Tactical Gear Factory - Danner Factory Tour
It has been said that more than 100 hands touch a pair of Danner boots before they reach a customer. In this episode of Tactical Gear Factory we travel to Portland, Oregon for a visit with Danner and to learn more about how they manufacture boots for the US Military.
Danner has a reputation for making some of the highest-quality footwear you’ll find on the feet of soldiers, civilians, and recreational sportsmen and women all of the world. Today we’ll focus one of Danner’s newer models, the Rivot™.
As with any great product, the materials utilized in its design and in its construction directly affect its the success. Jay Bussart, an employee at Danner for over 25 years, tells us about Danner’s commitment to quality and how they’ve achieved such high standards by selecting only the highest-grade leather and raw materials.
Once leather is selected it moves to the cutting station. Here, dies are used with cutting machines to produce pattern pieces for the footwear. Again, leather is closely inspected as engineers attempt to yield the most usage from the hide. Meanwhile, the inner booties are being manufactured and tested.
The relationship between Danner and GORE-TEX goes back to the 70’s, when Danner’s pattern engineers created the Mountain Light boot, the first piece of footwear utilizing GORE-TEX. This was later patented and sold to GORE-TEX. These days, GORE-TEX seems to be the standard for waterproof footwear, and it all started at the Danner factory.
At the branding station the pre-cut leather pieces have arrived as only the best pieces are selected for use. Much like branding cattle, a heat stamp machine is used to brand the leather with a variety of logos including the USMC Eagle, Globe and Anchor, Made in USA or a Danner logo among others.
In the fitting department the specialists sew all the pieces together. They utilize single and double needle stitching, automated stitching, eyeleting machines and more to assemble the basics of the boot.
In the lasting department, the area where they form the upper to the last– an engineered shape made to resemble a foot; leather is the manipulated to form the boot. Again, this is a hands-on experience only complimented by machinery. Next, the boot is sent to the bottoming department where it’s fitted with a midsole and an outsole.
Danner has partnered with Vibram for the technology, compounds, design and processes required to produce outsoles. The Rivot, for example is specifically designed for lateral movement on the forefoot or heel and for debris removal.
Cathy Maxwell has been an employee at Danner for over 26 years. She is responsible for quality control and she and her team inspect every single pair of boots that Danner sends out of the factory. From cosmetics to packaging, Cathy’s team is the final checkpoint before a Danner boot goes to market. They’re great at their jobs and Danner’s reputation shows it.
So, that’s it. Want more details? Then, watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVZrFdbfQYc.
A Danner boot is a mark of unsacrificing quality. It’s been that way since 1932, the year Charles Danner decided to open his boot making business in the midst of the Great Depression and risk his future on a stubborn belief that superior craftsmanship mattered. Rooted in the Pacific Northwest with our headquarters and Danner factory located along the Columbia river in Portland, Oregon, we strive each day to uphold ourselves to the highest standards, knowing that the product we build is no better than the hands that create it.
To learn more about Danner visit www.Danner.com.