If budget is no issue these beautiful, buttery-soft yet weatherproof boots are ideal for autumn and winter adventures, especially if you wear a narrow or wide fit.
Various widths available
Luxurious nubuck leather
Too thick for hot summer hikes
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These rather luxurious nubuck leather beauties look and feel like great quality – if you want to invest in a pair of the best women's hiking boots that will last you for years of adventures to come, the Hanwag Banks Lady could well be worth their steeper price tag.
Hanwag have been making premium hiking boots for 100 years (and the Banks model for 15) and it shows in thoughtful design and solid construction. They recommend their popular Banks boot for flatter walks and hut-to-hut hikes, and we would have to agree – on test we found them waterproof enough to wear in the famously tempestuous British winter, but breathable enough to keep you cool on longer trail days.
Vibram soles with well-placed lugs make these boots reliable even on wet, uneven trails, and thick, mesh-lined ankle padding keeps your foot in place as you stride along. We like that three widths are available – the narrow version of the Banks is ideal if you find most models too roomy.
• RRP: $150 (US)/ £190 (UK)
• Weight (per boot): 525g /1lb 2.5oz
• Materials used: choice of Nubuck leather, Suede or Synthetic upper; Gore-Tex lining; Vibram® Endurance Pro outer sole
• Colours: Asphalt and petrol/Asphalt and autumn leaf/Asphalt and ocean/Mocca and tan/Navy and asphalt
• Compatibility: Best suited to low-level rambles and hut-to-hut adventures in colder months
In the field
We’ve been testing out this model in all the mercurial weather you’d expect from hill hikes in the British winter, and have found them waterproof on walk after walk, even in torrential rain, with the only dampness that might seep in coming from the cuff, which isn’t quite narrow enough for our liking.
Besides that design flaw, these hiking boots will keep your feet largely dry even in a deluge. They’re also more breathable than many other thick boots aimed at cold weather walkers, and if you’re working hard on a longer trail your feet aren’t likely to overheat (but the Banks aren’t quite breathable enough to work on the dog days of summer).
These are reasonably heavy boots, but we found that well-cushioned soles go a long way to making them feel comfortable even over long distances. And if you don’t have conventionally-shaped feet, you’ll probably have realised that it can be a real hassle to find female boots that have a good narrow or wide fit – try Hanwag, who offer narrow and wide fits across their more popular boots and walking shoes for women.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.