Lowa has been making boots for nearly 100 years–since 1923 to be exact. They’re all handcrafted in Europe, and all around stellar boots for the trails to the rat race of life. You know we loved the Lowa Zephyr GTX Hi boot
and their more lightweight offering, the Aerox GTX Lo Surround has even more versatility. These modern styled low cut boots are probably the most comfortable hiking shoes I own, and I own plenty. They mold to the foot, and keep my dogs cool even when hiking in 95 degree plus weather in the Georgia mountains in the dead of summer. So let’s get into the details.
As always, we’ll start from the ground up. The sole is the proprietary LOWA Surround® Trac, which offers both superior traction as well as flexibility, believe it or not. Soft stabilized, these move with you. While they don’t offer the protection of a hard stabilizer, they don’t need to. I would hazard you could use these trail running on loose, mucky earth, and they would perform great. Personally, I did a few 3-4 mile hikes with my dogs, then a couple speed rucks in the 2 mile range. All in, I’ve logged probably 30 miles in these, and they are hands down the most comfortable outdoor shoe I’ve worn.
The soles have what appear to be “drainage holes” above them, but these are not drainage holes. (Aside: these shoes are waterproof. I’ve traversed a few creeks in these, and my feet have stayed dry.) These are actually cooling vents, and that’s part of what makes them so comfortable. Every step you take, you push air through, and this takes the hot sweaty mess that normally would be encapsulating your feet, and pulls it away. So if you sweat alot, or your feet overheat – this is the outdoor shoe for you. In addition to the 360 degree breathability, these puppies have their signature Monowrap frame, and a Gore Tex Surround lining, keeping your feet dry and cool.
Now we get to the lacing system. I’m usually opposed to anything except traditional laces, maybe a speed loop or two on top. But these kicks have a ratchet type system with what I would presume to be Kevlar injected cordage, because not only are they strong, you cinch them and you’re good to go for hours. All you need to do is pull the loop and depress the tabs on the ratchet, and it’s locked into place. Depress the tabs again and you can free your piggies.
Also, the styling and colors are solid. These are lime green and black, but they have red ones; and a variety of other colors as well, if that’s your thing. Personally, if it gets the job done, I wouldn’t care if they were hot pink. (Not really).
In conclusion, I absolutely love these lo-tops. If I’m going for a speed ruck or on known trails, I slap these on. They’re stable, cool, and most of all, comfortable. Did I mention they were comfortable? Yes, very. Not a single hot spot. Not a single patch of moleskin needed. For the money, they’re some of the best all around outdoor shoes you can buy that are breathable, waterproof and versatile.
PROS: what we like: Stylish, lightweight and COMFY. They also are waterproof and highly breathable, as well as handcrafted by people that know their stuff: LOWA. If you’re in the market for an outdoor shoe for all around use – this is it!
CONS: what we don’t like: Not much. They’re not suited for use in combat environments or a hunting loadout where you need stability and protection, but you can buy high top boots for that – this is a completely different entity.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Castiglione lives in Atlanta, and is an avid outdoorsman and competitive shooter. He loves getting after it in his garage gym, practicing martial arts, hitting the trails, or running CrossFit and Strongman competitions.
His passion is helping animals and raising funds for his non-profit, Barbells for Bullies, which holds fundraiser fitness competitions dedicated to aiding Bully breed rescues, dog rescues, or other non-profits with similar missions.