This article was originally published on Guns and Tactics Magazine.
In the field of tactical equipment, gear and training, we often find many parallels in factors that are considered by both the outdoors and military / law enforcement lifestyle in the development of products. Since 1932, Danner has applied their high level of standards to both the commercial outdoors market as well as the tactical market which has led to the development of materials, techniques and ultimately products that are dependable and robust for a variety of applications. Originally designed as a hiking boot, the Danner Cloud Cap All-Leather has served this writer in a variety of environments and applications over the last year ranging from tropical rainforests to urban sidewalks to the firing line, all the while providing the quality and comfort that Danner is so well known for.
This pair of boots originally caught my eye when visiting the Danner Factory Store in Portland, OR. The soft tones and smooth lines suggested their potential for use in a variety of settings and when I tried them on I knew right away that I wanted to give them a run for their money. The first test for my new boots followed immediately after with a trip to the high desert of central Oregon for the inaugural Crimson Trace 3-Gun Midnight Invitational. After being broken in on rocks and sand through the hot days and cold nights, my Cloud Caps took me to the tropical rainforests of the Caribbean coast of Panama where they became my primary boots for hiking and horseback riding. The integrated GORE-TEX® lining offered breathable and waterproof comfort for my feet, even after hours of riding and trekking across rivers and high into the mountains, and the Danner® Trailguard outsole provided excellent stability and traction whether sloshing through mud or crawling over boulders and trees – an important consideration when
bushwhacking with a sharp machete in hand.
A few more adventures between South and North America have culminated in our return to the Crimson Trace 3GMI event again this year and true to form, my Cloud Caps carried me through 5 days of high-desert action both on the range as well as on the sidelines as we explored the surrounding hills in the exciting RP Advanced Mobile Systems BRP Commander SXS. After one year of loyal use, all seams continue to hold and there is no fraying on any parts of the boots. While I have not experienced any staining at all, some areas of the leather have become naturally weathered – something that I could easily minimize by regular cleaning and application of leather treatment. While I live by the creed “Take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you,” the idea of testing a product is to dish out some solid abuse, and these boots have held together nicely.
The Danner Cloud Cap is available in two sizes as a high-top (6 inch) and low-top (3 inch) and while both feature the GORE-TEX® liner, choosing the high-top model was key in keeping out water and sand in the wide range of environments that these boots and I have traversed. I chose the all-leather model of the Cloud Cap which is only available in high-top at a very reasonable price of $165 but for a few dollars less you can get your hands on the high-top or low-top in a combination of leather and nylon.
Whether preparing for a mountain hike, an all-day adventure through the city or stomping back and forth through bushes, sand and rocks to tape targets, the Danner Cloud Cap is sure to provide durability, reliability, comfort and ultimately value to the adventure-inclined and tactically-savvy operators among us.