Danner Radical 452 GTX Boot Review

By: Will

Summary:

The Radical 452 GXT is a super durable pair of hiking boots suitable for the mountain trail, desert wash and back alley.  Positive features are a quick break in, great durability, and rubberized toe cap.  All in all, I’m going to drop the change on a new pair.

Field Use:

I first started using the Danner Radical GTX 452 about a year ago.  For the first six months or so they saw limited use with the exception of a number of late night adventures in the Sonoran Desert.  However, for the last six months they have seen almost daily action and have proven their durability over and over again.  The majority of field use has been on both the desert floor and mountains, many times off trail.  In the following review you will see some pretty worn boots, and there is a reason for that, because here at BlackSheepWarrior.com we pride ourselves on actually using the gear we review. So, sit back, read the review and try to imagine just how ripe these boots smell!

The Boot:

The Danner Radical GTX 452 features  a full-grain nuboc leather upper in conjunction with a rubber toe cap for added scuff resistance.  It also features a 100% waterproof GORE-TEX liner that keeps your feet dry as long as the water isn’t  deeper that the top of the boot.  

The rubberized toe cap provides ample protection from the harsh desert terrain but contrary to Danner’s product description, it is not “scuff proof”.  The oversized stitching in the toe area and heel have managed to hold the boot together and inspire confidence in the overall build quality.

The tongue features leather with a waterproof GORE-TEX liner that seals off the boot on both sides.  The rugged boot laces have stood up quite well and are organized by way of metal eyelets until the top of the boot where they are secured via four lace hooks.

Over time the full-grain leather has taken a beating but still shows no sign of failure.  I’m not sure if the same could be said if the Danner Radical GTX didn’t feature the rubberized toe cap.

The Radical GTX 452 has stood up really well however,  after a year (six months field use) the sole is showing signs of separation from the main body of the boot.  After close inspection, it appears it is an aesthetic issue and I attribute it to excessive kneeling which is pretty hard on boot arches.

I dont have much to say about the “TERRA FORCE” sole other than the fact that it has worn quite well and has not showed any signs of internal/external separation.  The tread pattern has proved aggressive enough and has worn evenly.

Downsides:

There are three downsides that I have discovered.  First, the boot is imported from China.  Second, the toe cap has a textured outer layer that starts to peal off with aggressive wear.  The last issue is one that I did not personally experience but is documented in various user reviews that I read and people basically complain that the inner sole is not comfortable.  Like I said, I haven’t experienced this issue because, without fail, I always purchase third party work boot insoles and wear them from day one.

Wrap up:

If you are looking for a durable boot for tactical situations, then I highly recommend looking into the Danner Radical GTX 452.  They have been rock solid for me and I know a handful of other law enforcement professionals that swear by them as well.  On a final note, cholla sucks but it has yet to get through my Danner Radicals!

– Will

 

Where To Purchase:

Danner.com