There are a few local trends in Missoula everyone knows and follows 1) you or someone you know owns a large dog 2) you or someone you know drives a Subaru and 3) you or someone you know owns at least one pair of Dansko shoes.
While recently checking out the footwear dowtown, every other person was wearing the (in)famous solid, chunky shoe style synonymous with Dansko shoes. People swear by their orthopedic design to provide the most comfortable and supportive footwear to date. Dansko shoes are lauded by people of various professions from food service workers to mall employees as not only preventing their feet from hurting, but also their backs, necks, and probably arms and stomachs too.
Nay-sayers, on the other hand, quietly tip-toe around the clunkers in their flexible, lightweight alternative choice of footwear. I am one of them. Don't get me wrong, I too bought into the hype and even purchased a pair during a "once in a lifetime Dansko sale," and I nearly broke my ankle. Maybe I should've been more careful while walking to the UM campus on icy, uneven terrain where even the most reliable shoes can prove dangerous. Except there were other times on clear sidewalks where the smallest of pebbles loomed as dangerous as a hidden pothole.
My suggestion: try out a pair of your friend's Dansko shoes for a day before you commit your $100+ for a hefty-weighted, slippery pair of ankle testers.