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Tackling the Pacific Coast Trail in Danners Trail 2650 GTX Hiking Shoe

In the Pacific Northwest, Danner is legendary for making quality boots that last. I got my first pair of Danner TFX boots when I was in Iraq in 2009 and they are still in my closet. When I joined the Inmate Recovery Team we all got fitted for Danner boots at the Danner Factory Store in Portland. Needless to say Danner is the go-to boot for military and law enforcement personnel. Now, Danner has come out with a trail shoe that's specifically designed to conquer the wide variety of terrain on the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Danner Trail 2650 Gore-Tex hiking shoe is made of durable lightweight materials that can handle the rigors of the trail. With an ultra-lightweight EVA foam midsole and TPU shank that protects your foot, the shoe has the perfect mix of weight savings and durability. Whether hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail or training in the Pacific Northwest rain, the Gore-Tex breathable lining will keep your feet dry and comfortable. An innovative new feature is the EXO Heel System which puts the heel counter on the outside of the shoe providing a secure fit and increased comfort. The Vibram outsole boasts deep, multi-directional lugs for confidence-inspiring grip on the trail.

Danner 2650 GTX Features:

  • Durable Leather and Textile Upper

  • Gore-Tex 100% Waterproof and Breathable Lining

  • Removable OthoLite Footbed

  • Ultra-lightweight EVA Midsole

  • Vibram Megagrip OutsoleTrailguard Platform with exposed TPU Shank

  • 8mm Heel-to-toe drop

  • MSRP of $170

"When the day’s plan calls for moving far and fast, you want to be prepared for whatever weather you may encounter. Versatile gear is key, and footwear is no exception. That's why the Trail 2650 is available with a lightweight mesh lining or a waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX option. With comfortable feet, you can focus on the day's hike without distraction." - danner.com

Out of the box the Trail 2650’s fit like my favorite running shoes and didn’t require much of a break-in period. They are stylish with a dark gray leather upper and brick red accents. The EXO Heel System stands out with the embossed Danner logo. The shoes are definitely suitable for running as well as hiking my favorite trails with them. The Gore-Tex lining keeps my feet dry even when going through puddles and wet grass. With the snug yet comfortable fit, I can go for miles without needing to stop. In my video review I’ll be testing out the shoes in mud and uneven terrain on one of my favorite PNW trails.

The Trail 2650’s performed better than expected, keeping my feet dry and on the trail without slipping in the mud. The Megagrip outsole did its job. Although it collected a lot of dirt, it still maintained positive grip. My feet didn’t get wet from the puddles even with water going over the top of the shoe. I felt confident in my ability to tackle whatever obstacles I encountered on the trail. Overall I’m impressed with Danner’s trail shoes and plan on taking them to the Pacific Crest Trail in my backyard. For the price, these shoes are comparable to other high end hiking shoes such as Merrell or Salomon.

About the Author:

Kelin Ray is a Corrections Officer in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest specializing in man tracking and is a member of the Inmate Recovery Team. He is a former Field Artilleryman in the Washington Army National Guard and served in Iraq as a gunner for convoy security operations. In his free time you can find him Tactical Live Action Role Playing with his friends as Batman.