>This is a review of the Danner Explorer, style #45200.
I bought these boots for myself in lieu of the Danner Mountain Light as it was out of stock at the time. The boots I ordered were a 11D (standard width). When I received them, they were of course very well manufactured as is any Danner boot. I had previously only bought US made military boots from Danner, so I was slightly concerned about the boots being made overseas. These boots are made in China. I am happy to report that they are extremely well made and there were no manufacturing issues at all with the boot. Danner’s quality assurance team in Portland does and excellent job of only releasing the best.
I put the boots on and found them to be stiff at first. In particular, they were very stiff at the top of the boot around the Achilles tendon. The boot fit very well however. I wear a size 11D dress shoe and these fit very well initially. After wearing the boots for several days, they leather became very soft and supple and I was able to comfortably wear the boots .
After owning the boots for a few weeks, I spent a long weekend outdoors in January for an annual winter camp with friends. The boots worked great, they were warm even though I spent the entire weekend in snow and standing water in 8 degree weather. I also took along several pair of the Danner heavyweight wool socks. Specifically, style #H50118, the Merino Wool Pronghorn sock. These are awesome heavy weigh wool socks and kept my feet toasty warm and dry. The only issue I ran into was wearing these socks with the boots. The extra thickness made the boots incredibly tight and the leather wasn’t stretching to accomodate me! So, I ended up switching boots to my size 11.5D Pronghorn boots, style #42216 to accomodate the thicker socks. The combination of the Pronghorn and the socks was perfect and all I needed in 8 degree farenheit weather!
After the trip, I noticed the leather on the Explorer boots tightened up a bit from the moisture. To alleviate that, I simply rubbed the boots down with Danner’s clear boot dressing. In my youth, I would have called this stuff mink oil paste. It is very similar. It is perfect for conditioning your boots whether old or new. It is what I used during the break in period to get the boot leather supple around the Achilles tendon area. I highly recommend it for keeping the boots new looking and preserving the leather for years to come.
So, my closing rating of the Danner Explorer boots:
Style appeal: Excellent. Perfect boot with jeans in the winter.
Break in period: Longer than expected. Use the clear boot dressing
Overall on a scale of 1-10: 9