PORTLAND, Ore. – Boot visionary Bill Danner died on Christmas Eve. He was 97 years old.

Danner was best known for creating a medium-weight hiking boot called the Mountain Light. In 1970, the Mountain Light changed the way hikers, who previously preferred extra heavy boots, thought about mountain boots.

As a result, Danner Boots, which is based in Portland, became an industry standard and has since maintained its reputation as a top bootmaker.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Danner,” said Laurie Thomas, Director of Marketing at LaCrosse Footwear, Inc., which owns Danner Boots. “It is his commitment to quality and craftsmanship that is at the heart of the Danner brand. If not for his vision and high standards, we would not be the company we are today. We honor his legacy and celebrate a very long and successful life, measured in lives touched and miles explored. Our best wishes go out to the entire Danner family.”

The boots garnered national attention again 2014 when they appeared in the Academy Award-nominated film Wild.