Solid underfoot’, ‘grippy’, ‘supportive without being restrictive’, just a few of the things we liked about the original Hanwag Tatra GTX when we reviewed it in April 2017. And the German brand haven’t dropped the ball with this successor, the Tatra II.
This is a mountain boot designed for days out on tricky, technical terrain – think scree slopes in the Alps or a traverse over a boulder-filled landscape like the Rhinogydd in Snowdonia. It’s something for when you need solid dependability and protection, but still need to be able to cover long distances comfortably.
As well as a slightly updated look there are a few changes in regards to the Tatra’s construction, for instance, the footbed has been altered to offer a better blend of moisture wicking and cushioning, and the lacing system has been, in our opinion, hugely enhanced.
That’s because as well as the nifty little ball bearings in the lower eyelets, the Tatra II has a clever lace clamp. This works a bit like a sailing cleat, holding the laces tight and secure at the base of the shoe without any loosening up down there while you tighten around the ankle.
As Hanwag say, it helps you achieve ‘two-zone’ lacing, ultimately making for a very stable hold around the whole foot. We like it a lot.
As we’d expect from Hanwag, the materials are all of a high quality. Particularly, the upper which is made from a lovely-looking, high quality waxed nubuck leather. This is even used on the tongue, which we should point out is gusseted/bellowed to prevent debris from entering the boot. To protect the material from scuffing on stuff like scree, there’s a toe bumper and slight rand on the back of the ankle.
“Bonus points to Hanwag for producing all of their leather in a sustainable manner.”
As for the materials underfoot, the new Tatra retains the Vibram AW Integral sole with its deep tractor-wheel like lugs and heel brake. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Considering this impressively lugged sole and the boot’s stiffness and durability as a whole the overall weight isn’t quite as much as you’d think – just 1520g for a pair. So you’re not going to get too worn out by these if you’re wearing them over a long day.
As well as being available with either a Gore-Tex lining or a hypoallergenic, chrome-free leather one, the Tatra II also comes in a number of different men’s and women’s fits to cater for those with wide feet, narrow feet or even bunions. This is all thanks to the Hanwag boot builders who are able to sculpt each type of Hanwag boot around a number of specially designed lasts.
We’re pretty sure that it’ll take years and years to wear down the Tatra II, but even so, if you do then it’s not the end as the cemented construction of the sole means it’s easy to replace. Hanwag can even sort that out for you (for a charge).
You’ll be able to find the Tatra II in both men’s and women’s versions and also in a classic-look or snazzy black and red combo.
“This is one of those boots that looks a bit too heavy but that then really surprises you once you pick it up and slip it on. It might look solid and sturdy but it’s also surprisingly nimble. Another thing I liked about the Tatra II is its lacing – with just one lazy attempt you can get a very, very secure and comfortable hold.”
Price: 259.99 EUR
Weight: 760g (per shoe)
More info: hanwag.com