When the going gets tough, the tough get going — and the tough among us lace up Danner work boots — and that’s just the way it’s got to be when your to-do list beckons and when time is of the essence. And naturally, you don’t want to get bogged down wondering whether what you’re wearing is going to pass muster. You’ve got enough on your plate, right? No doubt about it.
Turn towards a boot brand you can trust as far as hard-wearing, rugged and durable boots are concerned, because, again, it all comes down to optimizing your time the best way possible. That means you can’t waste time worrying about soaked boots or socks, you can’t waste time having to change into a more durable pair of boots, and you can’t afford to have to replace your boots frequently. The answer to all of these issues, naturally, is Danner, a USA-made brand that makes boots for James Bond as readily as they collaborate with other American heritage brands on the coolest boots for men.
Don’t let that versatility make you think the brand is spreading itself too thin. Quality construction and tough, durable and classic designs are the name of the game with Danner boots, as one visit to the brand’s Portland flagship store reveals. If you’ve been lucky enough to spend any time checking out Danner work boots in person, you know they’re up to snuff. If not, consider this guide a helpful starting point to getting the toughest boots for when the going gets, well, tough. After all, Danner’s heritage dates back to 1932, and its Pacific Northwest roots go hand in hand with the sort of tough gear designed for rugged outdoor adventures (and for every type of job on your to-do list, at that).
And because Danner work boots feature USA-made construction and finely crafted and sourced materials, you can be sure the brand isn’t cutting any corners, to say the very least. Even with that detail-oriented approach, plenty of Danner boots are still affordably priced and made to last, and last, and last.
The brand itself says that you don’t “put on a pair of Danner boots to sit around the house,” and that’s a sentiment we can certainly get behind. They’ve partnered with like-minded retailers like Huckberry on hiking boots, and they make excellent hiking sneakers, too, but it’s Danner’s rugged and surprisingly stylish effective work boots that caught our eye. The key to finding the right work boots starts, as always, with a handy checklist before you buy.
What to Look for in a Pair of Work Boots
- Durability: This key factor is going to cover a couple of different areas as far as the build of your boots is concerned. Danner’s Quarry Work Boots (more on those in a second) are lined with GORE-TEX and are also waterproof and breathable, while its Bull Run Work Boots feature unlined leather for greater flexibility. Danner’s Vicious Work Boots also feature GORE-TEX and waterproof functionality. The best work boots shouldn’t feel flimsy or thin, nor should they be overly heavy. Durability, then, shines through with Danner work boots.
- Fit: Danner work boots, luckily, run pretty true to size, so boot socks should certainly work just fine to allow you enough room (but not too much room) when lacing ’em up. If you want to wear thicker socks, consider going up a half-size or so, but in this author’s experience, Danner’s work boots are quite reliable with a standard pair wool boot socks.
- Functionality: While plenty of Danner work boots feature waterproof technology and helpful add-ons like GORE-TEX, others feature a steel toe for added protection in construction yards and on job sites. Consider whether you need this enhanced feature, and just know that Danner has you covered with plenty of light workboots that offer top-notch utility either way.
- Good Looks: Now this is probably not quite as important as the other key factors to keep in mind when shopping for your new pair of work boots, but it certanily doesn’t hurt if you find a tough pair of work boots that you can also wear with, say, jeans and a flannel shirt if the occasion calls for outdoor hangs (bonfires, tailgates, grilling, whiskey tasting…you get the picture). And the great thing about Danner boots, particularly the Workman Boots shown further down in this post, is that they look pretty darn great with rugged, casual basics even when you’re off the clock. Again, it’s not the most important factor, but consider it as an an added bonus given that you’re investing some hard-earned cash into these rugged work boots.
Now that you’re in the right mindset as far as your search for the best new work boots, let’s get to the fun part truly: Our favorite picks for lightweight work boots from Danner.
The Best Work Boots for Every Job from Danner
Danner Quarry USA Work Boots
The nubuck leather upper here is lined with GORE-TEX for impeccable waterproof protection, and these USA-made work boots only get better and better from there. We said Danner doesn’t cut any corners, and we meant what we said. They’re triple-stitched for toughness at key stress points, and they also feature non-conductive electrical shock resistant soles and heels from Vibram (that would be one of the best footwear technology makers on the market). The brand says they’re best for outdoor work, and it’s not hard to see why.
Danner Bull Run Moc Toe Boots
The pretty neat thing about a heritage-focused company like Danner is that the brand knows you need to adapt your gear to where you’re working, and that’s why they’ve pushed themselves to innovate with the Bull Run Moc Toe Boots. These are a favorite of this author for good reason: They’re lightweight and flexible, made to be worn in warmer temperatures. Plus, the full-grain leather upper has been oiled and treated to resist water. Last but certainly not least, Danner says these boots work well for indoor workshops, but they can handle anything you throw at ’em.
Danner Bull Run Wellington Round Toe Boots
Another day, another dollar, another pair of Bull Run boots. For extreme conditions that can shift at a moment’s notice, we recommend some slip-on work boots that are up to the challenge of. well, just about anything. Wellington boots perform best in the rain and the wind, although we could see these boots working quite well if you’re involved in, say distilling whiskey or brewing beer (safety first, right, guys?). The 11-inch height is useful for those adverse conditions, while the oil and slip-resistant outsole is a must on any job site (and yes, we’ll include a brewery in that list).
Danner Vicious Boots
With a build that more closely resembles a hiking boot than your traditional work boot, these boots are best-made for hauling heavy loads and climbing flights or stairs or scaffolding. The speed-lacing system is another touch that closely resembles your favorite hiking boots, yet these also feature the oil and slip-resistant traction you’ve come to expect from Danner work boots.
Danner Steel Yard Steel Toe Work Boots
If it’s extremely dependable and long-lasting performance you want, and if it’s extra protection that you need, then you’ve gotta lace up these steel toe work boots from Danner. You can wear them as welding boots, you can wear them on any job site, and you can rest easy knowing that the steel toe provides that critical dose of essential coverage. Simply add your rugged chore jacket, a themal henley and work pants, and then start crossing items off that to-do list.
Danner Rain Forest Boots
When the going gets tough, as we said, you need Danner boots. Better still, you need the remarkable Danner Rain Forest Boots, a one-of-a-kind pair that’s geared towards heavy-duty outdoor work. Full-grain leather and triple stitching are hallmarks of any great pair of rugged Danner boots, while the eight-inch height is an added bonus as far as providing protection from rain and mud is concerned. The design of the lugs in the outsole is also geared to provide maximum traction on even the most slippery of surfaces.
Danner Workman Boots
With a name like the Workman Boots, you just know these durable Danner work boots can handle anything you throw at them, right> That’s probably an understatement, but if we’ve learned any one thing about the USA-made brand over the years, it’s that craftsmanship takes care, attention to detail and time, and Danner always delivers. We appreciate that these lace-up work boots feature an OrthoLite footbed and that same Vibram outsole you’ve come to know and love. These boots are a favorite of carpenters, tradesman and more, and we love the fact that they don’t look half-bad, either.
Danner Logger Boots
We really weren’t kidding when we said Danner makes work boots for every type of occasion, hence these throwback logger boots that you can assuredly wear to handle the most taxing outdoor jobs (or just, y’know, average yard work). Either way, Danner won’t let you down. We also appreciate that fact that these boots play off the company’s heritage as a Pacific Northwest company, and it’s an added benefit that these even feature a classic logger heel.