For nearly a century, Danner has crafted boots with purpose and integrity – footwear to equip those who choose the unlikely path, those who cut fresh trails, those who pioneer.
For you, maybe it’s somewhere you need to go. A different way of life you yearn to live. Or simply the need to fight for what’s right. These individuals defied convention to find their own independent paths. Where will yours take you?
Elijah Burton is a Portland-based commercial pilot who spends every spare moment he can in the water or on trails. Flying makes the world seem small—he’s in Tokyo one day and Frankfurt the next. Getting into the outdoors makes him feel small—there’s nothing quite like that sense of awe when he’s embraced by a fresh swell in the frigid Pacific or exploring an unknown backcountry zone.
“We’ve started to build a community around people who look like us and come from places we come from, people who do the same things or can learn to love the outdoors. You need to see yourself in other people in the outdoors or you won’t know where to take the first step.”
He feels a duty to be an evangelizer for adventure to communities that have not always been made to be feel welcome in those spaces. “It’s a call to people who come from where we come from that, hey, there’s something else out here that’s good for you, that’s beautiful, that’s been kept from us,” said Elijah. “It feels a little bit like we’ve made it to the mountain top, and we found something great, and now this is our fire at the top of the mountain to signal to everybody behind us.”
When Air Force vet-turned-farmer Rachael Taylor-Tuller carves out time with her family away from their goat dairy, Lost Peacock Creamery, it’s to go out on multi-day packing adventures with their horses.
We love being in the mountains and the best way to be in the mountains is with horses. All you worry about up there is that moment in time and you can really drink each other up, experience what it is to be human with the people you love.
Not long ago, Rachael’s daughter asked her if they were rich. Rachael turned the question back around and her daughter fell quiet for a few seconds. “Yeah, I think we’re rich,” she said. “Because we eat dinner together every single night, because we will never want for food since it’s all grown on our farm, and because we go into the mountains with horses. There’s no better life than that.”
Siberian-born Arnon Kartmazov, blacksmith and craftsman of Bridgetown Forge, always had a primal attraction to fire, light, and heat. As a boy he’d sneak off in his grandparents’ apartment to build tiny fires in ashtrays, feeding the flames match by match, feeling the thrill of controlling such a powerful element.
He found his calling in Japan, apprenticing under a master knife maker. He was completely floored the first time he walked into a Japanese shop with the full range of kitchen knives on display. A wall full of gorgeous functional objects—beautiful tools. Four different kinds of knife for one fish. More varieties of knives than any one person could possibly use, he thought. He noticed the hand-forged texture remained and recognized the beauty of the process revealed—“it’s very Japanese to not remove every mark of the process that created the object.”
He learned to shave away everything on a knife that’s not essential and to make sure the essentials work really, really well. “Just because a knife is hand forged doesn’t mean it’s automatically better,” said Arnon. “Any chunk of steel is like a bag of flour. You can make a great cake or a nasty one. It depends on your skill. The knife exists only as a potential, inside that steel.”