Hanwag Tatra II GTX boot. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Hanwag Tatra II GTX boot. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Price: £230
Colour: grey
Weight: 1,664g/pair (size 9½)
Construction: Nubuck leather uppers
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
Country of manufacture: Croatia
Sole stiffness: 7/10
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: men’s 6-13 (half sizes); women’s 3½-9 (half sizes)

The Tatra II GTX is the updated version of the Bavarian boot brand’s best-selling model.

It has been restyled with a more contemporary look and has shed a few grams too. Hanwag has improved comfort and a new women’s version has joined the range, with a lower ankle cuff and style suggestions from the brand’s women’s alliance group.

As well as gender-specific models, Hanwag also offers the Tatra II GTX in standard, wide and narrow fittings and there’s a special version for people with bunions.

We tested the men’s standard-width boot over an extended period.

The Tatra II GTX has a solid feel to it, and our size 9½ boots tipped the scales at more than 1,600g per pair. The uppers are good quality Nubuck, which resisted scuffing during testing and cleaned up well after use. The boots are a fairly complex design, with flex cutaways at the lower ankle to upper instep area.

The Tatra II GTX uppers stood up well to wear during testing. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Tatra II GTX uppers stood up well to wear during testing. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The ankle cuff is well padded with ventilated leather lining. The heel cup is stiffened and has a hard rubber lower section that protected the foot well on rocky sections. The toe box is also protected by a hard rubberised overlay which worked well.

The Nubuck gives a good amount of protection without being too stiff, and moulds well to the foot shape. Lacing uses a combination of hardware with a bottom pair of metal d-rings, then two fixed metal lace loops that include ball-bearing inserts for smoother running of the laces. Above these, a pair of hinged metal lace loops allow the laces to be locked at that point on the upper instep. This is useful for keeping tension on the forefoot to maintain support for that part of the foot while allowing a looser lacing around the ankle if required.

The next pair of metal lace hooks are set back on a separate leather tab and allow force to be applied in the mid-heel direction to minimise heel lift on uphill sections. The lacing system is finished off by two more metal hooks at the ankle area. The metal fittings are now cast rather than stamped, for better durability. The tongue also has a metal lace hook to help keep it in place.

Comfort is good, with the tongue having plenty of padding, and a leather lining at the top. The fabric lining of the boots wicked moisture quite well.

The combination of the Nubuck uppers and Gore-Tex membrane kept our feet dry in whatever weather the British climate could throw at us. On hotter days, the feet did feel warm, but that’s not surprising in a boot designed for mountain terrain.

The boots' lacing system worked well. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The boots' lacing system worked well. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Tatra II GTX felt snug without pinching and, with careful lacing, the foot was held well without movement on downhill sections, and there was no heel lift when heading uphill.

The insole has also been redesigned for the 2018 version of the Tatra, with vented surface helping moisture absorption and a padded heel cup giving underfoot cushioning. The arch is well supported and the forefoot also has padding.

Underfoot cushioning is just about right for a mountain boot and we used the Tatra II GTX’s on a long, single-day challenge over mixed terrain with no problems. There’s enough stiffness in the midsole and outsole for assured foot placement on rocky surfaces, while offering shock absorption to avoid foot fatigue from long outings.

Traction and braking from the Vibram sole were good. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Traction and braking from the Vibram sole were good. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A stiff plastic rand runs between heel and arch section, though there’s no rand at the midfoot. The Vibram AW Integral sole has 6mm-deep lugs and the rubber is grippy. Traction and braking on wet rock were very good, and the soles gripped well on a variety of terrains, from mud to wet grass and gravel trails.

The soles are quite stiff and protected well on rocky ground and also worked well when contouring, holding the foot in place.

Hanwag classifies the Tatra II GTX as suitable for long hikes in terrain ranging from easy trails to off-trail mountain trips. The company says the boots will take a step-in crampon but, although the heel has a notch that will fit a crampon’s rear spring clip, we found it difficult to get a good fit with our semi-automatic crampons as the slight rocker on the boot’s heel meant there was a gap between the rear crampon section and the heel. A fully flexible, C1-type crampon would work better.

The Hanwag boots worked well during our testing. They are a true mountain boot, at home on a munro or a Lake District fell, while still offering a degree of comfort that make them suitable for long routes or multi-day excursions.

Their sold construction determines their fairly weighty figure, but with that quality should come good durability. The cemented sole construction means the boots can be resoled if the outsole wears down.

The Hanwag Tatra II GTX gained grough's best buy rating. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Hanwag Tatra II GTX gained grough's best buy rating. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Hanwag have, in their updated Tatra, balanced comfort, stability and versatility well. The boots saw plenty of miles of testing with no problems. Updated styling and increased comfort make the Tatra II GTX worthy of consideration for anyone who wants a good three-to-four season boot for the UK mountains and Alpine trekking.

The range of fittings should enable most people to find a model that suits but, as with all footwear purchases, we advise trying on the boots before you buy.

Performance 36/40
Comfort 34/40
Quality 8/10
Value for money 7/10
Total score: 85/100

  • The boots were supplied to grough by Hanwag.