Based in Portland, Oregon, Danner has made work boots in the U.S.A. for over eighty years, and their commitment to producing goods of the highest quality has seen their boots reach the feet of hikers, servicemen, and even elephants...
For nearly a century, Danner has crafted boots with purpose and integrity - footwear to equip those who choose the unlikely path, those who cut fresh trails, those who pioneer.
The Danner story began when Charles Danner founded Danner Shoe Mfg. Company in 1932. With intentions of making high-quality boots that were durable and affordable. After initially setting up in the then-logging town of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, Charles heard about the booming timber trade in the Pacific Northwest and moved his operations to Portland, Oregon in 1936. Danner was soon one of the premier producers of calked logging boots in the region, which he could sell for the then-considerable sum of $20.
By 1939, Charles had integrated his two sons, John and Bill, into the company, which had earned a reputation for stellar boots that were tough, reliable, and fit for purpose. This hard-earned prestige held Danner in good stead for the years to come.
While the logging and timber trade provided a firm business foundation for Danner, the boom of hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities in the sixties acted as a springboard for Danner to grow even further. They began the production of Danner hiking boots, premiering with the 6490 boot in the early seventies.
After releasing more hiking models throughout the seventies, Danner’s triumphs saw them relocate to their biggest Portland location yet, a factory so large it allowed them to double their production to 480 pairs of boots a day – all by hand.
In 1979, Danner worked with Gore-Tex to create the first fully waterproof hiking boot. The project resulted in the birth of the Danner Light boot, an even lighter boot with a shape similar to the 6490. Using a combination of synthetic denier materials and a sock-esque waterproof lining developed by Gortex, the Light was a sensation and a revolutionary innovation for hiking boots.
A few years after Danner famously made size 150 boots for an elephant at Washington Park Zoo, Danner was sold to Eric Merk in 1983, on the condition that he would take the brand forward with the same commitment to quality and craftsmanship that the Danner family had ensured for over fifty years. Eric stuck to his word, and even tightened quality control, before the company merged with the Portland-based LaCrosse Footwear Inc. just nine years later in 1994.
Much of Danner’s production is still carried out in the U.S.A. with the same attention to quality and detail that made the brand so successful all those years ago. Meticulous checks are carried out at various points during each boots production – each hide is assessed before being cut, extensive water tests are carried out for every waterproof liner, and thorough quality control checks are conducted prior to packing and shipping.
The brand’s continued focus on quality, and loyalty to its heritage, allow their products to resonate within the heritage fashion market. Danner boots are up there with Red Wing, Chippewa, and Wolverine, as the stomper of choice for those after a hardwearing but handsome boot, and their ongoing partnerships with Gore-Tex and Vibram allows for the production of boots for any purpose.
Charles Danner came west to build the best boots loggers had ever known, an effort that resulted in a long-standing heritage brand with a renegade spirit. A spirit that proudly lives on in each pair of Danner boots we make to this day. Charles Danner felt the pull to the wild of the Pacific Northwest, drawn by the promise of opportunity in the rugged unknown. He came with a commitment to quality craftsmanship and a deep respect for the uncompromising landscape. From the gleaming alpine lakes and the plummeting river gorges, to the thick forests and the sweeping coastlines, Danner boots are of this place.