Hanwag Ferrata II Lady GTX Boot Review

Emily Woodhouse Gear

Back in November, I was doing a winter boots gear guide for Outdoors Magic. With stock levels, international postage and the run up to Christmas, what was meant to be a 10 pair comparison only ended up as six. But when the Hanwag Ferrata II Lady GTX boots arrived, a little too late for that guide, I still wanted to give them a good test and review. Now that they’ve had a thorough outing, I’m ready to report back.

These particular Hanwag Ferrata boots were mostly tested in the Lake District. That’s about the closest to mountaineering I could get this side of Easter. We were hoping for snow to test their winter abilities – they are sold as a B2 boot with semi-auto crampon compatibility. But alas there was none, only the iciest of patches on top of Helvellyn. Instead, they were taken on long hikes and a ghyll scramble: the closest I could get to a via ferrata. Especially with high winds on the forecast.

I wore a women’s size 6 pair (EU39.5) with a standard medium weight walking sock that I use in all my other walking boots.

What you get

The Hanwag Ferrata II Lady GTX boots are a lightweight pair of mountaineering boots. They have an alpine look and feel, with high cut ankles and bright colours.

The key features are:

  • Very lightweight, 1200g for a pair
  • Wide rubber rand around front half of boot
  • Lacing with lock-off at ankle
  • Vibram sole
  • GoreTex waterproof membrane

For more details on the exact tech specs have a look at the Hanwag Ferrata II Lady GTX official page.

Using the Hanwag Ferrata II Lady Boots

When the weather is miserable in the Lake District, what can you do? You can have a low level hike (“Not around Derwent Water again…”). You can carefully choose your route to avoid the worst of the weather, planning meticulously with map and forecast in hand – and hope it doesn’t change overnight. Or, you can deliberately go out and get soaked. That is how we found ourselves investigating Cat Gill, a grade 1 ghyll scramble above Thirlmere.

Having never heard of it before, and being slightly dubious of unheard-of guidebook routes (we’ve been burnt before), we set out with low expectations. Unable to either remember the instructions or read the guidebook effectively once in the ghyll, we basically got into the river and followed it until we couldn’t. It was rather pleasant, if rather damp. There is something so childishly playful about walking up a river, because no sensible grownup would ever do that. That is not how you are supposed to behave around rivers.

The terrain was wet (obviously) and slick or mossy in places. There were a lot of trees to dodge under and around – until eventually the top end of the stream was so blocked by fallen trees we bailed out on the left hand side. Some bits were fairly exposed actually. Enough that you didn’t want to fall and felt like you might. But maybe that’s dependent on your own route finding and the height of the river.

This was a fairly intense ask for a first impression of the Hanwag Ferrata boots. Initially, I felt like they might be a bit narrow for my feet. But after a bit of relacing in the car park and a walk up to the river they were already softening out. It’s another big ask to move on rock so wet without knowing whether you can trust your grip, or have a feel for the characteristics of the sole. But straight out the box these boots felt like they were made for climbing.

Flexing the boot mid-scramble. Note the fold line at the bend in the toes.

What went well

Obviously, just a single scramble in a ghyll was not my full test – just the time I got pictures. So after much more use, here are a few stand-out excellent things about these boots:


Thanks to the ghyll scramble, I can confirm that these boots are definitely waterproof. I can also confirm that they are only waterproof up to the point of submersion. Because yes, I did fall in. Or rather, accidentally put my foot in it. But I had completely dry feet right up until that moment.


The rand is really fantastic, especially for scrambling. Being able to really push your toe in and not worry about scuffing a boot is great in itself. But the added grip was very helpful too. Having it all the way around the front of the boot – and a nice wide rand all the way – was fantastic. Who knew I could get very enthusiastic about boot rands, but I’m a real fan!

Movement on Rock

These boots have decent grip and nice edges, that make for great movement on rock when scrambling. I do love a solid foot placement and a sharp edge. Although I couldn’t test on a nice dry via ferrata, I’ve done enough of them to say that these characteristics make for ideal via ferrata footwear. When you’re not roped up, there’s nothing worse than soft and floppy soles. As for in a ghyll scramble, they were slippy on the greasiest of river rock, but then all of our boots were. I was very impressed with traction of the wet sole on dry rock.

Could do better

Neither of these are actually negative points, just more things to be aware of when you’re purchasing. Basically, don’t buy these boots for the wrong reasons!

Consider your foot shape

It is always important to consider your foot shape when you buy boots because even the best boot in the world can become the worst if it doesn’t fit you. I have annoying feet to buy for. My heel is very narrow and the toe box very wide (yes, like a duck if we’re feeling grumpy). There are very few boot manufacturers who cater for ducks. So, this is just a warning to any others out there. These boots didn’t hold my narrow heel well at all really, no matter how I did the lacing. It was fine when scrambling, but something I was very aware of when walking.

They also felt a little narrow around the toes at first when I put them on, but loosened up after wearing. So I guess that’s tow points: they do loosen up after wearing, so if you’re uncertain trying them on in the shop but the size up is too big, you might actually be alright. Secondly, Hanwag Ferrata II boots can accommodate wider feet in the ladies’ range, but probably not much wider than mine. Not too helpful without giving you the proportions of my feet but, again, maybe try them on first if you have wide feet.

Winter mountaineering?

These were going to be part of a winter boots round up and in some ways I’m rather glad that they weren’t in the end. It wouldn’t have felt like a fair comparison.

The Ferrata IIs are very light and quite flexible for a B2 boot. It does have a crampon ledge for semi-auto crampons (ie C2s) but it’s not a very big one at all. They hold a crampon fine, but I wonder how the ledge would be affected with wear. The same goes for the flexibility: like many modern alpine boots, they have a rocker at the toe and use will likely only make this more extreme. You will find that some varieties of C2 crampons will simply fall off. (This is not talked about enough! Check your crampons fit your boots well in your size – not all of them do AT ALL, especially in smaller women’s sizes.) And they do bend easily, I was already developing a fold line across my toes by end of week.

So are these winter mountaineering boots? You could certainly use them, but I’d suggest these are designed for days with intermittent crampon use within a trip. But probably not playing to their strengths if you want to be in crampons all day. For example, when I did the Walker’s Haute Route last June, they would have been ideal because they are so light and flexible – aka comfortable to walk in – but still able to take a crampon for snow sections. However, with a name like Ferrata, we ought not to have been expecting a warm and immovable winter boot. It looks and feels like these boots were designed for summer alpine. Or maybe super-fast ascents in winter, the kind where your feet are sweating… And, funnily enough, via ferrata. These would have been excellent doing Triglav in shoulder season, for example, as there’s a long hike to get to the start and could be some snow on the ground.

And here’s a steamy photo of me in the ghyll, making friends with the moss. Photo: Andy

Overall Verdict

The Hanwag Ferrata II Lady boots are a great pair of lightweight and flexible mountain boots. They can take a C2 crampon but are best used on mixed routes where you are not expecting to be in crampons all day. These boots have a fantastic wide rand and good traction even when wet.