By Faye M Smith
With so much choice, it can often feel tricky to pick the best women’s walking shoes for you. Can’t decide between the Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX vs Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX? Both offer plenty when it comes to grip, comfort and versatility. Confused about which one offers the best technical specifications for you? We break it down.
Not only do these two brands have completely different-looking boots, but they both have very different features in mind when designing them, too. The Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX are a traditional style of boot, especially good at keeping out the elements, which makes them perfect for snowy conditions. In contrast, at around £50 more, the Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX are a low-rise choice, with a game-changing, shock-absorbing sole that keeps joints and feet well protected.
In this Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX vs Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX review, we'll look at the positives and negatives of both walking boots, so you can make the decision about which are the best waterproof hiking boots for you.
|Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX||Rubber||539g||Yes|
|Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX||Hanwag TubeTec||730g||Yes|
What’s special about the Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX?
The Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX walking boots are stylish and timeless. The traditional brown-leather look is given a much-needed update with turquoise detailing on the heel and across the ankle – but that’s not the best bit about these boots. The one feature that makes them really special and stand out from the competition is the grip.
Yes, wet or dry, you won’t slip about wearing these. The thick rubber sole does all the hard work, so you can just focus on the views. They are exceptionally sturdy and you’ll feel really protected, thanks to the multi-directional traction. These boots allow you to walk on inclines and slanted pathways with ease, plus the heel stabilisers really help you feel in control.
And, yes, they might be expensive, but they are exceptionally durable. The sole will take a very long time to wear down, so you won’t have to replace them for years. If you work outdoors a lot or are often in cold conditions, then these are definitely worth buying, as your joints will be supported and your feet will stay warm.
What’s special about the Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX?
The Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX are definitely a special boot. The reason? It’s all about the lacing system, which makes these great for anyone who has painful-feet issues, which impact when walking. OK, so it’s not completely down to the laces (!) but, combined with the reinforced webbing around the midsole, toe caps, arch support and padding on the heels, these walking boots are perfect for anyone who is often discouraged from walking due to pain.
So, where do the amazing laces come in? While these walking boots haven’t been designed with specific feet problems in mind (other Hanwag versions have been), these ones have laces that start much further down the toe box than most other walking boots. This means that you have so much more control over the fit. If you need to loosen them around your big toe, but still have them fit snuggly further up, then you can – and vice versa. This design is so simple, but can make a great deal of difference.
What is the main difference between them?
The most obvious difference between the two boots is the fact that the Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX are low-rise boots, while the Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX come up a lot higher over the ankle. However, this doesn’t really affect their performance, as both are breathable, waterproof and, if we’re being completely honest, feel quite chunky when on. So, unless you are desperate for your heel to be covered when walking, it shouldn’t make much of a difference to your performance which boots you pick.
However, a big difference between the two is the fit. The Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX are a generous size and roomy, probably to the point where you may want to go for a half size smaller, especially if you don’t want to wear thick socks. They are chunky, though, which means you do feel really bouncy when wearing them, but this is reflected in how heavy they are – around 700g for a pair of UK size five, which is about 150g more than a lot of other standard low-rise picks. This is because they’re made by Bavarian bootmakers and designed for the mountains, so really keep out the elements (including wind and rain) when needed.
In contrast, the Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX have much more of a snug fit. They are not the easiest waterproof walking boots to get on but, once they are, you’ll benefit from the arch support and extra cushioning on the tongue and ankle areas. Like to wear thick socks? Then you may want to go up a size, but the good news is that even with thin socks, these boots don’t rub or cause blisters.
Should I buy the Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX or Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX?
As both are great walking shoes, the answer to whether you should buy the Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX or Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX really comes down to two things: Firstly, what style you prefer snd, secondly, which comfort level will suit you most.
Looking for something more traditional and made from leather? The Ariat Women’s Skyline Mid GTX should be your top pick. Plus, it’s also the case if you have slender feet, and like to feel snug and secure when out and about exploring – and don’t forget the great grip!
If you want something a little brighter with more choice of colourways, then choose the stylish, sporty and more modern-looking Hanwag Belorado II Tubetec Lady GTX. But, most importantly, if you have any type of foot pain or need extra cushioning around toes, this shoe can accommodate that. For a lot of women, the clever lacing design will really make the difference between having to stop due to pain and being able to keep on walking for miles more.
Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of theHealth Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021.
Currently Acting Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships. In fact, having previously been the go-to sex columnist for Now magazine, there isn't much she won't discuss when it comes to women's health. This makes her the best person to review must-buy sex toys, describe how to have a mind-blowing orgasm or explain how to navigate sex in the shower without it ending in a medical emergency.
While not anti-gym, Faye’s fitness routine is more focussed on finding inner balance rather than burning excess calories. An advocate of mindfulness, she loves power breathing, yoga and plenty of walking in nearby woodlands rather than a sweaty HIIT class. Follow her @fayetuned
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