The Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX is pitched as a an alpine via ferrata boot, with stiffened sole to allow for glacier and snowfield crossing, but it’s actually a lot more versatile than that and we’ve found it works brilliantly as a comfortable lightweight alpine come four-season mountaineering boot.
- Cordura and leather uppers
- Full protective rand
- Vibram sole unit with Climbing Zone
- Special climbing last
- Full-length TPU stiffener
- Gore-Tex liner
- Compatible with semi-automatic crampons
- Cemented construction for easy resoling
Don’t put off by Hanwag’s description of the Ferrata Combi GTX as an alpine via ferrata boot, it’s actually a lot more versatile than that and we’ve found it also makes a brilliantly light and very comfortable all-round mountain boot that takes C2-rated, semi-automatic crampons for use on snow and ice.
At just 800g per foot in a size 43, the boot’s extremely light for a crampon-compatible unit, which is a great start. The fit, thanks to Hanwag’s ‘special climbing last’ is super neat and snug on our medium-ish test foot, but soft fabric and suede uppers mean there’s plenty of ankle mobility too and in two solid days of wearing the boots in the Alps, they felt remotely restrictive or uncomfortable.
The fully-stffened sole unit has a little give for walking comfort, but is rigid enough to stand on smallish holds without folding and copes happily with ferrata-style metal steps and ladders as well as proper rock.
It’s also fully compatible with semi-automatic crampons thanks to a heel ledge out back and we were genuinely surprised at how competent the boots were on steepish snow and ice. It’s easy to cinch the laces up thanks partly to an instep locking lace hook and once that’s done we had no issues with heel-lift and the stiff sole unit combined with support from the crampon meant they climbed surprisingly well.
We wouldn’t choose them for steep waterfall ice, but we reckon they’d do just fine for middling alpine mountaineering and Scottish winter too in small doses.
And the combination of a bit of a rocker on the sole, just a little underfoot give and the soft, flexible uppers makes for excellent walking comfort. We wouldn’t choose to use them for a long trek, but for walking into routes and via ferratas or long Scottish winter ridges they should be ideal.
Our one question mark over the Hanwag Ferrata Combi would be durability. Because via ferrata staples and ladders give boot soles a hard life, the Vibram outsole is cemented on to allow for easy aftermarket sole replacement, but we’re not sure how the light and flexible Cordura and leather uppers will handle sustained abuse.
That said, the full rubber rand should take the brunt of scree, moraine and rock abrasion, so they be tougher than the light weight suggests.
Brilliantly comfortable and versatile lightweight alpine come four-season boot that transcends its intended purpose as an alpine via ferrata weapon and does a whole lot more.
It has the best fit – subjectively of course, it’s all personal – of pretty much any fully-stiffened mountain boot we’ve used and we were pleasantly surprised with how competent it was for front-pointing crampon use on steepish snow and ice.
It’s confident on rock too, feeling nicely dextrous thanks to the close fit and flexible uppers and tops it off with surprisingly comfortable walking capabilities. Cracking boot that gets a well-deserved editor’s choice award.