Walking for long periods over uneven terrain can be challenging on your feet, especially if you are not wearing the correct footwear for your feet and walking conditions. Many people seem to be turning to LOWA for their boots. Personally I don’t own a pair of LOWA boots but I know several people who do and all of them say the same thing – that they are comfortable, have little to no breaking in time, and that they wouldn’t wear any other military boots. I was given a pair of LOWA Combat boots to test out and see what all of the hype was about.
The LOWA Combat boot is a hi-leg boot which means the height is noticeably higher compared to other boots. Although the difference is only a couple cm at the most, it does provide plenty of extra support.
The Combat boots feature:
- Water Repellent 2.6mm leather,
- GORE-TEX® Duracom lining for outstanding waterproofing,
- Vibram® “Tsavo” sole unit (repairable),
- Achilles leather flex panel for heel support,
- Extra strong open hooks lacing system,
- 1800 g/pair.
When I put these boots on the first thing I noticed was how comfortable they were straight out the box! That’s nothing compared to how they felt after a few more times of wearing them and breaking them in properly – very different to when I got my first set of issue boots, which took a fair amount of wearing in before they felt comfortable. If you aren’t used to hi-leg boots, try them on for a short while and you’ll stop noticing it, and the extra support given by them comes into their own when you go over some uneven ground or scramble across some rocks.
I’ve tested them across all seasons, in sunny heats, hiking over snowy covered moors and all of the various types in between. These Combat boots have stood up very well to all the environments I have tested them in, they certainly pass the wind, rain and cold tests with flying colours. My feet were kept warm and dry in all of those conditions. The only time these boots fell down was when I’ve had them out in very warm conditions, and my feet got hot and sweaty. Although this is nothing that I haven’t experienced in the other boots I own that are also GORE-TEX, I can’t see this being a major problem for anyone owning these boots though as the majority of the time we don’t get such glorious weather in the UK, especially not in the training areas. There is no doubt that they are clearly built to last with a high grade of leather used and they certainly live up to the LOWA name.
In conclusion the LOWA Combat boots really are as good a boot as everyone says they are, from both a military perspective and also as a hiking boot. The boot is made even better by a simple substitution of the standard insoles.
To sum up:
- the boots are well made with high quality materials that are tough and stand up to any test and terrain you can put them through.
- are comfortable and keep your feet dry and warm.
- don’t hold up quite so well in very warm conditions, although realistically in such conditions you would use a lighter boot anyway.
- the standard insoles that come with the boot are rather flimsy and although comfortable I don’t think you can get much wear out of them.
I actually replaced the insoles that came with the boot with some LOWA foot beds from a UK company which kept the comfort factor while also increasing the durability of the boot.
According to most people I speak with who own a pair of LOWA boots say the boots will probably last a good 10-15 years with proper upkeep, and the only bit that will need replacing is the sole which you will wear down naturally. The sole on the Combat boot can be replaced, there are many boot repair companies out there I just did a Google search.