During errands yesterday in my LOWA San Luis GTX Lo ($200) I thought, “If I had been clocking the miles I walked in these suckers over the past four months, I could have walked the Leadville Trail 100 four times over.” Then I went, “Huh. I need to sit my ass down and write a review. Tell the world how I feel!”
What I like
- Size is accurate for normal width feet. I wear a size 7.5 shoe and I opted for the size 7.5. Perfect fit. If I had gone up a half size they would have been too big. As for width, they’re classic normal widths. With my feet falling between normal and narrow, I have to tighten the laces a bit more—unless my hot, swollen feet need room to expand. When they do, the LOWA San Luix GTX’s are extremely accommodating. If you have wide feet they’ll probably be a bit snug.
- Comfortable. Every time I slide my foot in I go, “Ahhh…$&*@#$!.” Then I roll my eyes and people think I’m a freak. The San Luis GTX’s cradle my feet in a soft cloud of healing touch massage therapy. And no, this does cause major heat retention on hot days because the construction (more on that below in the “breathable” section) is designed to increase circulation between air and trapped moisture. However, because they’re so breathable, you’ll definitely need a sock on cold days. The tongue, although very comfortable, is wide so you may have to fiddle with it a bit to lay flat.
Breathable. You won’t find a lot of people wearing sneakers sockless during Minnesota’s summer months. We’re plagued with a wet heat that is so intense that walking out to the car feels like a full day’s work and requires a change of clothes. The days leading up to a big rainstorm imprisons us in a humidity that that can only be cut with a Wusthof meat cleaver—except that our sweat-drenched hands are incapable of holding solid objects. But we’re stuck here. We suffer. We sweat. We rage. And thanks to the San Luis GTX’s GORE-TEX® SURROUND™ technology, which provides 360 degrees of breathability through the uppers, lowers, soles, everywhere, I can rage all that much quieter. (<<<riiiight)
- Durable and high-quality. 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
It’s the same thing that I always chirp about when it comes to LOWA: Price.
Nothing with the LOWA label is going to come cheap. Most people will argue (and win) that $200 for a pair of sneakers, no matter how well made, isn’t justifiable when you can pay $175 for a pair of LOWA Ferrox GTX Lo day hikers or $190 for the LOWA Innox GTX Lo. But ask any LOWA wearer if they regret their purchase the resounding answer is always “Never!”
Expensive but worth it if you can afford it because they’re shoes that will last a long time. They’re sure-footed on wet sidewalks and asphalt, they’re very supportive with decent arch support. They’re also lightweight which means you can throw them in your backpack and wear around camp and feel confident you’ll have total foot protection.
The LOWA San Luix GTX Lo’s are, and always will be, a Gear Gals Recommended Piece of Gear.