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FR - Danner 453 GTX Hiking Boots - Christensen

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  • Ryan Christensen
    Ted, et al: Here is my Field Report on the Danner 453 GTX hiking boots. I posted the HTML file in the test folder. You may access it via this link:
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 31, 2007
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      Ted, et al:

      Here is my Field Report on the Danner 453 GTX hiking boots. I posted the HTML file in the test folder. You may access it via this link: http://snipurl.com/1szwx
      Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.

      Please pardon any Yahooisms that may have crept in. Thanks, Ryan


      FIELD REPORT
      October 31, 2007

      Field Locations and Test Conditions:

      For the fist couple of weeks in September, I wore the Danner 453 GTX boots everyday to break them in. I wore them to work and kicking about. Temperatures ranged from the 80s to 40s F (32 - 10 C). There were a few rainy days during this time.

      In mid-September, I wore these boots while helping build a church girls' camp near Bone, Idaho. Bone is nearly 23 mi (37 km) southeast of Idaho Falls and is approximately 6,060 ft (1,847 m) above sea level. The temperature was in the mid 50s F (12 - 13 C) and the skies were overcast. In fact, it began to rain shortly before we finished for the night. We were building tent pads, terraced in the hillside.

      On October 6, we received our first snow fall of the year. It dumped approximately 5 in (13 cm) of very wet snow. The temperature was about 34 F (1 C). I wore the 453 GTX boots, with medium weight merino wool hiking socks, while clearing the snow from the drive and walks. The water content and relatively warm temperature made for a sloppy mess.

      In mid-October, I wore the boots, with a lightweight and a medium weight merino wool sock, on two day hikes in Hell's Half Acre National Landmark. The elevation is approximately 5,300 ft (1,615 m) above sea level. The temperature was in the 50s F (10 - 15 C), winds were calm, the sky was overcast and there was a slight rain on one of the hikes. Hell's Half Acre is a 66,000 acres (267 km2) lava field and is the youngest of the eastern basaltic lava fields of the Snake River Plain of southeastern Idaho. The photo to the right is typical of Hell's Half Acre. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website says "... the lava in Hell's Half Acre erupted about 4,100 years ago... was probably about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the consistency of molasses, and traveled at speeds up to 30 mph.... Lava rock is extremely sharp, glassy and fragmented, with open cracks, lava tubes and caves. The most prevalent landscape consists of A'a (ah-ah) and Pahoehoe (pa-hoy-hoy) lava flows.... A variety
      of plants and wildflowers contrast the black and gray lava flows... such as Evening Primrose, Indian Paintbrush, wild onions, penstemon, geraniums, and Prickly Pear Cactus... ferns growing in deep cracks and a variety of desert vegetation... from tiny mosses and lichens to juniper trees hundreds of years old. Other native species include sagebrush, rabbitbrush, bitterbrush, blue bunch wheatgrass, and needle-and-thread grass.... Wildlife roaming the lava flows includes mule deer, antelope, sage grouse, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, and occasional snakes. Soaring above the flows are red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons, and golden eagles." Hiking in Hell's Half Acre is a unique and somewhat surreal experience. It is quite possibly unlike any other place on earth.

      There are no developed trails in the area I hiked. There are however, two unimproved trails marked by wooden poles. One trail is a 0.5 mi (0.8 km) educational loop which provides a good sampling of the lava flow. The other marked trail is a 4.5 mi (7.2 km) trek to the main vent, or source, of the lava.

      Observations:

      [PHOTO HERE]

      Wearing the boots to my office job for nearly two weeks allowed me to break them in, and learn a few things in the process. Initially, I wore a medium weight merino wool hiking sock. After a few wearings, I dropped to either a light weight merino wool sock or the COOLMAX® Siskiyou sock Danner provided. Eventually, I wore plain cotton socks on occasion. Regardless of which socks I wore, the boots fit my feet very well and I was impressed with the support and comfort they provide. I also learned that the molded Approach TFX outsoles did not provide very good traction/grip on smooth wet pavement, concrete, or tile. Although not completely slick, after a rainstorm, I found that I needed to be careful while walking on these surfaces. This, however, is not unlike other hiking boots I have worn. Another thing I noticed during the break-in period was that after walking briefly, the gusset would stick out from the top of the collar. Occasionally my pant leg would get caught between
      the gusset and my leg. This was more of an annoyance than a concern; I did not want to look like a geek. So, I would stop and reposition my pant legs. I believe either an additional cinch hook on the collar, or a cloth loop near the top of the gusset to thread the laces through would alleviate this issue.

      My feet were quite comfortable as I wore the boots while working on the girls' camp. The boots provided great stability as well. Much of our work involved leveling dirt, setting logs, and spreading gravel for tent pads. This involved walking up and down the slope of the hill as well as moving about in loose, uneven soil. The wide platform worked great. Not once did I have an issue with stability. The boots become quite dirty from this, however cleanup was a breeze--a wipe with a wet cloth and set them aside to dry. They dried without any noticeable discoloration. One thing that really impressed me was that I have very little dirt inside the boots. Obviously they collar was snug enough to keep most of the dirt outside.

      Clearing the snow/slush from the drive and walks provided an opportunity to test the waterproofness of these boots. In the apron of my drive, there was a puddle of standing water and I waded in such that the water was approximately 4 in (10 cm) up on the boots. I stood there in excess of five minutes to "really" test their waterproofness. One of my sons asked if my feet were getting wet. The answer was "NO," my feet were perfectly dry. The seams, gusset, etc. were completely waterproof--I expected as much with the Gore-Tex lining. The boots dried overnight, and there was barely any noticeable discoloration along the outsole.

      My first hike in Hell's Half Acre was the 0.5 mi (0.8 km) educational loop. One can complete this loop in approximately 0.5 hr. However, I took quite a bit more time, as I ventured out to examine several cracks, depressions, caves, etc. I carried a daypack which weighed approximately 10 lb (4.5 kg). The second hike here was on the 4.5 mi (7.2 km) trail to the main vent, or source, of the lava. I carried about the same amount of gear as on the first hike. However, due to time constraints, I had to turn around about three miles into the hike. The lava is rough, very uneven, and difficult to navigate because of its fissures, holes, and crags. The Danner 453 GTX boots provided great stability and support on this irregular terrain. There were a couple of times where my footing was unsure, but I did not roll an ankle thanks to the stable platform and support throughout these boots. The Approach TFX outsoles provided excellent traction and I had no problem scrambling up the lava
      crags. However, the sharp and abrasive lava rock was a quite harsh on the outsoles. From the photos below, you will notice the scuffs and tears along the edges and the arch area of the Approach TFX soles. There were a couple of minor abrasions to the toe caps, but nothing severe.

      [PHOTO HERE] [PHOTO HERE] [PHOTO HERE]

      Thus far, I am extremely pleased with the fit and comfort of these boots. They provide excellent arch support, the insoles provide adequate cushion, and the collar snugs up around my ankles. I have not experienced any heel slip or my foot sliding forward. I am also very pleased with the waterproofness of these boots. There are a couple of things that I will be paying extra attention to through the balance of the test. First, the triangular lugs on the soles are wearing a bit more than I anticipated. This probably resulted from my hikes on the lava. Nevertheless, I will watch to see if the soles wear faster than what I would deem normal as I hike different terrains. The second thing I have noticed is the laces are beginning to fray near the third, fourth, and fifth pair of metal D-rings on both boots. This is a bit concerning, since I have only worn the boots for approximately two months. I will continue to watch this as well.

      Likes:

      * Fit / Comfort
      * Quick Lacing
      * Waterproof
      * Lightweight
      * Stability
      * Support
      * Toe Cap

      Dislikes:

      * The gusset sticks out from the top of the collar after walking awhile

      This concludes my Field Report. Please check back in approximately two months for additional test information in my Long-Term Report.

      Thanks to Danner and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test the 453 GTX Hiking Boots.

      Ryan L. Christensen
      E-mail: mailto:bigdawgryan@...

      "Excellence is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle
      __________________________________________________
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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • edwardripleyduggan
      Hi Ryan, Whose Al? Ted. ... ### EDIT: first couple of weeks in September, I wore the Danner 453 GTX boots everyday ### EDIT: every day to break them in. I
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 2, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Ryan,

        Whose Al? <g>

        Ted.



        --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Christensen
        <bigdawgryan@...> wrote:

        > FIELD REPORT
        > October 31, 2007
        >
        > Field Locations and Test Conditions:
        >
        > For the fist

        ### EDIT: first

        couple of weeks in September, I wore the Danner 453 GTX boots everyday

        ### EDIT: every day

        to break them in. I wore them to work and kicking about. Temperatures
        ranged from the 80s to 40s F (32 - 10 C). There were a few rainy days
        during this time.
        >

        >
        > In mid-October, I wore the boots, with a lightweight and a medium
        weight merino wool sock, on two day hikes in Hell's Half Acre National
        Landmark. The elevation is approximately 5,300 ft (1,615 m) above sea
        level. The temperature was in the 50s F (10 - 15 C), winds were calm,
        the sky was overcast and there was a slight rain on one of the hikes.
        Hell's Half Acre is a 66,000 acres (267 km2) lava field and is the
        youngest of the eastern basaltic lava fields of the Snake River Plain
        of southeastern Idaho. The photo to the right is typical of Hell's
        Half Acre. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website says "... the
        lava in Hell's Half Acre erupted about 4,100 years ago... was probably
        about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the consistency of molasses, and
        traveled at speeds up to 30 mph.... Lava rock is extremely sharp,
        glassy and fragmented, with open cracks, lava tubes and caves. The
        most prevalent landscape consists of A'a

        ### COMMENT: The Scrabble dictionary accepts Aa (I play my computer
        sometimes). I'm sure A'a is also correct.

        (ah-ah) and Pahoehoe (pa-hoy-hoy) lava flows.... A variety
        > of plants and wildflowers contrast the black and gray lava flows...
        such as Evening Primrose, Indian Paintbrush

        ### EDIT: the flower names don't need caps

        , wild onions, penstemon, geraniums, and Prickly Pear Cactus... ferns
        growing in deep cracks and a variety of desert vegetation... from tiny
        mosses and lichens to juniper trees hundreds of years old. Other
        native species include sagebrush, rabbitbrush, bitterbrush, blue bunch
        wheatgrass, and needle-and-thread grass.... Wildlife roaming the lava
        flows includes mule deer, antelope, sage grouse, bobcats, coyotes,
        foxes, and occasional snakes. Soaring above the flows are red-tailed
        hawks, prairie falcons, and golden eagles." Hiking in Hell's Half Acre
        is a unique and somewhat surreal experience. It is quite possibly
        unlike any other place on earth.

        ### COMMENT: It sounds much nicer than NYC, where I am right now.

        >
        > There are no developed trails in the area I hiked. There are
        however, two unimproved trails marked by wooden poles. One trail is a
        0.5 mi (0.8 km) educational loop which provides a good sampling of the
        lava flow. The other marked trail is a 4.5 mi (7.2 km) trek to the
        main vent, or source, of the lava.
        >
        > Observations:
        >
        > [PHOTO HERE]
        >

        >
        > My feet were quite comfortable as I wore the boots while working on
        the girls' camp. The boots provided great stability as well. Much of
        our work involved leveling dirt, setting logs, and spreading gravel
        for tent pads. This involved walking up and down the slope of the hill
        as well as moving about in loose, uneven soil. The wide platform
        worked great. Not once did I have an issue with stability. The boots
        become quite dirty from this, however cleanup was a breeze--a wipe
        with a wet cloth and set them aside to dry. They dried without any
        noticeable discoloration. One thing that really impressed me was that
        I have very little dirt inside the boots. Obviously they

        ### EDIT: the

        collar was snug enough to keep most of the dirt outside.
        >

        >
        > Thus far, I am extremely pleased with the fit and comfort of these
        boots. They provide excellent arch support, the insoles provide
        adequate cushion, and the collar snugs up around my ankles. I have not
        experienced any heel slip or my foot sliding forward. I am also very
        pleased with the waterproofness of these boots. There are a couple of
        things that I will be paying extra attention to through the balance of
        the test. First, the triangular lugs on the soles are wearing a bit
        more than I anticipated. This probably resulted from my hikes on the
        lava. Nevertheless, I will watch to see if the soles wear faster than
        what I would deem normal as I hike different terrains. The second
        thing I have noticed is the laces are beginning to fray near the
        third, fourth, and fifth pair of metal D-rings on both boots. This is
        a bit concerning

        ### COMMENT: "of concern" or "disconcerting" would be better
      • edwardripleyduggan
        Hi Ryan, Whose Al? Ted. ... ### EDIT: first couple of weeks in September, I wore the Danner 453 GTX boots everyday ### EDIT: every day to break them in. I
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 2, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Ryan,

          Whose Al? <g>

          Ted.



          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Christensen
          <bigdawgryan@...> wrote:

          > FIELD REPORT
          > October 31, 2007
          >
          > Field Locations and Test Conditions:
          >
          > For the fist

          ### EDIT: first

          couple of weeks in September, I wore the Danner 453 GTX boots everyday

          ### EDIT: every day

          to break them in. I wore them to work and kicking about. Temperatures
          ranged from the 80s to 40s F (32 - 10 C). There were a few rainy days
          during this time.
          >

          >
          > In mid-October, I wore the boots, with a lightweight and a medium
          weight merino wool sock, on two day hikes in Hell's Half Acre National
          Landmark. The elevation is approximately 5,300 ft (1,615 m) above sea
          level. The temperature was in the 50s F (10 - 15 C), winds were calm,
          the sky was overcast and there was a slight rain on one of the hikes.
          Hell's Half Acre is a 66,000 acres (267 km2) lava field and is the
          youngest of the eastern basaltic lava fields of the Snake River Plain
          of southeastern Idaho. The photo to the right is typical of Hell's
          Half Acre. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website says "... the
          lava in Hell's Half Acre erupted about 4,100 years ago... was probably
          about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the consistency of molasses, and
          traveled at speeds up to 30 mph.... Lava rock is extremely sharp,
          glassy and fragmented, with open cracks, lava tubes and caves. The
          most prevalent landscape consists of A'a

          ### COMMENT: The Scrabble dictionary accepts Aa (I play my computer
          sometimes). I'm sure A'a is also correct.

          (ah-ah) and Pahoehoe (pa-hoy-hoy) lava flows.... A variety
          > of plants and wildflowers contrast the black and gray lava flows...
          such as Evening Primrose, Indian Paintbrush

          ### EDIT: the flower names don't need caps

          , wild onions, penstemon, geraniums, and Prickly Pear Cactus... ferns
          growing in deep cracks and a variety of desert vegetation... from tiny
          mosses and lichens to juniper trees hundreds of years old. Other
          native species include sagebrush, rabbitbrush, bitterbrush, blue bunch
          wheatgrass, and needle-and-thread grass.... Wildlife roaming the lava
          flows includes mule deer, antelope, sage grouse, bobcats, coyotes,
          foxes, and occasional snakes. Soaring above the flows are red-tailed
          hawks, prairie falcons, and golden eagles." Hiking in Hell's Half Acre
          is a unique and somewhat surreal experience. It is quite possibly
          unlike any other place on earth.

          ### COMMENT: It sounds much nicer than NYC, where I am right now.

          >
          > There are no developed trails in the area I hiked. There are
          however, two unimproved trails marked by wooden poles. One trail is a
          0.5 mi (0.8 km) educational loop which provides a good sampling of the
          lava flow. The other marked trail is a 4.5 mi (7.2 km) trek to the
          main vent, or source, of the lava.
          >
          > Observations:
          >
          > [PHOTO HERE]
          >

          >
          > My feet were quite comfortable as I wore the boots while working on
          the girls' camp. The boots provided great stability as well. Much of
          our work involved leveling dirt, setting logs, and spreading gravel
          for tent pads. This involved walking up and down the slope of the hill
          as well as moving about in loose, uneven soil. The wide platform
          worked great. Not once did I have an issue with stability. The boots
          become quite dirty from this, however cleanup was a breeze--a wipe
          with a wet cloth and set them aside to dry. They dried without any
          noticeable discoloration. One thing that really impressed me was that
          I have very little dirt inside the boots. Obviously they

          ### EDIT: the

          collar was snug enough to keep most of the dirt outside.
          >

          >
          > Thus far, I am extremely pleased with the fit and comfort of these
          boots. They provide excellent arch support, the insoles provide
          adequate cushion, and the collar snugs up around my ankles. I have not
          experienced any heel slip or my foot sliding forward. I am also very
          pleased with the waterproofness of these boots. There are a couple of
          things that I will be paying extra attention to through the balance of
          the test. First, the triangular lugs on the soles are wearing a bit
          more than I anticipated. This probably resulted from my hikes on the
          lava. Nevertheless, I will watch to see if the soles wear faster than
          what I would deem normal as I hike different terrains. The second
          thing I have noticed is the laces are beginning to fray near the
          third, fourth, and fifth pair of metal D-rings on both boots. This is
          a bit concerning

          ### COMMENT: "of concern" or "disconcerting" would be better
        • Ryan L. Christensen
          Ted, Thanks for the quick response on the edits. I incorporated all but two (I ll explain below) and have posted the file in the appropriate folder. I have
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 2, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Ted,

            Thanks for the quick response on the edits. I incorporated all but
            two (I'll explain below) and have posted the file in the appropriate
            folder. I have also deleted my file from the test folder.

            As far as Aa or A'a goes, dictionary.com says either is correct so I
            left it as is.

            The capitalization of the flowers I left as is because this was a
            direct quote from the BLM website.

            See you in two months; same bat channel.

            Thanks, Ryan
          • edwardripleyduggan
            Thnnks, Ryan! The A a thing was much more a casual humorous comment than an edit. If the BLM thing s a quote, that s fine--I thought that it was oddly
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 4, 2007
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              Thnnks, Ryan! The A'a thing was much more a casual humorous comment
              than an edit.

              If the BLM thing's a quote, that's fine--I thought that it was oddly
              inconsistent. Some do capitalize flower names, but it wasn't uniform.
              It's of no importance.

              Best,

              Ted.


              --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Ryan L. Christensen"
              <bigdawgryan@...> wrote:
              >
              > Ted,
              >
              > Thanks for the quick response on the edits. I incorporated all but
              > two (I'll explain below) and have posted the file in the appropriate
              > folder. I have also deleted my file from the test folder.
              >
              > As far as Aa or A'a goes, dictionary.com says either is correct so I
              > left it as is.
              >
              > The capitalization of the flowers I left as is because this was a
              > direct quote from the BLM website.
              >
              > See you in two months; same bat channel.
              >
              > Thanks, Ryan
              >
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