Boots

How to Choose the Right Tactical Boots: Brand Lowa

In this topic, we will figure out how to choose the right one of the three most famous models of tactical boots from the brand Lowa by Martin Newman researcher. He compares models Lowa Z-6s, Zephyr, and Innox in options with Gore-Tex. Who doesn’t know, that this membrane allows air and steam to pass through, but not water.
Lowa Tactical Boots

Z-6s Model Review

Let’s start with Z-6s. This is the development of Zephyrs with the elimination of some shortcomings. The top is leather, not of the highest quality, a split is 2 mm thick. Leather provides increased strength, heat resistance, and protection from sharp objects: stones branches and others.
z-6 lowa

Perforation on the sides and the tongue made of Cordura fabric is responsible for ventilation, but in warm weather, the boots are still stuffy, especially with Gore-Tex, so the best time of the year for them is spring, autumn and not hot summer. In not very cold winter, they can also be worn with merino socks, but then their size should be bigger. Lacing going through metal loops which is typical for tactical shoes. It’s worth mentioning that a demanding person will not be able to set up an accurate and stable tightening of the laces along the entire length, although most soldiers do not need to. Support the foot at a high level, you can not tuck your leg just like that. The boots can easily take an average additional weight of up to 25 kilograms, but pressing the pedals pouring in a car is uncomfortable. These shoes are definitely for walking. At first sight, it is clear that the tread around the perimeter and on the toe is excellent. You can safely walk on gravel, broken brick, kneel — the boots do not fight. The sole acceptable cushioning while maintaining stability on different soils. This aspect is well thought out. Tenacity in dry conditions is good on almost all surfaces. But in the mud, the boots slip, and self-cleaning works poorly. On wet smooth stones behave better than Zephyrs, which is facilitated by these grooves (check the photo below).
sole z6
It is not difficult to climb a hill in them, but on a long descent, the legs get tired. Durability on average is quite up to three years of normal wear, and then according to the situation. However, this issue is very individual and depends on many factors. The size grid is clearly maintained without deviations and there are options for a wide and narrow foot. In general, these are solid boots for a mass soldier, who is not particularly demanding, working under most conditions.

Zephyrs Review

Zephyrs — the most famous tactical model of the Lowa brand. Made of leather that gives strength and Cordura fabric to facilitate softness and ventilation. Boots are very comfortable ventilation works. Optimally at temperatures from +10 degrees and above. Zephyrs — the most famous tactical model of the Lowa brand. Made of leather that gives strength and Cordura fabric to facilitate softness and ventilation. Boots are very comfortable ventilation works. Optimally at temperatures from +10 degrees and above.
Lacing is well-regulated and fixed. The inner fabric and the insole are durable and do not rub. To drive the auto in boots not comfortable, support the foot and the protector at the highest level.
Polyurethane sole provides a comfortable level of cushioning with high stability. Climbing the slope — no problem, when descending — the leg gets tired.

Zephyrs Review

Separately need to stop on tenacity: practically works well on all dry surfaces. However, many people note that the boots are slippery on wet even on asphalt, and they do not like the dirt. Weight is small — 560 grams each. Additional weight with which you can walk is 20-25 kilograms maximum. And the boots are really good, everyone notes their comfort with excellent versatility. You can walk all day and day after day, boots are simply outstanding, but at what cost it is achieved.

About durability: with intensive wear sometimes on technically difficult routes, they will last from 7 to 9 months. It is not a joke, there are complaints that they fall apart even earlier, but that is a manufacturing defect. Nonetheless, low durability is the Achilles’ heel of these boots. The first ruining bottom layer of the sole, tenacity is lost, and humidity begins to penetrate. Then the skin breaks at the folds and the threads in places of dynamic loads. During active wear and the boots will not last long, however, if they are not worn 365 days a year in extreme conditions, they are quite stretched out for a few years. But short the fate of their life must be taken into account, especially at their price. Nevertheless, many have seriously used Zephyrs and bought them again. This is the inexplicable magic of these shoes. My Zephyrs still with me for more than two years and they are in good condition, but this is because I alternate them with another model — Lowa Innox.

Innox Review

Innox is about speed, speed and once again speed. They are specially designed for the fastest long and comfortable walking. In them, it’s good to run and they are quiet.
In military situations, Innox is just perfect for long or high-speed raids. To achieve this, it was necessary to lighten the shoes as much as possible and seriously work with materials. So characteristic difference — is the complete absence of leather. As the manufacturer jokes, this is in vegan boots.
innox review

The top is with a thin, but durable synthetic fabric. Therefore, when bending the boot, unlike leather shoes, it does not consume much energy, the legs do not get tired and do not rub on long hikes. Excellent ventilation is important because sweaty feet rub quickly with long and intense walking. The strength of the Innox fabric is lower than leather and theoretically, it is easier to tear them on sharp branches and other objects. Nevertheless, over the years of intensive wearing, my fabric has never been torn. At first, I was
afraid of it, but quickly stopped even thinking about it. When boots got wet, the fabric dries very quickly right on your feet, even in cool weather. Of course, the boots are waterproof, if there are Gor-Tex.
For comparison, when leather boots with Gor-Tex get wet, the legs still are dry, but the legs get cold and the shoes are heavier. For Innox there is no such problem. Unlike leather shoes, Innoxes practically do not require care. Just wipe them with a soft brush under running water and that’s all. Leather shoes quickly lose their marketable appearance, because folds can then turn into cracks. Inbox fabric does not have this problem. Shoes always look like new ones.

innox compare before after wear
You can see in the left photo my Innox pair after four years of wearing and three years of intensive use in a variety of conditions. In the right photo are the new Innoxes — almost no difference.

Driving in them is uncomfortable, these shoes are afraid of an open fire. About the temperature, they show themselves well from +10 degrees and above. You can use them in even lower degrees, but you will need warm socks and possibly a larger size. So these boots are for not very cold spring and autumn, and of course for summer. I walked in them at zero degrees, but this does not make sense, because there are special shoes for such temperatures.
Lower lacing is fixed with fabric loops, so the laces do not slip in them and you can conveniently just the tightening along the entire length of the lacing. The holding of the foot is not as powerful as in the two previous models, but it is quite at the level, especially for long and fast walking. In early models, it was better on the inside, and now it has even been reduced (in my opinion, in vain).
Stability on the ground, good lightweight tread on the sock is clearly not for kicking bricks, but in general, copes with the task. The depreciation works. When walking on moderately rocky ground, there is no particular discomfort, the foot does not get tired. On the slopes, they behave like other models, and tenacity on new models has subjectively decreased.
Although the fact that the pattern on the sole often changes and needs to be considered a specific model. Respectively, and behavior on soils. On a hard surface is good even when wet. On gravel it’s stable, loose soil — acceptable, but dirt is clearly not their area. The space between the protrusions instantly clogs and they are not self-cleaning. They are not designed for an additional heavyweight, but a backpack up to 20 kilos is okay. The weight of one shoe is 470 grams.

It’s important to tell that after walking a long distance you always want to take off your shoes so that your feet can rest, but in Innox model you don’t feel this feeling. If they are correctly selected, you don’t even notice that you are in shoes.
In Innoxes you can walk all day long and multi-day trips, you just don’t feel them, they are really so comfortable. I had a long distance in Innoxes and did not get tired, this is a real fact. In Zephyrs, fatigue was felt, and in Z-6s — I already complained about how much we need to more wander around, let’s stop. On the same route, if you come in Innoxes, you walk really faster, you don’t get tired and you can go further. In Zephyrs you walk confidently and comfortably, but fatigue appears. Z-6s should wear if you don’t have the previous two models and you will be satisfied.

Let’s sum it up!

With any practical shoes, you need to carefully choose for the correct situation, your style and anatomical features. But all Lowa’s have common features:

1. Sole

People complain that it is quickly erased in a year or two of intensive wear. It is true. Brand Lowa does not cooperate with the world leaders in tires, which are experts in this area: “Michelin”, “Bridgestone” and “Continental” like others do. And it’s sad. Sometimes they put “Vibram”, but basically Lowa has its own rubber. And rubber can be very disgusting. I have couples, but tactical shoes usually can be used for 2-3 years definitely.

innox sole compare

Here are Innoxes after three years of intensive wear both in the city and on hikes from early autumn till May. Three years later only a small hole appeared in the Gor-Tex membrane at the fold on the right boot, but water does not penetrate there even in strong rain and can only get in if the boot is underwater for a long time. The inner fabric (check photo below) lining is not wiped, very durable. Usually the sole goes first and the top is reliable.

innox inside

2. Branded Repair

And another interesting point: Lowa shoes, bought from a certified retailer, can be handed over to the factory for branded repairs. I have not done this yet.

Final Word

In the new midsole models midsole made of dynamic polyurethane has become noticeably stiffer. Model Lowa Z-8S GTX C is an earlier model and a modern one. This is a tourist version. Tactical boots differ only in the shape of the hooks for lacing and in color. So those for whom comfort is especially important, Lowa should definitely be on the list of first candidates.

Disclaimer

This article was prepared using the next video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R84FBbpkVVE

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