Lowa Camino GTX

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Lowa Camino GTX hiking boot

Specs

Price MSRP: $3,250.00
Current Retail: $299.95-$325.00
Historic Range: $239.99-$325.00
Reviewers Paid: $225.00-$300.00
Upper Nubuck Leather
Lining GORE-TEX
Insole Climate Control
Midsole DuraPU w/ SPS System
Outsole VIBRAM Apptrail
Stabilizer Trekking Medium
Weight 775 g/Single Shoe
Country of Origin Germany

Reviews

7 reviews
5-star:   3
4-star:   3
3-star:   0
2-star:   1
1-star:   0

I’ve found the Lowa Camino GTX to be sturdy, comfortable boots good for use on the toughest terrain. The Flex lacing system allows you to tailor the fit however you want it. Excellent support is provided by a firm midsole and thick leather uppers. The Vibram AppTrail sole gives excellent traction on most surfaces.

Pros

  • Comfort
  • Construction
  • Lacing system
  • Support
  • Traction

Cons

  • Price
  • Weight

Over Labor Day weekend of 2017 I went to the closest REI to replace my Asolo Fugitive GTX that had become too worn out for use in rough terrain. I decided I might as well try on some different boots since I was there. When I slipped my feet into the Lowa Camino GTX they were more comfortable than any boots I’d had on my feet before. I bought them even though they were $60 more than the Fugitives I’d planned on buying, along with a pair of footbeds. 

The next day I wore them on a pretty flat 2-3 mile hike with a friend, and other than having to adjust the laces a couple times because the roller eyelets make them easy to overtighten I had no problems with them. Despite being of all leather construction and having a very rigid midsole there was no breaking-in needed, and they were comfortable on my feet like they had inflatable air bladders in them. 

I wore them that Saturday on the 7-mile (round trip) hike up the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail to summit Mt Monroe, New Hampshire, with absolutely no problems other than the possible beginning of a hot spot on my heel. A piece of strength tape applied at the Lakes of the Clouds hut took care of that for the rest of the hike. 

Due to rain that started soon after we headed down from the summit the rocks above the treeline were very slippery, but the Vibram AppTrail soles gave excellent traction and helped limit me to a single minor fall without injury. My feet felt great when we got back to the trailhead, with no soreness whatsoever. 

At the end of October I wore them on a very rainy and wet climb up Eastman Mountain, New Hampshire, and found that they leaked. REI replaced them with their usual no questions asked, and I haven’t had any leaks with the replacement pair when either hiking in wet weather or snowshoeing. No matter how hard you try to avoid defects some will always slip through the QC cracks, it was just my bad luck to get a pair. 

The Camino GTX is an all-leather over-the-ankle backpacking/hiking boot with a bonded Vibram AppTrail sole. They can be resoled. At 54 ounces for the pair (according to Lowa) they're far from lightweight, but much of that weight is due to their beefy, supportive construction. They don’t feel very heavy to me, but that’s probably due to my having worn combat boots or steel-toed boots on an almost daily basis for over 30 years. There’s an Achilles notch that allows a very good downward range of foot motion.

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The midsole and sole are very stiff, providing plenty of support on sharp rocks and when levering yourself up by your toes. The heel notch is very pronounced and deep enough to act as a brake or support your weight on a rock, root, etc. Being Vibram there’s excellent traction on dry and most wet surfaces.

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The lacing system may be the most interesting feature, allowing you to lace different areas as tightly or loosely as you want for comfort and support. The first pair of eyelets are simple round holes. The second, third, and fourth pairs of eyelets have ball bearings which allow you to evenly tighten the entire forefoot with a single pull. 

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Above these are four pairs of open hooks that can be tightened independently. On the tongue between the uppermost two sets of lacing hooks is the X-Lacing stud, which allows you to keep the tongue centered and not bunched up. 

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The heel and toe have rubber rands for protection, and the toe has a rigid cap under the very tip. On my feet the caps extend to about the middle of my big toe nails, and feel like plastic.


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The Camino GTX are available in wide width, and they really are noticeably wider. They’re not Keens, but neither are they Salomons. I’d say they fit about the same as my Fugitives in the toebox, wearing anything but my thickest socks gives me plenty of room to wiggle my toes without feeling sloppy. 

While reading reviews (after the fact LOL) I saw a few that mentioned the heel cup being very shallow and not locking the heel in place if thicker aftermarket insoles are used. This was not the case in my experience, my heels are rock solid whether I use SuperFeet Carbon or orange Sole cork models (my preference.) 

I‘ve worn these boots in dry and wet weather, snow, and temps from the 60s to the mid 20s. While not insulated I found them to be warm at the lower temps as long as I was keeping active. The leather wets out quickly but other than the leak mentioned earlier I’ve never had any water get through the Gore-Tex membrane. I haven’t worn them in hot weather, but my experience with Gore-Tex boots in hot and humid weather (southeast USA, Korea, southwest Asia) is that it keeps my feet dry.

They work well with light traction devices (Hillsound Trail Crampons), and I've fitted my Hillsound Trail Crampon Pros, but not actually hiked with them. Snowshoe bindings fit well, too. 

If you need sturdy boots for carrying heavy loads on rough trails or off trail, or if you just like the feel of quality footwear, the Lowa Camino GTX may be what you’re looking for. I will definitely buy them again when these wear out. 

Experience

About 80 miles of hiking mostly in the White Mountains, along with maybe 10-15 miles of snowshoeing.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review, Phil!


1 year ago
Phil Smith

Thanks, Alicia! I love these boots, but hardly got to wear them at all last year due to Achilles tendinitis. Thankfully it’s gone now, and I can’t wait to put them to use on the mountains here.


1 year ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Glad to hear the Achilles tendinitis is gone, Phil! Hopefully mud season won't last too long.


1 year ago
MinnetonkaBoater

Great Review!


7 months ago

If you are looking for a full backpack boot, the Lowa Camino GTX is worth a try. Rugged terrain, mountain hardness, and muck are no match.

Pros

  • Firm grippy sole
  • Excellent lacing system
  • Water repellency
  • Rugged leather construction

Cons

  • Cost, but affordable on a sale
  • Insole for me was flat and had to be replaced

I am not a young man anymore, nor am I a gazelle. I tend to huff down the trails, last one of the pack, pretty much just a tired old pack mule. That does not mean that I am ready to give it up, and even an old mule needs new shoes sometimes.

It was that need for shoes (or boots as the case may be) that brought me to find these Lowa Camino GTX. I am a fussy footwear guy. I look to find perfect. If there was such a thing I would find it, but I am happy with great, and these are great boots.

My hiking tends to be in hilly to mountainous areas with a pack on my back. Not usually a light pack either, I am a big guy, and as such tend to be yes, the pack mule. To successfully carry a heavy pack at my age in mountainous terrain without rolling an ankle or bruising a sole requires a good solid boot. The Lowa is just that.

They have a great range of sizes and also make a "Wide" for those of us with fat feet. I tried all the others—Vasque, Merrell, Salomon, Oboz, Danner, Keen, you get the picture. Finding the right boot for you can be the Holy Grail.  

Let me go through my pros and cons to give you a bit more info.

  • When you carry a heavy pack, you need a firm grippy sole. If the sole is soft you get foot fatigue and bruising. If the sole is not grippy you will find yourself on your butt on the slippery rocks.
  • The lacing system needs to be adaptable on the trail. I tend to tighten my laces on my forefoot for a long downhill trek. This prevents my toes from slamming into the front of the boot giving me black toenails. If I am not going down I may loosen the front, and still lock in my heal. I love how they use the European style with the cut going deep to the toe so I can tighten where I want it. I have laced them in the morning and never touched them until the evening. I like the smoothness of the ball bearing eyelettes, I have yet to see any wear at all on the lacing. One last item, there is a "post" on the top of the tongue to lace to and hold the tongue in place. It works great as well.
  • I had to look it up but I found the GTX stands for Gore-Tex. Some Gore-Tex systems work, some don't; this one does. Slog through muck all you want or have to, your feet will stay dry.
  • I have Tough listed. Is there much else you need in the Rockies? If they don't hold up you're in trouble.

I have two minor Cons.

  • The cost for me was hard to swallow. I am more of a $150-$200 boot guy. However, this is my problem.
  • I thought the insole was thin, hard, and caused me foot pain. It makes sense, Lowa builds boots, not insoles. I put a pair of Sole inserts in and my feet are very happy.

If you have gotten this far, thanks!

Finally I know there are backpackers that wear shoes, sandals, and whatnot. These are what work for me, old fashioned real, heavy, firm boots.

Why 4.5 stars and not 5? 5 would be perfect, the Mecca, the end all do all. Once found it's mic drop with no need to ever look further. It doesn't exist.

Experience

I'm not a Guru, and not a Novice. I guess I've gone long enough to wear other boots out.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300-ish on sale

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing your experience with these Low boots, MinnetonkaBoater!


7 months ago

Out-of-the-box comfort! Excellent support for ankle, heal, and toe! True to size! Look great!!

Pros

  • Great construction!
  • Excellent traction
  • minimal break-in
  • Great look

Cons

  • A tad pricey
  • Limited availability for Badass orange color

Right out of the box these boots fit perfectly. I was fortunate enough to know my Lowa size before purchasing.  I had never owned really high-end Lowas before. These boots fit just as perfectly as my first pair of Trekkers.

The boots are out-of-the-box comfortable. I was ready for the trail within an hour of wearing them around the store.

The arch support was lacking, as it is in EVERY pair of good boots I have ever owned. I replaced the factory footbed with a set of high-arched heat-moldabe orthotics. The ankle support was amazing and the overall last was great for my feet!

Water, snow, ice, mud, puddles, etc are no match for these boots! My first big trip with these boots was snowshoeing in some seriously deep wet snow. The boots were abused and behaved wonderfully through the most trying winter-cold situations.

Not a slip on regular dirt and exposed stone. My Microspikes worked perfectly on the steep ice.  Snowshoes took care of everything in-between.  I will say here that the Caminos were easier to get in and out of my snowshoe bindings than any boots I have used in the past.

Working with a variety of socks in a variety of conditions I never felt too hot, too cold, or too sweaty in these boots, despite the GoreTex membrane.

Easy on, easy off using Lowa's lacing system.

I have only had these boots on about 30 or so miles of off-trail terrain and so far I see no signs of stitching or de-lamination issues to come.  These boots are going to take me very far.


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(The reviewer apologizes for failing to take any photos of the boots without snowshoe bindings completely obscuring the subject of this review.)

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $225-ish

MinnetonkaBoater

Agreed on the footbeds. I also use and love heat moldable footbeds.


7 months ago

Boots for anyone who takes hiking/backpacking seriously and need good, lightweight, stable footwear for serious adventures! These boots are rock solid comfortable without any break in.

Pros

  • Comfort
  • GTX
  • Lightweight
  • No break-in
  • Custom lacing

Cons

  • None

I bought these boots (size 7.5 D) because of Lowa's high standards and quality. I have owned "high dollar" boots that just didn't fit right. These boots fit GREAT!!!! I have a smaller, semi-narrow foot and I couldn't ask for a better fit. The arch fits my instep like a glove, my heel doesn't slip and fits right in the pocket. The lacing to the toe and tongue stud providing a costume fit or slight adjustment while hiking and feet swelling.

I have had the boots for a couple weeks now and wore them straight out of the box walking around in the woods, thinking I would have to break them in. This is not true! I have found no reason to provide a break in period, which I am still shocked at due to the great support and sole. I still recommend taking time and wearing them around a couple days before serious hiking/backpacking. 

The boots themselves are a little warm for the "South" during summer time, but I am used to wearing boots for my job and it doesn't bother me. Still definitely invest in good wicking socks or sock liners.

I went to Linville Gorge in N.C. for a "little" hike and the boots preformed great! Slight rain but I didn't feel wetness thanks to the GTX. Steep terrain was no match...up or down hill. I did not have heel slip or feel my toes cram into the toe box. The boots grabbed the ground like I had tracks from a tank on my feet.

I am still evaluating the boots and hope the boots live up to the Lowa name and quality, but so far so good. I would recommend these boots to anyone who takes hiking seriously and need good, lightweight, stable footwear for serious adventures!

Source: bought it new

As an avid hiker, but prone to excessive supination, these boots provide the ankle support needed. Furthermore, Lowa Camino offered wide sizes. 20 miles so far with minimal break-in blisters.

Pros

  • Great ankle support
  • Relatively lightweight for tall structural boot
  • Good looking

Cons

  • Wide, just not wide enough
  • Expensive

Purchased Lowa Camino wide boots after deciding that my Merrell Men's Moab Ventilator wide wiidth athletic shoes were not providing enough ankle support. Prior to 2013, I wore Vasque Breeze wides, which provided just enough ankle support and were as comfortable as a sneaker. Unfortunately Vasque change the toe box in the Vasque breeze in the 2.0 model, and the wides no longer fit my feet.

I now have 40 miles of trail distance on my new Lowa Camino wides. The boot provides exceptional ankle support, better than any boot I have ever owned. Unfortunately, the wide width is still narrow for my duck feet. I usually wear a size 10 wide, but choose a 10.5 in the Lowa Camino after a "toe-kick-the-ground-test" during which I could feel my toes hitting the toe box. I am glad to have gone up a half size. 

Living in the desert Southwest, I would rather have a more ventilated boot like the Vasque Breeze. I certainly do not need waterproofing, which results in hotter feet. The boots are waterproof, and I knew this would result in hot feet.

The Lowa Camino has been designed with ankle support in mind. A specialized lacing system works very well, to keep the foot loose and the ankle tight.

I would recommend these boots, and would probably buy them again. $300 bones is expensive, but worth the ankle protection.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 300 plus tax

MinnetonkaBoater

"Unfortunately, the wide width is still narrow for my duck feet."
My daughter calls hers "Platypus Feet".


7 months ago

Bullet-proof with no break-in!

Pros

  • No break-in
  • Waterproof
  • Fit

Cons

  • Sole wear

I bought these boots (size 7.5 D) because of Lowa's high standards and quality. I have owned "high dollar" boots that just didn't fit right. These boots fit GREAT!!!!

I have a smaller, semi-narrow foot and I couldn't ask for a better fit. The arch fits my instep like a glove, my heel doesn't slip and fits right in the pocket. The lacing to the toe and tongue stud providing a costume fit or slight adjustment while hiking and feet swelling.

I have had the boots for a couple weeks now and wore them straight out of the box walking around in the woods, thinking I would have to break them in. This is not true! I have found no reason to provide a break in period, which I am still shocked at due to the great support and sole. I still recommend taking time and wearing them around a couple days before serious hiking/backpacking. 

The boots themselves are a little warm for the "South" during summer time, but I am used to wearing boots for my job and it doesn't bother me. Still definitely invest in good wicking socks or sock liners.

I went to Linville Gorge in N.C. for a "little" hike and the boots preformed great! Slight rain but I didn't feel wetness thanks to the GTX. Steep terrain was no match...up or down hill. I did not have heel slip or feel my toes cram into the toe box. The boots grabbed the ground like I had tracks from a tank on my feet.

I am still evaluating the boots and hope the boots live up to the Lowa name and quality, but so far so good. I would recommend these boots to anyone who takes hiking seriously and need good, lightweight, stable footwear for serious adventures!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $295

My son is currently on a trail in Iceland. He wore these for three hours. It rained and he walked in ice slush. The toe box leaked and they are completely soaked. Stranded in Iceland. Really poor quality.

Pros

  • 100% satisfaction and returnable if you got them at REI

Cons

  • They are not waterproof as advertised

Poor quality and not as advertised durably waterproof for inclement weather. Did not stand up to rain or walking in snow three hours without leaking in the boxes. Completely saturated.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Kari. Too bad about your son's experience with these boots.


2 years ago
Kari Cowan

Yes he had to leave Iceland to go find footwear in the UK. A lot of money to drop on boots that fail out of the box with all the guarantees and instructions not to have to waterproof at all for a very long time. I found other similar reviews. He is going to buy leather. No more of this unreliable and expensive boots with no durability and inconsistent reviews. They were also really uncomfortable.


2 years ago
MinnetonkaBoater

Sorry to hear that Carri. I make sure every piece of gear I travel with has been tested for its purpose before I start my journey. All manufactures have a gremlin running loose, causing QC issues now and again. My boot were perfect out of box, and the waterproofing has not failed.


7 months ago

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