Meindl may be the first brand that spring to mind when you think about German outdoor footwear but their fellow countrymen at Hanwag are well worth checking out particularly if you’re regularly hiking in serious alpine environments. Hanwag are renowned for their thorough testing methods which produce high-quality footwear that’s perfect for purpose.
The Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX is a boot built specifically for demanding via ferratas, though Hanwag note that "it's also suitable for alpine mountaineering and glacier crossings". Basically, this is a serious bit of kit for people who are serious about their outdoor adventures, and it’s a boot that you can rely on whatever the weather that greets you in the wild. We’ve found that in the UK at least, the Ferrata is also a great option for a four-season hiking boot as well.
“The Ferrata is a great option for a four-season hiking boot."
At 720 grams per shoe, the boot is actually incredibly light considering it’s crampon-compatible. A snug fit on the boot keeps you walking through the day while a softer combination of fabric and suede means that there's plenty of ankle mobility despite the heavy duty tasks you might be facing.
The stiffened sole is to thank for increased stability which lets you cross glaciers or snowy ridges with decent grip, and the combo of that rocker and the upper ankle fabric means that you’re in for a comfortable walk as long as you’re not heading out on a seriously long trek. It’s ideal for taking on mountain ridges, challenging yourself on rocks and of course the aforementioned via ferratas as well.
A Gore-Tex liner ensures the water won’t be getting through, and though if you’re out on the big mountain and via ferratas regularly you’re likely to wear the sole away, Hanwag have thought of this too and made the boot with a cemented construction, meaning it’s an easy boot to resole. So it could be with you a while.
All round, this is a great choice of boot for the intended heavy-duty outings and in reality the potential extends far past that function as well. If you’re looking for something that will do you on the rocks but also all year round, this could well be the boot for you.
Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX Walking Boot