• It all began in 1932.

    Charles Danner opened the doors of Danner Shoe Mfg. Company in the old logging town of Chippewa Falls, Wis., with twelve employees to build affordable, handcrafted work boots. The U.S. was in the midst of the Great Depression, labor costs were about 30 cents per hour, and leather and other necessary raw materials were dirt cheap. The finished boots sold for less than $4 a pair.


    • Calked Loggers
    • Vintage Northwest Map
    • Vintage Danner Boot

  • 1936

    In his search for higher quality boots, Charles discovers that calked logging boots in the Pacific Northwest sell for $10 or more, a considerable sum. Embracing the opportunity, he moves his family and the Danner company west to Portland, Ore.

  • 1939

    Charles’s sons John and Bill officially join the family business. The two also attend classes at the University of Portland, until World War II breaks out and they serve in the military.

  • 1940s

    The war years are good to the company. The shipyards call for work boots, and the Danner Shoe Mfg. Company answers. At a new factory in North Portland, the company increases the production of boots to up to 240 pairs a day. After serving in the military, John goes to law school, and Bill focuses on making boots.

  • 1950s

    Bill hones his business skills, moving Danner, which still serves niche markets, to its third Northwest location in the Portland area. He expands the product line to include boots and shoes, and opens the company’s first retail store.


    • Heritage Backpacker
    • Danner 6490 review

  • 1960s

    President John F. Kennedy stresses the importance of exercise, and seemingly overnight, outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking and mountain climbing become national fads. Danner recognizes the growth opportunity and becomes the only domestic manufacturer of hiking boots.

  • 1970

    This generation of hikers prefers extra heavy mountain boots, but Danner instead designs a medium-weight hiker for broader appeal. The market responds, and Danner hiking boots become the standard for performance, rugged durability and craftsmanship.

  • 1973

    Heralded in Backpacker Magazine as coming “close to being our ideal hiking shoe,” the Danner 6490 delivers the perfect balance of minimal break-in with heel and toe protection. Later models of this boot would be called the Mountain Light and would launch an entire collection of classic hiking designs.


  • Danner Factory
  • 1976

    As demand grows, so does Danner — moving operations to its fourth factory in the region and doubling production capacity to 480 pairs per day.

  • 1979

    Danner’s unrelenting commitment to quality leads to the development of construction methods to make wet feet a thing of the past. Using GORE-TEX® fabric, Danner is the first footwear brand to develop and to patent a unique way of making a truly waterproof boot.


    • Tuy Hoa Boots
    • Danner Wagon

  • 1980

    Danner’s devotion to comfort footwear doesn’t stop with humans. One pair of size 150 boots is built for Tuy Hoa, an elephant at the Washington Park Zoo (now the Oregon Zoo) in Portland. The waterproof leather boots are crafted to help heal her cracked hind feet.

  • 1982

    Danner expands to build boots designed for hunting and uniformed service personnel, including elite members of the U.S. Armed Forces and law enforcement. Danner also reaches into Asia, including Japan and Taiwan.


    • Danner Combat Boots
    • APMA Seal
    • LaCrosse Rubber Mills Ad

  • 1983

    After 50 years of shoemaking, Bill decides to sell his company to Eric Merk, under the condition that Eric follow the tradition of quality and craftsmanship the Danner family had built over the years. And he does, adding an even stricter adherence to quality control. Eric moves the company again—this time to a new, larger factory near the Portland airport.

  • 1992

    The American Podiatric Medical Association awards Danner boots and Danner® Airthotic® with the APMA seal of acceptance—yet another nod to the comfort of Danner footwear.

  • 1994

    On March 14, Danner merges with LaCrosse Footwear Inc. of LaCrosse, Wis., to form a major force in the footwear industry. Since 1897, the LaCrosse brand has stood for premium quality handcrafted rubber footwear.


  • Danner USMC RAT
  • 2010

    With the continued military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, men and women in the Marines and the Army need a new breed of premium protective footwear. Danner steps up, co-developing and producing the new standard in combat boots with the USMC RAT and Army Combat Hiker.


    • Danner Factory Store
    • Danner Union Way Store
    • Danner Craftsman

  • 2012

    The company expands again, opening a world-class 59,000-square-foot factory — nearly twice the size as its previous location. Danner also opens its first stand-alone factory store, bringing a full-branded experience to the public and moving its recrafting department to this flagship location.

  • 2013

    Danner opens two new retail stores in Portland, returning to its 1936 roots downtown with a heritage outdoor-inspired store filled with Danner’s premium offerings.

  • Today & Beyond

    Building on the same traditions and high standards of quality instilled by Charles Danner and his family generations ago, Danner continues to design and manufacture a complete line of hiking, hunting, uniform, work and lifestyle boots in its world-class factory in Portland, Ore., USA.

    The company also operates in many channels around the world, including wholesale sales, specialty retail stores, mail-order companies, direct consumer sales — both online and in retail locations — and government agency and international sales that reach Asia, the Americas, Europe and Australia.