Lowa Zephyr GTX mid tactical hiking boots – tactical style, comfort and durability.
Getting back to full fitness after the events of April 2022 involved a lot of walking and hiking. As distances began to increase and terrain became more challenging it was time to consider some fresh footware which in itself was going to be a positive – feeling good and looking forward to doing something with the right gear always helps you get motivated.
I’d had hiking boots before from many years ago and never really took to them but the old shoes were suffering and this time I had a purpose. I’d also never shelled out more than €75,00 euros on footwear in my life which was about to change. This was a one off purchase and when it comes to this type of gear it’s ‘buy the best you can afford’ as cheap is a false economy.
After researching boots for a couple of weeks the Lowa Zephyr GTX Mid’s arrived a few days later. [See the alternatives and buying choices]
How I use these boots: As time has gone on, these boots are used three/four times weekly for longer hikes as recovery continues to improve. The boots are hardly ever used in adverse or wet weather conditions. I do quite a bit of mountain trekking so the boots see a lot of action over rocks and woodland.
I keep keep the Lowa’s in tip top condition after use too – look after them, they will look after you…
The build quality of these boots is fantastic, reearching Lowa boots online and this model in particular did not throw up many negative reviews or opinions at all, the brand is known for it’s durable footware and general overall toughness which I can vouch for without hesitation.
These boots have been dragged over rocks up Andalucian hillsides, seen many a hike through woodland and been exposed to the southern Spanish ‘campo’ on a regular basis for the past 400km or so. They still look great and are performing exactly as expected although there are some signs of wear and tear which is normal for this type of use.
GORE-TEX [gtx models]
We don’t get a tremendous amount of rain that lasts a significant length of time in southern Spain, as such I have yet to hike in these boots in wet conditions. The gore-tex however does work from a breathability point of view.
Hiking in the heat of the Spanish summer really does put these boots to the test, my feet never felt clammy nor did they overheat, even without socks the boots performed exceptionally well for what I need them to do.
What Lowa say:
A rugged, multifunction duty boot for service personnel or for days on the range. Built on our injected DuraPU® midsole and PU MONOWRAP® frame construction for support and stability, and a LOWA® Cross II outsole for reliable traction. Featuring a durably waterproof/breathable GORE-TEX lining to protect feet from the elements.– Lowa
I am no hiking boot expert but the Lowa Zephyr’s are without question the most comfortable pair of boots I have ever owned, you can tell as soon as you put them on that they are ready to go. In summer I wear tham with no socks for shorter hikes without any issues whatsoever.
The soles have a decent amount of flex but retain the level of rigidity required for serious hiking, in other words the balance is pretty much spot on. The toe box could be classed as narrow however that has never proved a problem as the advice [in general online/not on the Lowa website] is to buy half a size up which offers up just that little bit extra room.
if you have good gear on your feet you’re in for a more lively and safer hike.
As far as sizing is concerned I’m glad I did go a half size up from 11 to 11 1/2 – my usual size would have been too small so something to bear in mind when making a purchase.
The traction on the Lowa’s is as good as any outdoor footware I have worn, the Lowa cross design works extremely well and the grip over dry rocks makes you feel like you are not slipping anywhere – even over wet surfaces the boots excel.
The outsole is durable and tough like you would expect without compromising comfort and results in a boot that simply feels great. It would take a lot to compromise its integrity in the outdoors and this inspires confidence, if you have good gear on your feet you’re in for a more lively and safer hike.
- Exterior: Split leather and Cordura
- Interior: Gore-Tex breathable membrane
- Midsole: Polyurethane Monowrap Structure
- Sole: Lowa Cross design
- Insole: Climate Control
- Lacing: Closed metal eyelets.
- Weight: 1,100 g per pair +/- depending on size
The tactical element is very present which may be too much for some. The design of the boot is unique, considering that they were designed for the British SAS as combat boots for the desert you can immediatly recognise the military heritage.
There are some smart hiking boots out there but these look different, they don’t look like hiking boots, rather tactical boots which makes them highly underrated. They do stand out given the design and the way the outer sole creeps up the side of the boot exterior. If, like me that’s the look you’re after then the Lowa Zephyr’s won’t disappoint, something different with the high performance of a hiking boot at this price point.
Following 6 months of moderate use the Lowa Zephyr GTX mid has proven to be a highly capable boot with a good level of comfort. They are a rugged, supportive and waterproof hiking boot with a tactical feel suitable for general purpose tasks and pursuits on top of hiking.
The Lowa Zephyr comes in a range of colours including black, desert. coyote, coyote OP, brown, blue and green. The boot has also received a redesign/facelift. At around €160,00 [slightly more for the newer design] euros these Lowa’s are not cheap but worth every cent plus you have the knowledge that they are made in Europe.
*This post is NOT sponsored