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About Danner Footwear

Danner Shoes and Boots History

Danner Hiking and Outdoor boots have a long history or innovating footwear.  Cutting edge thinking brought this footwear brand to new markets and boot styles.  They are still making some of the top rated hiking boots today.  See whats new with Danner and where they started out.  

Making a great boot 

  • 1936

    In his search for higher quality boots, Charles discovers that calked logging boots in the Pacific Northwest sell for $10 or more, a considerable sum. Embracing the opportunity, he moves his family and the Danner company west to Portland, Ore.

  • 1939

    Charles’s sons John and Bill officially join the family business. The two also attend classes at the University of Portland, until World War II breaks out and they serve in the military.

  • 1940S

    The war years are good to the company. The shipyards call for work boots, and the Danner Shoe Mfg. Company answers. At a new factory in North Portland, the company increases the production of boots to up to 240 pairs a day. After serving in the military, John goes to law school, and Bill focuses on making boots.

  • 1950S

    Bill hones his business skills, moving Danner, which still serves niche markets, to its third Northwest location in the Portland area. He expands the product line to include boots and shoes, and opens the company’s first retail store.

  • 1960S

    President John F. Kennedy stresses the importance of exercise, and seemingly overnight, outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking and mountain climbing become national fads. Danner recognizes the growth opportunity and becomes the only domestic manufacturer of hiking boots.

  • 1970

    This generation of hikers prefers extra heavy mountain boots, but Danner instead designs a medium-weight hiker for broader appeal. The market responds, and Danner hiking boots become the standard for performance, rugged durability and craftsmanship.

  • 1973

    Heralded in Backpacker Magazine as coming “close to being our ideal hiking shoe,” the Danner 6490 delivers the perfect balance of minimal break-in with heel and toe protection. Later models of this boot would be called the Mountain Light and would launch an entire collection of classic hiking designs.

  • 1976

    As demand grows, so does Danner — moving operations to its fourth factory in the region and doubling production capacity to 480 pairs per day.

  • 1979

    Danner’s unrelenting commitment to quality leads to the development of construction methods to make wet feet a thing of the past. Using GORE-TEX® fabric, Danner is the first footwear brand to develop and to patent a unique way of making a truly waterproof boot.

  • 1980

    Danner’s devotion to comfort footwear doesn’t stop with humans. One pair of size 150 boots is built for Tuy Hoa, an elephant at the Washington Park Zoo (now the Oregon Zoo) in Portland. The waterproof leather boots are crafted to help heal her cracked hind feet.

  • 1982

    Danner expands to build boots designed for hunting and uniformed service personnel, including elite members of the U.S. Armed Forces and law enforcement. Danner also reaches into Asia, including Japan and Taiwan.

    • 1983

      After 50 years of shoemaking, Bill decides to sell his company to Eric Merk, under the condition that Eric follow the tradition of quality and craftsmanship the Danner family had built over the years. And he does, adding an even stricter adherence to quality control. Eric moves the company again—this time to a new, larger factory near the Portland airport.

    • 1992

      The American Podiatric Medical Association awards Danner boots and Danner® Airthotic® with the APMA seal of acceptance—yet another nod to the comfort of Danner footwear.

    • 1994

      On March 14, Danner merges with LaCrosse Footwear Inc. of LaCrosse, Wis., to form a major force in the footwear industry. Since 1897, the LaCrosse brand has stood for premium quality handcrafted rubber footwear.

    • 2010

      With the continued military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, men and women in the Marines and the Army need a new breed of premium protective footwear. Danner steps up, co-developing and producing the new standard in combat boots with the USMC RAT and Army Combat Hiker.

    • 2012

      The company expands again, opening a world-class 59,000-square-foot factory — nearly twice the size as its previous location. Danner also opens its first stand-alone factory store, bringing a full-branded experience to the public and moving its recrafting department to this flagship location.

    • 2013

      Danner opens two new retail stores in Portland, returning to its 1936 roots downtown with a heritage outdoor-inspired store filled with Danner’s premium offerings.

    • TODAY & BEYOND

      Building on the same traditions and high standards of quality instilled by Charles Danner and his family generations ago, Danner continues to design and manufacture a complete line of hiking, hunting, uniform, work and lifestyle boots in its world-class factory in Portland, Ore., USA.

      The company also operates in many channels around the world, including wholesale sales, specialty retail stores, mail-order companies, direct consumer sales — both online and in retail locations — and government agency and international sales that reach Asia, the Americas, Europe and Australia.

Shop Danner Hiking Boots and Outdoor Footwear at 88 Gear

Danner Boot History and Shop Danner at 88 Gear