We’re fans of Danner Boots here at AJ. They are classic, rugged, made in Oregon, and damn good looking. Roughly six months ago I picked up a pair of the Mountain Lights, which have been in production since 1979. I’ve put them to good use, they have trudged across the Pinacate Desert in Northern Mexico, worked two days straight while shooting deep inside a pumice mine in the Eastern Sierras, and loafed on the sidewalks of Telluride and Silverton, Colorado. Most recently, they spent 10 days crossing glaciers, wandering the streets of Reykjavik at all hours, and hiking through freezing streams while on assignment in Iceland. That’s not to mention the day-to-day that I have been wearing them on the mean streets of Los Angeles where I‘m based.
An average set of boots without replaceable soles, full grain or one-piece all-leather uppers would be beat into submission, virtually ready for the trash heap thanks to the planned obsolescence of some manufacturers. These boots, however, are just getting broken in. The patina of a life well lived in the outdoors is just emerging. Getting to this state is no easy feat, that leather is stiff when new and you have to earn the lived-in feel. You’ll know it when you get there and you’ll never want another boot and that’s the idea: Buy it once and make it last.
Photo by Sinuhe Xavier