The history of Hanwag, plus our look at the five new limited edition centenary designs
A few notable things happened in the year of 1921: the first British reconnaissance expedition set off to explore the vicinity of Mount Everest, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton began his final Antarctic expedition and Albert Einstein receives the Nobel prize in physics. It was also the year that a man named Hans Wagner opened up his own shoemaking workshop in house number 56 within the small Bavarian village of Vierkirchen. It was the beginning of the Hanwag brand, with Hans’s well-crafted leather designs quickly taking off and a factory subsequently built nearby.
Today, 100 years on, Hanwag, is still making boots from that same German village. And not just any old boots either, but boots made to stand the test of time, with a specific focus on the perfect fit, robustness and high quality materials. Over the last century Hanwag has been behind the first ever ski touring boot, the first ever specialist paragliding boot and it originally led the way in lightweight shoes for sport rock climbing too.
To celebrate that 100-year milestone this year, Hanwag have released a number of special edition boots that draw upon the heritage of the company. Each one is made from quality European-sourced leather and showcases Hanwag’s classic design techniques, including their double stitched or cemented sole constructions which both allow for easy sole replacement if and when the rubber has eventually worn down. The Hanwag 100 Years logo is embossed on all of the boots in the collection and they also come in special packaging containing a shoe care set.
Here’s a quick introduction to some of the new limited edition models…
The Alaska 100 GTX
Hanwag have re-released their timeless Alaska boot, 25 years on from the first ever edition. And not much has changed…
Expect stability, sure-footedness, reliability and comfort, even when carrying a heavy pack. Made from a single piece of 2.8mm full-grain leather in homage to the traditional smooth leather upper of the original mountain boot, it’s the kind of thing that’s made for all kinds of upland terrain, including scree slopes, marshy bogs, torrential streams and rocky ground. The slightly higher scree-protection rubber rand with a laser cut logo protects the leather against cuts and scratches and there’s also an embossed logo on the leather upper. Inside the boot, the polyurethane midsole is topped by a 0.2 mm TPU foil layer helping to enhance the comfort while keeping the overall weight nice and light.
Hanwag Hans 100
This mid-cut, special-edition Hanwag 100 years anniversary boot with authentic double-stitched construction pays homage to traditional mountain boots.
As a modern take on a historic design, the high-quality, elegant leather boot is designed for everyday use, whether that’s on country trails or in the city. It’s made using a characteristic Terracare full-grain leather from Hanwag’s tannery in Heinnen and is fitted with a lightweight, cushioning Vibram V-Lite sole. Both the footbed and lining are made from skin-friendly, chrome-free tanned leather.
Hanwag Wagner 100
The Wagner 100 is another example of Hanwag blending traditional boot making techniques with a modern design and feel under and around the foot.
Once again, double stitching has been used here to allow easy replacement of the sole if and when the rubber eventually wears out after years of use. It’s a mid-cut design, with quality nubuck leather used throughout the upper, and it boasts a particularly soft ankle cuff which brings a casual feel. The sole unit uses Vibram’s V-Lite compound which is designed to bring comfort during strike and roll-off. There’s also a chrome-free tanned leather lining on the inside and on the footbed.
Hanwag Sepp 100
The Sepp 100, named after Hans Wagner’s nephew Josef “Sepp” Wagner, is made completely in Germany using robust, full-grain leather.
Its traditional ‘Juchten’ leather upper is made using a special tanning process, where the flesh side is on the outside. This process – using the grain side – is different to conventional split leather where the hide is first divided into different layers. As a result, it produces a more robust material. If small areas of damage, such as scratches, cuts or dents are incurred these are easy to repair with wax or grease.
This is actually the first ever example (in 100 years of boot making) that Hanwag has used triple-stitching on a boot. That means that if you want long lasting seam durability, you’re definitely going to get it here. It even comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Browse the full limited edition collection at: hanwag.com
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