Lowa Hunter GTX Extreme
Very good lateral support for the sidehills (softens up a bit when broken in) and stoutly made - mine are on my second year and hardly showing much wear. Very easily snugged up and I don't run out of lace take-up on my skinny feet, ankles, and lower legs. NOT MADE IN CHINA!!!
Sometimes I wish the sole were a bit grippier, but by now I've got 150+ miles on mine and they still are good as new, albeit softer. Even the laces themselves are top-notch and not prone to premature breakage.
- Structural integrity
- Foot support
- Very easy to cinch up
- Sole could/should have more aggressive tread pattern
- Natural softening of leather with age reduces support over time
I was tired ...... tired ....... tired ......... of any number of brands and models of so-called "hunter" boots that cost north of $200 and then blew out after a season or two. Coming into the age of proper old-codgerness, I have grown to absolutely HATE the throwaway mentality that has infected our society today.
So before any considerations of "hunting-miles-per-dollar" were considered, I just wanted a pair of boots that would stand up to heavy use and last a few seasons. By "heavy use," I mean the ability to support my 170-pound self with a 100-pound pack that I might have to haul 5 miles or so over steep and rocky terrain after a successful hunt ... and no, not all of my hunts end that way!
(Lest the reader of this review develop a mistaken image of this reviewer as some kind of macho better-hunter-than-you my-trophies-are-bigger super-stud youngster, let me add that I'm pushing 50 but in good shape with perhaps a greater-than-average hunting drive and spirit — I love it immensely regardless of success or lack thereof ..... and I surely don't care about horn or antler size.)
Anyway, I stopped in my locally-owned store staffed by the hunter/owner and casually asked for a pair of boots that would last. He pointed me to these and mentioned that he uses them himself; he is a sheep hunting aficionado.
Made in Germany. Really stiff leather, at least until broken in. The boots hold together. Great laces. Very waterproof, although with the way my feet perspire, after some miles this is irrelevant. So far, the only real downer — but please don't think this is a deal-breaker — is the lack of traction on slippery surfaces. I paid $400 a year ago and consider this a fair deal. If they last me this season, they will be a break-even deal money-wise on dollars per mile .... but I think they'll last beyond that.
All in all, these boots are a very good deal for the money. Recommended, but with the caveat that these fit me very well and may not give a good fit on other feet — if the fit didn't suit me I'd surely choose another brand or model.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $400
Excellent boot especially for off-trail use and rocky terrain. Very comfortable for my foot shape with no blisters, etc. They are sort of heavy and slow me down a bit, but when the weather gets cold and wet as it did on my Yosemite trip I was glad I had them.
200 grams of Thinsulate works well when moving, but my toes get cold at rest for long. I bring boot covers with down booties for cold weather. Highly recommended.
- 80$ Lowa resole available including new rand
- A little heavy
- Not cheap but worth it
I love these things, comfort and support are excellent with no pressure points, or heel slippage. I use Superfeet but the included footbeds are good also.
I skip these for hot summers (Tibet GTX instead), but shoulder seasons and winter have worked for me with 200 grams Primaloft. Completely waterproof (I put the Lowa care products on them) with good traction on rocky terrain even when wet.
I like the position of the ankle boot string loops for a surgeon's knot to prevent heel slip and tow bang. I have not carried over 30# packs with these, but they'd support much more. High quality tanks for your feet, just plow through most anything.
I have been winter backpacking and snow shoeing in the Sierras so far. Construction and durability is first rate, stiff mountain soles for rocky terrain.
The gussets could/should go up to the top of the tongue and you could wade through deeper water and if they could take a pound off of them are the only cons I can think of.
When I saw these for $200 new I almost got two pair.
Hope this helps.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $202
Excellent boot that had proven to be tremendously durable.
- Vibram sole
I received these boots as a gift some years back. I believe I've been using them as my go-to boot for twelve years now. They are definitely showing signs of wear and I expect to replace them before my next hunt. My most recent hunt was in the Colorado high country in October. Temps were cold and there was a little snow. As usual, my hunters kept my feet dry and warm.
The vibram sole is stiff and it makes archery stalks more challenging. The rubber wrap tore somewhere around year five, but a little shoe goo kept things together. My favorite feature of these boots is the sps footbed. This is the only pair of shoes I own that doesn't require aftermarket insoles to keep my get from hurting.
I really have no idea how many miles I've put on these boots. Based on my most recent hunt, I would estimate somewhere around 400. Of course, this is a very rough estimate and YMMV.
The best cool/cold weather leather backpacking boots I've ever owned. Very comfortable boots from the first trip (after break-in at home) that are extremely durable too. The stiff shank can easily handle heavy loads on steep and uneven terrain.
I abuse them mainly off trail with heavy loads on multi-day trips. The rubber rand began to split from the leather after my first trip with my first pair, but Lowa did not hesitate to send me a new pair.
Because they're insulated leather boots they can take awhile to dry out if they get wet inside, but the Primaloft will keep your feet warm even if wet.
My only suggestion would be for Lowa to start using an eVent liner as opposed to Gore-tex. I have eVent in another pair of boots and shell and it seems to be more breathable.
Another great product from Lowa!
Price Paid: $360
I've got may pair before an Ibex hunt in southern Turkey 5 years ago and I've hiked many miles in them. The most extreme day was a 14-hour hike up and down mountains chasing Ibex through a rain storm (it rained 12 hours straight) and my feet were warm and dry.
The best pair of heavy duty hunting boots I owned or seen on anyone else.
Use: mostly bushwacking climbing with heavy pack
Break-in Period: 1 week
Price Paid: $320
When the temps are dropping below the 20*F mark, i switch from my Tibet gtx to my Hunters. I love these boots, heavy loads, excellent support, from both boot and company.
I rec. using Obenaufs LP on them.
Price Paid: $289
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Reviewers Paid: $202.00-$400.00