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Lowa Men's Tanark

rated 3.5 of 5 stars

The Men's Tanark has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best hiking boots for 2020.

photo: Lowa Men's Tanark hiking boot


Price Historic Range: $34.46-$132.95
Reviewers Paid: $125.00


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

The fit in these boots was a little too tight for me even though I am a C width. Once I adjusted socks and laces I fell in love with the fit. They are great on day hikes, short overnighters and when I work on my feet all day.

With that said, why do I rate them only 2 stars? They leak and the leather soaks up water like a sponge. On 1 recent weekend trip (in the Colorado Rockies) above timberline, as soon as I got into wet grass the leather became soaked even though I had treated them with Nikwax.

After that trip I applied several coats of Nikwax, took them on a 100+ mile trip in 5 days on the Divide Trail only to have the leather soak through on day 2 in wet grass. Even though the leather was wet for 4 days, and shrunk a bit causing 1 bad black toe nail, I still liked the support of the midsole and gripping power of the outsole.

If the leather could be waterproofed (company said this boot never was intended to be waterproof when I contacted them) I would really like this boot. It is the right weight for long days and high miles, supportive enough in rough rocky trails, and flexible enough to let me move quickly down the trail.

Materials: leather
Use: short weekend trips to 100+ mile trips in 5 days.
Break-in Period: 0
Weight: 170 lbs

Like most other reviewers I found this boot's strongest point to be its fit. I was surprised by the previous reviewer who said his food is wider than normal because my feet are narrow for a man and the Tanark is the best fitting boot I've ever tried on and the only well fitting men's boot.

I agree with other reviewers who said the boot is not durable, but I gave the Tanark five stars anyway because I expected the boot to be relatively fragile. When you make a boot that light with that much support and with soles that grip like a climbing shoe, you cannot expect it to last 10 years. I'd rather replace a pair of boots that fit and walk well every two years than have heavy uncomfortable boots that last 20 years.

It's amazing that so many different other reviews stress the fit of this boot. I thought my narrow foot is what made it so perfect for me. Lowa does make it in two widths, which may account for this seeming disparity.

Other reviewers criticized its waterproofability. I wouldn't know about that. All my winter hikes are one-day affairs. I don't care if boots let water in as long as they're dry the next time I use them.

One reviewer criticized the workmanship. That's the only review I disagree with. I think the workmanship is good.

Materials: leather
Use: summer backpacking and day hikes over rough terrain and winter day hikes
Break-in Period: Twe days - Max
Weight: 2.5 pounds

Ordered from Backcountry which had a good price for last year's model. After reading another review about the boots leaking, I was hopeful that I could waterproof the gussets but when I got the boots I found that they were made of nylon and not leather. I returned them w/o a problem and checked another supplier to see if Lowa had addressed this problem with the newer model. They had not. Seems to me if you are not using a water-proof membrane in a backpacking boot you need leather in areas that need to be waterproofed. I'm in the South and don't want w/p membrane but I do step in streams.

Price Paid: $125

These were 5 stars for me cause of the imediate perfect fit. I have wide feet and on a lark I tried on the display model @ REI (they looked way too narrow) and they fit like a glove. I bought two pairs eventually (on closeout) and have been happy with their ability to grip and abrasion resistance. I clean them after every outing and also apply epoxy to all outside stitching (when new). My second pair will see its last days in a year and I will have to find a new favorite. My first pair went about 90 day trips.

Materials: non-Gore Tex, leather
Use: hikes (difficult terrain).
Break-in Period: next to none
Weight: light weight

rated 3.50 of 5 stars All Tanark versions

In addition to the 4 men's reviews above, there are 6 reviews for other versions of the Tanark. Read all reviews »

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