As one of the most reputable footwear brands, Danner is largely recognized for its high-quality boots made for excellent outdoor performance. The Danner HighGround and Pronghorn boots are two of their best-selling boot styles. Both models provide waterproof protection, insulation options, and excellent stability.
The HighGround vs. Pronghorn boots are similar in terms of insulation and waterproof protection. However, several distinct differences set them apart. So which one is better? Let’s dig in and discuss some of the significant differences and similarities.
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Danner HighGround vs Pronghorn: The Comparison
Danner HighGround vs Pronghorn: Quality
True to their name, the Danner brand is known mainly for high-quality boots, and their HighGround vs. Pronghorn are no exception. The Gore-Tex lining featured by the Pronghorn ensures moisture control for excellent comfort.
The uppers are made of genuine leather, meaning the boots can withstand many years of tough weather conditions without falling sort n functionality. However, you’ll want to protect the leather with conditioner, which is also provided by Danner.
As far as quality goes, both boots offer unparalleled athletic performance when outdoors, even in tough terrain. They can receive a beating for years through different seasons and stand the test of time. In other words, both boots are built to last.
Danner HighGround vs Pronghorn: Material and Construction
Coming down to construction, neither the HighGround nor the Pronghorn skimps on quality. Both models are high-quality outdoor boots for their class. The uppers on the
HighGround boots, in particular, are a mix of buttery soft Nubuck and 900-denier polyester. The Nubuck leather is soft enough to provide a nice break-in period yet tough enough to withstand outdoor conditions and provide good waterproofing. The stated 900D polyester is abrasion-free and gives the boot a cool camo look. Not to mention that the outsoles provide a good balance of mobility and traction.
The Pronghorn, on the other hand, features full-grain brown leather, 1,000-D synthetic, and treated with a CamoHide process that gives the boot a more marbling camo shade.
Both styles are 8-inch in height. On the flip side, however, neither of these is recraftable. You cannot replace the outsole even when the time is right- contrary to other Danner models. That means if the soles are worn or something happens, they won’t be reparable. Most outdoor boots are not meant to be irreparable, but it would be nice to have this feature in place. Understandably, this is because of their construction.
On the bright side (as far as stitching goes), you can expect to get some beautiful stitching on both boots. Both boots are equipped with a reinforced toe box and heel. Perhaps the only difference here is that the HighGround features double-stitching while the Pronghorn comes with a triple-stitched reinforcement. Note that neither of these boots features a stitch-down construction- they are partially glued to the uppers.
The HighGround comes with durable double stitching across the uppers, alongside reinforced leather on the toe box. The Pronghorn also boast double stitching across the uppers but features a rugged triple-stitched leather reinforcement on the heels and toes.
Considering the material and construction employed, it’s safe to say that the Danner HighGround has been designed as more of a lightweight boot that supports ease of movement and flexibility.
The Pronghorn, meanwhile, was designed with ruggedness in mind, making it more capable of withstanding more beating, thanks to the tough full-grain leather and 1000D nylon.
Danner HighGround vs Pronghorn: The Outsole
Coming down to outsoles, the Danner HighGround boot comes with a proprietary Danner Talon outsole. It’s a lightweight sole purposely made for outdoor conditions, with emphasis on traction. At a closer look, we noticed a combination of black and orange lugs that enables the soles to stick to the ground for extra stability, thereby keeping you safe in wet and muddy conditions.
The Danner Pronghorn, on the other hand, has outsoles that focus more on ruggedness and multi-terrain purposes. They are low-profile outsoles that are designed to tackle a variety of terrains. In fact, they are a more versatile option to the Danner Talon Outsoles featured on the HighGround boots.
One downside, however, is that while Pronghorn outsoles offer great stability, they don’t provide the same “sticky” properties that allow the HighGround to firmly grip the surface with each step.
The Lacing System
The Danner HighGround boot features a lock and load lacing system (four-speed hooks to enhance durability during high-stress seasons. There are also the lower ghillies that pull the lace tight while ensuring a snug fit. However, the pull-up strap at the back is way too small, making it hard to grip with gloves. While this seems to be simply for aesthetics, it’s generally viewed as a design flaw.
The Pronghorn, meanwhile, comes with more classic metal eyelets along the instep, with four-speed hooks at the top. The distinctive feature here is the third-speed lace that runs from the top to mid-ankle, making the boot more secure when in rough terrain. It also ensures some ankle stability.
The Bottom Line
As outdoor boots, both of these models have a lot in common than differences. Both are waterproof, offering great stability in outdoor conditions. Plus, they have excellent construction too. The main difference between the two is that one is more of agility-based footwear while the other is made for overall ruggedness.
The HighGround provides more versatility of movement, while the Pronghorn offers a more rugged, all-terrain boot, alongside a wide range of insulation options. That said, the Pronghorn has more features and may provide more versatility in different conditions and terrain. It also seems to be the more popular, probably due to this reason based on overall reviews.
The HighGround is relatively more lightweight and made for late Spring or Fall-like conditions. The Pronghorn offers a more rugged sturdiness overall. Both models are comparable in price and offer great value for money. Thus far, the bottom line when choosing either style can be attributed to your individual preference and needs.
If you’re looking for a lightweight boot that can provide optimal flexibility and ground grip, the Danner HighGround might be the boot for you. Meanwhile, if you’d rather have a rugged all-terrain boot, something versatile with better insulation options, then the Pronghorn may be a better buy.