Danner Trailcomber Shoes | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Walking Boots

Danner Trailcomber Shoes | Review

Want the breathability of a sandal but the comfort of a walking shoe? Look no further than the Danner Trailcomber

Why We Chose The Haglöfs Rugged Flex: lightweight, superb breathability, comfortable

Every year we test out a new pair of Danner boots and every year that pair will be lighter than the pair we tested the previous year. There was the hefty Danner Mountain Light which weighed in at 1190g for a pair Then there was the Mountain 600 which was 1050g. Then we had last year’s Danner Trail 2650s, which were by no means heavy at 793g for a pair.

Now these have come along, weighing just 538g. Super light.

Who Is The Danner Trailcomber For?

While the Danner Trail 2650s were very much a boot for long distance hiking, these new Trailcombers are a bit more casual; they’re basically made for very light trails. You’re not going to want to go and scramble up a rocky Snowdonia mountain in them, nor are you going to want to cross any damp moors in the Peak District in them. But for hot hikes along dusty tracks when your main priorities are ventilation, a bit of grip and comfort underfoot, these’ll be well up to the task.

Featuring Vibram’s new Litebase sole. Photo: Mike Brindley

Design and Materials

The knitted upper on the Trailcomber is made from a lightweight variation of Cordura’s tough, abrasion resistant nylon with a few PU overlays to bring structure. The result is something very breathable and ventilating; basically as close as a walking shoe can get to the breathability of a sandal.

As was the case with the previous Trail 2650 for Danner, there’s a removable ortholite PU footbed and an EVA foam midsole underfoot for shock absorption and comfort over hard surfaces. What doesn’t seem present this time, however, is the tough shank that added a tiny bit of stiffness to the sole of that previous model.

The mesh upper provides an impressive level of breathability. Photo: Mike Brindley
The sole has a good amount cushioning for hard trails. Photo: Mike Brindley
We're glad they haven't gone for the bulbous heel cup that the Trail 2650 had. Photo: Mike Brindley

The outsole features the new Litebase technology from Vibram which is supposedly 25-30% lighter than their standard soles but without any compromise on tread depth (and in turn, grip). The popular Vibram Megagrip rubber compound is also present. What this all means is that the sole is pretty grippy and will do the job on dry tracks.

“I really like their comfortable fit as well. To be honest, Danner have never let me down in that regard.”

It’s a bit more of a relaxed fit in comparison to some of Danner’s other shoes and boots made for hiking, particularly at the forefoot. On their website, Danner say that this is to add stability, but we suspect it’s more to do with making these a bit more comfortable for casual all-day wear.


With the kind of conditions we get in the UK, there aren’t going to be that many days in a year that you’ll be able to use these for proper hiking. Still, if you want something that’ll be comfortable to wear year-round on hard roads, tow paths, gravel bridleways or on the beach, and that looks a bit more outdoorsy than a trainer, the Trailcombers would fit that niche very well.

As for the durability, we’ll have to update this when we’ve had a bit more time to walk in them, but with the simplicity of the upper’s structure and levels of protection, something like the Danner Trail 2650 or Mountain 600 would serve better in terms of lifespan.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“A lot of brands seem to be making these ‘water shoes’ at the moment, perhaps it’s in response to the growing popularity of stand up paddleboarding. I’ve always seen them as a bit too niche for the UK but the Trailcomber has proved me wrong.

“These have been a surprise hit of the summer for me. At first I couldn’t really work out what I’d wear them for. Then I came to realise that I’ve been wearing them for everything.

Wearing the Danner Trailcombers alongside the river Medway.

“I’m talking in a very casual sense here though, not in terms of mountain use. They’ve become my day-to-day shoes; the ones I pull on to go to the park, to go for a country walk on the weekend and for a couple of riverside wild camps on some of the glorious summer evenings we’ve had. I’ve been cycling in them a lot as well. I’m actually off on holiday tomorrow and with these with me I’ll be covered for everything from coastal walking, estuary wading, kayaking and even some trail running.

“What I think I’ve loved most about them is that the breathability is top notch. I haven’t got clammy in these. In fact, sometimes I wear them without socks and don’t have any issues at all. I’ve put them through about four months of heavy use now and they don’t smell. Which is pretty great.

“I really like their comfortable fit as well. To be honest, Danner have never let me down in that regard.”

Danner Trailcomber

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