Essential preparation guide book, Camino walking help and tips…
HANs WAGner was born in 1896 in Jetzendorf, Bavaria. He founded the company in 1921 and gave it his name. His two brothers, Alfred and Lorenz Wagner, also became shoemakers and like Hans founded their own companies: Hochland and Lowa. Our company history is all about the Wagner brothers, the development of outdoor sports over the years and Sepp Wagner, who took over Hanwag and shaped the company.
Resole your footwear.
On a recent Camino I met a German walker who had a pair of Hanwag boots he has had resoled three times and even the upper stitched where there was a tear. This is the first time I have come across them and since then have looked at various styles.
Hanwag also have a special last for people with wider feet. They refer to as “a last for people with bunions” From what I can make out they are catering for people needing wider footwear, not just bunions.
I have looked at the company site and they explain the manufacturing techniques they use including double sticking and how critical this is to long footwear life.
Watch for fake double stitching!
They also alert the readers to other who make boots who fake double stitching. It is worth looking at their videos to see how they are made and what to look for in footwear that gives the false impression of being double stitched.
When you consider how expensive good boots or walking shoes are, there are a lot of advantages in being able to have them resoled. Also we become attached to boots or walking shoes after breaking them in and walking thousands of kms.
Review. I currently have a pair of Hanwag Barcas GTX light weight walking shoes similar to the ones in this photo. In October/November 2018 I trained in these and then walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago, around 760 km. Experienced rain, snow, mud and slush. My feet were dry expect on one occasions when I walked in pouring rain all day as well as through snow and slush. They generally were comfortable, allowed my feet to move around with-in shoe on rough terrain. Have the advantage of being lighter than boots by 400-700 grams. I wear wool socks and put vaseline on my feet each morning. No blisters. I was surprised that the heels were well worn by the time I got to Santiago and have since had the heels replaced by the local boot maker.
The softer soles mean better grip, however they wear more easily.
Local Resole experts. In 2009 I had both complete soles replaced with exactly the same tread as the original ones. This was done by a specialist boot maker. In the EU this is easy as they are German made. For other countries check with the main outlets to see who they recommend. Cheaper than buying a new pair.