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Video transitions through various scenes in the Danner boot factory: an overhead view of workers dotted among machines and air vents, a leather specialist inspects a large hide as a computer screen creates a digital map of the hide, and another worker makes small test cuts in a large piece of leather. A close-up view of the edge of a leather hide shows the fibrous texture, and a handheld tool with a circular gauge snaps down on leather. A machine lifts, revealing a Danner logo embossed on brown leather, a boot maker guides a large machine with a flat bottom and stamps it down twice, a pattern maker runs a pencil along the surface, and a worker guides a boot tongue through a sewing machine.

"We are going to give you boots that you can be proud to wear, boots that can claim the best quality available anywhere."

- Bill Danner, 1978

Since the 1930’s, we've been making dependable boots in the Pacific Northwest for explorers, craftspeople, and pioneers.

Our Portland, Oregon factory is deeply rooted in the traditions of American craftsmanship and an unwavering commitment to quality.


“You have to start with the best materials, because you can’t build quality in later.”

– Jay Bosshart,
Leather Specialist

We hand-inspect 100% of the hides used in our Portland factory — far exceeding the industry average.

A factory worker moves a large brown leather hide onto a table for inspection

Every hide must pass our five-point leather inspection process before it moves into production.

A boot maker uses a white pencil to mark imperfections on a large brown leather hide


Determines if the hide can withstand the tension that occurs during construction.

A worker measures the strength of a brown leather hide with a handheld Lastometer tool


Checks for consistent thickness across our full-grain hides. Uneven hides can become problematic during construction and wear.

A worker measues the thickness of a brown leather hide with a handheld tool fitted with a circular gauge, moving the tool over various parts of the hide and flicking the lever


Leather must not be too stiff — which can lead to discomfort and noise during wear — nor too soft, which can cause lack of structure.

A worker positions a softness testing tool over a brown leather hide. The worker presses the lever of the tool down onto the hide, and the machine extends a metal head down into the leather to perform its measurement


Color must be consistent and fully saturate the leather. Hides are also tested for durability of the finish, tone and brightness.

A worker uses a small metal tool with a serrated blade on to gently score a black leather hide. Then, he presses a piece of clear tape over the marked area and pulls it up, inspecting the tape briefly.


Ensures the leather won’t tear when stretched during construction, and that it will stand up to the rigors of use for years to come.

A worker inserts the hooked end of a handheld T-shaped tool into a small cut near the edge of a brown leather hide and pulls it towards themselves, stretching the leather under tension

Hardware and components - the quality is in the details.

A top-down view of several tools and boot components organized in a rectangular grid on a grey stone background: two spools of thread, small fabric squares with USA flags and GORE TEX logos on them, a green metal die in an irregular shape, three different colored sets of laces arranged in circles, a hammer, a fine pin tool, a grommet clamp, several pieces of very small hardwear organized in their own grid within the larger grid, a small piece of leather, two knife-like tools, an outsole, a boot last, and two insoles.

Vibram® has been a trusted partner since the 1960s. Together, we have collaborated, innovated and introduced new Vibram® technologies in Danner products.

Zooms to the top left corner of the grid of items focusing on the black boot outsole with star patterned tread and a yellow hexagon with a VIBRAM logo in the middle

Durable thread with high tensile strength is critical to the lifespan of a boot.

Zooms to the upper right corner of the grid of items, focusing on the two spools of thread: one tan with a bright blue spool and the other a muted green/gray color with no spool visible.

Our laces are put through 100,000+ cycles of abrasion testing to ensure they stand up to heavy wear.

Zooms to the bottom right corner of the grid of items, focusing on the three boot laces shaped into circles; one red, one gold and brown, and one black.

Hardware is tested for corrosion and optimized for compatibility with adjoining materials, such as suede or full-grain leather.

Zooms to the middle of the grid of items, focusing on the small arrangement of various hardware pieces: D-ring eyelets, circular eyelets, zipper pulls, and grommets.

Footbeds are specifically selected for each boot to provide comfort and longevity.

Zooms to the bottom left corner of the grid of items, focusing on the black footbeds with white Danner logos. One is the full length of a foot, the other is a heel-shaped insert.

GORE-TEX is recognized worldwide as the pioneer and leading innovator of breathable waterproofing technology.

Zooms to the bottom left corner of the grid of items, focusing on the black footbeds with white Danner logos. One is the full length of a foot, the other is a heel-shaped insert.

We became the first footwear company to utilize GORE-TEX liners in our Danner Light in 1979.

GORE-TEX technology combines durable waterproofing with excellent breathability.

This guarantees your feet stay dry and comfortable, even in heavy rain or water crossings.

We’re one of the few manufacturers in the world to utilize “around the world” construction, meaning we use a single taped seam for the entire GORE-TEX liner. Fewer seams means fewer possible failure points.

A worker uses a machine with a clear shield to apply seam tape around the sewed edge of a white boot liner. They pause to straighten the liner and ensure it’s lined up properly. When done, they flatten the liner on the table surface using their hands.

GORE-TEX liners are tested to ensure they are 100% waterproof.

If the tester sees bubbles, the liner has failed and will be rejected.

A machine lowers two white, air-filled boot liners into a tank of water and pauses briefly when they’re fully submerged. Small bubbles are visible around the boot liner. The machine raises them back up and out of the water. A worker grabs the liners to release them from the machine


“We take the highest quality materials we can find and craft them into a boot you will enjoy for years to come.”

– Andrea Maruya,
Materials Coordinator

Material preparation begins by marking the hides that have passed inspection. We note imperfections with a laser pen, which creates a digital map of each hide. This ensures only the best leather is used during construction and dramatically reduces waste.

A worker stands at a large table equipped with an overhead camera. He uses a laser pen to digitally mark areas of imperfection on a large leather hide by tracing the pen around small, specific areas of the leather as it rests on the table. Above, a screen generates a multicolored rendering of the hide.

For our iconic Mountain Light Cascade, the leather is hand-cut using metal dies that are carefully placed and stamped out with a pneumatic press.

A factory worker carefully places a green metal die on a light brown leather hide and swings a large white pneumatic press over, stopping above the die. Then, the worker stamps out a leather piece using the machine and places the stamped piece on top of a stack of identical pieces in the foreground of the shot.

For other styles, our automated cutting machines overlay digital boot patterns to precisely cut leather components.

A machine arm moves over a black leather hide, occassionally pressing down and moving a circular-shaped extension fitted with a blade that cuts the leather into various shapes.

For boots with linings, multiple layers of fabric are measured and cut.

Workers roll out large sheets of fabric material, one on top of the other, into a stack.

Then, automated fabric-cutting machines ensure a perfect match to leather components.

A factory worker lifts a thin, shiny blue plastic sheet off of a black fabric material with various shapes cut out of it. A screen above the table shows the many pattern shapes that were cut from the fabric.

The Danner logo symbolizes the highest standards for quality and durability.

A machine with a large, flat base stamps down on a piece of dark leather, pauses, and raises up, leaving an embossed Danner logo behind

Once leather and fabric are cut, we use stitching machines to sew flat pattern pieces together. This guarantees consistency and ensures quality as the materials enter construction.

An automated machine stitches along the edge of rectangular cutouts in a metal template, sewing flat pieces of leather and fabric together.

Hardware such as eyelets, rivet hooks and vents are stamped through.

A bootmaker installs lacing hooks into a shaped piece of leather using an orange stamping machine. Then, video cuts to another boot maker using a blue stamping machine to install d-ring eyelets on a cut piece of light tan leather.

Raw materials have now been prepared for construction. Next, they will be formed into a complete boot silhouette — known as the boot's “upper” — through a series of hand-sewing processes.

A worker sews the edge of a brown leather boot piece that has hardware installed. The worker uses a large, white sewing machine with careful precision.


“When you combine 90 years of experience with a team of passionate craftspeople, the result is a quality product that endures.”

– Chris Perotti,
Senior Manager, Quality & Commercialization

A hinged shoe last is the mechanical form of a foot that provides the foundation around which the boot is built.

A pile of cream colored, foot-shaped forms, or "lasts," with metal hinges connecting the heels to the fronts. The symbols "650" and "10 D" are visible on the in-focus last, which indicate the number, size, and width of the last.

We use 848 different lasts to account for every style, size and width of boot we build in our Portland factory.

Wire racks filled with boot lasts create a pleasing, dramatic texture in black and white

To begin the construction process, adhesive is applied to the toe box. This ensures the leather upper is secured to the lining.

Close-up view of a boot maker using a brush with a red handle and wetted bristles to apply adhesive to a white boot liner. The leather boot upper is pulled back exposing the slightly fuzzy underside of the brown leather

Toe-lasting machines stretch the leather upper over a last, forming the components into their iconic boot form.

A brown leather boot upper fitted with hardware and laces is stretched over a last and tightly held on the sides and top by a large metal machine.

Next, a shank is added. Constructed from metal or fiberglass, the shank acts like the spine of the boot, helping to support your instep and provide stability.

A flat fiberglass rectangle known as the "shank" is held in place by a worker’s thumb in the middle bottom of a boot’s white midsole. At the edges, the black leather of the boot’s upper are visible.

Contact cement is applied and the upper is carefully “spotted,” or bonded, to the midsole.

A boot maker uses a handheld tool with a dull point to pound around the edge of a leather boot upper, attaching it to the midsole. The worker rotates the boot as they pound along the entire perimeter.

With stitchdown construction, leather uppers are sewn directly to the midsole with a lockstitch.

A boot maker guides the edge of an upside-down brown leather boot through a robust machine that sews a thick white stitch to reinforce the bonding of the boot upper to the black midsole

This construction method results in an incredibly durable boot that stands up to heavy use and can be rebuilt when components wear out.

Our Portland factory is one of the leading manufacturers of stitchdown boots in the world.

Next, securely stitched boot uppers are heat activated to prepare for bonding to the outsole.

A brown leather boot with the Danner logo embossed on the heel rests on a metal grate and is bottom-lit by the heating elements, casting a dramatic red glow up the boot.

A pneumatic press attaches the boot’s outsole to the assembled upper and midsole with a high-strength adhesive.

A bootmaker carefully lines up a thick, black outsole to the upper of a boot, pressing along the permiter before placing upside-down in a large machine. The machine door closes, pauses and opens again, and the boot maker removes the boot with the outsole now attached.


“There is a pride in craftsmanship here, a pride in knowing our boots will live up to the Danner name.”

- Carmel Clark,
Sample Manager

In the final step of construction, excess material is trimmed from the outsole using the Rough Rounder.

A bootmaker presses the rough, oversized edge of a boot outsole around a flat cone shaped circular cutting wheel that shaves off excess outsole material.

The boot is now nearly complete and ready for finishing and inspection.

The final sanding of the outsole is done by hand to create a consistent margin and smooth finish. A steady hand and a keen eye for detail are a must.

A bootmaker, wearing gloves, runs the perimeter of a boot outsole along a stationary belt sander

The construction process is now complete and the boots make their way to final inspection.

An inspector grabs two pairs of boots from a roller-bar conveyor.

Every boot is individually checked for quality before packaging.

Close-up view of a brown leather boot with a Danner logo embossed on the heel, a white outsole, and a USA flag stitched near the top left side of the heel.

Finally, each pair is wrapped and packaged with care — ready for adventure, exploration and hard work.

A boot maker wearing green latex gloves weaves a flat red lace through silver d-ring eyelets of a brown leather boot, ties it at the top in a bow, places it in a green Danner box with tissue paper on the inside, and closes the box