Hanwag Banks GTX Hiking Boot | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Hanwag Banks GTX Hiking Boot | Review

A boot for all footshapes and one that from that we selected as our Best Buy boot for 2020-2021. Here’s our lowdown on the Hanwag Banks collection

Why We Chose It: Long-lasting, comfortable, well-crafted

In 2020, Hanwag re-released their Banks family of hiking boots and shoes, bringing new materials and a slightly modernised design and fit to a collection that was first released over 16 years ago. What’s more, they’ve also now introduced a host of new last designs, meaning you can essentially pick a Banks to match your foot shape.

Who’s The Hanwag Banks GTX For?

The Banks GTX is a very British style of walking boot. It’s got the look for sure, but it also has that performance you want for, say, a day wading through sticky peat in the Peak District or for navigating some Scottish bogland. Granted it’s not necessarily a boot with the specs to handle a day of via ferrata in the South Tyrol, but if you want something reliable enough and comfortable enough for a big day hike, or maybe even a long-distance backpacking trip, the Banks GTX would be a very good boot to opt for.

The Different Banks Fits

The standard model of the Banks GTX is built around the German brand’s StraightFit last, giving a nice amount of space around the toes to let them sit naturally and comfortably. Then there’s also the SF Extra version, which combines the StraightFit’ last’s roomy toebox with a wider fit around the ball of the foot. 

In the ladies-specific Banks collection, there’s the choice between either the StraightFit last or the SF Extra, plus there’s a narrow fit option in the women’s category as well. 

Suffer from Hallux Valgus? In that case, you’ll want to go for the Banks Low (that’s the low cut, shoe version) which comes in a bunion fit.

The Banks family includes boots and shoes to fit all foot shapes. Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson

Materials and Design

Nubuck leather, suede and synthetics are all used for the upper, all combining for a great quality feel and look. Lining the inside of the boot, there’s a Gore-tex membrane for breathable waterproof protection.

“It has that performance you want for a day wading through sticky peat in the Peak District or for navigating some Scottish bogland.”

The ankle on the boot cut version of the Banks is quite high, bringing a lot of stability, and it’s nicely padded too. The lacing system brings a nice smooth glide and pulls in evenly for a secure wraparound.

Vibram’s Endurance Pro is used for the outsole, giving reliable traction on softer ground. In the midsole, there’s full-length cushioning and a slight bit of flex to contribute to that long distance comfort. 

Unlike some of the more technical boots across Hanwag’s trekking collection, there isn’t a big rubber toe bumper on this model, so you won’t want to put this through too much exposure to rocky ledges. As for the fit, OM editor Will will give his thoughts on that below in his Tester’s Verdict.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“I’ve had a pair of Hanwag Banks GTX for over a year now and they’ve risen right to the top of my pile, becoming the pair of boots I reach to for nearly every hill or country walk. I’ve travelled to the Lake District, Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire, in them and they really have performed excellently for me.

“Even after all that wandering, they’re still in great nick. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a pair of boots that have held up so well after so many miles.”

“As for the fit, the space around the toes that the StraightFit last creates is noticeable – in a good way. There’s plenty of wiggle room but your feet are still held securely by the rest of the boot so you won’t end up sliding forward when descending. After a long day of walking, that kind of space can make a difference.

“The sole unit has the right amount of flex and roll for days with big mileage. The shock absorption has been impressive too, even on any compacted or rocky trails. As for the grip, I’ve found that to be reliable on all but slimy rock.”

Will (middle) testing the GTX Banks in Snowdonia on the Outdoor 100 Team Test weekend. Photo: Jamie Barnes

Hanwag Banks GTX

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