Buy less, but better. Embracing this guiding principle within the context of apparel and outdoor equipment will not only save you time, money, and frustrations in the long run, but can also lower your environmental impact. Not to mention provides the long term satisfaction of seeing the products you’ve invested in wear in well and continue to work year-in, year-out. But even the best made products will need some TLC to keep kicking. Arc’teryx has their ReBird program to repair well-worn outerwear. Patagonia has Worn Wear, too. For Oregon-based bootmaker Danner, their long-standing and recently expanded Recrafting program has been a resource for decades, dedicated to keeping customers’ beloved boots on their feet and out of the landfill.
Now, to make a product worth repairing, one must first use the highest quality materials and expert craftsmanship to begin with. And well, since 1932 that’s been Danners M.O. “For nearly a century, Danner has maintained its commitment to crafting boots with purpose and integrity,” says Erin Braun, Danner Media Relations Manager. “Danner prides itself on using the best materials to create a product that’s built to last.” And also built to be repaired—premium craftsmanship and design elements like replaceable outsoles and full-grain leather uppers are a hallmark of Danner boots that allow for expert recrafting at any point in the product’s life cycle.
Danner’s purposeful, hands-on approach is alive in the Recrafting program, which operates out of the company’s Portland factory store with the capacity to repair and rebuild over 150 different Danner boot models, past, present, and forthcoming, including the iconic Mountain Light. The standard recrafting package covers everything from replacing broken hardware to fixing damaged stitching, swapping in fresh laces and insoles as well as treating damaged leather to breathe new life into the natural material. Beyond this, a more premium package for more aggressively worn boots goes even deeper, replacing the midsole, outsole, heel counter, shank, and liner.
The Recrafting process is fairly simple too: Check that your boot model qualifies (most USA-made models and Danner boots with stitchdown construction qualify), fill out a form detailing where your boots need the most love, and pop them in the mail.
“Quality always comes first and the craftsmen and women who work at our Danner factories take great pride in building each pair of boots,” explains Braun. The company’s Portland factory is one of the largest on the west coast, with an expert workforce dedicated to quality first and foremost. “We have some of the most talented factory workers that are skilled with traditional boot-making methods as well as newer, state-of-the-art technology,” Braun says of the expertise required for both new bootmaking and recrafting.
Doubling down on their commitment to keeping boots in the wild for as long as possible, Danner recently introduced the Evergreen collection, designed with timeless aesthetics and quality materials like premium, imported leather uppers. Each boot in this new collection is built from the ground up to be, in due time, resoled and potentially even entirely rebuilt through the Recrafting program. So go ahead, get attached. Get dirty. Wear them out. And when the time comes, Danner’s craftspeople will be ready to give your boots a full overhaul. Because at the end of the day, your favorite boots will always be better than new boots.