Lowa Tempest Lo
Break-in Period: none required
Weight: 250 lb
Price Paid: $95
Best trail shoe I've used. Great support, perfect fit, and very durable. Absolutely no blisters from the very first trip onward (3700' hike/climb up Scotchman in Idaho).
I wear a size 14.5 and got the US size 15 (49.5 EU) and they fit *perfect*.
Materials: nubuck, suede, Vibram
Use: rough urban and travel use
Break-in Period: little to none
Weight: 2.2 lbs per pair
Price Paid: $70
Excellent shoes! I have worn mine just about every day for 2.5 years now, with heavy daily use in harsh, dirty urban environments, extensive travel, as well as hiking. I just ordered another pair as back-up because I saw them on sale, but I still have several months until I wear the soles down too much.
Fit is extremely comfortable and lightweight - never even notice them. Very sturdy on rough streets or rocky trails. Soles are very durable but slowly and eventually wear down. Original stitching is in great shape - no rips, tears, or loose stitching. Original laces are worn but not fraying.
Leather (nubuck?) and suede are in great shape, even without proper regular cleaning and protection. They are waterproof, especially if properly treated (see Lowa website for good care info and products). Little to no break-in period.
I don't have a single bad thing to say about them. I will be very sad to retire this pair. (I probably have the 2006 or 07 model)
Price Paid: $115
I was terribly disappointed when Lowa redesigned the last for the Tempest Lo. I've been wearing them for years and combined with SuperFeet they've been wonderful. I went to buy another pair this past week and found the new design to be terrifically painful across the top of my feet just below the toes.
I'd love to find some of the old design to buy up until Lowa makes another, hopefully better, change.
Use: Day to day and lite trail
Break-in Period: They break in VERY quickly...under 3 days
Price Paid: $100
I have been a Lowa Tempest devotee for eight years. I always purchased from REI and seriously wear them every day and they last at least 18 months before the sole begins the wear down. The build quality, workmanship, and most importantly, the comfort is best in class. These shoes are absolutely high quality.
I give 3 stars because I am upset with Lowa for changing this shoe recently. They used to fit a wide footbed and they are now very narrow and fit completely different than they have in 10+ years of my annual purchases. Lowa should have introduced a new model, not butcher a wildly successful design (as an REI salesperson told me, the Tempest sales have fallen and every previous buyer has been as upset as I am).
Lowa, bring back the old design/fit that was absolutely the best shoe I have ever owned!!...I regret not stocking up before the change.
For anyone who likes a narrower fit, like a Nike shoe...you may just fall in love with the Lowa Tempest shoe.
Materials: Leather and cordura
Use: dayhikes and overnights
Break-in Period: none
Weight: under 2 lbs
Price Paid: $50
I wear these on regular walks, on day hikes with Scout troop or interpreting history for school children in a local park. They are comfortable and fit my slightly wider feet.
I like Lowa. I had a pair of Lowa Alpspitz mountaineering boots that wore out after 30 years of regular service and multiple soles. While the Tempest Lo is a different genre, they are well built like their heavier boots. I bought two pairs of Tempest Lo's in the older color schemes and trade off wearing each pair.