The Filson x Danner Grouse Boots, an upland boot with comfort and durability from two iconic brands.
When I opened the box of my Filson x Danner Grouse Boots, I immediately thought of my friend Fred. Fred is in his early sixties and has been working as a concrete contractor for most of his adult life. He’s one of the hardest working and humble guys I know. About thirty-five years ago, the contractor he was working for at the time gave him a well-worn Filson waxed canvas jacket. Fred wore it for the next three decades until the day it disappeared on a job site, either misplaced or stolen. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that he still tears up when telling the tragic story of losing his precious Filson jacket.
After wearing my first ever Filson product, the newly-released, limited-edition Filson x Danner Grouse Boots, I’m beginning to understand Fred’s tears. They’re tears that flow from a loyalty and affection that only a world-class brand and product can build. Something that will last decades, not just seasons.
I live in the Northwest on the Idaho panhandle. Here, there are rolling wheat fields and ponderosa forests within 15 minutes of each other. Farming and logging are huge industries up here. As I chase birds, the terrain can be fertile loam or taxing basalt and granite. On any given day, I might be crossing irrigation ditches or mountain streams. As you can imagine, I need a boot that can handle it all. Enter the Filson x Danner Grouse boots. Two companies with roots in my region and legacies in logging, prospecting, and hiking are bound to make the perfect utilitarian solution.
The boot is 100% waterproof and built with Danner’s premium, full-grain leather and Filson’s waxed Tin Cloth. Basically, take the two iconic materials from two iconic brands and put them around a GORE-TEX lining and Vibram outsole. With some proper boot care you get a boot for the ages.
The day after I got them, I laced them up and put almost five miles on them while filming a Pheasant/Quail hunt in Eastern Washington. Putting a new pair of Filson x Danner Grouse Boots in that situation felt like a gamble at the time. But at the end of the day, I had forgotten that they were on their maiden voyage. I’ve put a few more miles on them since then. The best compliment I can give is that I don’t even think about them. The boots were comfortable and warm in the crisp morning and nice and breathable when the sun was overhead. They’re not overly bulky or heavy and they provided fine stability while clodhopping around the edges of a field of garbanzo beans in search of wild ring-necked pheasant.
As for fit, I wear size 12 and the size 12 boots I received fit true to size. My feet are on the wider side so the boot fit snugly, but still very comfortably. In fact, that snug fit will come in handy later this month as I chase Chukar up and down the slopes of Hell’s Canyon in Southern Idaho.
There aren’t a lot of these available—only 375 pairs are being produced—but they’re being produced right here in the US. And they aren’t cheap ($390) but if you get the same life out of them that Fred got out of his jacket, it’s money well spent. Just don’t leave them laying around a job site.