The words explore and adventure often call to mind mountaineers scaling ridgelines in the Himalayas or wetsuit-clad surfers chasing some far-off wave. But they don’t have to. In fact, sometimes the adventures most worth taking, and the areas most worth exploring, are close to home. Such is the case with City Island — a New England-style fishing hamlet nestled on a 1.5-mile-long stretch of land in the Long Island Sound in New York City.
Likewise, when many think of Danner’s iconic leather boots, they may picture a bearded hiker stepping off the Appalachian Trail after a seven-month thru-hike, or a professional photographer traversing a rocky coastline to get the perfect shot. And while Danner’s high-quality leather boots can certainly take on the most rugged of excursions, they’re equally well-suited to taking on your next micro-adventure.
Danner’s historic headquarters of Portland, Oregon, home to the brand since the 1930s, is not dissimilar to City Island — both places were built on the backs of heavy industry.
While Charles Danner first made his boots to serve Oregon’s booming logging trade, we can’t help but imagine that his early boots would have found a home in the shipbuilding industry on City Island as well. Today, the shipbuilding industry has all but abandoned City Island, but its influence is still vibrantly apparent. Art installations of ships built there can be seen in storefronts and on the sidewalks throughout. And, sailmakers still craft and repair sails in the island’s historic buildings — trading canvas for advanced sailcloth materials infused with carbon fiber stringers.
These sails carry some parallels to Danner’s boots: They’re made with the same passion and craftsmanship today that they were in the 1930s — with updated materials to improve performance. The boots feel at home here, on the weathered floors and sleepy streets — a stark contrast to the hubbub and monolithic steel of Manhattan. Few would say this is a part of New York City if they were dropped here blindfolded — and that’s what makes it worth exploring.
Danner Vertigo 917
The Vertigo 917 is tailor-made for urban exploration. The boot, which comes in both men’s and women’s versions, has a sleek and streamlined silhouette that is perfect for pairing with just about any outfit. The Vertigo also features a waterproof Gore-Tex liner alongside the Danner-exclusive Vibram 917 outsole with XS Trek rubber, providing copious amounts of traction on a variety of surfaces. The contrasting red laces are there for a pop of color while the Ortholite footbed and nylon shank offer endless comfort. This boot will fit in anywhere.
Danner Mountain Pass
The Mountain Pass, available in both men’s and women’s models, is similar in appearance to Danner’s Mountain Light, yet comes 25 percent lighter and with unmatched comfort right out of the box. But don’t let its featherweight stature fool you, the Mountain Pass is still brawny and durable. In fact, before selecting a full-grain leather upper for the boot, Danner puts it through six different tests to ensure its quality. Add in a Vibram sole, fiberglass shank and Gore-Tex liner and the Mountain Pass is a surefire recipe for good vibes all day.
Danner Feather Light Revival
The Feather Light Revival is Danner’s latest addition to the Portland Select collection. The boot is still made by hand, the same way it was when it was first released in the 1980s. It’s similar to the Light Revival, and features the same Gore-Tex liner, but has a five-inch height instead of six. The boot features a stitchdown construction, so you can have it resoled if you ever manage to wear through the Vibram Kletterlift outsole. The aesthetic is timeless and classic, and is just as at home on a jagged mountain trail as it is paired with a cuffed pair of high-quality jeans.