• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Review update: Danner®  Incursions – Best hot weather hiking boot?

561 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Use in the field and sustained wear is really the only way to evaluate footwear.

I’ve been wearing these Danner®  Incursions for well over a year, mostly in hot, desert environments. Here is what I found.

By Leon Pantenburg

Hiking boots/shoes must be matched to the environment. You probably wouldn’t want knee-high, rubber Muck Boots® for desert treks; breathable, mesh uppers for wading in a standing-water swamp or flip-flops for hiking rough mountain trails.

That’s one reason I have so many different kinds of footwear, ranging from flip-flops to heavily-insulated arctic boots.

A hiking boot needs to be tough and sturdy to handle the extreme desert conditions.

Desert hiking is a favorite outdoor activity, so I’m always on the lookout for a cool boot that features a breathable upper, sturdy soles and good ankle support.

Danner Incursions® caught my eye as soon as they came out. The boot features breathable, moisture-wicking air mesh lining and ventilation technology for comfort in hot weather. I had to try a pair.

The Incursions got wrung out last summer in the Southwest, in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, during the record heat wave. They were worn on several hikes when the temperatures were in the high 90s or low triple digits. Terrain varied from ankle deep sand, to rimrock with cacti to granite trails and everything in between. In all instances the boots were comfortable.

The boots were also worn in lower temperatures on deer hunts last fall  just to see how they would perform. As long as I wore my favorite Buffalo Wool Trekker® socks, the Incursions were warm down to freezing.

The boots have several hundred miles on them by now in a variety of terrains. Here is what I found.

Danner Incursion Coyote Hot Specifications

Style 50531
Weight 50 oz per pair
Height 8″
Insulation Non-Insulated
Color Coyote
Footbed Polyurethane
Shank Bi Fit Board
Last Type 851
Lining Non-Waterproof
Liner Air Mesh
Outsole Vibram® Striker Bolt
Recraftable No
Manufacturing Imported
Certification AR-670-1 requirements for optional wear

The good stuff

Coolness: The Incursions are the coolest hot weather boot I’ve ever worn. (My Danner Fullbore Coyotes are another excellent choice.) Yeah, my feet still sweat, but the boot and wool sock combination was comfortable in hot weather. While the socks got damp-ish (In 90+ degree heat, I sweat through my hat, shirt and most of my clothing) they never got beyond damp.

Hiking on rock, when the temperatures are 90+ degrees, means the surface of the rock is probably hot enough to fry an egg. The boot soles insulated well from that intense heat.

Boot performance was amazing.

Lining: I don’t like waterproof liners in hiking boots. I either want a full-blown waterproof boot or one that isn’t and breathes.

It seems like there are more boots on the market with some sort of moisture barrier booty than without. So isn’t the best idea to just get waterproof boots and let it go at that?  And why not? That way, if you should ever need waterproof footwear, you’re in fine shape – right?

And don’t the liners keep your feet dry, while dissipating the moisture generated from feet sweating?
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Nope. That isn’t necessarily the case.

The Incursions’ strong point is that they do breathe and dissipate moisture. This is huge in hot, sweaty hiking. With a moisture barrier liner, sweaty feet will soon become damp because of the moist interior of the boot and the inevitable soggy socks. The feet will become soft, and all this leads to sore feet.

The Incursions proved to be excellent rough country hikers.

Height: One of the most irritating aspects of hiking on a trail is that you will probably kick tiny bits of debris into the back of your shoes. This is annoying and uncomfortable, and means you’ll have to stop and empty your shoes. The eight-inch height eliminates most of that, and might eliminate the need for gaiters.

Fit: Danner boots fit me really well. Apparently the footbed and last were designed for the average guy like me. The toe is wide, and allows me to wiggle my toes while walking.

Danner has a wide width that is about a EE. I got my Incursions in wide, and a half-size larger than I normally wear. This is the perfect size for me for hiking with a pack. If you order the wrong size, returns are easy.

The Vibram® Striker Bolt pattern on the soles are standard in the boot line.

Sole: The Vibram® Striker Bolt sole is outstanding. I wore the Incursions and Danner Pronghorns in rocks, in swamps, on ice and snow and every imaginable surface. In Mississippi, where I hunt deer in swamps, there is no more slippery surface to walk on than wet oak leaves on steep, clay ravines. The soles are very secure.

The Striker Bolt soles are the same for other Danner boots in the hiking/hunting line, and they are a great choice.

I am very well pleased with these Incursions, and am glad I got a pair. I will be wearing them again this summer on future hot weather hikes.

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