As someone who grew up and still currently lives in the winter wonderland of Minnesota, I have become very familiar with the majestic dance that is slipping on ice. You move your arms out, you tilt your head, you brace for impact.
It’s completely unavoidable in Minnesota — the ice is on every sidewalk, every street corner and just about every surface that exists outside.
When this is the environment you live in, you need any advantage you can get. The best place to start is where the rubber meets the road (or in this case the ice): your shoes.
Thick black treads on your boot is something companies have stuck on the underside of a shoe for the longest time. This is great for snow, rocks, and mud but mostly ineffective for ice.
That’s where Danner Shoe Company steps in. Along with their partner, Vibram, the Megagrip compound (a sturdy rubber sole) kept me upright and stable. For the past week or so I’ve been walking around outside in a pair of Danner Mountain 600 EnduroWeave boots.
At about 5½ inches tall, these boots provide ample ankle support without constricting your calf muscles and are available in two different colors, black and brown. They sell for $160, a bit spendy in my opinion, but do everything they’re supposed to which is better than some boots.
So far I have been impressed with the amount of grip these offer for slippery surfaces — not just ice. I took a trip to my local junkyard in search of an alternator for my car. Imagine a three-acre plot of land with nothing but mud, snow, ice and about five years of car parts scattered throughout and you’ll get a pretty clear picture of the terrain I put these boots through.
Not only did I not slip in my three-hour journey, but my feet never got sore. This is due to the fact that much of the Mountain 600 is made up of what they call EnduroWeave, a mix of lightweight and microfiber textiles that allow each boot to weigh only two pounds.
In the outdoor shoe world, creating a boot this light is a big deal. These boots are mainly used for hiking and other strenuous outdoor activities so every ounce counts.
Danner gets the job done, and they do it well on many levels, but these boots aren’t perfect. In my trek through the automotive graveyard I stepped in quite a few puddles, and when I say puddles, I mean small ravines full of tetanus and dysentery.
The Danners repelled moisture for the most part but did end up allowing some water through after extended immersion. In the junkyard that’s fine, but if I were in the middle of the Redwood Forest looking for Bigfoot himself, I could be in for a world of hurt.
Overall, this is a great boot. It’s lightweight, looks cool, and can keep you on your feet in icy conditions. If you can avoid stepping in large puddles, these boots will keep your feet comfy and warm on your search for mythical forest beasts (or an alternator).