Leave it to LOWA to put their own spin on this season’s popular sneaker trend and completely raise the bar. I’m talking about the LOWA Maine GTX Qc ($210).
What I like
- Size is accurate. I wear a size 7.5 shoe and I opted for the size 7.5, which is the perfect fit. If I had gone up a half size they would have been too big. As for width, they’re classic normal widths. With my feet falling between normal and narrow, I have to tighten the laces a bit more—unless my hot, swollen feet need room to expand. When they do, the LOWA Maine GTX’s are extremely accommodating. If you have wide feet they’ll probably be a bit snug.
- Comfortable and supportive. Unlike the fashionable high-top sneaker revered by the hipsters and catwalk’ers, the LOWA Maine GTX’s have arch support—good arch support, actually. They’re not made with the sole purpose of being the perfect shoe to wear with your cropped boyfriend jeans. They’re sure-footed and made for traveling to distances far and wide where a lot of urban and semi-urban walking or pavement, gravel, sand and dirt is required. (The fact that they are also the perfect shoe to wear with my cropped boyfriend jeans is just a coincidence.)
- Waterproof! The LOWA Maine GTX are made with a GORE-TEX waterproof lining that kept my feet and socks dry on rainy days and splashing through shallow puddles.
- Durable and high-quality. The LOWA Maine GTX’s uppers are made with heavy-duty waxed cotton canvas and full-grain leather that provide exceptional ankle support (for a high-top sneaker). These aren’t your DSW.com’s canvas Converses that will show their age after a season or two. LOWA’s are made in Europe (not China). Meticulous stitching, gusseted tongue, thick soles, these standards are evident in the construction. I’ve known a lot of LOWA’s in recent years and I’ve known a lot of non-LOWA’s. LOWA’s aren’t just a shoe, they’re a work of art built for longevity and to withstand the brutality of life on the trail, in the mountains and around town.
What I don’t like
Nothing with the LOWA label is going to come cheap. Most people will argue (and win) that $210 is lot for a pair high-top sneakers. Hell, they’re argue that $210 is a lot for a pair of hiking boots—which the Maine’s are most definitely not. But if you’re familiar with the LOWA brand, and its level of quality, you’ll agree that LOWA’s are always worth their price tags.
The LOWA Maine GTX are, and always will be, a Gear Gals Recommended Piece of Gear.