Light in weight, heavy in performance. A good alternative to heavier work boots for warm weather.
Unless your workplace demands otherwise, milder and warmer seasons call for a lighter weight, cooler wearing, less constrictive footwear. One that still offers a high level of foot protection.
At less than 1.5 pounds per boot, the Danner Riverside 4-1/2″ high work boots give you a lot more freedom of movement and breathability than 8″ or 10″ work boots. And they’re a heck of a lot lighter. The boots are available in sizes from 7 to 15 in medium and wide widths in an austere gray and black colour scheme with a tad of blue trim.
The upper, or body of the boot is made of leather and a breathable textile fabric. The leather offers good durability and abrasion resistance while the fabric adds greater flexibility and is breathable.
Inside the boot is a breathable fabric mesh lining that helps wick moisture away from your foot. Danner doesn’t specify whether the lining is antimicrobial, which helps to prohibit the growth of odor causing bacteria. Most boot stores carry antimicrobial sprays that you can use. The brand I’ve been using is called “Clean Sweep”.
The midsole is made of a blended rubberized Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) foam compound – the EVA foam base is blended together with a certain amount of foam rubber that’s resistant to thinning or compacting over time, which happens with a standard polyurethane (PU) midsole. It provides a lightweight foundation with superior cushioning and better/longer lasting shock absorption properties.
The insoles (aka footbed) are made of an open cell polyurethane. Air and water are free to enter and exit the foam just like a sponge. They provide some level of shock absorption and increase overall boot comfort. The only reason to replace them is if you have specific support requirements such as fallen arches or flat feet, or if you feel that you need even more cushioning than these insoles provide. I like a very cushioned footbed so I pop in a pair of Dr. Scholl’s.
The sole is made of rubber and has deep treads that provide very good grip. The rubber extends up over the tip of the toe and heel (called a rubber rand) adding yet another layer of abrasion and shock protection to the boot. Rubber is preferred on all work footwear, as it’s slip, oil, and abrasion resistant, as well as very long wearing.
As you’ll find on a lot of footwear, the sole and the uppers are joined with an adhesive rather than sewn, which means the sole can’t be replaced – it’s a less costly method of construction that makes the boots more economical for the end user. Just above the heel is a large looped tab that makes it easier to pull the boots on and off.
There is a pair of hook eyelets at the top of the boots. The rest of the eyelets aren’t reinforced with metal grommets, likely due to the thickness of the leather upper. I find that lacing up these boots takes a bit longer than other Danner boots that use ringed eyelets.
These boots have steel toe protection and an ASTM F2413-18 I/75 C/75 EH rating. This means that in the event of an item 2,500 lbs or greater falling on the toe, the steel toes retain at least a 1/2″ compression clearance. As well, the sole provides protection from electrical current up to 600 volts AC on dry surfaces, and they don’t conduct heat or electricity.
The deep lugs provide good grip on smooth floors (concrete in my shop) and improve traction and stability.
I’ve been wearing these boots from Danner on a daily basis in the shop for the past couple of weeks. They have just about all the features I want in an all-day boot with a protective toe. The fit is snug (though they may stretch somewhat in use), arch support is reasonably good, they’re reasonably light in weight and I can wear them all day long without any discomfort.
What you get with the Danner Riverside is a lower-cut work boot that provides a good blend of durability, support, and comfort.