The new Cascade Crest Hiking Boot is the latest design from the folks at Danner. For this new design, Danner set out to build a boot that could endure a wide variety of harsh conditions—conditions like those faced by Oregon State Park Rangers.

So, in spring 2021, Danner employees approached Melissa “Mo” Czinger—a 43-year-old ranger who has worked for the parks for 15 years—and her colleagues, to consult with them about the new boot they were designing.

Danner wanted to ensure that they were creating something versatile, that would stand up to the tough conditions that park rangers face every day.

“They wanted a boots-on-the-ground perspective as to what our dream boot would be, as well as something that would fit our uniform requirements,” she said. Park rangers must wear neutral-toned boots with leather uppers, Czinger said, to protect their feet during park maintenance work.

And Oregon requires a lot of park maintenance.

There are more than 200 state park properties in Oregon, some of which are among the most popular in the United States. Each year, more than 50 million people visit the 113,000-acre system, reserving a whopping 3-million camping nights, according to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Danner Cascade Crest Hiking Boots

The state is known for being wet—annual precipitation can total 200 inches on the western slopes of the Cascade Range. Oregon’s climate and geography are diverse and unpredictable, and the same is true for its parks.

At Valley of the Rogue State Park, for example, temperatures are warm and the park sees little snowfall. Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint is a different story. Situated in Bend, the park in some years can be pummeled by winter storms that deposit anywhere from a light dusting to more than a foot of snow over the course of a day.

Comfort with swiftly changing weather and conditions is a prerequisite for Oregon State Park Rangers.

This demanding environment is exactly why Danner, which was founded nearly a century ago to make boots for loggers and outdoorspeople, turned to local public land managers when it came time to design its latest hiking boot.

Czinger and other park rangers in her unit met with Danner product designers on a series of virtual calls to provide input. For Czinger, who spends up to seven hours on her feet and can put in 20,000 steps during the summer visitation season, the boots needed to be comfortable, supportive, lightweight, and importantly, waterproof. “We’re sometimes literally walking through a stream,” she said.

The finished product delivers on those fronts and more.

The first thing you notice when you slide into the Cascade Crest boots is their sturdy full-grain leather, which has been subjected to six rigorous quality tests. Next, you note the boots’ cushioned footbeds, made from recycled rubber, with a last that offers plenty of room for your forefeet to splay.

The Cascade Crest Hiking Boots feature a waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX® liner to keep feet dry in wet or muddy conditions, as well as Vibram® textured outsoles to expertly grip trails and ice and snow—another consideration park rangers advocated for.

In the Gorge, “we have areas where it can be sandy and dry—like down at Rooster Rock where there’s a huge sandy beach and sand island…or it can be that really wet, damp environment where it’s raining all the time,” Czinger said. “We also get a lot of ice and snow here in the Gorge.”

Indeed, the boots are made for navigating all kinds of environments, just as Oregon State Park Rangers do. “If you’re going to be here working—or exploring—you need boots that span the gap,” Czinger added.

The Cascade Crest boots are handmade in the U.S. at the brand’s Portland, Oregon factory, and they feature the brand’s signature modern fit and heritage feel.

And while they’re characteristically built to last, Danner acknowledges that even the highest-quality materials wear out after years of repeated use. That’s why the Cascade Crest are eligible for Recrafting.

The service works like this: Customers use an online assessment to see if their boots are eligible for recrafting; if the boots are eligible, Danner then rebuilds or re-soles the pair by hand.

Recrafting lets outdoor enthusiasts extend the lifetime of their boots and helps keep materials out of landfills. It’s a win-win. Visit the Danner website to learn more.

Cascade Crest Boots by Danner

The Cascade Crest—named for the mountain range that cleaves the western third of Oregon state—are available in a full range of men’s and women’s sizes, and are covered by the brand’s money-back guarantee.

If you aren’t happy with your purchase or you find your boots are defective in any way, Danner offers a 365-day warranty across its entire footwear line!