View Full Version : Bates Tora Bora vs Hanwag Mountain Light

07-15-2009, 10:13 AM
Evening all,

This is my first post and i need some advice please. Has anyone used either of the above boots. These are my final 2 choices for trekking boots that I can use at home and Afghan. Any help is appreciated.


07-15-2009, 05:14 PM
No experience with either but I have read nothing but praise for Hanwag. Have a look at www.militarymorons.com for a detailed review (including professional pics) of both. You can also go to www.lightfighter.net for informed user reviews/comments.

07-15-2009, 08:38 PM
will try both. thanks

07-16-2009, 01:36 PM
I got some Hanwag Mountain Lights over Christmas. I see you're in the UK, which is a good thing regarding price and availability (for once!) Here in the USA, they are sold with a horrendous markup. I was visiting back home with the wife and ordered a pair from Lansdale Ltd and they were delivered to a relative's house.

The boots are very comfortable, even with the stock insole. I replaced the insoles with some green superfeet and they work very well together.

For their first outing, I took them on a 10 mile winter hike in a state park and was trekking for hours in snow and also through a couple of shallow streams (the ones that weren't frozen). Temperature was between -5 and -10 degc and possibly lower, with varying conditions from sun to blizzard. The boots were completely watertight. Grip on snow was excellent. I had two pairs of socks (some Fox River X-Static liner socks and some no-name thick wool socks I've had for donkey's years). No blisters or hot spots and no cold feet even when we stopped for lunch (it was cold enough that I got frostnip while sorting out the flask of tea I brought - my fingers tingled for weeks afterward). The boots were one thing I didn't have to worry about.

On a hike in warmer conditions, the boots gripped very well on steep inclines with muddy grass. I wore a thinner pair of seconds socks (some regular North Face trekking ones) and my feet didn't get too hot. Temps were more like 10 to 15 deg C.

Haven't tried them this summer yet (was 27 deg C yesterday). Might give them a go this weekend!

They are great boots and after about 40 miles in them, they still look brand new after a mild scrubbing (I did use Nikwax on them from the outset).

The only two weird things are:

- the soles offer an amazing amount of cushioning for a hiking boot. The way the heel strike is cushioned, it feels more like the way a running shoe strikes. This feels a little weird at first, given the fact that they are a fair sized hiking boot, but you get used to it.
- lacing them up, I always catch the nubuck under the lowest hook. This is especially true when lacing up with bulky winter gear on and you can't necessarily see what you're doing. Every time, I'd catch the stitched nubuck and I'm worried that over time it will affect the stitching. I'm careful each time I do it now and I can get the hook straight away 90% of the time. I guess I'm just used to my old boots where I could put them on and crank them tight without looking.

Overall though, I'm over the moon with them. I'm fairly confident they will take a beating and last a long time.

07-17-2009, 06:59 AM
cheers for the advice mate, after reading about yours and the militarymorons write up, i have decided to get the hanwags. looked at lansdale the other day and they have a special on..............what a luck

07-18-2009, 10:28 PM
I have a pair of Mountain lights and a pair of Alaskan GTX (both Han Wag). There may be equally good boots or maybe even better, but I don't know of them.

The whole "boot system" really comes together when you add a custom foot orthodic by the guys at Lanthrop n Sons http://lathropandsons.com You can take some pictures of your foot while standing, trace your bare foot and send it all to them. They will then make a custom pair of custom orthodic cushioned insoles for you. It makes a huge difference in everything you do. Depending on how much volume your foot takes up in boots, you may need to get a size wider to accommodate the insoles.

Give them a call and discuss it. Tell them that you may be using it in one of the "Sand Boxes" and they'll make a special effort for you. They're very friendly to any military personnel. Tell them Brooklynben sent you ;)

07-19-2009, 03:35 AM
Never try both brands , but I just ordered a pair of Alaska GTX boot system. Now in processing.

If you are 24campfire member , u can get $100 off in Alaska GTX boot system .

Detail here

07-19-2009, 08:10 AM
I have the Hanwag Mountain Light GTX, and I really can't add much to what the guys here have said, but that they are fantastic boots.


07-19-2009, 02:10 PM
I have the Hanwag Mtn. Light with gel footbeds form Lathrop and Sons. They are pricey! They have held up well on trail, ice and snow. Very comfortable as well. Did 34 miles in them on one shot with no blisters, so I was impressed. I prefer them over my Danner hikers for packing in the back country.

07-19-2009, 08:49 PM
Absolutely try both boots on if at all possible. I ordered a pair of Hanwag 'Special Forces' from Canada - - what a nightmare. Even though I used expedited shipping it took forever to get to me. Customs returned them at the border due to the 'Special Forces' name. (I ordered them because they came in black & I already had a pair of brown boots. I wonder if their Alaskans would have made it through easier.) I paid outrageous (not previously disclosed) shipping fees & duties. After all of that, the boots didn't fit me well - - - they are made more narrow than what works best for my feet. So, I ended up spending a lot of time & money and ended up returning the boots almost $200 poorer. A lot of this won't apply to you in the UK, but may be useful to those in other places. Still, try em out if possible. Good luck in your boot choice. Regards, - -

12-12-2009, 01:37 PM
Hi all, I know this is a little late as a reply but I have just got from another trip to another sandbox. Thank for all the advise, I got my Hanwag Mountain Lights the other day..........What a boot!!!!! ut them on straight out of the box and went for a quick 5miler with absolutly no problems. Would reccomend them to everyone

03-25-2010, 08:23 AM
I just ordered a pair of Hanwag Yellowstone GTX boots, I tried them on and they felt great. The prices from Lansdale and Lathrop and Sons seemed somewhat comparable. I have even priced them in Germany and Italy and all the prices seem to be somewhat the same. I ended up ordering from Lathrop and Sons. Unfortunately he said there is an 8-12 week turn around since it is a special order. I cant wait to get them.