Hanwag Horndl Boot
The Horndl Boot has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best hiking boots for 2023.
I've used these boots for 117 days over two years mostly in rough terrain in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. Being quality manufacture and double sewn construction they are completely reliable for backcountry use.
- Relatively lightweight (1.6kg the pair)
- Re-soleable (if you can find someone to do it)
- Not sure they are still being made
In late 2018, I’d reviewed a pair of Asolo boots where the soles peeled off after only nine days walking. Most modern boots have the soles glued to the uppers and, if that bond fails, then you have a real problem if you are in a remote location.
So, I’d bought a pair of boots that are made the way most boots “used to be made”. Their construction is known as “double sewn” or “Norwegian welted” where the soles are stitched to the midsole and then to the uppers. There are only a few manufacturers still making such boots as it is a skilled (and dying) trade. I’d bought a pair of “Horndli” boots from respected old German company Hanwag but there are also some double sewn models made buy another German company Meindl.
When I started using these boots, I’d decided to track how often I’d worn them and on what trips. They have now had 117 days of use since March 2018 and the picture
shows how they look compared with a new pair of the same boots.
The uppers are still in good condition except for some wear of the inner leather lining around the heels. But wear is much more evident if we look at the soles. The lugs in the middle of the Vibram sole have worn down from the original 5mm to about 1.5mm.
Given their current state, I would expect to get another 50 days use from these soles before they need replacement. I will then have the difficult decision about whether or not to have them re-soled. The great advantage of double sewn construction is the soles can be replaced as often as you like.
However, there are practical issues in doing this. First, there are very few people in Australia capable of such work and it is therefore relatively expensive. Secondly, it is not practical to repair any wear to the inner lining so, realistically, I think that I’ll be lucky to have this pair re-soled once before the uppers and lining wear out.
I've used these boots for about 120 days over three years in rough terrain in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. They have been quite a few places in the past two years—40 days in New Zealand (Pyke, Wangapeka, Leslie-Karamea, Matakitaki), 23 days in Australia (Kangaroo Island, Alpine Walking Track, Flinders Ranges, Carnarvon Gorge, Jatbula), 23 days in Austria, 15 days in Chile and Iran, and 16 days on local tracks near where I live. 90% of this has been hard use involving carrying a 15-20kg pack on rough and rocky ground. The NZ use is particularly hard on boots as they are wet most of the time.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Euro 170
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