Danner says they engineered the Campo 2650 hikers with a southern section of the Pacific Crest Trail in mind. Campo, California, is an arid desert town that many PCT thruhikers will know well, and which gave the shoes their name. Think hot, dry, dusty. We’ll have to take their word for it, ’cause we haven’t had these on the PCT—yet—but we’ve put plenty of miles in them on warm weather hikes and scrambles in southern and Northern California.
What we like: They breathe. Incredibly well. These shoes clearly read James Nestor’s NYT bestseller Breath. A mesh upper lets air in and out easily. They exchange air so well, they’re quick-drying too. Dashes through creeks don’t result in soggy feet for miles afterward. Water drains out easily, and that airflow chases moisture right out of the shoe. The footbed is meant to allow airflow beneath your foot too, with open cell polyurethane foam, and, sure, maybe that’s why they breathe so well too.
They’re so lightweight too. 22 ounces for a men’s size 10.
We also like the toughness of the uppers—thus far. After months of wear, rubbing up against rocks, roots, thorns, ticks, dogs, bike pedals, you name it, the uppers are fine. The material is unusual — it seems to be a blend of leather and a tough textile that almost feels like plastic. Hard to describe, but it’s tough. It also doesn’t attract much dirt, which is a bonus.
The soles are Vibram Megagrip, giving all sorts of confidence on rocks, roots, scree, and, yes, bike pedals.
The comfort is, as you’d expect from Danner, a huge plus. They’re soft, the last is generous, the toe box roomy. They have an 8mm drop, pretty mellow for a trail shoe. These are the kind of shoes you feel like you can always put another mile in, no matter how tired your legs are.
They come with a loop at the topside of the laces for gaiter attachment, too, by the way, a nice little touch.
What we don’t like: The softness has us wondering just how long they’ll be in our closet. These aren’t boots, meant for many years of tough service, but foam underfoot only lasts so long before it begins to break down, and these have such a cushy feel, it’s hard to imagine them feeling like a fairly rugged hiker for years to come. That’s maybe a little unfair, as ours still look and perform great after months on the trail, but we have an eye on them.
These things are also great sockless, by the way. Your significant other may not be so keen on regular wearing of shoes without socks, but if that’s your jam, these are your shoes.