If you want lightweight footwear for day hikes or moderate use, these Danners might be just what you have been looking for. These Danner South Rim 600s feel like you’re wearing sturdy, high top tennis shoes.
by Leon Pantenburg
Disclaimer: I bought these shoes to wear. There is no sponsorship relationship between Survival Common Sense and Danner. All I ever promise is a fair shake in any review.
Trails like the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trail are – in most places – generally well-worn paths that don’t challenge footwear all that much. After all, the legendary Emma Gatewood hiked the Appalachian Trail – three times – in Converse high top tennis shoes.
For 20+ years I lived within striking distance of the PCT in Oregon and hiked on it a lot. Living in Virginia, my home was not far from the AT. I did some hiking on it. For most of the distance on both trails, a heavy boot with aggressive tread is not needed. In fact, a heavy boot can be tremendous overkill which only adds additional weight to your feet. Over a long hike, that extra pound or so on each foot adds up, and you will tire more rapidly. Ultimately this will affect how far you can hike.
Point being: Maybe you want a lightweight hiker that is a step up from low quarter shoes. The South Rim can be a good option.
Here are the South Rim 600 specifications:
|Weight||32 oz per pair|
My footwear depends on what I’m doing. In the summer in Mississippi, my flip-flops get a lot of wear. But most of time around town, I’ll wear standard three-inch high trekkers, from Danner, Merrell or Garmont.
The Danner South Rim 600s appear to be a high top version of the Danner 2650s. My South Rim 600s didn’t arrive in time to hike the South Rim of the Grand Canyon last summer – I wore my 2650s – but these South Rims are wonderful for hiking in hot weather. Here is what I’ve found so far:
The good stuff
Color: The bronze color makes them cooler than if they were a dark color. Back in civilization, they match just about anything. They look great with jeans, tactical pants or slacks.
Weight: At 16 oz per foot, you hardly know you are wearing the 600s. This light weight contributes to less effort when walking, and subsequently, less fatigue.
Shoe height: Generally, I favor ankle high trail shoes over low cut. Even on a well-used trail like the PCT, trail debris inevitably gets in the low cut shoes. This come from, I’m guessing, shuffling or kicking stuff into one shoe from the other. If this is a recurrent problem, get some ankle high gaiters to put on when hiking. In some places, specifically the approach to South Sister in the Oregon Cascades, the volcanic scree is heavy and unstable, and a shoeful can be expected. Sure, you can get ankle-high gaiters, but sometimes you don’t want to fool around with them.
My best hot weather/desert hiking boots are my Danner Fullbores or Incursions.
Air mesh liner: There need to be more shoes on the market with mesh liners. While this makes the shoe non-waterproof, it also means that they will dry out quicker. A shoe that breathes will be cooler. The movement while walking may create some air circulation which helps dry out the interior. (Think jungle boots.) If you anticipate a lot of wading while walking, the South Rim 600s are not a good choice. Muck Boots are.
Width: I have wide feet, and finding comfortable shoes is sometimes challenging. The 600s come in wide and medium widths, and the wide fit me well.
Not waterproof: I don’t like waterproof hiking shoes. I haven’t found a water resistant liner yet that works as advertised. My experience is that the liners can’t remove moisture as fast as it accumulates during vigorous exercise. This means the shoes retain moisture and prevent it from being released. This whole waterproof liner aspect often overlooked when people are buying shoes or boots, and it can make the difference between hot, soggy feet or comfortable hiking. (Here are five reasons I don’t like waterproof liners in most hiking footwear.)
Ankle support: The four-inch boots provide some ankle support, unlike the low tops, which have none. If ankle support is a major concern, get six or eight-inch boots for the extra support and safety.
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.
There are a lot of factors that determine how comfortable your hiking footwear will be. Consider these things when you are shopping:
- Shoes or boots for hiking?
- Waterproof or not?
- What are the best socks for the conditions?
- How do you avoid getting sore feet?
- Will the shoes or boots keep your feet warm?
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Thanks for sharing!
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