Thank you to Backcountry & ShopStyle for sponsoring this post.
The time has come…the Comfort Shoe Queen of TME has decided to take on the search for great hiking boots.
If you’re in a rush, the quick summary is: After trying several different boots (and years of boot-envy with Shana’s traditional Danners), I ended up falling in love with Danner’s lighter-weight, SUPER comfortable, SUPER cute Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot. Soooooooo happy with my final choice! And you can use discount code THEMOMEDIT for a 15% discount!
Social distancing and being confined to my city row home has (like for MANY of us) inspired a WHOLE new appreciation for outdoor activity. My family has started skiing (after years of adamantly refusing to be “ski people”), we’ve gotten way too competitive with frisbee golf (rain or shine), and have even convinced our little guy (who has been anti-hiking his entire life) to be on board with hiking (as long as there’s some type of body of water—or ice cream— at the end).
With this new appreciation for the outdoors, we’re planning a family hiking trip for the summer, and I need a new pair of hiking boots. I’ve been putting this purchase off though, because it feels like a big one. If I buy the wrong ones that rub the wrong way…or aren’t as waterproof as I thought they’d be…or aren’t supportive enough…my feet will be miserable! And we know I do NOT tolerate miserable feet. ESPECIALLY when we’re talking about miserable feet potentially interfering with family time that I am SO looking forward to.
When Backcountry reached out to see if TME would be interested in collaborating on a post, I knew this was the perfect opportunity. I made a list of ALL the details that were important to me in hiking boots –Good Brand Reputation, Waterproof, Weather Versatility, Lightweight, Under $200, Supportive, Cushioned, Limited Break-In Period, and Cute Enough To Wear As A “Real Shoe”. I then ordered four different pairs from four well-known brands (Backcountry carries all the brands I had been considering). As soon as I slipped my foot into the Danner Mountain 600, though, I knew they were the ones. I decided to take them for a spin in the Wissahickon…one of our local hiking gems…just to make sure.
What I Love About Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boots
- Cushiony Footbed (“Vibram SPE Midsole that provides greater comfort, flexibility, and cushion”—my kind of boot!)
- Supportive (But not at all stiff)
- Comfortable Right Out Of The Box (No breaking in period for me)
- Waterproof (Lined with Danner Dry)
- Lightweight (Classic Danner styling, but with new lightweight technology)
- Cute! (SUCH a fan of the traditional Danner look and metal eyelets)
- Under $200 ($152 with THEMOMEDIT Discount Code At Backcountry)
**They are plenty warm with my fav Smartwool socks, but because they’re so lightweight, I know I’ll be comfortable in them for our summer hiking trip as well.**
The Other Hiking Boots I Tried (Vasque, Salomon & Keens)
I have to admit I feel a little bit sad for the other hiking boots I ordered. I fell so instantly in love with the Danners, that I probably didn’t give them a full chance. Great boots, but the Danners just fit what I was looking for the best.
Vasque Talus: If I was a more serious hiker, I would have kept these Vasques. My husband has worn his Vasques for years, and has nothing but good things to say about them. These Vasques felt super-supportive, held my ankle very securely, and are a good looking boot as well. They just felt like more than what I needed for my mostly casual day hikes.
Salomon Outline: These are SUPER lightweight, and the tread is really good. Good looking too, but I wanted something a bit more substantial. These felt a little too much like hiking sneakers for my personal taste and felt a tad narrow to me.
Keen Terradora: I love my Keen hiking sandals for summer river walks, and my kids wear winter Keens as well, so I knew I wanted to give a pair of Keen boots a shot. The Terradoras have a nice cushiony footbed and a good springy feeling to them as well, but I preferred the look of the Danners better.
Hiking Outfit Details
Boots: Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot Comfortable, cushioned, flexible, waterproof, lightweight and cute. Sizing Note: I don’t technically have a wide foot, but my foot is “on-the-wider-side”, and these are a dream on my foot. Shana has a narrower foot, does more serious hiking, and loves her classic Danners (Shana’s favorite hiking pieces here).
Backpack: Fjällräven Vardag 25 Bag I’ve been a fan of Fjällräven for years, but this is my first time trying the Vardag 25 style. It carries WAY more than I thought it would. In these photos, I had an extra pair of shoes, an extra jacket, another sweater, two large water bottles, keys, phone and wallet ALL in this small-ish looking bag (don’t ask why I decide to ALWAYS pack so.much.stuff). Made with 65% recycled materials.
Jacket: Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket (S) Packs down to NOTHING in order to carry easily in a small backpack — lightweight, and WARM! The small JUST fit me in the hips, but had plenty of room in the bust and shoulders. Comes in many gorgeous colors and made with recycled materials.
Sweater: Smartwool Bell Meadow Sweater (S) I’m fairly obsessed with Smartwool now after wearing my Smartwool socks on repeat all winter. This sweater is soft, warm and feels “sturdy”…like I could easily pull it in and out of my backpack stuffed with a million things and it would still hold its shape and look just fine.
Tee: Marine Layer V-Neck Boyfriend Tee (XS) Always on the hunt for a good white tee. This is a great boyfriend relaxed fit made of 50% cotton and 50% Sustainable Tencel…soft and breathable and felt great under all my layers (but I look forward to hiking in it on its own this summer).
Hat: Smartwool Retro Pom Beanie Again with the Smartwool obsession…comes in several bright fun color combos as well.
Water Bottle: Nalgene Goat Logo Bottle I own fancy water bottles with all sorts of fancy features, but these Nalgene water bottles are the ones we use the most. My little guy requires a TON of water, and so I carry at least two of these with me at almost all times. Both of my kids’ favorites are the glow-in-the dark ones.
Mask: Outdoor Research Essential Filtered Face Mask My husband and my dad’s favorite mask, but also a go-to for me, especially when hiking. Quick-drying material, adjustable ear loops, nose wire, replaceable filters, and blocks 95% of virus and bacteria particles. The mask itself is amazing…the filters take a bit to get used to. You do have to make sure the filter is positioned in the right place so it doesn’t move around.
Hiking Brands We Love ON SALE: Smartwool, The North Face, Outdoor Research & More
Now through 2/16, Backcountry is offering an extra 20% off select shoes and apparel PLUS…it’s their Winter Semi-Annual Sale! They’re offering up to 50% off brands like The North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, and Arc’teryx — everything you need for getting outside (or just escaping your city row home like me). And for anything not on sale, you can use code THEMOMEDIT for 15% off your first order (exclusions apply)!
A huge thank you to Backcountry for sponsoring this post and giving me this opportunity to find my perfect hiking boots. We, at TME, really appreciate your expert 24/7 GearHead support in finding everything we need, your free shipping, as well as the opportunity to donate to The Nature Conservancy at checkout.
photo credits: Redfield Photography
Oh hey, Pinners…