Boots

Danner Mountain Light II or Danner ZigZag Trail low(now called the Cloud Cap).

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I have had the Mountain Light II’s for over 25 years now with a recent resole done in Melbourne.  Awesome pair of boots with one piece leather outer and GoreTex liner.  Just be aware that the Kiwi tradition seems to be to walk through rivers and a waterproof GoreTex liner won’t let the water in or OUT !

Recently for something a bit more lightweight I ordered a pair of Danner Zigzag 3″ boots.  As usual they met all my expectations in terms of outstanding Danner quality at a price better than almost all the cheaper options from elsewhere.  I got the sizing wrong by ordering the narrow width boot rather than the wider one.  Anyway I send this pair off to my brother who is a farmer and wears them daily.  He has been amazed at the performance of this pair of boots as he lives in them.

October 2014:

Recently went for a hike around Wilson Promontory (Australia) and found my trust 30 year old pair of Danner’s chewed up my feet rather badly, perhaps something to do with the fact that a local shoemaker had resoled them, or just because they were too tired to continue…

I ended up doing half the walk in a pair of runners and on return set about hunting for a new pair of boots.  Initially I thought I would go for a lightweight pair of Vasque Taku GTXs but ended up making the same mistake I made with the Danner ZigZag’s – I got a pair that was too narrow around the front of the shoe.  Sadly I only really noticed this after taking the boots on their first outdoor trip !  Despite getting them stretched by a shoemaker they always felt like they were crushing my toes.

After trying on every make of hiking boot I finally found a pair of Zamberlan Vioz GTX that felt like a perfect fit from the start.  Unfortunately the first pair I tried seemed to have a hard knob under the right heel which seemed to get worse the more I wore them (2 weeks).  Fortunately the retailer was happy to swap them for another pair – we had to check a few pairs before we found one that have very little bumpiness under the heel area.  In any event so far these have been fine despite being able to feel a slight unevenness under the right heel.  I placed a small sliver of wood in a strategic position which seems to have almost completely reduce any unevenness.

A bit surprising that I could even feel this unevenness through the liner which does not have a lot of support.  The liner in the Vasque boots seemed to provide considerably more support.

2 Years Later…

Sadly the Zamberlan Vioz turned out to also be a narrow fit.  The more I used them the more it felt like they were tightening up across the instep so I contacted Zamberlan who told me the boots come in standard and EE widths.

I have also tried a pair of Salomon Men’s X Ultra Mid 2 GTX

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but they ended up giving me a corn on the outside of my right foot small toe!! Needless to say none of my shoes fitted then – anyway have got rid of that now.

So still on the hunt for a pair of boots that fit well I was back on the Danner site and then discovered they can be ordered from Amazon – and surprise surprise they were on special with free shipping.  So I ordered a pair of Mountain 600 size US9.5EE and a couple of weeks later they turned up – and sure enough the same familiar comfortable fit around the toes…

Needless to say a sort while later I ordered a pair of Mountain Light IIs in the same size.

So far the Mountain 600s have been great, with some breaking in required.  I found the tongue on the left foot a bit uncomfortable because of the relatively hard and thick seam.

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