Danner History and Heritage
An expert is the toughest customer to satisfy. When a product fails to meet their expectations, they simply will not use it. As such, Danner's sole aim is to satisfy the footwear needs of experts in the industry, military, law enforcement, hunting and outdoor recreation. Danner does this by putting more into their product than any normal person would expect — in a word, Danner overbuilds. Overbuilding improves performance. Overbuilding shows value. Overbuilding separates their brand in an overcrowded marketplace and sets the tone for their entire company. For to overbuild is to overserve — an approach that directly affects how someone is greeted by customer service, how a boot feels in the field and how Danner aid their partners at sporting goods, hunting and workwear stores. This focused commitment has allowed their brand to accomplish what few can claim: instead of simply being viewed as a product, the Danner name today serves as a badge of self-expression for those at the top of their vocation, as well as those who aspire to be.
The Danner Shoe Mfg. Company opened its doors in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin with five employees to begin the manufacture of low priced handcrafted work boots. The country was in the midst of the depression, labor costs were under 30 cents per hour and leather and other raw materials needed were dirt cheap. The finished boots sold for less than four dollars a pair.
In his search for higher quality boots, Charles Danner discovered that calked logging boots in the Pacific Northwest were selling for more than twenty dollars a pair, a considerable amount of money in 1936. That year he moved his family and the Danner business out to Portland, Oregon.
By the end of World War II, the company had built a name for itself making a logger style boot known as the "Shipyard Boot". The business passed from father to sons Bill and John Danner. Bill Danner purchased his brother's interest in the business and became the sole owner of the Danner Shoe Mfg. Company.
1960's & 1970's
President Kennedy stressed the importance of exercise and, seemingly overnight, outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing became national fads. In response, Danner began making hiking boots. The Danner Mountain Trail Boot was recognized by Backpacker Magazine as being the "most ideal" hiking boot. Light and flexible, yet sturdy and very comfortable, this boot began the tradition of Danner Hiking Boots followed to this day.
Using GORE-TEX® fabric, Danner developed and patented a completely unique way of making a truly waterproof boot.
After 50 years of shoe-making, Bill Danner decided to sell his company to Eric Merk, under the condition that Eric follow the tradition of quality and craftsmanship the Danner family had built over the years. And he did, adding his own, even stricter adherence to quality control.
Danner boots and the Danner Airthotic are awarded the APMA seal of acceptance by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Another assurance of comfortable Danner footwear.
Mar. 14, 1994, Danner merges with LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. of La Crosse, Wisconsin to form a major force in the footwear industry. Since 1897, the LaCrosse brand has stood for premium quality handcrafted rubber footwear. In recent years, the product line was expanded to include a full line of rubber and vinyl products.
The Danner Shoe Mfg. Company becomes the first shoe manufacturer in the United States to earn ISO 9002 certification. ISO is an international set of quality standards which provide customers the assurance that their Danner Boots will be made to the highest standards for comfort, durability, support and waterproofness.
Danner's parent company, LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. celebrates its 100th anniversary. Not too far behind, Danner celebrates 65 years of boot making.
Today and Beyond
Building on the same traditions and standards of quality instilled by the Danner family years ago, the Danner Shoe Mfg. Company continues to manufacture a complete line of Hiking, Fishing, Hunting, Uniform, and Work Boots in their 30,000 square foot factory in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
Danner wholesales to specialty retail stores and mail order companies throughout the country and has one company owned factory retail outlet. International sales include Japan, England, Sweden, and Italy, which account for approximately 10% of Danner's yearly sales.