There was little doubt from the moment I slipped the Danner Bull Run Wellington boots on my feet that there was some skillful craftsmanship to them
Anyone who spends time mired in the dirt and messiness of the outdoors — whether doing a sloppy job like sorting cattle, following a game trail, or laying the foundation for a new shed — is missing out by not having a pair of Wellington-style boots to keep their feet happy. Wellingtons are those high-cut boots that are commonly worn by farmers and construction workers. This style of footwear might be rubber/neoprene, or, like the Danner Bull Run Wellington boots, constructed out of leather. Amid an extended period of rain and unseasonable temperature fluctuations, I got to test the Bull Run Wellingtons to see just how well they held up in some tough conditions.
There was little doubt from the moment I slipped the Bull Run Wellington boots on my feet that there was some solid and skillful craftsmanship to them. The soles, especially the heels, were particularly beefy, and while I didn’t try poking a nail or other sharp object through the sole, I believed it would do better than most other boots at warding off such a hazard.
I was also grateful for the durable structure around the heels and ankle — one pair of Wellingtons I got rid of about five years ago lacked rigidity/stability around my ankle. As a result, an errant root sidelined me with a severe ankle sprain while wearing those boots, and I never put them on again. The Bull Run boots, however, weren’t so pliable on uneven ground, and I wore them with a lot of confidence while walking through pastures filled with deep divots and with rocks unearthed by livestock hooves.
The Bull Run Wellingtons are available in brown and have a soft footbed made of OrthoLite, which offers a nice combination of comfort and performance. In fact, the footbed is made of open-cell polyurethane for better heat dissipation and air circulation. The boots climb 11 inches up the leg, have a steel shank, come in regular and wide sizing, and are made in the U.S. using imported components (there’s a small American flag logo along the top rim of each boot). They fit true to size.
Each pair weighs a beefy 3.5 pounds, so you’re going to feel them there most of the time.
Some of the user comments on Danner’s website touted how easy it was to break in these boots; I’ll admit, I found it to be exactly the opposite. This was perhaps the only drawback I found in these boots — it took me a very long time to break in the leather around the top of the foot and to feel a nice bend at the toe joints. This is a very strong and durable boot, and it’s clear to me that everyone, depending on what they’re used to with previous footwear, will have varying experiences here. Once broken in, I can say that this boot molded to my foot quite well.
Some of the big-picture features of this boot include:
- Full-grain, oiled leather upper: The leather processing that Danner uses is resistant to water and other liquid damage and requires less maintenance over time than other leathers do. However, this boot is not fully waterproof and should not be mistaken as such.
- Electrical-hazard protection: The Bull Run Wellingtons are manufactured with non-conductive electrical shock resistant soles and heels.
- Stitchdown construction: Handcrafted to provide a wider platform, Danner’s stitchdown construction offers increased stability underfoot.
- Recraftable: Danner can provide everything from a simple part replacement to a major overhaul, as long as the leather is not seriously damaged.
- One-year warranty: If purchases aren’t up to snuff or are defective in any way, Danner offers a 365-day warranty.
There’s little doubt about how utilitarian these boots are. I’ve never owned a pair of Danners before, despite them being a company that dates to 1932 and steeped in tradition among farmers and outdoorsmen. The Bull Run Wellingtons have certainly made me a fan.
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