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German hiking boots, much like many over-the-ankle boots designed for trail adventures, are engineered to be protective, supportive, and comfortable. However, unlike footwear made outside of Deutschland, German hikers are quite known for being extra cushy and supple—allowing many to hit the trails and enjoy the expansive backcountry as soon as possible.
German hiking boots and a few ways to determine their authenticity
Investing in a pair of German hiking boots can be as exciting as it is challenging. Are you about to buy something authentic? Will you just believe what the store clerk or your friend would tell you as to the genuineness of your next German-made boots? Read the following tips to help you weed out the real from the fake.
Matters of the seal
As obvious as it may sound, arguably the most practical thing to do to find out whether a pair of hiking boots are truly German-made is to look for the “Made in Germany” seal usually located right below the brand logo. Some shoes would simply have the German flag on the underside of the tongue (or a similarly concealed part) to signify that they are indeed authentic. The German flag consists of three-colored bands (the colors from top to bottom are as follows: black, red, and gold).
Have (or develop) an eye for quality
German hiking boots are known for having quite the solid construction from top to bottom, so spotting irregularities or flaws in them should be relatively easy. When you have finally locked down the country of origin of the boots you are eyeing, it is time to determine their authenticity by doing the following:
Inspect the logo. It is a red flag if the brand logo is larger than usual so as to stand out.
Get a feel of the inside. Many quality hiking shoes and boots of German origin should be plush right off the bat. A pair might be fake if just slipping into them already gives discomfort.
Check the stitching. Genuine German hiking boots should have evenly spaced stitching. Crudely stitched hikers are often counterfeit.
Inspect the box. Manufacturers of fake footwear do not bother much with the quality of their boxes, so if the packaging of the pair you are about to buy screams low-class, it is alright to have second thoughts.
Research does wonders
Make it a habit to learn about your next pair of German hiking boots. Is the particular model you are eyeing really available in your state? Look it up. You can also ask around online communities, especially those comprised by trusted veterans, where to shop for the real deal.
The bright and dark sides of German hiking boots
German hiking boots pros
Hikers that belong to this category are noticeably well-built and extra sturdy.
Many German hiking boots double down on protection, allowing wearers to take on more rugged trails with heightened confidence.
The design of most trail-centric shoes from Germany is grounded with a touch of modernity, making such kicks versatile enough for activities outside hiking.
Since beefiness is quite common in German footwear, expect such shoes to be somewhat heavy. If you cannot be bothered with weightiness, get a pair of light yet supportive hiking boots instead.
Popular brands that offer some of the best German hiking boots for men and women
If you need to satiate your German footwear craving, Lowa’s bountiful selection of supportive boots may just be the solution. Their hiking boots put special emphasis on stable performance without neglecting comfort and style. Look out for Lowa hikers with “LL” in their names—these shoes come with supple leather lining for enhanced internal cushioning.
A true Bavarian company, Hanwag is another one of Germany’s most celebrated brands when it comes to footwear-making. Their hiking products are built around specially crafted lasts, promising a kind of fit that responds to the challenges unique to the trail. This brand is also known for making footwear targeted at folks with bunions.
Fans of German gear have a lot to love in the backcountry footwear offerings by Meindl (pronounced as mine-dl). Their hiking gear selection consists of both classic-inspired boots and modern-style hikers, most of which are powered by Vibram for surface grip. Their lineup also boasts a number of shoes capable of staying watertight and breathable in the inclement weather, thanks to Gore-Tex.