Why We Chose It: Versatile, practical, recycled content, PFC-free
We’ve reviewed a wide range of Hanwag footwear over the years here at Outdoors Magic, from the mountain-ready Hanwag Ferrata II to the trekking-focused Tatra II and the consummate all-rounder that is the Banks. They’re all impressive – in the latter case, so much so that we selected the Banks GTX as our overall ‘Best Walking Boot’ for 2022.
Understandably then, we were pretty excited to get our hands on (and our feet in) the new Blueridge. This one is the latest addition to the esteemed German bootmaker’s range, pitched at a slightly lower level than any of the boots mentioned above. It comes in specific men’s and women’s fits, with mid-cut boot or low-cut trail shoe variants. In addition, all the different models are available as either ‘ES’ variants, featuring Hanwag’s EcoShell waterproof-breathable membrane, or as more traditional leather-lined (‘LL’) variants, without the membrane.
What Is The Hanwag Blueridge ES Best Suited To?
This particular model is the mid-cut boot with the EcoShell membrane. We think it is pretty much perfect for day hikes and walks in lower hilly ranges with a light pack, in wet or dry conditions.
The uppers are constructed from a mix of suede leather and fabric panels. The suede is Perwanger leather, sourced from one of the oldest tanneries in the South Tyrol region of the Italian Dolomites. Their high-quality hides come from cattle in the Alpine region which are reared for their meat, ensuring that no animal dies just for Perwanger leather. The tannery is also powered by electricity from 100% renewable sources. In addition, all Perwanger leathers are certified by Oeko-Tex, ensuring they are free of chemicals that are harmful to health.
The fabric panels are just as eco-friendly. These are made from 100% recycled nylon (polyamide), certified by the `Global Recycling Standard´. The EcoShell liner is Hanwag’s own PU-based waterproof-breathable membrane, which contains no PFCs. It is applied in a sturdy three-layer laminate, with the inner backer being made from 100% recycled polyester.
As for the rest of the boot, the insole is made of 100% recycled fleece, 100% recycled textiles and 10% recycled viscolatex foam. There’s a PU midsole (which is a more eco-friendly material than the widely used alternative, EVA foam rubber) and a ‘Terragrip Hike Pro’ outsole.
All these materials are sourced from European suppliers and the Blueridge range is entirely made in Europe, at factories in Romania and Serbia. Hanwag sees European production as the best way to produce in the most sustainable manner possible, whilst also ensuring the highest standards of quality. For buyers in the UK and Europe, it guarantees shorter transport routes, thereby minimising carbon emissions.