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#200686 - 04/06/18 08:44 AM Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up?
willie1280 Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/17
Posts: 33
I've been in the market for a new pair of backpacking boots. Right now i've got 2 different pair in possession and i'm debating which to go with. First pair are Danner Mt.Adams that i got for $160 bucks and the other is a pair of Salomon Ultra 4 Mid GTX's.

I've never owned either brand so i can't decide which to go with. Fit feels identical (walking around house, don't want to wear outside as i'll be returning 1 pair). The only thing making me lean one way vs. the other right now is that the Salomon's are over 3lbs lighter than the Danner's. So that's reason enough for me...however, i want to make sure i'm not sacrificing quality/longevity in that 3+ lbs.

So i'm looking for feedback from folks who have owner both or either brand.

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#200687 - 04/06/18 10:45 AM Re: Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up? [Re: willie1280]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6521
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I think you'll find that a lot of us here have switched from boots to trail runners. My own experience is that I have far more support for my feet, a much better fit, and a lot less weight with the trail runners.

Have you hiked around the house (preferably lots of stairs if you have them) for extended periods (i.e. several hours) with a full backpack?

I would suspect that the heavier boots will wear longer, but that's just a guess. Which is more important for you, longevity or comfort? Remember that a pound on your feet is the equivalent of 5 pounds on your back (per the US Army).


Edited by OregonMouse (04/06/18 10:48 AM)
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#200688 - 04/06/18 11:29 AM Re: Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up? [Re: OregonMouse]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 901
Loc: Torrance, CA
I'm with OM. Those both sound like hot heavy saunas for your feet. How about considering the longevity of your feet? Old leather behemoths could last a lifetime as you could just keep resoling them. People look for the same longevity with modern comfort, but the modern materials used to make them comfortable break down over time. You can't expect shoes to last forever and be comfortable.

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#200689 - 04/06/18 11:53 AM Re: Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up? [Re: BZH]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
I have to disagree that shoes that last forever cannot be comfortable. They do take some break-in time. Last forever implies that the boot can be re-soled. Not many shoe shops around nowadays that do that. Plus you have to really take care of leather if you want it to last long. If you let it dry out in storage, they will no longer be comfortable. My old heavy mountaineering boots were comfortable as long as I cared for them properly. Another factor is your body weight and foot size. I find that heavier boots are proportioned for the heavier person with larger feet. You cannot just scale down a heavy leather boot and expect it to have the same qualities unless you also scale down the thickness of leather, flexibilty of the shank, etc. In general big people like boots; small people do not.

All that aside, the main issue with boots vs trail runners is weight, fit and economics. And do not just look at trail runners- low cut light hiking shoes also are light. There are more options in lighter shoes so you are likely to get a better fit if you have an odd foot. A good boot will cost 2-3 time more than a trail runner so if a trail runner lasts 2-3 time less, the economics is the same. Also, light hikers and trail runners go on sale regulary - no reason you cannot find half-price sales. I use Merell light hikers and they only last about one year, but I can regulary replace them for about $60 on sale. They fit my feet, and that is mainly what I am concered with.

Other reasons you may want boots - 1) difficult off-trail travel, particulary bushwhaking and sharp rock, 2) lots of very wet trails- you can actually walk through a short ford and not get wet, 3) need the shoe to accomodate a crampon.

My impression (may be outdated) was that Danners fit more people poorly. Soloman's run wider. The old saying was that Danners last forever because you rarely wear them. But if you have that foot that fits Danners, than OK.

You may want to gradually get used to hiking more in low light hikers or trail runners. If you use thicker wool socks and size, add a Superfeet insole, size it up to fit and add gaiters, you may find the trail runners just as suitable as boots.

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#200691 - 04/06/18 03:57 PM Re: Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up? [Re: willie1280]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I haven't owned either of these, so can't comment specifically. I'm confused by your "over 3lbs lighter" remark, though. From their respective web sites, the Salomon are 2.3lbs (or 37.4oz) in size 11, and the Danners are 53oz., with no size specified. Unless Danner is specifying the weight per shoe there can't be a 3lb. difference. If the Danners are, in fact, 3lbs. heavier, they're probably too heavy for normal backpacking.

I'm not sure either can be resoled. If so, either would require a special brand-specific sole, not like the old Vibrams that any shoe repair shop could replace.

I like the Keen Targhee (mid height)...about the same weight as the Salomons (my size 9.5 are 34oz.). They've been pretty durable, more so than the Lowa Renegades that they replaced. I did buy a new pair recently, but just because the originals are getting pretty old. They're still functional, though.

Trail runners are an attractive alternative. I'm wanting to go in that direction myself, I think. One experimental trip has left me undecided.

Wandering_Daisy suggested Superfeet insoles, but my experience with them was negative. I wore them for some years until my podiatrist clued me in to the fact that you don't need arch support unless you have problems with your arches. While using the Superfeet, I found that my arches ached unless I had them in. Once I stopped using them, my arches strengthened and I could walk all day without them. Still, I can see the possible need for some support if carrying a heavy pack long distances. And everyone's feet are different.
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#200692 - 04/06/18 04:41 PM Re: Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6521
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Everybody's feet are different! I started using green Superfeet at the doctor's suggestion when I started having big problems with plantar fasciitis. They work for me, and once the fascia healed up, I haven't had a recurrence.

The Danners weigh exactly 1 pound more (assuming the weight given is per pair) than the Salomons. That's equivalent to 5 lbs. more on the back. Only the OP can decide if that's significant!

Not only are few shoes/boots able to be resoled these days, but there is also a distinct shortage of repair shops that will do that. These days, nearly all soles are glued on. I guess we just have to succumb to the modern era of wear 'em and toss 'em! With modern sporting footwear mostly made of various fabric and plastic combinations, it's the tops that wear out first.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#200693 - 04/06/18 05:46 PM Re: Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
I use the green Superfeet, not as arch support, but because they add stiffness to the shoe (I occasionally strap on crampons) and the bottom of my feet get poked less when I bounder hop on sharp rocks. I also have naturally very high arches.

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#200694 - 04/06/18 10:40 PM Re: Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up? [Re: OregonMouse]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Actually, many of the newer molded-sole boots can be resoled. I had a pair resoled at Rocky Mountain Resole some years ago and apparently they still do it. Here's an interesting article that lists a few places that do it:

https://www.mensjournal.com/gear/how-to-resole-hiking-boots-20150114/

I'm not sure about the cost-effectiveness. Mine was a warranty issue, and paid for by Black Diamond, who was (then, maybe still) the distributor of Scarpa boots. They were quite generous, BTW. I felt that the heels had worn out prematurely, and they could easily have declared it "normal wear and tear."

Interesting about your plantar fasciitis. I had it too, and that's what led me to get rid of the Superfeet. I guess everybody's feet really are different!



Edited by Bill Kennedy (04/06/18 10:43 PM)
_________________________
There are two kinds of people: people who think there are two kinds of people and people who don't.

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#201060 - 06/03/18 12:49 PM Re: Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up? [Re: willie1280]
troutstalker Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/18
Posts: 37
Loc: CO
I just got some Danner Mountain Pass boots last year and used them on 1 trip. Terribly uncomfortable with every step, despite reviews that say otherwise. Maybe it's just my feet but they don't work for me. Makes me sick that I spent $360 before tax on them and will hope to sell them soon, as I've now gone back to my Lowa GTX mid boots. I also just purchased a pair of Hoka One One Tor Tech Mid boots and they are by far the most comfortable right out of the box boot I've ever used.

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