Review: Learn the tactics with the Danner Tanicus boot

The outdoors and the tactical culture rarely overlap, although many well-known outdoor brands cater deeply to both. One of these brands is Danner, which makes footwear highly valued by the military. For many years I have wondered, what do they know that we don’t? Tactical packs and molle attachment systems are too heavy for my taste, but what about boots? As a chronic ankle turner, I have long thought that a high shank could help. Are these things overbuilt for consumer use? Or do they hit a Goldilocks sweet spot between light weight and support?

It is the latter. I spent months trying to differentiate between Danner’s Tachyon and Tanicus styles. Both have leather uppers, eight-inch shafts, and are non-waterproof, but the Tachyon is considerably lighter—about 13 ounces per pack. boot compared to 20. In the end, supply chain issues kept Tachyon out of stock, so I chose Tanicus. My 9.5s weigh 22 ounces each, and while they definitely feel boot-like, the weight is well distributed. They are much easier to slip into than I expected and they are also much cozier thanks to padding all the way up the shaft. The bottoms are double-stitched leather, the shaft is 2,000-denier nylon, and there are two webbing reinforcements, including one that wraps around the ankle for stability.

The break-in period was exactly 0.0 seconds. Seriously. I laced up the boots and tackled a five kilometer walk through the coastal chaparral without a single hot spot or problem, and what struck me immediately was how well protected my feet and lower legs were. Normally a trudge through overgrown thickets makes me think of ticks and ankle-stabbing spines and stocking-filling sand and snakes, but with Danners, I stroked through it all with confidence. The difference wasn’t subtle: I felt like I was wearing seven-league boots, with each step longer and more confident. Heel-to-toe flex is smooth and predictable, and there’s no binding or pinching in the shaft, even when your foot is bent at acute angles. Vent holes at the arch help reduce heat, as do perforations in the padding around the shin – it’s warmer than a low shoe, but much cooler than a waterproof.

In short, I love wearing Tanicus and they are now my go-to for all long hikes. Note that their last rewards a wider foot – to keep my skinny feet in place, I have to tighten the laces and I’m fine. That leaves me curious about the lighter Tachyon, which Danner calls “boot first, sneaker second.” I like to run when I hike and Tanicus is a bit clumsy for that. If I check out the lighter model, I’ll let you know how it goes.

• BUY $190

Related Posts