Sunday, January 11, 2009

Archival Field Trip: Danner Factory Store












Thanks to Foster H. of A Restless Transplant for blogging about the Danner factory store. After reading Foster's post, A Trip to the Danner store, I immediately planned my own follow-up field trip. My main motivation was to see (if not purchase) some of the Japan-only styles that Foster documented in his blog.

At the factory store, I was hoping for more ah-ha moments of shopping from Japan (by way of Airport Way in Portland). The DJ (Danner Japan) models are mixed in with forestry, utility and hot weather military boots. It's fun to hunt for the DJ models amidst the more boring, US only boot and shoe options. While Sara tried on some two-toned Super Rainforest 8" boots, I got sidetracked by a "the making of" Danner boots industrial film (footage of folks chalking up stacks of leather hides to indicate quality levels, etc).

The one DJ model I did find in my size was a variation on the Danner Mountain Light II Hikers in a tan, roughout leather w/a white crepe sole. Though the boots fit OK, they felt pretty blocky when I actually tried to walk forward (like wearing boots made out of legos). For the same price point, I'd prefer 6" Red Wings, or better yet, customized, "My Danner" boots based on the vintage models on display in the main reception area.

Next Archival Fieldtrip: Danner factory tour!

18 comments:

james at 10engines said...

love the 4th from bottom pick, the white soles. and the new logo/header... merchandise time??

QCS said...

The suede Danner are so hard to find. How much did they cost at the factory store?

I've contemplated getting them from Japan but the price is through the roof!

Lesli Larson said...

Guess I should have picked up a pair of those sueded boots though they just didn't quite work for me (being short, I think I'm more loafer than forestry boot).

The DJ models were pretty reasonably priced. I think the sueded version was less than $150.

You might actually be able to phone up the factory store and see if they had this style your size (though sizing was on the small side which was why I was so excited to pay a visit).

I'll be visiting again in a few weeks. I'll post an updated report.

QVC said...

Thanks Leslie.

I live across the pond in the UK and I doubt they'll want to post them over here......

I know im being cheeky but is there a chance of a hook up if you do go back??

Cheers
Glenn

Lesli Larson said...

QCS

Do you know your US size? You should give Danner an email and see what they might be able to do for you (I'm all about sending emails to parent companies). In the context of the factory store, all those hard to locate Japan-only models have lost their rarity. They're all pretty much just low budget shoe meat on a shelf (the very nice sales gent sort of dismissed the DJ models as being designed for "fashion" not function).

I'll certainly give you an alert when I go back.

QCS said...

Me again, I have no idea why I wrote QVC in my last message?

Yes Leslie I know what you mean when you see product like that in the bargain bins, it takes the shine right off it! However, it was you not me that went to the factory and the Japanese unobtainable magic still has a hold on me....!!

Ill try to contact them but if you do got back I would be very grateful if you kept me in mind. Im a UK 8.5 in most shoes so I guess a US 9 or 9.5 would be cool?

Cheers
Glenn

Lesli Larson said...

QVC is the shopping network! Seems appropriate. I should bring a webcam next time I visit that Danner factory store.

I'll keep an eye out for DJ styles in your size--the sueded version, in particular.

If anyone else pays a visit--keep an eye out for a gents size 9 or 9.5!

Lesli Larson said...

Glenn--

I'm going to have to send you on an archival fieldtrip to the Barbour factory store (overseas torture for me).

Björn said...

Ohh, im so envious! I really cant belive you didnt get those suede ones for that price...

This is the ugly back side to living in Northern Europe, no Americana factory stores!

If you go back, and happen to see something in 11/11,5 ee ...

Foster said...

Great post Lesli! i hope you got a pair. I am wearing my danner hiking boots as we speak, they are amazing.

Glenn said...

Leslie, its a deal.

There are plenty of Barbour outlets in the UK. Let me know what your after or is just images etc?

Barbour is a bit done over here now, all the London trendy %$&£^*&^ have discovered it......

And Barbour itslef have recently got a bunch of designers in to alter the cut's of their classic jackets in an effort to contemporise (sp?) and go all fashion.

Its not looking good for Barbour.

Lesli Larson said...

This was an austerity field trip for me: all looking, no buying. But now I feel bad I didn't pick up the those suede boots (though I hear they don't work so well for wet weather wear).

Foster--which boots did you end up buying?

Too bad about Barbour. I'm just going to keep hoarding old stock models in size 34.

Foster said...

I got the mountain light II in wonderful sz 12. haha, i havent taken them off sense. Maybe someday i will get them resoled with vibram crepe sole.

Marcellus said...

Love the loafers in the 6th image. As odd as it may be, loafers with wool socks are very comfortable.

ROB said...

THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE!!!!! LESLI I LOVE YOU!!!!!. I will also add that i have both emailed and called danner factory HQ regarding the Japanese models and been told nope no way not now not never.

Lesli Larson said...

Marcellus. Glad you like the loafers. They're a nice, economy, available in the USA, Sebago classic model (sized small and large, skinny and wide). Highly recommended even though production has moved offshore.

Rob. Thanks for your comments. What did the Danner factory people say No to exactly? Selling/shipping the boots or offering for sale in the US?

ROUB said...

they said 'no' to 'is there any possible way for me to by the japanese market boots in the us..?'

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