Danner Stronghold Work Boots Ready Out of the Box
Of course, a lot of boots say they're ready to go right out of the box. The reality is that many of them need some break-in time, even if they don't give you blisters. Danner Stronghold Work Boots are super comfortable the moment you bring them home. But are they really?
The good news is that it will be found out soon!
- True out-of-the-box comfort with no break-in period
- True to size for a secure fit
- Black style looks good anytime, anywhere
- At this price, I would prefer a heavier build than cement
Editor's note: Check out our best work boots review article to see our favorites for all applications.
The Danner Stronghold work boot is based on the Vibram Stronghold outsole. It is oil and slip resistant on both wet and dry surfaces. It does a decent job of releasing mud, but kick your boots off before you step inside.
The midsole is Vibram SPE rubber EVA. EVA foam is what makes the running shoe so comfortable and shock-absorbing. The downside is that the foam breaks down and most runners have to replace their shoes at least every 6 months. Vibram's EVA midsole incorporates even more durability, so your boot is durable but not as stiff as many work boots. It definitely adds to the comfort.
The upper is made of full-grain leather with a combination of single and double stitching. Major seams are double stitched, and there are several small stitches on the tongue and below the lace hardware, all single stitched. I prefer to see as much double stitching as possible. That said, the stitches are unlikely to be the first point of failure.
Inside, you'll find a breathable waterproof lining, a nylon stability shank and a removable Ortholite sockliner. These boots are EH rated.
I'm a size 12-1/2, which means almost no one makes boots my size. Since I have to choose between a 12 and 13, I usually default to a half size up. For Danner Stronghold, it was the right choice – a size 13 is just right.
The shape of the boot fits nicely around your midfoot area. There's plenty of room in the toe box to deal with the inevitable foot swelling throughout the day (though not as much room as the Keen Utility boots). Despite having the extra half room, my heels locked down securely and I didn't have any issues with movement and blisters. Overall, it fits my running shoes better than some of my work boots, which is a good thing.
When I put on the boots, my first thought was that they were light to wear, and that's because they were light. My size 13 weighs only 28.4 oz per pair, much lighter than my other work boots.
Danner claims Stronghold is ready to use right out of the box. I'm very skeptical of these claims, but in this case it works. I tried them on for a few minutes in the store and was impressed with the initial comfort on hard surfaces.
The first time Boots called the pros was for some chainsaw work. Most start on the ground, where I need a combination of flexibility, stability, and support, and the Stronghold delivers. Even with a brand new pair of boots, they were comfortable all day long and didn't leave me with any blisters.
There are plenty of work boots out there that look like work boots, but the Danner Stronghold work boots in black are gorgeous. It's not really something you want to try and achieve in a church traditional service, though. However, if you're wearing jeans, chances are no one will know you're wearing work boots.
Besides the black, mid-length, soft-tipped version I tested, you have several other options. You can also choose a light brown in the same midi length, or a slightly darker brown in a waterproof or thermal wellington. All four versions are available with soft toe or composite toe.
The women's version is available in black or gray.
At $190, these boots are not in the budget category. They're not out in left field, either. Their initial and ongoing comfort is superior to similar boots in the same price range. At the end of the day, my feet were happy with this choice, even though the price was a little higher than I'd like to see for a cement construction boot.
the bottom line
Out-of-the-box comfort is definitely where the Danner Stronghold work boots shine. They don't need a break-in period, they're really comfortable and go straight through the long days. I really like how they combine lightness, flexibility and stability with comfort.
Most of the work I've done with these boots has been on turf with some scuffs on concrete floors and I've been happy with the performance and comfort on both surfaces. This is truly an all-around work boot that can be used in a variety of environments.
Danner Stronghold Work Boot Specifications
- Model Tested: Danner Stronghold Black Soft Tip (Style 16718)
- Boot Height: 6"
- Upper: Full Grain Leather
- Midsole: Vibram SPE rubberized EVA
- Outsole: Vibram Stronghold
- Insole: Removable Ortholite
- Price: $190