One of the greatest feelings in the world is getting out on the trail and breathing some of that fresh alpine air. But one of the worst feelings is getting halfway up the mountain, realizing you’ve got a blister forming, and knowing that the rest of the hike is going to be agony. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in a nice pair of hiking boots. Hanwag, based in Vierkirchen, Germany, has been making high quality outdoor shoes since 1921. We received a pair of their Tatra Lady boots to review, as well as a pair of Men’s Tashi Boots made with yak leather (keep an eye out for a review coming soon!). My wife immediately snagged up the Tatra Lady boots to test out and wear on a few hikes.
Hans Wagner opened his boot shop in 1921 in Vierkirchen, Germany, close to Munich. Wagner made a name for himself by producing high quality alpine skiing and touring boots. By the company’s 90th anniversary in 2011, Hanwag had become a staple in the hiking and outdoor sports world. From their website:
“HANWAG boots and shoes are primarily made in Europe. Only a small number of our components require lengthy transportation. We make approximately 30 per cent of our collection (the double stitched and mountain boots) at our headquarters in Vierkirchen, near Munich. We have further exclusive production facilities in Croatia, Hungary and Romania. Our relatively limited transportation requirements help further minimize our environmental impact.”
The Tatra boots are crafted with waxed nubuk uppers, lined with leather, and double-stitched onto a Vibram AW Integral sole. The leather is hard and waxy, but not crusty or plastic feeling. The upper, midsole, and insole rib are all genuinely double-stitched– you can see the flange on the edge of the midsole that proves that these boots are constructed extremely sturdily.
The chunky Vibram AW Integral sole provides great traction while still being flexible enough to maintain a natural gait. Hefty metal shoelace hooks allow for a highly adjustable fit around the ankle, which has a medium-high cut.
These boots are immediately comfortable upon first wear. The perforated collar is attached to a soft, padded leather lining that keeps the foot stable and avoids rubbing. The insole is padded with Hanwag’s FussKomfort sole, which you can easily substitute or replace. So far, these boots have walked miles without an issue. Paired with a thick pair of wool socks, The Tatra will take you many, many miles in total comfort. They weigh 760 grams/1.7 pounds, which is on the heavier side, but the hefty sole and sturdy construction are worth it.
The Tatra’s color is what makes this boot model so eye-catching. Hanwag calls the color Aubergine or Eggplant 82, however, in person the boots are really a bit brighter red than they appear on the website. The color is muted enough to be tasteful, yet interesting enough to stand out from the droves of brown hiking boots on the market. The upper has an interesting rounded cut that gives the boot a modern twist. The medium-high cut looks great while maintaining ankle stability.
Hanwag’s Tatra Lady boots are an excellent choice for the frequent hiker. Their stability and expert construction speaks well of Hanwag’s legacy, and their unique aesthetic sets them apart from other similar boots. $280 is a very reasonable price to pay for hiking boots that will last years on the trail. These are boots that you’ll want to take on adventures for years to come.