Modified boot tested: Danner makes an EVO version of its lightweight Mountain 600

Danner has taken its popular Mountain 600 boot and made it into a 'proper' hiking boot called the Mountain 600 EVO. Naturally, we had to sample Danner's efforts.

from Danner
RRP  £250.00
Side profile of Danner Mountain 6600 EVO with LFTO star rating in top left corner

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

American bootmaker Danner enjoys much acclaim and an almost reverent status stateside. It’s not so popular in Europe because this part of the world already has its legendary bootmakers. That said, Danner is present here and those who have used its hiking boots will know how capable they are.

We’ve tested a number of Danner models over the years, one of which picked an esteemed Gear of the Year award from us (the impressive Trail 2650 hiking shoe).

Danner’s standard Mountain 600 is what we’d call a crossover: a beefed up sneaker with many hiking boot features (Gore-Tex lining, full leather upper, Vibram sole) so it can tackle trails if required (and it does so markedly well – we've used it on hikes in the Yorkshire Dales and Cairngorms), but lacking the burly build you want and need for years of demanding hikes. This was a shame because we found the Danner Mountain 600 to be extremely comfortable.

Danner Mountain 6600 EVO and Danner Mountain 6600 side by side

You can imagine our pleasure then, when we were informed Danner had performed a kind Pimp My Ride-type job on the Mountain 600 and made a proper trekking version it called the Mountain 600 EVO. Naturally, we had to try it out.

Danner Mountain 600 EVO side profileLFTO


  • Surprisingly, no break-in time
  • Supplied with flat and round laces
  • Loads of grip
  • Can be resoled


  • We'd like to see a proper toe bumper and rand on this boot
  • Features
  • Construction
  • Comfort
  • Performance
  • Value
  • Sustainability
Weight (per boot)567g
UpperLWG gold rated full grain leather w/ Gore-Tex lining
SoleVibram Fuga + Traction
Men's sizesUS 7 - 15
Women's sizesUS 5 - 11

Design and features

Rear 3/4 view of Danner Mountain 600 EVO sowing cuff and heel

Danner says the Mountain 600 EVO is a marriage between the ‘heritage styling of the Mountain 600’ and ‘trusted, premium components’. Indeed, on the heel of the Mountain 600 EVO sits a trio of industry heavyweight logos: Danner, Gore-Tex, and Vibram.

Although Danner makes synthetic footwear, its material of choice is leather. As such, the Mountain 600 EVO has a full grain leather upper paired with a Gore-Tex lining. And the Vibram sole is a Fuga Traction design that uses a Megagrip compound – a sole that we’ve historically found is arguably the most versatile sole for outdoor footwear.

Danner Mountain 600 EVO outsole

Danner says the Mountain 600 EVO has ‘the stability and support’ for trekking and backpacking. While we did find its performance quite impressive (more on this soon), it doesn’t have a full boot height cut. The cuff sits just above the ankle.

The lacing extends most of the way down the boot, which tends to improve fit and comfort by allowing for a more personalised fit. In terms of protection, that lack of any rand was immediately of note to us, and so too was the tongue, which is only gusseted up to the first lace hook. Susceptible to water ingress? We’d find out.

Performance and comfort

Closeup on hiker's feet walking wearing Danner Mountain 600 EVO

This is a full grain leather boot so we expected to endure some less than comfy hikes before the Mountain 600 EVO was broken in. To our astonishment, our test pair was good to go from the first hike, which is not something our tester had ever encountered with a full grain leather boot before.

Perhaps the leather is thinner than on other similar boots we’ve tried. Whatever the reason, it set the tone because for our tester, the fit and comfort of the Mountain 600 EVO was close to perfect. We used the standard D width, which has a generous amount of space at the forefoot anywaym but there is a wide fit version too.

Bird's eye view looking down on hiker's foot wearing Danner Mountain 600 EVO

The biggest outing we did in the Mountain 600 EVO was a 10km loop up to Beinn Alligin and the Horns of Alligin. This is a route with plenty of ascent and descent involving a mix of wet, dry, and scrambly terrain. Some degree of foot fatigue is expected after a hike like this but our tester had none at the end.

The midsole isn’t as plush as what you find on trail running shoe-inspired lightweight hiking boots, but what it does seem to do very well is distribute weight with each step.

Closeup of Danner Mountain 600 EVO upper and midsole

There’s good ground feel as well, and we came to trust the grip on the Mountain 600 EVO too – it was reliable traction all the way. This means that it’s a boot that performs well on technical and very uneven terrain. A boot with a taller ankle cuff will provide better ankle support, but we found the Mountain 600 EVO was still supportive enough.

It’s a shame therefore that Danner didn’t include a proper toe bumper or rand on the Mountain 600 EVO. It’s a boot that can happily grip on mountainous terrain, but the toe and sides of the boot are exposed to scrapes and scuffs on rock.

And is it waterproof? Up to its flood level, absolutely. It's just that the flood level isn't that high.

Danner Mountain 600 EVO toe and forefoot


The sustainability issue can be a double-edged sword when it comes to leather boots. Their durability and ability to be resoled (the Mountain 600 EVO can be resoled) is a huge plus point – it aids sustainability through longevity.

However, the processing of leather (tanning) can be very polluting and there are of course animal welfare concerns too. To mitigate these important aspects, you can opt to buy leather boots from brands that are transparent and responsible about where they source their leather.

'Recraftable' tab inside Danner Mountain 600 EVO cuff

Brands should have publicly available information on their supply chains – a third party that is worth keeping an eye out for is Leather Working Group. Brands and footwear that are members and use LWG certified leather (particularly gold-rated LWG certification) adhere to high standards in terms of sourcing and tanning leather.

Is Danner one of these brands? Danner makes a big deal out of its American made footwear, but many of its models, including the Mountain 600 EVO, are made elsewhere (the label on the Mountain 600 EVO says made in Vietnam). Happily, the Mountain 600 EVO uses LWG gold certified leather, meaning the manufacturer has been audited and adheres to the highest LWG standards of water and energy usage; waste and effluent management; emissions, traceability (including animal welfare); health and safety; chemical management; and restricted substances, compliance and chromium VI (CrVI) management.

Other components of the Mountain 600 EVO are recycled. The Gore-Tex lining, for example, is 45% recycled and the collar and liner are both 100% recycled.

Closeup of Danner Mountain 600 EVO eyelets and laces

Price and competition

Danner footwear does have a reputation for being pricey. With an RRP of £250 the Mountain 600 EVO is no exception. In terms of performance and quality, there are several European-made rivals that offer better value.

One of these is AKU’s Tribute II GTX. It too is a full grain leather boot that performs just as well and weighs about the same. At £205, the Tribute II GTX is significantly less expensive than the Danner boot – AKU is sustainable too, providing a full list of where the components of its boots come from.

Danner Mountain 600 EVO side profile

For the same price as the Danner boot you can get Scarpa’s superb Mescalito TRK GTX. It’s just as capable (arguably more so) on tricky terrain and long distances (and features a proper rand). We could rattle off some more circa £250 rivals from other brands like Lowa and La Sportiva that outgun the Danner too – by no means does the Danner boot have it easy.


Side profile of Danner Mountain 6600 EVO with LFTO star rating in top left corner

We were seriously impressed with the comfort and performance of the Mountain 600 EVO. It’s truly one of the most comfortable leather boots we’ve tested recently.

But omitting a proper rand and toe bumper is a mistake, we think. With them, it would be a proper mountain boot armed to tackle the tough stuff; without them, the Mountain 600 EVO still can but isn’t as tough as it could be.

The £250 price tag is also a bit steep when compared with like rivals and what high-spec options are available for the same price.

How we tested

Chris Williams hiking up Bein Alligin wearing Danner Mountain 600 EVO boots

The Danner Mountain 600 EVO was tested by our Senior Writer Chris Williams over the course of a couple of months in late spring and early summer. The most demanding outing Chris used the Mountain 600 EVO for was a loop over Beinn Alligin and the Horns of Alligin in northwest Scotland.

Chris has been testing gear for us since 2021 and has been hiking all his life (most of which was spent in his homeland of New Zealand).

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