Review: Danner Panorama Low 4

Solid, understated trail shoes for everyday use

Feature type Review

Read time 5 mins

Published Sep 14, 2022

Author Matthew Pink

Matthew Pink BASE’s brand head honcho is a denizen of the crag. He gorges on adventure culture, hankers for epic treks and grinds his gravel bike round the Bristol orbit.

Our Verdict

Solid and reliable option for a trail shoe that will fit the needs of the city beat, keep you looking understated and well-supported on the hill.

Materials Suede / Nubuck
Lining Waterproof
RRP £140

Pros

  • Great support and comfort
  • Durability
  • High waterproof barrier

Cons

  • Slightly dull aesthetic
  • Colour is more grey-brown than the described olive and black
  • Fairly highly priced

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

I wear trail shoes most days, regardless of whether I am actually hitting a trail on that given day or not. That means I need a tough but comfortable multi-purpose shoe or low riding boot that can flex to everyday tasks in a mainly urban environment, but I can throw on for short notice hikes or country walks when the going is good to firm. I like a serious tread but also something that is pretty easy to clean afterwards due to the fact I’ll use it in these different environments. No one likes a mucky pup turning up to their house or shop do they?

I often walk in long grasses, marshy upper moorland and heaths and then the often boggy ground of the Somerset Levels, so I want something to keep my feet dry whichever direction I choose to take and ideally autumn into early winter too. I would definitely look for something more substantial and supportive for more challenging terrains and altitudes but it’s good to know that if I have a packing fail or a memory slip, I’ve still got a decent back up in my trail shoes.

Something to keep my feet dry whichever direction I choose to take

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Out of the box, my impression is one of simplicity. These shoes are of honest straightforwardness. The packaging and the shoes themselves seem to be deliberately un-flashy. It’s quite refreshing, actually. They are sturdy looking and wide and quite flat across the toe box. There’s a nice high waterproof line to stop any sogginess creeping in. The tread looks meaty and the rise is just about high enough. 

I’m a little underwhelmed by the colourway and though they’ve been marketed as being olive/black, my overriding impression is one of a grey-ish brown to the suede upper. Not the end of the world at all, but not 100% accurate either. The suede is soft and pleasingly strokeable and nicely offsets the solidity of the lower shoe signalling a neat blend and attention to comfort and support. They fit true to size.

My feeling is that the Danner brand still isn’t that well known in the UK although is it just me who’s been peppered by Danner Instagram ads over the course of the last two years? Probably not. To me there’s something classically American about the brand and their products; they’re ever so slightly old fashioned but self-evidently proud of being traditional in the way that salt-of-the-earth rural folk can be. Some of the Danner boots are pleasingly retro but authentically so. They’re often just perpetuating the designs they always had in the ’80s or whenever, with some gentle updates as technology progresses. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it kinda vibe. Fair enough.

The Test

I’ve had the Panoramas for about two months now and have been using them for everyday tasks flitting across the city we live in, probably walking in a hilly urban environment for about two hours a day on average. I’ve also used them for a few country walks in the Mendips on dry-ish heathland where gorse, bracken and dwarf shrubbery pock the old red sandstone underneath. I also took them on a couple of dry weather hikes (it’s been a good summer) in the Black Mountains and the Usk valley across terrain including a very boggy col, woodland trails, flagstone-heavy paths and some pretty steep valleys.

WHO IS THIS ITEM FOR?

The product descriptions and marketing collateral about these shoes is all very economical. That is to say that it’s pretty sparse compared to other brands we review here at BASE. Another signal of the quiet confidence behind the brand, perhaps, and the community it seeks to represent. These are a pretty versatile shoe, not out of place for everyday use but still sit on the tougher, more solid side of what’s available out there. They’re definitely good for day hikes, country rambles on intermediately challenging terrains and trails.

Look-wise, if you like a low-key, even subtle feel to your shoe with hints of classic Americana design, these might float your boat.

A pretty versatile shoe, not out of place for everyday use but still sit on the tougher, more solid side of what’s available

What Stands Out?

Traction

The deep-ish lugs easily freed themselves from any dirt and bog slop. They’re large and during the pretty steep Welsh valley climbs, stability and traction were never in question.

Durability

Yes it is relatively early days still but honestly there is a barely a suede hair’s difference after about 2 months of use.

High waterproof line

Cutting through low-running streams and marshy paths has been a breeze with no ingress whatsoever. As for the Danner Dry vs Gore Tex debate, I feel like a score draw result is the fairest. So far, I can’t fault the in-house brand version of this essential fabric. 

Value For Money

At £140 these are on the pricier side for a pair of trail shoes. But as per the points above, these look like keepers which will endure.

With the brand promise, the 365 day warranty and its heritage, this is about the safest bet you can get in the market.

BASE BOTTOM LINE

The no-frills, classic approach of this shoe and the brand are a welcome bit of consistency in this topsy-turvy world of ours, especially with the sometimes bewildering array of options for trail shoes and boots on the market hitting the shelves and website fields every year. This is a solid choice in every sense of the word.

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