Danner aren’t exactly the best known boot manufacturer in the world. But if there’s two things that you can usually count on, it’s high quality leather matched by an equally high price.
Case in point, the Men’s Bull Run. Some sizes hit $180. But the quality of the leather is apparent the moment you open the box. It doesn’t just feel high end, it looks high end.
And let’s face it, $180 is about half what you’d pay for a pair of Red Wings of similar construction.
Needless to say, a solid pair of work boots need to offer more than gorgeous leather. How do they fare in the all important categories of comfort and on the job protection?
First off, first day wear is out completely unless you enjoy pain and potential blisters. These boots are tough as hell and that makes for a corresponding break in period. I wore these boots around the house every evening for a full week before I felt comfortable bringing them to work.
And even then, the first few days weren’t exactly what I’d call comfortable past the 8 hour mark.
The good news is that my patience was rewarded. Some reviews complained about sizing issues but mine fit as expected. The sole also offers a level of shock absorption which I wasn’t expecting. This makes them ideal for those who work long shifts (once broken in!)
I also appreciated the distinct lack of weight. It comes at the cost of a steel toe (see below) but if you don’t need one, why carry one all day. They are also some of the breeziest boots that I’ve worn making making them ideal for those who work in a warm climate either indoor or outdoor.
In terms of safety, the Bull Run will protect you from electrical hazards but absolutely nothing else. For a start there’s no steel toe (there is a steel toe version but I haven’t tried it). The soles don’t feel particularly slip resistant on water let alone oil. And the complete lack of any kind of heel means that the use of a ladder is ruled out completely.
As mentioned above, these boots are very airy. Unfortunately, this also means that they offer practically no insulation and are barely waterproof in rain let alone puddles. This makes them ideal for working indoors but exactly what you don’t want when working outside in Winter.
I’ve worn these boots for two weeks now and I still can’t make up my mind. On the one hand, I love the leathers texture and color. I also like the American flag which is just small enough not to look tacky. Like most Danner boots, the laces also look great. On the other hand, though, I hate the look of the sole which is both too thick and too bright. It’s also nigh on impossible to keep clean.
At the time of writing the Men’s Bull Run have been reviewed just over a hundred times for an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. Like most Danner boots, the most popular feature is the leather/style while the least popular feature is the admittedly horrendous break in period. One thing that I did like is that I couldn’t find anything in the way of durability complaints, something which matters a lot given the price.
I obviously haven’t worn mine long enough to judge durability but the Danner name plus the lack of customer complaints leaves me feeling pretty confident that these boots will hold up.
The Bull Run present two potential problems. For a start, they’re a little overpriced. And secondly, aside from electrical hazard protection, they offer nothing in the way of genuine safety features. For some, at least one of these will be a deal breaker. For those who make the purchase however, you can look forward to superior comfort, style, and I predict, durability.