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Hanwag are growing in reputation in the UK, for making modern technical boots, but also for decades of tradition; much of which is embodied in the Bergler
hanwag bergler boots hazelnut
Best for...
Anyone who believes the "buy cheap, buy twice" philosophy
Overall Score
The Bergler exudes quality from every stitch
The price - are they worth it?

The Bergler hiking boot from Hanwag sits in their "Double Stitched" collection; a designation which appears to represent every bit of their near-100-year experience of boot making. The Bergler, on paper, is a highly capable hiking boot made to specifications as traditionally authentic as possible.

What attracted me to the boot is the simple lack of a waterproof membrane. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find walking boots that aren't lined with something these days, and for all the advancement in breathability, there does not exist a membrane more breathable than no membrane. So for warm weather hiking, it can be a struggle to find the right boot.

That said, you still need a decent level of weather protection and a lack of a membrane shouldn't necessarily mean water pouring in when you step in a puddle. This is where genuine craftsmanship, superb materials and clever construction come in. Of course, this is also what increases the price!

Hanwag start with the most beautiful piece of leather (especially in the Hazlenut colour) and shape it with minimal seams. Already the need for a membrane is minimised by quality. The brand prides itself on durability and quality, but the double stitching on the Bergler enhances those attributes even further. Also worth noting is that the Bergler is fully resoleable; Hanwag fully expect the Vibram rubber to wear out long before the upper does.

In use the quality is apparent. The lack of a membrane is evident in much-reduced clamminess, but having said that, the Bergler is still perhaps a touch on the warm side for summer hiking.

The fact the interior is also lined with the softest of leather, makes for a luxurious slip-on feeling, but the lacing (including a ball-bearing system) holds the foot firmly in place.

The price is hard to ignore of course. But when you consider how easy it is to end the life of a waterproof membrane (one hole and it's finished) you begin to appreciate the value of tradition. Every element of the Bergler is designed and made to last, and represents not just superb value but ethical consumerism too.

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