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Itemized: Danner Boots

photographer Carlotta Zarattini

Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Alex Frank writes about Danner's Mountain Light Hiking Boot.


For everyone it's different, but last night was the first time I felt trapped in the snow globe of winter, sure that from here on out I was going to be stuck in a cold world, banging on the sides trying to escape. I was out at a birthday party and I ordered straight whiskey, not my usual vodka soda. I'm not even a good drinker like that, was just cold. When everyone decided to leave, it was snowing and windy, so instead of the subway, my friends and I took a midnight taxi from midtown to Brooklyn. I'm spending money just to stay warm. Whipping down 6th Avenue, every single shop had Christmas decorations.

In the cab, my friend told me she takes one major winter fall a year. She's lived in New York for six, conquered everything from cockroaches to the 2005 transit strike, but this is a town of scattered, inevitable defeats. Falling on ice is one of hers. You pick and choose your battles. I read somewhere that 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, underneath the earth monstrous pumps pour out millions of gallons of water that tries to invade the subway. There couldn't be a subway without those pumps, a never-ending war just to ensure you get to work on time. That's the MTA's battle against nature.

Traction has become mine. I don't wear scarves (never liked them) and sometimes I leave the house without a hat, but good shoes are my daily fight. I threw all my canvas sneaks, anything vaguely casual, to the back of my closet. I can't fuck around. I got these Danner boots because you know who uses Danner boots? The U.S. Army. Politics aside, that's a ringing endorsement because they fight way crazier battles than my urbane ones. I wasn't wearing my Danner's last night, just some Doc Martens with holes along the sides from too much use. But last night was boot camp, today the real thing, and these boots are it.

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Itemized: Danner Boots