HANWAG TATRA GTX REVIEW: BEST HIKING BOOTS
When hiking, a good boot is essential. Without one that you can rely on, blisters, dampness, and debris can quickly derail the best expedition. If you're looking for a reliable, well-made men's hiking boot, the Hanwag Tatra GTX is a solid choice for beginning and experienced hikers alike.
With unique design features such as a breathable membrane, shock-absorbing pads, and rubber toe caps, the Hanway Tatra boot has quickly become a standard in hiking footwear.
|Lining||Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane|
|Average Footwear Weight (Pair)||1 lbs. 10 oz.|
Made by the renowned German shoe company, the Hanway Tatra GTX is a sturdy, well-constructed hiking boot. It layers standard features such as a leather exterior and rubber sole and combines them with functionality and attractive design.
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If you're looking for a comfortable hiking boot, you can't do much better than the Tatra GTX. A specially designed shock absorbing pad cradles the heel, while the stiff sole provides support to the entire foot. The foot bed had memory foam which will conform to your foot's pressure points; this allows for maximums support of the foot arch, so even those with existing foot problems can hike without additional pain.
Hanwag adds a flex zone at the heel for maximum movement while retaining stability for the entire foot. The boot also includes the company's special technique for sewing the pieces together using fewer stitches than their competitors; this process allows freedom of movement with a reduction in friction between the shoe and the wearer's foot.
The lacing system, Hanwag's Easy Roller system, allows for a custom fit every time so that you can get the perfect balance of tightness and comfort. The padded leather cuff provides a soft but supportive area around your ankles. The boot's design also allows for continual airflow around the entire foot, thanks to a unique pumping action in the tongue and cushioning.
Overall, this boot provides excellent stability for hikers, even when they're carrying a heavy pack. Thanks to the boot's cushioning and interior construction, wearers get a comfortable experience that will hold up to most terrains and pack weight. While the Tatra GTX does not have a full-length stability rod, the placement of the internal supports provides maximum stability without adding additional weight. The midsole shank provides much-needed stiffness to the shoe, a crucial component of any top hiking boot.
The Vibram sole has deep treads for maximum grip even on uneven terrain. Those grooves in the sole also protect against slipping on wet rocks or slick pavement. The custom Vibram design, exclusive to Hanway, allows the wearer's foot to roll off any uneven surface with ease.
The lug pattern on the Tatra GTX is deep, wide, and evenly spaced for a superior grip. If you hike on muddy trails often, the lugs on this boot's sole will help to release the mud quickly, so your traction remains high.
This style also has a breaking block on the treads, which helps to keep the wearer from slipping or sliding when making sharp descents. Placed on the heel, this block is an essential feature for users who plan on hiking in steep, uneven terrains.
At 1 lb 10 ounces (730 grams), the Tatra GTX is a light hiking shoe with all of the features you'd expect (and a few you hadn't!). Hanway's unique design allows for a durable yet lightweight boot: the stiffening rod that runs along the midsection of the boot provides stability while keeping the overall weight down.
A light hiking boot is essential for long treks since even small amounts of extra weight can cause quicker fatigue, and Tatra provides a great weight without sacrificing comfort or technology. Because it isn't a heavy boot, the Tatra GTX is also a great choice for buyers who are looking for a shoe that can be worn as a casual, non-hiking boot as well.
With water resistant features both inside and out, this boot allows its wearers to trek through all types of weather. On the interior, the breathable Gore-tex mesh quickly wicks away any dampness produced by your foot while keeping additional water from seeping into the boot.
The leather exterior also provides a waterproof barrier that will keep rain, slush, and snow from entering the boot. As an added feature, the nubuck is waxed for an even higher level of waterproofing. A waterproof boot is essential since it can protect from both minor annoyances such as small blisters caused by sweat inside the boot to major issues such as hypothermia, a condition that tends to affect the extremities first. By wicking away moisture from the toes and ensuring the entire foot stays dry through the hike, the Tatra GTX will allow wearers to have a fun, safe experience on the trail.
Composed of heavy duty rubber on the sole and thick nubuck exteriors, the Tatra GTX can handle just about any hike for years to come. The tough interior Goretex provides comfort and moisture-wicking. Best of all, if the boot does begin to show wear and tear, it can be fixed.
Hanwag's stitching process and cemented construction allow for a boot to be resoled as many times as in necessary, a feature that isn't standard in hiking gear but will greatly extend the life of your purchase.
Since the main body of the boot is nubuck leather, it will require a breaking in process, but, once that is accomplished, this boot will handle an extraordinary amount of wear and tear. The heel and toe caps provide protection for sensitive areas of the feet as well as helping to shield the high contact areas of the boot from uneven surfaces.
The Tatra GTX is ideal for all types of hiking: it works equally well on short hikes on flat terrain and more difficult hikes on rugged inclines. The comfort and ease in wear make it a great choice for beginners, while the solid construction will see experienced hikers through many seasons of use.
The Tatra GTX's price point is higher than that of its direct competitors. Don't let that be a turn-off, as this is a case of investing for the long term. The Tatra's robust design and quality construction materials are worth the money. Plus, with the Tatra's ability to be resoled as many times as necessary, you'll likely save money in the long run, as this boot is built to outlast the hiker.
The Tatra GTX comes in both men's and women's version. Buyers should note that boots in sizes 6 to 8 have two lacing hooks. Sizes 8.5 to 13 have three lacing hooks. The boot is also available in wide for users with broader feet, as well as narrow versions for those who need a closer fit.
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Considered to be best in class, the Saloman Quest 4D II GTX is lightweight, stylish, and comfortable. Unlike the Tatra GTX, which requires a breaking in process before maximum comfort is attained, the Salomon Quest is ready to wear from the first moment.
The difference comes from the materials used in the uppers: the Tatra's nubuck leather needs to mold to the user's feet while the Quest's supple leather also includes mesh panels for that instant wearability. While the Tatra is perfect for beginners and experienced hikers, the Quest is best for experienced, long range hikers.
Tough but lightweight, the St. Elias looks similar to the Tatra and has many of the same features, including a Vibram sole, leather exteriors, and Gore-tex interiors. The St. Elias is offered in a wider range of sizes than the Tatra and goes up to a 15.
The St. Elias is twice the weight of the Tatra, a consideration for those looking to do long stretches of wilderness. Much like the Tatra, the boot is made for all types of terrains and will hold up well for years thanks to its sturdy construction and materials.
Another excellent choice in the lightweight hiking boot lineup, the Renegade is a great boot for those who prefer strenuous but shorter hikes. The nubuck leather exterior keeps water out, while the thick rubber soles provide fantastic stability on trails.
However, these boots don't seem to be in the game for the long haul in the way that the Tantra and others are, as the upper tends to pull away from the lower section after heavy use. Skip these if you're planning to do multi-day (or longer) hikes.
In an age when everyone seems to be locked to their small blue screens, I am vehemently passionate about getting more people outside to enjoy the wonder of nature. I grew up with the outdoors on my doorstep, and when I headed off to university I picked a degree in geology that allowed me to spend a lot of time outside on field trips! Over the last 30 years, I have camped or hiked through the wilderness on 5 continents. I hope my posts are informative for both the grizzled veteran and the complete novice alike.