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Time-Tested Gear: Boots

BACKPACKER testers have endured numerous blisters over the years finding the best boots on the shelves.
november 2011 boots danner light 445x260Danner Light II (Courtesy Photo)

Tried and True
Danner Light/Light II
Since 1981, this company has been bragging that these waffle stompers require no break-in. Still, our 2010 tester braced herself for blisters. After all, these are serious mountain boots—with an upper of full-grain nubuk leather and 1,000-denier Cordura for hand-me-down durability, Norwegian welting for a wide, stable platform underfoot, and a stiff sole package for support. But after a 50-mile hike through Rocky Mountain National Park, she says, “Despite no break-in time, the first mile in the Light IIs felt just as good as the last—terrific.” Back in 1982, these were the only pair out of 21 samples that survived our abrasion test, in which we repeatedly scuffed boots against gritty boulders to see how they held up. With six inches of ankle support, a Gore-Tex liner, and a polyurethane/fiberglass midsole that provides ample support for monster loads on rough terrain, these boots are true classics. $235; 3 lbs. 13 oz. (men’s 9); danner.com.

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