During my recent tour at the Danner footwear factory, I was able to check out the entire lineup of Danner’s boots.  The most exciting set I saw was the recently released Reckoning.  When the tour was complete, I was sent home with a pair of said new boots with the Loadout Room being the first media outlet to review them.

Lets work through the tech specs, then we’ll get to my initial impressions through my first week of wear.

The Outside:

Rough-out, full grain leather is paired with 1000 denier nylon for excellent durability.  A Danner Vibram all-terrain outsole provides traction in all condition with both omni-directional traction lugs and Arch Tech design for fast-roping and climbing.  Double-rivet speed laces give you options when it comes to how you like your foot and ankle support.

The Inside:

Your foot is supported by an open-celled polyurethane footbed (which also promotes good ventilation), protected by a fiberglass shank and further kept dry by the moisture wicking Air-Mesh liner.

OK, that’s a lot of fancy jargon, but while every ground pounder wants to know plenty of smart kids worked out the design, what matters most is what happens when the tread hits the trail.  I’m only a week in (hence the initial impressions), which is just barely enough to break a boot in if you’re wearing it every day.  Here’s what I know so far:

  • The Reckoning is far more comfortable at the outset than any other combat boot I’ve worn.  Green jungle boots, desert issue circa 2004, even Danner’s own Acadia.  Slipping these on is like sitting down in your favorite chair, the one you’ve had for too many years and have spent hours shooting the breeze, drinking coffee and smoking cigars in.  The Air Mesh liner is soft like velvet and durable like leather.
  • The Vibram outsole has some serious traction.  I’ve come close to taking a couple spills because I wasn’t ready for the level of “grab” this outsole provided.  I guess my old mudkickers were a bit slicker than I realized…
  • These feel lighter on the foot than they do on the scale.  Coming in at 37 oz, these are neither featherweight nor heavy beasts.  Going for a run in the Reckoning didn’t feel like I was running in a combat boot.  It felt another step lighter, like a mid-weight running shoe.  I think the lack of thud when your foot hits the deck contributes greatly.  The open-cell poly insole provides just a little more bounce than I’m used to, which reduces the jarring effect my joints normally feel when running in anything other than a trail shoe.
Danner Reckoning | First Look
The excellent Vibram outsole (on the sage green boot). Photo courtesy of Danner.com

I’m excited to spend more time with the Reckoning.  I think a good set of footwear needs some serious miles before a full review can be given, so I wanted to get my first thoughts on this product out there.  If it seems my first impressions are overly positive, it’s because the Reckoning oozes quality.  Rangers run hard, day and night.  We need about 4 things to keep us up and running: dip, caffeine, anger and boots.  Those doors aren’t gonna kick themselves you know…

Take a look at them at the Danner Webpage.  The Reckoning runs $260 and is available in Coyote Tan and Sage Green.