My experience with Danner boots began back in 2001 when the Acadia was the issued winter boot for all Rangers within the 75th Ranger Regiment. It didn’t take long for anyone to figure out they were far superior to the green “Jungle Boots” in almost every application. Since that time, I’ve toured the Danner factory as well as taken a crack at reviewing Danner’s Reckoning and Tachyon. Now, I’m lucky enough to revisit my favorite issued boot, the Danner Acadia. But how does the design hold up nearly two decades later? Was it the best boot the Department of Defense was willing to afford or was it really the king of the hill?
First, let’s cover the tech specs.
The Acadia has a good many options for height and insulation, all models share a few common traits. The boot itself is constructed from (polishable) full grain leather and 1000 Denier nylon, giving great strength and durability to this pair of “manual wagons”. The shank is fiberglass and the outsole is the beefy Vibram Kletterlift. The interior is lined with a Gore-Tex booty which not only keeps your feet further separated from external moisture, but is comfortable as well. The famed “stitchdown” construction is used here, offering not only a wider, more comfortable base, but also contributes to this boot being recraftable.
Now the differences start to come into play: Height options range from 6″ to 8″ and even 10″. Insulation can be had in either 200g or 400g of Thinsulate, or foregone completely in the uninsulated variants. With so many different variables, the weight of these boots comes in somewhere between 59 oz and 74 oz per pair.
The pair of boots I received for test and review was the 8″ height, 200g Thinsulate version. Middle height and middle insulation should give a good indication of where the Acadia lies among your footwear needs. First off, this isn’t an ultralight boot. For reference, Danner’s Tachyon weighs half of what the Acadia starts at. The difference? It starts in the thickness of the outsole. The Kletterlift provides a superior level of shock absorbance. If you’re rucking over hills or patrolling over pavement for hours on end, the outsole is well worth the weight.
Likewise, the full-grain leather and 1000D exterior not only provide excellent ankle support, but rugged resistance to scrapes, scuffs and anything else that may seek out your lower leg region for harm. The shank is supportive, with a little flex to it. Some boots leave you feeling like you’re going to be exposed to the elements if you don’t tiptoe through the tulips in them. The Acadia is like a big ‘ol Cadillac from the ’90’s. Heavy, safe and with comfort to spare.
I’ve been rocking this set of Acadia’s for about three months now, with a great deal more abuse planned. (Expect to hear more about these in later articles). Later this week, I’ll start deer hunting in earnest with them which will add up the rough terrain miles in a hurry. So far, the Acadia has been everything I’ve remembered. They are comfortable in all but the hottest summer days. They provide excellent shock absorbance and protection for your ankles and lower legs. They are crafted here in the US and are designed not only to last a very long time, but to be recraftable so they can continue to provide service for a great many miles. Danner’s Acadia runs around $350. Buy once, cry once, and these may last the next couple of decades. Ranger approved!