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Our take: This boot is built for big miles over rough terrain. With a thick Nubuck upper, a larger-than-average wraparound rand, and a 7-inch cuff, the Crag Rat kept one tester protected during a grueling trip in California’s San Bernardino Mountains. “I knocked my feet quite a bit on rocks and roots while traversing rugged, exposed ridgelines, but I barely felt the impact,” he says. “Plus, I don’t think I could’ve rolled my ankle if I tried.” The Crag Rat’s PU midsole and cushy footbed also allowed him to comfortably schlep a 40-pound pack over 3,000 feet of vertical gain, while a TPU shank provided torsional stability under the heavy load. Tradeoff: A boot this burly needs time to break in.
The details: Multidirectional lugs on the Vibram Tsavo outsole plowed through thick mud and snow on a spring ascent of Mt. Baldy in California while providing solid grip (our tester praised the defined heel brake in particular). The Crag Rat’s Gore-Tex liner did a good job of keeping our tester’s feet dry while slogging through slush without making them swampy, but the boot is probably too thick for hot-weather hiking. Ding: price.
Trail cred: “I enjoyed the double-hook option on the first quick-lace,” our tester says. “It gave me an extra bit of customization that was particularly helpful when I adjusted the fit midway through a long day to counter swelling.”
$300; 3 lbs. 11 oz. (size 9); m’s 7 – 15; Buy the Danner Crag Rat USA now