubuc leather designed for the demands of fast roping combined with rugged 1000 Denier nylon upper for lightweight comfort and mobility
- Cement down construction offers excellent durability in a light weight package
- Variable lacing system locks the heel into the pocket providing a glove-like fit and superior control
- Polyurethane footbeds are padded for comfort and arch support
- Co-molded midsole plate for springboard toe return, impact absorption and puncture resistance
- Extended sizes available for women or those with smaller feet
- Patent pending Danner® Descender outsole featuring a Vibram® V-4 ultra-abrasion rubber compound built into the medial side arch for fast roping control. Multidirectional lug pattern for quick acceleration and braking in all directions
- Bi-fit composite shank
- 4.5" height
- 54 oz
When my new boots arrived I immediately put them on and walked around my office and then my home to make sure the fit was correct and to see how they felt initially. Frankly, I have never put on a new pair of boots or shoes that felt better than these new Danners. The fit was excellent, and the support was great. I really liked the 4.5” height. It’s just perfect for me in most cases, for anything other than wading streams.
The real proof of the fit and comfort of any boot of course is how it works in the real world and in the field. These boots are designed for hard work, day in and day out and that’s what I intended to give them. I decided to wear them as much as possible in as many different conditions as I could fit into my schedule over the next 60 days.
I decided to wear them for the first time, out of the house, for a day of shopping with my wife, Doris. We’ve been on the road a lot this year and we needed to do some serious shopping. That’s not necessarily my favorite activity but this time I needed some parts for one of my tractors and a few other hardware items. I also needed to visit a couple of sporting goods stores, Doris needed a swim suit and then we had to stock up on some grocery items. It amounted to a full day and an excellent opportunity to see how the Descenders would feel after wearing them for several hours, on mostly concrete floors.
These are also very good looking boots, perfect with khaki pants, jeans or hunting clothes and proved to be very comfortable for a day “on my feet” on concrete including a good bit of mall walking. They provided excellent support to my feet and ankles and the Vibram soles made the concrete feel very soft beneath my feet. Score one for the Danners.
The dove season had begun in Southern Illinois and I decided that my new boots should see their first hunting experience in the dove fields. We always have to park quite a distance from where we shoot doves and need to walk over a hill or two, through some high weeds and pretty rough ground to get to the fields. That would give me another idea of just how these boots would work for me and how comfortable they’d be in some pretty otherwise uncomfortable conditions.
It never seems to fail that the weather in the first few days of dove season here is hot…really hot. This year it was almost 100° and the fields that we shoot in do not have any real shade on the perimeter. There’s just not much like a good hot day, up and down hills and through the weeds to test your footwear and everything else for that matter. We pack in lots of water, our guns, buckets (seats), a good supply of shells and of course our guns. All in all, it’s a lot of “stuff” to carry for some distance. The Danners did a great job of keeping me on the trails and provided great stability and support.
For the next 45 days I tried to wear the Danner Descenders as much as possible around the property as I worked at the kind of chores that keep us busy on a daily basis. I also wore them on my frequent visits to my range. Since the still target shooting circuit was winding down and we were preparing for the World Championship Shoot, I wore them to the last few regional and state contests.
Support and comfort are the features that I look for in footwear. In an outdoor boot, I also want it to be rugged and dependable. The last thing I want is to have a problem when I’m out in the “hills and hollers” of some wilderness area. I don’t coddle any of my outdoor gear and it all takes a pretty good beating over time. The same was true for the Danners. I expect that I put at least a half year of normal wear on them in a period of about 60 days.
My last major test was how they’d feel if I wore them for 10 - 12 hours per day for several days in a row under different weather conditions. I was able to do that on a trip to South Carolina for the World Still Target Shooting Championship. We were gone for about a week and I wore the Danners every day. Other than a pair of Crocs that I took for evening wear, they were the only shoes I took with me. I drove in them, wore them everywhere I went, wore them for 2 days of 9-10 hours of shooting and finally wore them on the 700 mile trip home.
How did they fare? First of all, they look as good today as they did when I first put them on a couple of months ago. They may have a few scuff but that just adds character. They had a “broken in” feel to them initially and the fit and comfort have only improved with wear. They now seem to have molded to fit my feet perfectly. I really like these boots.
One question you may have is why did I select a pair of Uniform Boots designed as a Vertical Assault Weapon? That’s a good question and one that deserves an answer.
I have found that products designed by top notch companies for professionals in any sport or occupation have the features demanded by those folks and are also designed to perform well and to last. It’s just important to get both quality and value for the dollar spent. I know the reputation of Danner and how they are regarded by folks in uniform who put their lives on the line every day.
I figured these same boots would be a good choice for me, even though I don’t intend to perform any vertical assaults in the near future. My instincts were good, at least in this case, and I highly recommend that if you’re in the market for a new pair of boots, you visit the Danner site http://www.danner.com and take a look at what they have to offer.
If you’d like to read more “Product Test” articles, please visit http://www.allaboutshooting.com