Named after the brand’s founder Hans Wagner, Hanwag footwear have been designing quality hiking boots from their headquarters in the mountains of southern Germany since 1921. With all those years of experience under their belts, it’s no surprise that they turn out some seriously great boots, and the new Makra Combi GTX is no exception.
The boot is a lightweight model, specifically designed for “demanding mountain tours with glacial sections,” and while Hanwag describe it as an all-rounder this is a pretty serious piece of kit, capable of handling very demanding terrain. It features a heel welt for semi-automatic crampons for example (not something you’ll need if you’re just out for a Sunday stroll in your local park) and has an aggressive Vibram sole with tread that’s optimized for climbing. It’s also super-lightweight, benefitting from a honeycomb structure that reduces the amount of material needed to make it significantly.
“When it comes to build quality rest assured that Hanwag know what they’re doing. After all, they have been making boots for nearly 100 years.”
Trying these boots on the first thing we noticed was the high, supportive ankle and the comfortable footbed. Lacing them up was a doddle, with the cleats on the upper section allowing you to crank the laces up good and tight. Hanwag have built these around what their Alpin Wide last, which as the name suggests is slightly wider than the standard, more climbing-specific one. This helps reduce pressure points when you’re hiking, and from a personal point of view, the extra wiggle room felt more than welcome for our wider than normal feet.
The sole and interior are well-engineered, but Hanwag haven’t neglected the upper either. The bulk of the material is made by Cordura, who specialise in creating durable fabrics. The remainder is suede. Inside, Hanwag have included Gore-Tex’s patented ultra-lightweight microporous expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane. If you’re not familiar with polytetrafluoroethylene (aka PTFE) the basic take home is that it’s durable, but also highly breathable.
Hanwag have used a honeycomb construction on the cuff to make it more lightweight and comfortable. At £215 a pair, these boots are certainly not the cheapest on the market, but you’ll struggle to find anything that performs better when it comes to technical hill-walking. And when it comes to build quality, you can rest assured that Hanwag know what they’re doing. After all, they have been making boots for nearly 100 years.