Danner Mountain Light vs Mountain Pass

No matter how diverse your taste in boots is, we are sure you will love one between the Danner Mountain Light vs Mountain Pass boots.

Well, digging deeper, it seems that there is a boot for everyone under the Danner brand name. Whether you need a hunting, hiking, fashion or work boot, there is one for you.

Now, some time in the past, we reviewed the Danner High Ground 400G hunting boot. We saw why this is one of the best lightweight hunting boot in the market, in camouflage design.

Later on, we reviewed Danner High Ground vs Pronghorn hunting boots. We compared the two boots side by side and we saw that either can serve you very well.

Today, we compare a couple of boots under the same name, the Danner Mountain Light and Mountain Pass. We shall see how they compare when it comes to features.

Danner Mountain Light vs Mountain Pass Features & Technical Details

Everything starts with the features and specifications. How do these boots compare to each other? Keep reading as we find out together:

1. Design and Build Quality

First, by design, both the Mountain Light and Mountain Pass are ankle boots. They look puffed up, well, many ankle boots do. However, this makes them ruggedly handsome, albeit too masculine. So what can you use these boots for? They are designed to be used as lightweight hiking boots.

The Mountain Light boot is a bit heavier because it weighs 58oz. The Mountain Pass is lighter at 46oz. It may seem like a small difference but when you have been hiking for miles on end with a full backpack on your back, you will definitely be glad for all the weight that you can shed off.

Image of Danner Mountain Light
Danner Mountain Light

Both boots have the same shaft height of 5 inches. While this is not comparable to the 8-inch shaft of the Pronghorn and High Ground that we reviewed some time back, it still offers good ankle support for your needs.

2. Outsole

When it comes to hiking boots that you intend to use on all manner of terrains, you need a good outsole to get the best grip.

When it comes to the sole material, these boots are different. The Danner Mountain Light comes with a high quality synthetic sole by Vibram (Vibram Kletterlift).

It is thick enough at almost an inch to protect your feet from the rocks, stumps and other things that you find on the trails. The sole is waterproof, oil-proof and it has deep lugs, which give you good traction on different terrains.

The Danner Mountain Pass boots come with a rubber sole, still by Vibram. Although it is thick, it is thinner than that of the Danner Light. That is why the Mountain Pass boots are lighter in weight.

This sole is going to keep your feet protected. If you like to walk quietly, rubber is the real deal for you.

3. Leather Uppers

The upper of a hiking boots that is going to be exposed to all types of elements is very important. These two boots come with full grain leather uppers.

Besides, the uppers come with waterproof membrane that keeps the moisture out of your feet. The good thing is that once the protective membrane wears out, you can reinstate it with the right products.

Reinforced toe and heel areas

The toe box area of both boots is reinforced and so is the heel area. Therefore, should you knock your feet against tree stumps and rocks, your feet are going to be well protected.

The design of the upper is somehow different between the two boots. The Mountain Pass comes with a comfortable padding on the upper back. This is a small padded part that is comfortable on the back of your ankle.

The Light seems to lack the thick padding. It comes with a thin one that is barely noticeable from a glance. Both shoes score almost the same when it comes to the overall upper construction.

Image of Danner Mountain Pass
Danner Mountain Pass

The Mountain Light boots are also designed to be roomy enough, so you will have a lot of flex. However, the Pass boots fit true to size. Therefore, you may have to order a size up or something like that if you love to wear thick woolen socks.


Another noticeable difference in the design is that the Danner Mountain Pass has many panels on the upper. They make it look cuter and well thought out. The Mountain Light on the other hand is like a one leather piece construction. It is almost a fully enclosed design that does a good job of keeping debris out of your feet.

Both boots require to be broken in but the roomier Danner Light takes just a short time as compared to the tighter Danner Pass.

4. Insole

Boot insoles are very important for comfort and support. For example, if you have high arches, you need an insole designed for that. If you have flat feet, you need insoles that can give the much-needed arch support.

If you would like to replace the stock Danner insoles with another brand or medical insoles, you had better go for the Danner Mountain Pass because it comes with removable foot beds. The Light comes with fixed foot beds so you pretty much have no options there.

If you have regular feet, you know with the right arches and all, you will not need to use a pair of custom insoles. In any case, if you must, you can always order your boots a half size or one size up to get room to add another insole.

The insoles of both boots are made with PU which is then coated with an antimicrobial cloth top for odor control. Therefore, your feet will not be skunk-smelly when you get them out of the boots.

5. Gore Tex Lining

We know Gore Tex is the king when it comes to footwear lining. All Danner Boots come with Gore Tex lining.

It has many benefits but the chief ones are that it wicks moisture away from your feet when they sweat. It is also waterproof, but at the same time, it is breathable. Therefore, you have a pair of boots with ample breathability but they are waterproof at the same time.

When combined with an antimicrobial insole, this lining makes these shoes so comfortable. Besides, your feet will stay dry and aerated all through your hiking experience.

6. Lacing System

Here, both the Danner Mountain Light vs Mountain Pass boots are similar. They come with a lace down to toe design and they have metal hooks punched into the leather.

In addition, they have a speed lacing hook at the top. The traditional eyelets that we saw in the Danner Pronghorn and High Ground are not used here.

The outstanding metal loops look good and they make lacing up the boots even easier.

Wrapping Up

These boots are almost the same. But the keyword here is “almost.” If the manufacturer intended them to be the same, they would have been one.

Both are children of the same mother though and you can expect excellent quality from either. However, the Danner Mountain Light is heavier because of the thicker sole. The Pass is lighter in weight and for a hiker, weight really matters a lot.

Simply put, in the Danner Mountain Light vs Mountain Pass comparison, both boots score highly. However, we feel that the Light is sturdier and can last longer than the Pass, but you won’t know that until you try it.