Warm boots in cold weather are wonderful.
But what about hiking in the heat? Have you been putting up with really hot boots in really hot weather? You might need to take a look at these boots designed for the heat.
By Leon Pantenburg
Disclaimer: I bought these boots to wear and use for hot weather hiking. No one from Danner had any input into this review, and at the time of publication, Danner is not a Survival Common Sense sponsor. All I ever promise on a review is a fair shake.
Living in both Mississippi and Oregon, I need a wide range of different boots. In Oregon’s deep snow and cold temperatures, warm is wonderful. In the Mississippi heat, cool is wonderful. There is no boot that can cover both of these extremes comfortably. The Fullbore Coyote Hot may prove to be the coolest boot around. (I can’t pass up that obvious pun!)
I like hot weather hiking boots. I have been a long-time user of military jungle boots. When I started backpacking in 1970, the Vietnam War was still going, and the local surplus stores were awash in military gear. It was possible to get surplus jungle boots for about a third of the cost of other similar work boots. The original jungle boots had canvas uppers and some sort of composite sole. They were designed to breath well, and dry out quickly in hot, humid jungle climates.
I wore jungle boots on my first backpacking trip, and frequently when I was working construction. The boots were relatively cool, compared to all-leather work shoes. Jungle boots were my footwear choice on a 2004, nine-day canoe trip through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. Multiple portages between lakes were an everyday occurrence. I usually ended up carrying a 75-pound canoe on my shoulders on muddy, slippery paths that were sometimes underwater. The boots performed well, despite being wet and soggy the whole time.
The point is this: Just because the weather is hot doesn’t mean you can get by with lightweight boots. Lightweight may equal light support or light durability. You don’t want your boots to fail when you are backpacking on a long trip with a heavy pack.
The other extreme is wearing heavy four-season boots in hot weather. The insulation, coupled with full grain leather and a waterproof liner means your feet will stay perpetually damp. Over a long hike, that means blisters and sore feet. Been there, done that.
So what you may need for summer hiking is a sturdy hot weather boot that is also going to offer foot and ankle support.
Here are the Fullbore Coyote specs, according to the Danner website:
SUEDE & MESH UPPER: Water resistant suede leather and breathable mesh create a durable, comfortable upper.
AIR MESH LINING: Breathable, moisture-wicking air mesh lining and ventilation technology for comfort in hot weather.
REMOVABLE ORTHOLITE FOOTBED: Three layers of varying density are combined for maximum cushioning and support. The entire footbed is made of open-cell polyurethane for better heat dissipation and air circulation.
VIBRAM® SPE MIDSOLE: This rubberized EVA midsole maintains the same cushioning properties as traditional EVA, but is more durable and won’t break down as easily. This technology enhances rebound, comfort and support.
VIBRAM® FUGA OUTSOLE: With its self-adapting lugs and specially formulated Megagrip compound, this outsole provides incredible grip on both wet and dry surfaces.
HOW IT FITS: Designed for versatility, the DPDX has a low profile for everyday wear. Whether on the trail or urban exploring, this last was built to offer enough room for comfort while maintaining a sleek profile. Ortholite footbed included.
365-DAY WARRANTY: If you suspect your purchase isn’t up to Danner’s standards, or is defective in any way, the company will make things right. Danner offers a 365-day warranty across the entire footwear line.
The Good stuff:
Fit: I have wide feet (EE in most brands) and finding the correct width in a walking shoe can be a challenge. There is no substitute for a boot or shoe that fits correctly. Make sure to try on the boots with the socks you will wear in them.
Danner offers a wide option, and the wide shoes fit me very well. The ankle and heel can be snugged down very comfortably. It is really nice to be able to wiggle my toes while walking, while still having foot and ankle support. Sizes in the Coyote range from size 6 to 15.
Break-in period: NEVER take a pair of new boots on an extended hike or backpack trip without breaking them in first. I got the boots on a hot, muggy afternoon with the temperature at 92 degrees. I put them on over a pair of wool socks and hiked for 3.5 miles. No hot spots or discomfort.
The next morning, I hiked in the Coyotes for 30 minutes, then waded in an irrigation ditch. With feet, socks and boots totally soaked I hiked on for another 90 minutes and about six miles. No blisters, hot spots or discomfort. On day three, I walked about seven or eight miles in two hours and 15 minutes. Again, no discomfort.
Any new boot needs to be thoroughly broken-in before using, but these Danners apparently break-in quicker. Generally, I figure on it taking about a week of daily wear to break in boots!
Sole: I have been wearing Vibram® soles on my hikers and hunting boots for decades. The soles wear well and last forever. Vibram soles are my choice for any boot I will be wearing in the backcountry mountains or in the swamps.
Upper: My Danner Cougars have been through the mill the but the uppers never failed and the boots don’t even look all that bad. I presume the Coyote uppers will have the same durability. Composed of water resistant suede leather and breathable mesh, the uppers will most likely outlast the soles!
Comfort: I’d give these Coyotes a five star rating for comfort. The boots are wide enough for my feet, and the lacing and ankle support eliminates any heel rubbing.
I recently took an eight-mile hike in the Oregon Badlands wearing the Coyotes, and I came home thoroughly impressed. In addition to being cooler, my feet didn’t get sore at all. This is unusual, since all the walking in on shifting sand, and it is very, very hard to keep from getting sore feet. The sand is as fine as talcum powder, and a tiny amount did manage to sift into the boot. I don’t know if this is from the sand getting kicked into the boot or not. Regardless, after a several-hours hike, the boots were still very comfortable.
Color: A light color is best for a boot that is designed to be cool. Black absorbs heat, whereas a light tan, like the coyote, will tend to reflect heat away. The Fullbores are also available in different, darker colors.
Ortholite footbed: This footbed works great. Generally, I’ll put a pair of quality insoles in any of my hiking boots. So far, I haven’t felt the need for that with the Coyotes. I’ll check that out when I start carrying a heavier pack.
Warranty: Basically, Danner boots come with an unconditional satisfaction guarantee for the first year you own the boots. It takes a lot of product confidence to offer that, and a company that produces shoddy or sketchy products couldn’t offer that warranty and stay in business. A solid warranty on any product is a real confidence-builder for me.
Then there’s this: Many of the Danner footwear products are made in the United States, specifically, Oregon. I’ve always liked that. I buy local whenever I can, and if a product can come from one of the states I live in, that’s even better. These boots are made in Vietnam. I guess that is better than China, but I wish these boots were made here.
DO YOU NEED THESE BOOTS?
If you hike or backpack in hot areas, you need a sturdy, rugged boot that is also cool. The more I wear these Coyotes, the better I like them. I have found my hot weather hikers.
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