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Robbie
November 30, 2023
9
min read

Could the Danner Pronghorns Be the BEST Affordable Hunting Boot?

After several years of testing frustrations, has Adrian actually found a turkey hunting vest that she is going to hunt with more than one season? Could the Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest actually be the perfect turkey hunting vest for her?

4.8

How does one come across one of the most widely worn, used, and abused elk hunting and outdoorsman’s boot out there? Well of course, type it right into a Google Search!

If you do a quick Google search for “best western hunting boot,” the Danner Pronghorn boot will certainly be at or near the top of the list.

At least it was almost five years ago as I was preparing for my first elk hunt out west. And they're still on that list even now!

Danner Pronghorns after five years of the torture testing we call hunting!

Just so you people that live in the western United States know, that’s what us east coast people call your area, “out west.” There are a few states “out west,” but they better have great elk, mule deer, or pronghorn hunting opportunities to even be named.

Little did I know that as I was researching and traveling between stores trying on different recommended boots that I would be heading out on my third elk hunting trip in as many different states. Not only is this the third trip I have taken into the mountains pursuing elk, but it is also the third trip in which my Danner Pronghorns will be protecting one of my main pieces of equipment needed to ensure success…my feet!

Now I didn’t just go straight to the Danner website and purchase a pair of boots after that initial Google Search.

It took reading many more articles similar to this one, listening to other opinions through YouTube videos, and bouncing around between every sporting goods store in a 1-2 hour radius.

I feel like I have a fairly normally shaped foot, but Adrian calls them my "Fred Flintstone feet." (Hopefully those of you that know that reference are smiling right now.) She says my feet are almost as wide as they are long, which does indeed make it a little more difficult for me to find shoes or boots that fit as well as I’d like.

Thankfully there are a lot of different options out there in the hunting boot world.

Your feet are a major asset while hunting in the backcountry and you need a good set of boots to protect them.

Along with all kinds of decisions about non-insulated vs insulated vs varying levels of insulation, there are also several different height boots, materials that make up the outside/inside layers, arch support within the boot, and even waterproof vs wet feet.

I feel like that last one shouldn’t even be an option unless you plan on hunting in the desert where there aren't creek crossings or wet morning dew covered grass.

Obviously, I knew I wanted a waterproof boot, and I was looking for a non-insulated one that would go above my ankle. That information helped narrow down my decision fairly quickly.

I was also looking for boots that would be in stock in stores near me so I could put my squares in them to try before I buy.

While the filters I described above were a great help in narrowing down my options, there still was a lot to sort through. So off to the races I went, well, at least off to the boot sections of stores I went.

While I did enjoy “having” to go to Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, it actually took me a couple of trips before I was fully convinced. Several different brands fit similarly, which made the decision more difficult than I was hoping.

In the end, the Danner Pronghorns were made by a company with a great reputation, got a lot of 5-star reviews, and seemed to fit/wear at least as well if not slightly better than most other brands.

My Pronghorns spent five days in the snow on this trip. They were protected though by the Nighthawk gaiters the whole time.

They are made in several of sizes, lengths, and widths, which made it easy for me to find the best fit for my foot.

Of course, don’t forget to take a pair of your favorite hunting socks with you when you are conducting your own search. The fit of boots with your hunting socks can be quite different than a thin pair of running or everyday wear sweat collectors.

What does Danner Say?

Danner says that the Pronghorn boot "delivers the all-day comfort and stability that make the day’s haul easier on your feet." When you're spending several days in a row hiking around the mountains, comfort is extremely important. It's even more important when you're hauling an extra load!

Who wants to put on a pair of boots for the second day when your feet are still really sore from the first day?

The Pronghorn boots are made of a full-grain leather that's designed to be durable and long-lasting. Danner also put in a 100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX liner to ensure that no water gets in, while allowing sweat and moisture to get out.

As far as durability goes, I alluded to this in the beginning when I mentioned that my search started about five years ago. I purchased my pair not long after my search started and immediately started breaking them in.

The soles and the boots are durable. Even after hunting and training in them year after year, these soles are still good.

Now five years later, after two different 8-10 day elk hunts (about to be a third), numerous days of turkey hunting every year, and so many hiking/training sessions I couldn't begin to count, my pair of Danner Pronghorns is still alive and kicking (pun intended).

In fact, I remember recently putting them on after not wearing them for a bit and thinking, "This is the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve had on my feet in a long time!"

Maybe they really get broken in good after a few hundred miles?

Danner's line of boot care products are just as good as their boots.

After having made the purchase several years ago, I also made sure to purchase some boot conditioning paste as well as Danner’s re-waterproofing wax. I knew if I wanted them to take care of me in the next few years, I wanted to take care of them.

I have only used the conditioning paste once during the initial break in period, but I have re-applied the waterproofing wax at least three times that I remember.

One slightly negative thing I would say about these primarily leather boots is that they tend to lose some of their water protection over the years. But, with a quick application of that waterproofing gel, they are immediately sealed up and ready to keep my feet dry.

Again, if you take care of them, they will take care of you.

Another recommendation is to get yourself a boot dryer.

Dry Guys Boot Dryer will help take care of any boots or shoes you have.
A good boot dryer will help prolong the life of your boots and basically any shoe.

Even in non-insulated boots your feet are going to sweat some. Water and even the slight dampness left in your boots from sweat is one of the quickest killers of your everyday shoes as well as your hunting boots.

Not to mention the fact that there isn’t anything much worse than slipping your foot into a boot first thing in the morning that’s still slightly wet from sweating during yesterday’s hiking adventures.

Of course, if you’re deep in the backcountry, you likely won’t have anywhere to plug in that boot dryer. But that’s okay, just wake up, drink some coffee, and take in God’s great creation!

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Non-insulated and insulated versions
  • Comes in varying lengths and widths
  • Boot rises above the ankle for ultimate support on all kinds of surfaces
  • Durable and long-lasting, even with my almost five years of torture testing
  • Easy to re-apply waterproofing wax that actually works and extends the boot life expectancy
  • Danner customer service is great and they stand behind their products
Cons
  • MSRP is $270-300 depending on insulated vs non-insulated. Which is not the most expensive but not the least expensive either. It’s still a lot of money
  • They aren't as effective at containing foot odor as rubber boots.
  • Will likely need to re-apply waterproofing wax after a couple years so you don’t end up with wet feet
  • Leather will require a little more upkeep than others. But, if you take care of them, they will take care of you!

FAQs

Q: How heavy are the Danner Pronghorns?

A: 53 oz per pair for the non-insulated version; 58 oz per pair for the 400g Thinsulate version

Q: What should I do to help break them in?

A: I used the conditioning paste that Danner recommends for an initial application and then just started putting miles on them.

Q: What’s your favorite place to take these boots?

A: Anywhere chasing elk bugles or turkey gobbles!

Should I Buy This Thing?

If you’ve ever read one of our reviews or watched many of our videos, I’m not sure there’s ever been a more correct answer to the question of Should I Buy The Danner Pronghorns than… “It depends.”

It truly depends on what you’re looking for. If you want the lightest, lowest cut, least expensive boot on the market this is probably not those.

If you want to most expensive, “BEST” hunting boot on the market, I don’t think these are that either.

Your boots better be comfortable trudging around in this kind of weather and terrain day after day.

But, if you’re looking for what I was and wanting - a non-insulated, waterproof, above the ankle for more stability kind of boot then I would highly recommend that you try on a pair of Danner Pronghorns before you make your final decision.

They may not fit your foot as well as they do mine, but the fact they have made it through five years of my hunting trips and torture testing is testament enough to me that I will likely be purchasing another pair of them if these ever wear out!

Written by
Robbie

Robbie has enjoyed the outdoors since he can remember. His earliest memories include hours upon hours of squirrel hunting and learning how to enjoy all aspects of hunting season in God's wonderful outdoors. Now he is always working hard and testing gear in the field to give you the best review and most thorough information he possibly can.