Review: Danner Mountain Light boots in Yosemite National Park

I test drove the iconic boot with a legendary reputation on a weekend in Yosemite

By: Hannah Sibley + Save to a List

Presented by Danner.

I took the Danner Mountain Light boot for a spin through Yosemite National Park with my family, and I can confidently say their legendary reputation is more than justified!

First thoughts out of the box

A person is standing in the sunlight in a forest of tall trees while wearing a kid carrier with a toddler in it.
Photo by Jason Sibley-Liddle.

These USA-made boots are an instant classic, and I knew before they even arrived that they would be a quality shoe. Upon opening the box, I was still amazed by the timeless look and durability. They are a work of art and the best-looking technical boots I’ve ever seen. 

The first thing I said to my partner, who was standing nearby when I opened them, was “Wow! I’m going to have these for the rest of my life!” The quality of these boots will stand the test of time.

Security and stability

A person is sitting on the ground at the base of a tall rock mountain while wearing a kid carrier with a toddler in it.
Photo by Jason Sibley-Liddle.

With my 11-month-old son in tow, having a shoe I can trust to be stable, supportive, and secure is crucial. Hiking with a backpack and baby on your back is a different ball game and challenge! My shoes need to perform to keep myself and my baby safe, and these Danner Mountain Light boots delivered. 

Plus, they’re an absolutely beautiful boot on and off the trail. I was in no rush to take them off after our hike! They’re the perfect boots to go from hiking to brunch with friends - no outfit change needed. They definitely elevated my outfit, helped me feel slightly less like a tired new mom (if you know, you know), and were the perfect tool to easy handle wearing the heavy child carrier.

Wear-in period

I was worried I’d need to break these in quite a bit before getting out on the trail, but that wasn’t the case. From the moment I slipped on the boots, they were incredibly comfortable and hugged my feet and ankles snugly. 

I’m often in between sizes, so buying new shoes is always a gamble on whether they will fit. Thankfully, these fit true to size and still gave me plenty of room for thick hiking socks. 

Danner’s famous stitchdown construction offers a wider platform for stability, and the lace-to-toe system creates a secure fit. Lacing them up was a breeze, and the lace-to-toe system gave me a lot of control over how snugly I wanted them to fit around my ankles. 

I was thrilled that I didn’t need to make any adjustments throughout the hike, saving me a lot of time and headache taking my pack on and off.

On the move

A person wearing a toddler in a kid carrier is walking down a gravel path away from a tall rock mountain. The path is lined with trees.
Photo by Jason Sibley-Liddle.

I was immensely thankful for the Vibram® Kletterlift outsole’s lightweight feel and shock absorption when attempting the ascent to Vernal Falls. The Mountain Lights provided incredible traction and stability on the steep, narrow trail. 

It was a very dry day, which made for slippery conditions with loose dirt and sand on top of the paved sections of the trail. These boots kept my feet safely in place up and down the trail - even with my baby bobbing around on my back to catch the views. 

I felt much more confident taking my little one up on my back, knowing I had the right support to keep me balanced around tight turns and next to sheer drop-offs.

Pros and cons

A person is bending down to help a toddler in a child carrier next to a river at the base of a tall rock mountain.
Photo by Jason Sibley-Liddle.

If you’re looking for a quality ‘it’ boot to wear on and off the trail, last your entire life, and look good on your feet while doing it, Danner Mountain Light boots are the ones!

A few of my favorite highlights:

  • Gorgeous shoe - expect lots of compliments
  • The definition of sturdy and supportive
  • Timeless, quality build - will last a lifetime
  • GORE-TEX lining keeps your feet dry and happy

Overall thoughts

A person is sitting next to a river playing with a toddler. The river is lined with trees and there's a tall rock wall in the background.
Photo by Jason Sibley-Liddle.

I truly love these boots and I can’t wait to make more special, adventurous memories in them with my family in tow. My hat's off to you, Danner!

Want to hike where Hannah hiked? Much of these shots were from El Capitan Meadow trail in Yosemite National Park.

Feature image by Jason Sibley-Liddle. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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