It’s no secret that I enjoy using Danner boots, and it’s no surprise why. In the toughest environments I’ve been in, Danner boots have held their own. In heat over 110 degrees and while being ground against jagged rocks, my issued Acadia’s were totally dependable. During a tour of the Danner factory in Portland, OR, I got to see first hand how these legendary boots were crafted. I keep a close eye on new product releases and got to check out the new Danner Scorch at SHOT show 2018.
The Scorch is a Law Enforcement oriented boot designed for the hottest of climes. The Scorch outsole is slip resistant, with a stability control arch. The midsole is Danner’s Plyolite, which is very light yet reduces the impact shock transmitted through your foot. The insole is a three-layer polyurethane, designed for maximum cushioning and air circulation.
The fabric used in the construction is both lightweight and breathable. The sides of the Scorch are actually meshed panels, thin enough you can see your sock’s color or pattern through it. The Scorch is designed to fit like a running shoe, but with a bit more support. The tread is pretty aggressive,and is advertised to work well on wet pavement. The Scorch is available in 6″ and 8″ heights.
The Scorch also puts to use two of my favorite boot features, speed lace and side-zip. I’m not in the 2nd Ranger battalion any more, when I put my boots on there’s a chance I’ll take them off again before the month is over. In a shocking move, sometimes I put them on and take them off multiple times in a day. I have nice winter boots (Danner Acadias mentioned at the top) for heaviest duty use. For the rest of the year, I just want a tough boot that doesn’t weigh a ton and that I can don and doff quickly.
I took the Scorch set out hunting in eastern Oregon, on the Idaho border. High altitude, high temp and rugged terrain meant I had the perfect testing ground for boots. Not however, the perfect testing ground for a Law Enforcement boot! LEO boots are usually designed around long shifts on the pavement, not mountain climbing. I’m happy to report that despite being tested outside of their designed application area, the Scorch still performed marvelously. The breathable mesh sides paired very well with my wool boot socks, allowing the wool to pad my feet and drag the moisture up to the portion of the boot where it could breathe out. Despite hiking hard miles up and down steep, craggy mountainsides in 90 degree F heat, these boots kept my feet dry.
While LEO boots are designed with significant cushion for the vertical component of abuse encountered on asphalt, the sides of the boot are usually a bit less protected too keep weight down when it’s not needed in an urban environment. Impressively (but not surprisingly), the Danner Scorch boots held up very well in the regard. Good ankle support, tough leather on the (polishable) toe, and a stiff material used along the mesh sides meant I kept unscathed despite grinding my way alongside a great deal of pumice and other abrasive, volcanic rock. And, they got me down one side of a canyon and up the other in a very big hurry to bag this mule deer.
So far, the Scorch appears to be well made, in line with my high expectations of a Danner product. It retails for $120. I’ll be using and abusing these for some time to come!