I’ve never experienced a more comfortable hiking boot. I put that down to the great design of the Hanwag Blueridge ES, and the combination of tongue, the collar, and the upper’s Perwanger suede, all fabrics which seem to co-operate to caress the foot and hold it so firmly and tenderly that… well!

John Manning Highly Recommends

I’ve never experienced a more comfortable boot.
  • Comfortable Tongue
  • Comfy Fabric
  • Price
  • Double Hook Lacing
  • Low Instep
  • Flexible
Quick specs
Price: £185
Weight: 1120g (stated, men’s size 8/EU42); 1342g (on JM’s scales, men’s size 10.5/EU45)
Eco/ethical claims: manufactured in Hanwag’s European factories from 100% European-sourced fully traceable components; upper made from Perwanger leather (from certified Alpine region suppliers, produced using minimal water and energy) and 100% recycled polyamide; PFC-free Eco-Shell membrane; Hanwag Hike Pro 15% recycled rubber outsole; Sustainable Apparel Coalition member
Materials: hydrophilic PFC-free EcoShell membrane; Perwanger suede and recycled polyamide upper fabric upper; Hanwag Hike Pro outer sole; EcoShell lining; PU foam Breathfit tongue
Features: Terragrip outsole with 4mm-deep tread and extra-large lugs; made in Europe
using fully traceable European components
Sizes: men’s 6–13 (EU39.5–48.5) including half sizes; women’s 3.5-9 (EU36–43) including half sizes
Women/men’s version: both
URL: www.hanwag.com/uk/en-gb

The tongue is made of a soft PU foam with “asymmetric padding”, dubbed Breathfit. To my landlubber’s eye it resembles neoprene, the stuff used in diving suits and blimey, if this is what divers experience when they slip into a wetsuit, I might just buy one and spend the rest of my years enfolded within it…  The collar, meanwhile, is a comfortable, lightly padded foam-padded fabric; the Perwanger suede of the upper seems to pull gently in-and-around your foot to gently embrace it, as the round cord laces are drawn tight. The upper isn’t rigid by any means but it holds my foot in perfect comfort… People talk about comfy boots feeling like slippers, but no slipper ever felt so luxuriant, straight out of the box.

The sole isn’t as rigid as some and your foot does have to work just a mite harder as a result, but I found the Blueridge’s flex point was just right for me  and that extra exertion wasn’t an issue. The sole offered good traction on a wide variety of surfaces: I’d like a deeper instep but that’s down to personal preference. It is showing some signs of wear after just a few weeks but I reckon I can still squeeze a few hundred miles more out of it.

The Hanwag Blueridge ES is the heaviest tested in this small batch of boots but I only know that because my scales told me so: the weight isn’t noticeable, so comfortable is the fit. It’s not the most supportive boot and after a few weeks of wear the fabric is also softening further, but the malleable suede upper fabric has embraced the foot in a way that’s rather sensual, let alone luxurious.

Reviewed and tested by John Manning

John has medium-to-broad UK10.5 (EU45) feet; his left foot is marginally larger. He tested the boots on varied terrain, from limestone and gritstone Pennine fells to steep vegetated slopes, muddy field paths and pathless Pennine moors. The footwear was weighed at home on his kitchen scales.