We mountain hunters are a unique bunch, willfully subjecting ourselves and people we care about to inclement weather and often times rough terrain all in the name of fun. Because the country we choose to tackle can be challenging on the mind and body, it’s imperative to have tools we can trust and rely on. I’m a big believer in stacking the odds in my favor in any way I can prepare for and good gear is a huge facet of that plan. While many moderate trips can be enjoyed with relatively basic equipment, mountain hunts rarely fall into the “moderate” category. Chief among items on a gear list besides a pack that’s fitted and capable of hauling heavy loads is well-built footwear. Boots can make or break the hunt of a lifetime. It won’t matter how many hours were spent getting in shape and scouting an area if a hunter’s feet blister or an ankle gets twisted. You wouldn’t buy a sports car then outfit it with discount tires, the same should go for your feet; footwear is literally where the rubber meets the rocks. Enter the Danner Thorofare.
From Danner’s website: “High-altitude hunting demands the very best of those who venture there. The stakes are as high as the rewards and trustworthy gear is essential for success. Built from premium materials in our Portland, Ore. factory, the Thorofare is designed to keep the hunter safe and stable when steep angles and heavy packs enter the picture. The 10” tall boot is one of the most supportive we’ve ever built with components from industry-leading partners like Vibram and GORE-TEX.”
Released last fall, the classic bootmaker’s take on a stiff-shanked mountain hunting boot is assembled in their Portland, Oregon factory and has several key features of note. The ten-inch height is great for added support while moving big loads with tired muscles. The DLE-01 last that Danner chose to use lives up to expectations and provides a comfortable, foot-cradling hiking experience, offering extra room in the toe box for a more natural feel on steep terrain. With durability at the forefront of the Thorofare design, the upper is made of full-grain leather with minimal seams, making it less likely to fail in the rocks that love to seemingly reach out and cut stitching on boot seams in rugged mountain country. The full rand wrapping the boot helps ensure even more protection as well. The Gore-Tex lining keeps the Thorofare waterproof yet breathable, a must for multi-day excursions or long day-hunts.
Perhaps my favorite feature is the ball-bearing lacing system. Having worn several different types and styles of mountain hunting boots over the last couple of years, I immediately took note the first time I put on the Thorofares. The laces pulled easily and provided an even, snug fit that lasted all day, negating the need to readjust and retighten to avoid pinches and hot spots.
The Thorofare is designed as a stiffer mountain hunting boot and, like most, requires some forethought before being taken into the field for extended hunts. The user should give themselves ample time to ensure footwear is broken in well ahead of a major expedition. To use the Thorofares to their maximum potential, I had started the break-in process with half-day hikes and worked up to full days as my feet and boots became used to each other. All people’s feet are different, of course, but after three or four partial days, I was putting on eight to ten mile days comfortably. The only criticism I’ve found after sixty to seventy miles on the Thorofares is a slight squeak from the uppers while walking, I’ve added a liberal dose of quality boot dressing which has helped and made the noise a non-issue.
The Thorofare’s are covered by Danner’s one-year warranty from date of purchase, covering defects in material and workmanship so you can buy with confidence. If you’re in the market for a high-quality mountain boot from a time-tested manufacturer, give the Danner Thorofare a look.
|WEIGHT||80 oz per pair|
|SHANK||Bi Fit Board|
|MANUFACTURING||Made in USA with Imported Components|