Hanwag (named after their founder Hans Wagner) are a small walking shoes company based near Munich in Germany. They’ve been around for almost 100 years and have been creating top quality shoes for outdoor enthusiasts. Hanwag want all of their shoes to have a great fit and be tough, rugged and durable. They do this by making all of their shoes out of the best materials available, using the traditional skills of the craft.
Hanwag Belorado Low GTX Trail Shoes Review
Bearing all this in mind, throughout my review of the Hanwag Belorado Low GTX Trail Shoes, I will talk about the shoes materials, fit, grip and comfort.
The GTX in the name stands for Gore-Tex. This is a big name in the outdoor world and you can rest assured that when you buy footwear or clothing made from Gore-Tex, it’s going to perform very well. The Gore-Tex lining ensures that your feet stay dry when walking through wet terrain. What’s special about Gore-Tex is that it not only stops water coming in but it lets moisture out. Gore-Tex waterproof do have some limitations however and any shoes, even the most hardcore waterproof hiking boots, wont stay dry forever in hard rain, without waterproof trousers and gaiters.
The near-century of experience really does show when it comes to the fit. The shoes have an excellent, all round fit. They are secure enough to be great for scrambling and walking on rough terrain but not too tight. They have a really spacious toe box which I really like in a shoe.
Something I really like about these Hanwags is the looped lacing system. This allows you to get a really tight and personalised fit on your fair feet. One thing I really like about looped lacing system is that the laces glide through the loops easier than with other systems. Also, as they lace across horizontally rather than up and under, they don’t push down into the shoes tongue and are a much more comfortable option.
Another big name in the outdoor shoe world apart from Gore-Tex is Vibram Soles. These are what the Hanwag Belorado Low GTX Trail Shoes are sitting on. I’m a huge fan of Vibram’s; I’ve owned a few pairs of shoes and boots that have had Vibram soles and they’ve all gripped incredibly well on all surfaces. This makes these shoes brilliant for walking over tough terrain.
The front of the shoe has an elevated tip which I find good for fast paced walking and on uneven terrain. Moving further back down the shoes, there is a pronounced arch. This means the heel protrudes more and can get a better purchase on rocky ground.
The shoe is well padded and has soft sides and a tongue. It has a comfortable lacing system as I’ve already mentioned as well as a nice heel loop to help with getting them on and off easily. Although they are light weight at 420g+ (bigger feet, bigger shoes, heaver weight!), there are still trail shoes out there that are tough and waterproof at 100g less. Saying that, the bulk of the weight is in the vibram soles which do offer peak performance. That makes it a personal choice and means that these are probably better suited to more serious walkers than the ‘around the park’ strollers.
The Gore-Tex lining makes them waterproof which can be very desirable in the UK, especially in the winter months (but often every month!). Breathability is good with Gore-Tex but a non-waterproof mesh shoe will always be more breathable and cooler in hot weather. Overall, I think that Hanwag have prioritised performance and durability over the comfort of these shoes. I’d have liked a more cushioned footbed and a really plush insole to match the quality of the Vibram outer. Saying all of that, I have worn them a lot and my feet have never felt seriously uncomfortable or achy at the end of the day.
The Hanwag Belorado Low GTX Trail Shoes are a trail shoe for truly active people. They have been created using excellent materials and due to this, they are very strong and will last many years of trail walk. The grip and design are fantastic and these are well suited to trail walking on rougher tracks, although you may want to consider a pair with more ankle support if leaving the paths behind you. These are a great all round trail shoe that will outlive the cheaper alternatives on the market.