Danner Trail 2650 Mid Walking Boots | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Danner Trail 2650 Mid Walking Boots | Review

Can this mid cut boot-cum-shoe from Seattle-based brand cut it within the wet and wild landscapes of the UK?

We liked the low cut version of this boot by Danner enough to include it in our list of the best 100 products of outdoor gear for 2019 (go check out our Outdoor100). It was the all-round comfort that impressed us most, plus the grip was great as well. And this new mid cut option isn’t much different. Nothing’s changed really, they’ve just made it slightly higher at the ankle… as you might have guessed.

That extra height, in my opinion, makes a big difference when you’re hiking in the UK though. There’s not much point in wearing low cut waterproof trail shoes if you’re going over the muddy and wet terrain normally found in our hills as any water will inevitably work its way in at the ankle and sit there all day. So, with that in mind, you either want something with a waterproof membrane and a high enough ankle, or you could take the hardcore approach and wear non-waterproof trail shoes with good drainage.

Sitting just on the ankle bone, the height that Danner have gone for with this mid cut puts it in some kind of limbo between a walking boot and shoe, and I like that. It’s not so high that it’s constricting and heavy like you’re typical walking boots and it’s not so low that you’ve got to tip-toe around the shallowest of puddles or constantly stop to empty out grit that’s managed to find its way in.

The cut is still too low for boggy, off-track walking, but for summer trails I’d say it’s great. A few years ago, I put a lot of thought into what footwear to choose when I hiked the 300-mile Cambrian Way, a wild trail along Wales’s mountainous spine. I wanted a boot that was waterproof and high enough to keep out shallow puddles and dirt but that was also lightweight and nimble, and it was Danner’s other option, the Mountain 600, that I settled on. If this, the Trail 2560 Mid, was available at the time I reckon I would’ve gone for it. Similarly, I’d choose it if I was going on a summer hike along the West Highland Way, or any of our national trails barring the really boggy and wild ones (like the Pennine Way).

The Trail 2650 Mid would be great for something like the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail through the western states of the U.S. as well. That’s why it’s called the Trail 2650…

As for the more specific details, much of that is covered in our review of the low cut version, however, I’ve put in a few more miles in my pair since then so I can give a longer term verdict.

It’s been a good half a year of almost constant use now and these are holding up well. The grip has worked well on light and dry trails and it’s capable on some muddy and fairly steep slopes though there are far grippier options out there. I’d say it is slightly limited on greasy rock (like most boots are). The Gore-tex membrane has done its job and lasted well for me and the breathability seems to be as good as you can expect from Gore-tex. Many of the shoes and boots I’ve tested have worn out at the point where my toes flex but this hasn’t been the case here – so that’s good. Where these really perform, however, is in their comfort. I wore them straight out of the box on a long walk in the Lake District to the Priest’s Hole and back and had no rubbing or discomfort and nowadays they’re my choice for day-to-day wear, whether that’s at work or away for a walk at the weekend.

The insole has an ergonomic feel to it, the midsole has a lovely amount of cushioning and the toe strikes the right balance between precision and long-distance comfort. There’s a good secure hold right around the foot and I haven’t experienced any sliding about, not even while contouring on steep slopes.

I’m not too keen on the external heel cup, only because it looks a bit weird. It seems to do the job it’s supposed to, but I’d rather it was a little subtler. That’s pretty much the only bad thing I’ll say about the Danner Trail 2650. Good boots/shoes.

The view from the Priest's Hole.
The Eastern Fells of the Lake District. My first testing ground for the Trail 2650 Mid.

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