The Danner Recurve is a midweight, pliable hunting boot fit for high mountains and big miles. I brutalized a pair during two hunting seasons and came away impressed.
If you ever hunt the Flat Tops in Colorado, pray for no mud. God will likely ignore you and you’ll spend a week hiking through 8-inch-deep peanut butter. So, bring good boots.
Over the last two seasons, the Danner Recurve has been my go-to hunting boot. That means they’ve dealt with the aforementioned mud in the Flat Tops for days on end. But they’ve also done 20-mile days through the upland fields of South Dakota, crossed high alpine scree, and hunkered down on the frozen plains during late-season goose hunts.
Through all of this, I’ve rarely wished for anything else on my feet. The Danner Recurve has proven itself to be an excellent hunting boot.
In short: The Danner Recurve is a versatile, durable hunting boot. From bitter cold mornings to warm hikes, they handled 2 years and hundreds of miles of hard hunting before showing signs of deterioration. They are a great choice for those who cover big miles.
Danner Recurve: Midweight, Midprice Hunting Boot
Danner touts that the Recurve marries traditional style with modern tech. The result is a hunting boot that falls on the lighter end of the spectrum — 45 ounces per pair, or about 1.9 pounds per boot — with a fairly flexible sole and some ankle support. And by that, I mean it feels a lot like midweight hiking boots you’ll see all over the trails.
But while they do have similarities to hiking boots (Danner even notes that they draw “design and technology cues from our best-selling hiking boots”), the Recurve is clearly meant for the tough tasks hunting requires.
You’ll find durable full-grain leather and suede uppers, Danner Dry waterproof-breathable membrane, and Vibram SPE midsoles.
Danner Recurve Review: Fairly Tough, Very Capable
If you’ve read this far, the question you have is probably, “Should I buy the Danner Recurve?” For many hunters, I would say yes. But first, a few questions.
Do you spend most of your time moving or on your feet? And do you cover big miles while hunting? If you answer yes to those questions, I would say the Danner Recurve is a good choice.
That’s because the Recurve has a relatively flexible sole and is reasonably light compared with many other hunting boots. It’s also durable enough to handle a ton of abuse, such as thrashing through brush, wheat fields, mud, rocks, and snow.
But, this isn’t a boot for those who mostly sit still. The seven-inch height gives some support but does not provide a ton of insulation.
They are also not a muck boot or waterfowl boot. If your hunting takes you into lots of water and deep mud, you’ll want to consider other styles of hunting boots.
It also isn’t a boot for those who want a lot of support. As I mentioned, the sole is quite pliable. Compared with some of the other best hunting boots, it registers on the flexible end of the spectrum. Others do provide more support.
But for me, it’s proven to be nearly ideal. I’ve put many full days of elk hunting on very rugged terrain in the Rocky Mountains under these soles. My feet have held up well, even after days of freeze and thaw cycles that almost guarantee soggy leather.
Finally, the Vibram outsole provides a good grip on the ground. Even in steep, snowy terrain with frozen earth, the heel and toe bite in. I’ve kicked a lot of steps with these, and they have good traction. Stiffer soles tend to bite in better, but for a soft boot, these do well.
Danner Recurve: A Well-Rounded Hunting Boot
So, if you’re in the market for a capable, all-around hunting boot, these are an excellent choice. They survived 2 years of hard hiking through difficult terrain and never caused so much as a blister. It’s worth noting that I often paired the Recurve with Stone Glacier’s excellent SQ2 Alpine Gaiters.
Critical reviews of these boots note that the lace hooks are sometimes hard to lash, and I have also experienced this, particularly in cold weather with wet, frozen laces. But they have always worked once laced, which to me is more important than ease of lacing.
The other criticism, which I have also noted, is that they don’t breathe very well, especially in warmer weather. This doesn’t surprise me as they are full-grain leather, which isn’t very breathable. So if you plan to hunt a lot in warmer weather, or if you tend to have very sweaty feet, it’s worth considering.
But beyond those two points, the Recurve is a great, well-rounded boot for long days on your feet covering big miles. I’ve used them from mountain top to prairie and have been consistently comfortable. If your hunting takes you to similar places, they should serve you well for a couple of busy years.