Recently, I was in the market for a solid mountain boot for sheep hunting. The boots needed to be tough, sturdy, and light as possible. I had luck with a pair of Danner Grand Slams a few years ago and I wanted to see if I could find a replacement pair. No dice. They stopped making them, and even eBay and craigslist couldn’t produce a decent used pair, so it was time to do some heavy research.
After a week of fierce internet investigation, I finally decided on a pair of Hanwag Mountain Light GTX boots. The Hanwag Mountain Light GTX boots have all the features I was looking for. First, they are tough. They use a combination of heavy leather, with a ballistic fabric for a tough but light construction and a thick rubber rand that guarantees no rock punctures in rough terrain. The sole is a thick Vibram Fuora brand with good tread.
The tread even seemed fairly slip resistant on wet rock and snow. The shale I encounter while sheep hunting is similar to walking through a box of knives with every step, so I require a boot that will protect my feet and be tough enough not to require a yearly replacement. The Hanwags were fantastic, taking the worst conditions without damage.
The boots were sturdy and supportive. They were designed with the idea of elk and sheep hunting on rocky, steep and rugged terrain. I am used to eight inch tall boots because I always thought they gave more ankle support than shorter boots did, but I was wrong. The Hanwags have plenty of anklet support, plus, losing the extra height shaves some weight off. I will never use tall boots again.
The hardest thing to do on a serious backpack hunt is to keep the weight you carry low. Every ounce counts since everything you need must go in on your back, so these 3.3 pound boots were awesomely easy to wear. Sheep hunting in Alaska is brutal on gear and my Hanwags took their punishment and wanted more. I will have them for a while.
After researching and trying out this boot, I can recommend it without hesitation to the most serious mountain hunter. The boots are sturdy, well-made and designed specifically for the nastiest terrain that nature can dish out.
These boots are only sold by Lathrop & Sons. As a side note, they sell them in UK sizes which are confusing. So make sure to order a size smaller to get the US equivalent. For information on how to order go to www.lathropandsons.com