Hanwag Banks Lady GTX Boots | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Hanwag Banks Lady GTX Boots | Review

Nic Hardy tests out the Hanwag Banks Lady GTX over the course of a number of hikes exploring the outlying fells of the Lake District National Park

The Banks style was first introduced by Hanwag 15 years ago and it’s been refined over the years to become one of the brand’s classic models.

Sourced only from European parts, Hanwag promise high quality and an optimum fit with their summer 2020 new release of the Banks GTX, marketing it as being the best choice for lowland walking and long distance multi-day hikes.

Hanwag Banks Lady GTX: Comfort

Now the first thing to note is that the Banks comes in a variety of different sub-styles designed to suit multiple foot types. The first is the Banks Straight Fit Extra, this model is great for those with a wider forefoot and allows extra room for the big toe to point straight ahead without being pushed inward. The second option is the Banks Narrow, which is great if you find the boots you’ve worn in the past to be too wide and you are looking for the secure feeling of a narrower walking boot. The third option is the Banks LL which has a soft and supple leather lining instead of the Gore-Tex membrane and fabric lining that features in all the other models. The fourth and final variation is the standard Banks Lady GTX which I’ve put to test in this review. If you’re looking for a verdict on the men’s version, head over to our editor’s review via the link below.

Related: Hanwag Banks II GTX men’s review

When I first slid my foot into the boot, I knew I was off to a great start. I went for a half size up to accommodate foot swelling which tends to happen to me on hot multi-day walks and this, for me, was a great decision. The toe box felt roomy but the laces secured the boot snug around my ankles. The inner lining is really soft and the boot feels fantastically cushioned overall. In this iteration of the Banks GTX, Hanwag have reinforced the polyurethane wedge for a softer, more comfortable roll off and out on the trails and you can really feel the benefit of that.

Each boot weighs in at 525g, which is comparable to the Salomon Quest 4D 3 at 575g – both of these styles also feature the nubuck leather/Gore-Tex combination.

Hanwag Banks Lady GTX: Design Features

The Hanwag design and development team are based in Vierkirchen, north of Munich and they have been tweaking away at the original design to improve it for 2020.

The boots feature sturdy lace hooks and the laces move smoothly through them. The third lace loop from the top is set really far back on the body of the boot which allows for increased opportunity to cinch the boot tightly around the lower part of the ankle for enhanced support.

The tongue of the boot is nicely cushioned and is attached to the main body of the boot right at the top, near the ankle bone. This gusseting reduces the risk of water seeping in from the sides, especially on boggy terrain and also ensures that the tongue stays put against the front of the foot instead of escaping outward, a problem I’ve had with boots in the past.

Hanwag Banks Lady GTX: Performance

The Banks range is made from sustainably produced European nubuck leather which is sanded and buffed to give the appearance of suede. This type of leather is considered more durable because it’s made using the tough top grain layer of cow hide. In comparison to smooth leather, nubuck leather isn’t as waterproof, however it’s generally more resistant to bumps and scrapes. Hanwag’s decision to use a Gore-Tex membrane in these boots mean you get the best of both worlds – waterproofing and durability.

I was impressed with the overall performance of the boot. With the new Banks GTX, Hanwag have chosen a Vibram Endurance Pro outsole for exceptional grip on a variety of terrain. The lugs are circular in the centre of the sole and angular towards the sides. The rounded lugs are perfect for wet and oily surfaces in particular, dispersing water efficiently with each step. As such, my feet remained dry throughout testing, despite being used in wet weather on slippery grassy terrain. They also performed well on rocky, uneven trails where I was grateful for the cushioning.

The Verdict

This is a brilliant boot, it feels extremely well made and is comfortable ‘out of the box’. There is some flex in the sole, so it won’t be my choice for graded scrambles, but it is a great option for long days hiking in the UK national parks. Despite being released for summer 2020, I found my feet got quite hot wearing them so I would say they are ideally suited to spring and autumn long walks or cool summer days. One of the main benefits of a Hanwag boot is the choice when it comes to fit and sizing. Whether you have narrow feet, wide feet or suffer with painful bunions, Hanwag offer a comprehensive range of options to help maximise your comfort out on the trails.

Full Specifications

Weight: 1,050g / upper material: nubuck Leather, Suede, Synthetic / membrane: Gore-Tex / outer sole: Vibram Endurance Pro / 1.5mm PU wedge in the midsole / available in four colours / sizes 3.5 – 14.

Get the latest price at:
hanwag.com // cotswoldoutdoor.com

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