Top of the Danner line and hand made in America, the Santiam GTX 400G All Leather Hunting Boot. Note the sturdy heel pull loop, a feature I wish was on more boots.
To tell you all the truth, I thought I had already posted a GREAT GEAR RECOMMENDATION on these. I checked. I hadn’t. Here it is.
The Santiam reminds me of the Browning hunting boots I used and loved when I was a kid. They were waterproof, warm, supportive, and comfortable even after 20 miles a day but they were softer all the way around than the heavy backpacking, trekking, and mountaineering boots I discovered later. The Brownings were very well suited for late season deer and elk hunts in the mountain forests common to the West. These are better though.
The midsole and outsole combine to give the Santiam a wide, stable stance. Note the folds in the tongue that form naturally with wear and also how high up it connects to the rest of the boot.
Class-Classic insulated hunting boot
Height-8 inches (9.0 from the floor), 6 eyelets/4 cleats
Materials-Triple stitched full grain leather
Insulation-400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra
Waterproofing-Full grain leather is treated for water repellency plus they have a sewn in Gore-Tex waterproof breathable liner bootie. Mine have never leaked
Cushion-Good to very good which is to be expected for a high quality traditional style hunting boot. I could walk for days in these boots
Flexibility-It is a glorified, high end work boot so it is flexible and the leather is relatively soft. However, I would not say they are sloppy. Flexible but very supportive to the ankle and comfortable to wear over long periods. There is a three quarter length fiberglass shank for good support but easy walking. The mid and outsole together are thick and wide giving them a stable stance. The heel is rounded and makes a shallow, easy transition through the arch to the forefoot just like the Danner Recon and Hood Winter Lights
Tread-Danner Air Bob outsole is great in dirt, mud, pine needles, and snow but they can be sheared off in sharp rocky terrain. These are not rock boots
Volume-Medium, arch support is good and the heel cup is comfortably snug but requires a little break in time or it rubs. The forefoot is roomy enough for medium thickness socks. You might consider ordering one half size larger if you are going to be sitting in a stand and want an extra thick sock. The lacing system is pretty standard and works well enough. The cleats are much deeper and more secure than other Danner models. The ankle cleat is actually a pinch hook so you can adjust the lower and the upper laces independently. The tongue is connected to the rest of the boot almost all the way to the top. It folds to lay down and is comfortable only after it is fully broken in, very different (inferior to) from my better european boots
Width Availability-Yes, Danner does a great job of providing most of their models in a broad range of sizes so they can fit just about anybody. In this case, they are available in D and EE widths. Size range is 6.5 thru 14US
Weight-Heavy, my Mens 11.5US weigh 2 lbs 8 oz per boot
Crampon Compatibility-No but you could certainly use strap on instep cleats if you had to and they work just fine with standard snowshoes
Quality-High and they are recraftable (meaning they can be reconditioned and resoled) by Danner. They are a very good value and should last you a good long time if you maintain them properly
Break In-Yes, as noted for the heel cup and tongue to fit right but everything else is pretty good after the first couple of times in the field. I suggest dunking them in water and wearing them dry. After that they fit like your favorite work gloves
Here is a good view of the white Thinsualte Ultra insulation sandwiched between the leather outer and green Cambrelle lining.
I wish the tongue was a little better designed but everything else on these boots works very well in a conventional sort of way. In fact, these are likely the highest evolution of the traditional Western U.S. insulated big game hunting boot and they do very well in the right situation.
I like them best when the weather is cold, there is snow on the ground, the terrain is mixed, and I have a lot of ground to cover. Come to think of it, that describes a late season Arizona elk hunt up on the Mogollon Rim perfectly. If that sounds like what you do and where you do it then the Danner Santiam GTX 400G All Leather Hunting Boot is definitely something I would recommend to you.
Go to my Youtube channel for the video review.
Sorting through the fads and fashion of the outdoor equipment industry to identify and promote the very best wilderness gear for high end recreational users, backcountry professionals and government agencies.
We can be educated and persuaded but not bought, bullied or bs’d.
Hardcore Outdoor is dedicated to those who can’t or won’t turn back.