FAQ | Hanwag

FAQ

Here, under FAQ, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and answers. In most cases you will, hopefully, find what you are looking for. Should you not find your question or a satisfactory answer, please contact us direct via e-mail.

GENERAL

WHAT MAKES HANWAG SHOES DIFFERENT?

In a nutshell we would say: HANWAG boots and shoes offer the best fit, robustness and durability and are made of the best materials available. In addition,  everything is “made in Europe” and finished “made in Germany”, in Vierkirchen near Munich. Our shoes have been made there since HANWAG was founded more than 90 years ago. That is how we guarantee the quality of our footwear.

WHERE CAN I BUY HANWAG SHOES?

Here’s  a list of approved HANWAG dealers close to you »»

WHAT SHOULD I BE AWARE OF WHEN CHOOSING NEW FOOTWEAR?

(1)Take your time! Preferably go shopping in the afternoon since feet are always smaller in the morning and tend to be more swollen in the evening. This must be taken into consideration when choosing the correct size for the perfect fit.

(2)If you plan to use orthopaedic shoe lifts or insoles in your new footwear, take them with you when you to choose them so you can try them with the boot or shoes. And it’s a good idea to take your favourite socks with you too. Don’t forget: ALWAYS try both boots / shoes on!

(3)And then ... wear the boots / shoes you are considering buying for at least ten minutes. Walk around the shop in them. If possible, go up and down the stairs and try out the kinds of walking movements you will be making outside.

(4)If you have decided on boots or shoes with Gore-Tex®, test them for their waterproofness immediately after buying them; look for your nearest puddle or use your shower!

WHICH SHOE SIZE IS CORRECT? 

Consultation with a HANWAG footwear specialist is invaluable. Here’s a shoe size conversion chart »».

The basic principles are:

A walking boot or shoe made from soft material should always be bought with a wider fit across the toes so your toes never hit against the inside of the shoe. Even if the shoe is wonderfully comfortable when you try it on in the shop you should always try a half size bigger as a comparison, just to be on the safe side, because it might prove to be an even better fit!

Hiking or trekking footwear must have a comfortable fit and must not rub anywhere. It should give good ankle support, have just one (if any) distinct crease over the toes and the essential flexible instep-bend.
Alpine rock climbing boots should fit well and should not be too long (to provide direct contact, and ensure sure footing on rock). They should also have an efficient, smooth-running lacing system. 

Heavy-duty alpine boots have to be wider in the toe area to protect against frostbite. HANWAG Alpine boots protect via a triple, individual-adjustment vari-volume system. Whether you choose thick or thin socks, one pair or two, your boots will fit every time, and you will always be prepared for every eventuality.

CAN I BUY HANWAG FOOTWEAR DIRECTLY FROM THE FACTORY?

We do not have a factory shop nor do we offer direct sales to the public. Please visit your closest reputable HANWAG dealer (and all HANWAG dealers are reputable). Here you’ll  receive specialist advice you can depend upon, so you know you will be buying the best shoe for you and for your chosen activity.

The HANWAG footwear fit is the result of decades of experience in shoe making and, for most of us, results in a perfect fit. Even so, it makes good sense to “break in” a trekking shoe before heading out on a long trek. For footwear with a leather lining this is an especially good idea since the natural material moulds itself to and takes on the shape of the foot. It is also important to try different methods of lacing your footwear; the breaking in period is the prime opportunity. Remember, we do not recommend that you lend your boots to anyone else. Their perfect fit will be ruined and your boots will no longer be as comfortable on your feet as they were before.

I OFTEN HEAR TALK OF A "LAST", WHAT IS IT?

At the factory a boot or shoe is given its own, specific form, this is defined by the last. A last is a model rather like an artificial foot. It is made either from a solid piece of wood or plastic and it is around this that the boot is constructed. The last should correspond to the actual foot that will wear it. If it doesn’t every step you take will be painful and every hike will be pure torture.

CHOOSING NEW FOOTWAR

WHICH MODELS FOR WHICH AREAS OF APPLICATION?

All HANWAG models are made with a specific application in mind; these may be specific designs, such as with our alpine boots, or footwear for a less specific area, like, for example, our various trekking shoes. The first question you should ask yourself, and which a HANWAG dealer will ask you, is what do you want your footwear for?

Our different footwear categories provide an overview to help you make a pre-selection. However, please remember, the purchase of a pair of shoes should primarily be determined by one crucial factor –the fit. Once you have selected an appropriate shoe for your activity, you should try it on. It is a bad idea to buy a shoe that you have not tried on. Remember, the longer you can try the shoe on for, the better. Only a shoe which fits well is a good shoe. Statistics about technology, material and weight, etc. won’t help much if a shoe pinches – nor will its appearance. When buying footwear for mountain sports or trekking, fit and functionality must come first. With shoes for everyday use in the city or at the office, factors such as appearance are also important ….

WHAT IS BETTER, LEATHER FOOTWEAR OR FOOTWEAR WITH A GORE-TEX® MEMBRANE?

Both have their advantages. Therefore it comes down to, as always, the area of application. Do you need footwear which will remain waterproof for a long period of time? Do you need a boot or shoe which prevents rain from penetrating? Are you looking for footwear which you do not need to repeatedly and regularly treat to make water repellent, for example, on long trekking or alpine trips? Many people consider leather to be the more natural option and as always comfortable to wear. For normal areas of application the impermeability of leather is more than sufficient, that is, if you take correct care of it! In this sense neither is better, the best material for your footwear depends on your personal preference and your planned activity.

WHAT LASTS LONGER, A SHOE WITH OR WITHOUT GORE-TEX® LINING?

With the correct care (you can find tips on shoe care here) leather boots/shoes will keep going forever, either with or without Gore-Tex® lining. Gore-Tex® footwear with a fabric upper is not as robust as leather footwear but it does have the advantage of being lighter and more flexible.

WHAT FEATURES SHOULD  VIA FERRATA FOOTWEAR HAVE?

Via ferrata footwear needs to combine seemingly contradictory features:

It has to be comfortable enough for long periods of walking, as well as provide stability for climbing. It should meet the wearer’s requirements in the mountains and for climbing iron rungs or ladders. It also needs to be made of a robust material, have a sturdy sole and offer good grip.

In addition, more difficult via ferratas demand more precise foot placement. A sole with torsion stability is all-important here (in order to provide an efficient and powerful grip grip) but a flexible upper is important too, as is flexibility in the sole, to ensure effective friction.

Generally, footwear intended for climbing has a narrower fit than trekking footwear. And via ferrata footwear often has a special step-ladder element on the sole between the ball-of-the-foot and the heel to prevent slipping on iron rungs.

Because it is impossible to always predict the weather and conditions in the mountains it is vital that all rock climbing, alpine and via ferrata footwear is constructed with a GORE-TEX® membrane to ensure sufficient waterproofing.

The HANWAG models particularly suitable for via ferrata are the  Super Friction GTX, Zenit GTX AND Crack Safety GTX. Since 2007 we have been making a specialist via ferrata and rock climbing shoe, the Ferrata GTX. It’s ideal for rocky terrain, is light and stable and has a Vibram® Climbing Sole that provides extreme flexibility in the ball-of-the-foot area.

CAN I USE HANWAG VIA FERRATA BOOTS ON A GLACIER TRIP?

Yes. Admittedly our rock and via ferrata boots are not specifically designed for this purpose, i.e. for a high alpine or winter mountaineering, but our high alpine rock climbing boots are often used in regions which have snow and ice. Remember though, you would then need a model which is compatible with crampons. All our rock boots are designed to be used with semi-automatic crampons. If you should need these please consult an approved HANWAG dealer since there are a variety of crampons available. And don’t forget to take your boots with you so you can try everything on in the shop before buying. 

Here are some rough guidelines::

Strap-on crampons: suitable for many varieties of boots with varying quality of soles (including certain trekking models).

So-called semi-automatic crampons: these are crampons with a “basket” (generally made of plastic) at the front and with a heel lever binding at the back. For this kind of crampon you need an extremely robust boot with a reinforced crampon fitting at the heel.

So called fully-automatic crampons: these are crampons which have a heel lever binding at the back and a metal bar at the front. HANWAG’s alpine boots are designed for use with these kinds of crampons.

CAN I USE MY TREKKING BOOTS/SHOES FOR VIA FERRATAS?

In principle: Yes/No! (See above: What features should via ferrata footwear have?) It depends on the difficulty of the climbing and your own ability. Trekking shoes are designed for long periods of walking; they have a wider cut and a softer sole. To illustrate the point here’s a comparison, if a trekking boot were a comfortable arm chair, a rock climbing shoe would be the less comfortable driver’s seat of a Ferrari.

WHAT DO I NEED FOR A GLACIER TRIP?

For anyone who has never undertaken a glacier trip we only recommend undertaking such an adventure with a competent mountain guide or with a guided party. There are various mountain schools and alpine clubs offering this service.

SHOE CARE

HOW DO I BEST CARE FOR MY SHOES?

You will find shoe care instructions under Service – Shoe care »». How you care for your boots or shoes will directly affect their quality and lifespan. Regular shoe care is also a requirement for our guarantee.

REPAIRS

WHAT CAN I DO IF THE SOLE IS WEARING AWAY OR COMING AWAY FROM MY BOOT OR SHOE?

Consult your local boot /shoe repair shop.

THE SOLES DON’T HAVE AS MUCH GRIP AS BEFORE, WHY?

With a new shoe, it could be that impregnating agent residue remains on the shoe. This rubs away over a short time as you walk. If you have not used your shoes for a long period of time it is possible that the surface of the sole has hardened and therefore become more slippery. This is normal. The soles of all HANWAG shoes contain natural rubber (an expensive natural material in comparison to cheaper PU soles). Simply take a wire brush or a fine sandpaper and lightly roughen up the surface, or try going for a walk on a tarred road.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I FIND A DEFECT WITH MY HANWAG BOOTS OR SHOES?

Take them back to the HANWAG dealer where you bought them. The HANWAG dealer will check the defect and decide if it is a justified complaint. In this case, they will be returned to HANWAG and  repaired free of charge or you will receive a replacement pair

WHAT NUMBER DO I CALL FOR HELP WITH MY ONLINE ORDER?

For issues having to do with the online store and orders please call 1-855-996-3746 or email us at weborders@hanwag.com 

WHERE DO I SEND MY RETURNS, EXCHANGES OR WARRANTIES?

Please contact us first at either 1-855-996-3746 or weborders@hanwag.com, we will then give you further instructions as to how to go about getting us your products. Please see our Warranty and Return Policy on our Customer Service page.

CAN I GET A PRODUCT NOT LISTED ON YOUR WEBSITE?

No, the products listed on the hanwag.com website are the Hanwag products available for purchase in North America.

DO YOU SHIP INTERNATIONALLY?

We do not; we only ship to the United States and Canada.

HOW DO I FIND MY TRACKING NUMBER?

Once your item ships, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with a Tracking Number.

CAN I EXCHANGE MY PRODUCT FOR A DIFFERENT SIZE?

Yes! As long as it is within 30 days of your purchase and the item is unworn, clean, with tags and it its original box. See our Return Policy.

WHERE CAN I FIND YOUR PRODUCTS?

Other than our online store, please check out our Dealer Locator to find the nearest Hanwag retailer!