The best pair of trail shoes I have ever owned, by…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Materials: Mixed upper, Goretex, Vibram outsole
Use: Everything except backpacking
Break-in Period: 1.5 weeks
Weight: unknown
Price Paid: $110

The best pair of trail shoes I have ever owned, by far. I pretty much wore them every day, on trail and off, for two years. The Vibram outsoles held up extremely well, as did the uppers. When the shoes finally did buy the farm, it was because I had shredding the inner heel lining through both layers.

Performance wise, these shoes do almost anything...I do a LOT of off-trail stuff in a variety of terrain. The shoes handle wet and dry equally well, and I was quite comfortable using them as approach shoes on some fairly exposed high angle rock.

The support was excellent...when I combined these with an ALINE insole, the result was ankle support that equaled or surpassed that of a full high-top backpacking boot. And of course in a much lighter, more manueverable package.

I really have nothing bad to say about these shoes, and I can usually find something wrong with any shoe. So there you go...for me these pretty much the ultimate outdoor footwear.


I have had two pairs of these shoes and they are great.

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Materials: Leather and cordura w/gore tex liner
Use: Casual, hiking, light backpacking
Break-in Period: Short break-in for these shoes.

I have had two pairs of these shoes and they are great. These are shoes that work well with khakis or jeans for casual attire, but these shoes can also take some serious abuse.

I used my first pair when I worked up in Alaska and used them with gaiters when the snow got deep. The rubber is pretty tacky and predictable on wet and snowy slick surfaces and the shoes really do a nice job of protecting your feet when walking in rough terrain. The rubber is also extremely durable and after 4 years on my current pair, they are still looking good!!

The only fly in the ointment with these shoes is that the seams where the rubber wraps around towards the sides in the flex zone end-up popping threads over a long period of use. I actually sent my first ones back to Lowa after this occurred within the first year of ownership and they sent me a new pair.

I have had my second pair for almost 4 years now and they have had the same problem for the past couple of years. I just kept wearing them this time and they don't seem to have gotten much worse, but its something that seems to be a design flaw. Fortunately this has never caused the shoes to leak or get too gnarly looking so I have just kept them and appreciate the value I have gotten out of them. Even knowing this I would still buy another pair.


I use them everyday. I use them at work in my dental…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Materials: Gore-tex
Use: work and daily living
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $159.95

I use them everyday. I use them at work in my dental practice. They are perfect. I've owned 3 pairs already, but all break at the seams. But I do use them constantly and not just on hikes. They are also great for traveling.


I bought these four years ago while working for an…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Materials: leather with Gore-Tex lining
Use: day hikes, and everything else
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $70

I bought these four years ago while working for an lowa dealer along with a pair of Scouts. These boots have been wonderful. I use them for day hikes, around the yard, and even through our Michigan winters. The Gore-Tex lining keeps my feet dry. The boots fit my feet great and I could walk all day in them. Even after four years of use they are still holding up quite well, I mean I don't wear them everyday but often enough. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a lo-cut waterproof boot.

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