These impressive, robust boots will keep you surefooted on steep, scrambly and slick terrain and through even the worst weather
Aggressive lugs for great traction
Stiff sole great for technical terrain
Great ankle support
Breathable and waterproof
Mechanical lace lock for secure heel lockdown
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Hanwag Makra Trek GTX: first impressions
In the Makra Trek GTX, Hanwag delivers a serious hiking boot that’s built for technical trails and extreme weather, and yet is lightweight and comfortable enough to wear on a day hike where you just want support, stability and traction. The Vibram outsole has aggressive lugs that provide superb traction, and is stiff enough to tackle technical terrain confidently, while the stiff upper and mechanical lace lock secures your heel in place.
• List price: $350 / £255
• Gender specification: Men’s and women’s sizing available
• Sizes available: 7 - 14 Men’s US, 6 -13 Men’s UK; Men’s 7.5 - 12 UK, 6- 11/5 Women’s US, 3.5 - 9 Women’s UK
• Materials: Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, Perwanger Suede Leather upper combined with breathable mesh, Vibram Integral Light outsole
• Weight (per boot): 17.9oz / 510g (Women’s UK 4)
• Colors: Asphalt/gray, Steel/orange, Navy/pink, Icefall/sulphur
• Best use: Hiking, Trekking
All that said, this boot is surprisingly comfortable right out of the box and we wore it out in the field for 11 miles without breaking it in and there wasn’t a hot spot in sight. They’re also relatively lightweight, and while the Gore-Tex membrane lets you slosh through the bog with dry feet, they’re not too sweaty on warmer days. These boots might be overkill if you only ever plan on walking along well-maintained trails, but for anyone planning to climb steeper slopes and looking for a boot that provides enough protection for winter but isn’t too warm for milder months, these boots are solid performers even on long days.
Hanwag Makra Trek GTX: in the field
When I’m out in the mountains with my boyfriend, I tend to hike in the lightest possible weight boots or shoes, while he’s a champion of the old-school, heavy leather hiking boots. On rough terrain, he’s always telling me I could do with something more rugged, and while I wouldn’t mind more protection and support, I don’t want to give up lightweight comfort. So I was happy to see Hanwag release the Makra Trek GTX, which promises to be both lightweight and robust. I’ve had them out on a few Munros plus a cross country walk or two to test them out for size.
Here’s how they performed:
Sizing and fit
I always go up a half size in hiking boots, and the UK 4 fit my 3.5 feet perfectly. They have a really secure fit, so my feet feel enveloped by the boot and don’t move around at all, but I can wiggle my toes even after a long, warm day.
Comfort and breathability
Perhaps foolishly, I wore these out of the box on an 11-mile cross country trek, and I didn’t experience even a hint of a hot spot. The insoles are comfortable, but not soft or plush, so even though they are really comfortable, they feel uber supportive and in fact, the soles and uppers are really quite stiff. But again, they’re really comfortable and I have quite high arches so I often have to take care with stiff boots.
They don’t seem like they’d be particularly breathable, what with the stiff uppers and waterproofing, but I’ve worn these in pretty mild and muggy weather and while my feet felt slightly warm, they remained comfortable throughout and didn't get sweaty. I can imagine these being a bit warm on a really hot day, perhaps, but they are really quite impressively breathable so I’d probably just suck it up for the protection they afford.
I’d say these are relatively lightweight because while they’re nearly twice the weight of my other, super light hiking boots, they’re surprisingly light for how tough they are. There are lighter boots out there, but none that offer this level of protection and sturdiness, in my experience.
Protection and stability
Speaking of protection, these boots feel pretty much bombproof. Stiff soles mean I really can’t feel the rocky ground underneath and the stiff uppers mean my ankles feel really supported, thanks in part to the lace lock. I could kick away at rocks and roots and not feel a thing, so they’re excellent for more technical terrain.
Traction and weatherproofing
The Vibram Integral Light outsole has impressively deep lugs so the traction is great on steeper slopes and in boggy and muddy conditions where I’ve yet to lose my footing. They’re also surprisingly light for how chunky they are which is a huge bonus.
I stood in a few streams as my usual Litmus test for how the waterproofing works and perhaps needless to say, they’re watertight. I’d trust these in wet as well as very cold and snowy conditions.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.