Hanwag knows how to make some serious boots. They start with a single piece of leather, this helps to make sure that the entire boot looks the same and has the same aesthetic appeal, also ensuring the quality is the same throughout. They also double stitch the seams. This doesn't seem like a big deal (pun intended) but it is incredibly time consuming and has to be done by hand. The result: super durable, handmade masterpieces. You can also re-sole them. Which leads me to the next area of the boot, the sole has a Vibram grip and is extremely stiff, when you walk over rocks your foot doesn't even flex, this helps to not let your foot get fatigued on longer hikes, especially when carrying heavier loads. It also ensures that each step you take you can take with confidence, which is very important if you are ever walking in precarious situations. If you are like me, you find yourself in more precarious situations than you care to admit, mine are thanks to my hiking buddy who always encourages me to go off-trail because it is "faster". These are stiff and need some time to break-in, so don't expect to buy them a week before your trek and have them feel great. Your foot and especially your ankle need to get used to these boots. I have found that not lacing the top grommet is actually more comfortable, but I'm glad it's there for when I'm carrying much heavier loads and need to be locked into the boot.
Sizing: I actually found these to fit spot on. I usually wear my hiking boots a little loose, so these are perfect, I went with my sneaker size and found that they fit exactly the same as my regular shoes. They have a good amount of toe space with the added bonus of being able to really lock in the heel.
Overall: I highly recommend these boots for anyone looking for a boot for serious backpacking adventures. For people who appreciate well made, handcrafted goods. And those who are looking for a boot that they can rely on for years and years.