Danner has sought the help of down specialists to create the ultimate insulated boot.
Together with Nanga, a Japanese brand that's been making "feather products" for nearly 75 years, the footwear brand has conceived what is essentially a walking sleeping bag. Underneath what appears to be a typical water-resistant overboot is an inner layer that repurposes Nanga's Aurora Light sleeping bag. With modular construction, which we're starting to see more of in technical footwear this year, the two layers can be worn together for maximal warmth and protection or on their own individually.
The two-in-one Freddo boot looks to be a Japan exclusive, as it comes from the Japanese division of Danner instead of the wider brand. But with a host of stockists earmarked for the country, there's ample opportunity to enlist a proxy service to bring these dreamy and toasty pups stateside to your doorstep.
Let's peel it back — The black outer layer is made from water-resistant nylon that also helps to retain heat. Without laces, a buckle makes the Freddo boot easy to slip on and off and secure to your liking. On the ankles, you'll find gathers to provide more stability and prevent heat from escaping, while the grippy Vibram outsole has been made specifically for winter sports.
Inside, you've got a choice between orange or blue booties packed with goose feathers. They simply slide in and out of the overboot, which will allow you to change functions in no time. Without any tread, the booties are a great option for indoors and will be even cozier than the Thermoball mules from The North Face that we love.
Beyond being multi-functional, the Freddo boot is just pure fun. Many of us who embrace modular footwear aren't going to need its full range of applications, but there's something satisfying about the sense of preparedness. And in the harshest days of winter, the Freddo is going to look a hell of a lot cooler than an Ugg boot while providing a similar level of comfort.
Bone up on your proxy — Danner and Nanga's collaborative boot will release through their respective websites, as well as in the stores listed in the latter link. The conversion rate comes out to about $172, which is a hell of a deal for all the utility. You'd be perfectly reasonable in rationalizing the purchase as $86 per boot, with a marginal fee added for import. Not a bad return on your investment.