Showing posts from January, 2011

A blind date that turned into a love affair...

Northern Lights in Iceland
My husband and I married to join the Peace Corps together, but that’s not the love affair I’m speaking of (although we’re still completely in love). My love affair has been with a pair of Lowa hiking shoes. Just a few weeks before we packed most of our belongings into storage and the remaining select items into our luggage to head off for the Peace Corps, my husband ordered a pair of Lowa boots online.

When they arrived, he found them to be too tight. I found them to be the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. Wearing these shoes, I am totally unaware that I am wearing shoes at all, because they fit so well. They have never rubbed, caused blisters, or made my feet sore. I can wear them all day, day after day, and my feet still feel terrific.

Finger Lakes, New York
These boots accompanied me to Suriname, and more recently to Iceland (they were the only pair of shoes I brought). I wear them in the spring and in the fall when I stack the wood that keeps us war…

Zephyr Deserts in Afghanistan

Dear LOWA;

I purchased a pair of Lowa Zephyr Desert boots when I learned my unit was going to Afghanistan.

After walking over 450 kilometers through the rugged terrain consisting of rock, wadi lines that soaked our boots daily, and desert with thorny bushes, I discovered that my boots had finally started to wear out.

They lasted longer than other boots I have owned and I plan to get another pair soon.

Even though they are rotting from constant immersion in mud and water they are still comfortable.

Thank you for making such a quality product.
-  SSG McKinnis, Infantry Squad Leader, Afghanistan

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Blind Hikers Trek the Andes

ma * 16-year-old Andrew trekked to Machu Picchu with a group of 18 American teens, 5 who were blind and 4 sight-impaired.

Machu Picchu. Over 500,000 tourists visit this ancient Peruvian city every year. I wanted to be one of those people, and this summer I got the chance.

The cards were stacked against my being able to go — I'm 16, I'm blind, and Peru isn't exactly around the corner from Greenwich, Connecticut. I got the opportunity through a group called Global Explorers, a nonprofit organization that specializes in sending middle and high school students to interesting places around the globe.

Global Explorers teamed up with Erik Weihenmayer, the first and only blind athlete to summit Mt. Everest, and put together a hiking trip for both blind and sighted people. I applied, was accepted, and before I knew it I was on a plane to Lima, Peru!

Eighteen students and five group leaders headed out from Cusco to what we referred to as the "Super Inca Trail". The trail was…

Now THAT's a Boot!

Dear LOWA,

I kidnapped a friend for her 50th birthday to hike the Grand Canyon at the last minute, a first for her.

Her boots didn't fit ~ she'd been meaning to get some Lowa Renegades and mentioned the size she needed. I bought a pair for her to try on when we got up there. She tried them on, they fit, and she wore them into the Grand Canyon one day and out the next without a single foot complaint.

I had confidence that was a possibility because I bought my first pair of Renegades shortly before a trip to the GC and had no problems at all. Now THAT's a boot!

~ Dena P.

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Dispatches From Dhaulagiri

It's been awhile since we've been able to send an update. We're resting at Base Camp with everyone safe and sound.

The weather has been terrible. Fierce winds kept us at Camp 3, making it impossible to go higher. During a break in the weather, the Climbing Sherpa made their way up to Camp 4 placing fixed line along the route.

Finally, a quiet morning allowed us to set our sights on the ridge - though ice and rock and very technical terrain made it slow going. Late in the day, the winds picked up making progress even more difficult.

As darkness fell, the Climbing Sherpa, who had arrived the night before, helped us to reach Camp 4. We were exhausted after 14 hours of intense climbing.

We rejoiced in making it to Camp 4 though weather was preventing us from any attempt to go higher.

Our tents were battered by heavy winds and we rested in the thin air, waiting for a break in the weather. In the early morning of the following day, we got our opening. The winds died and we raced …

Kept My Toes

Dear Lowa Boots,

I am writing to thank you for making the ice climbing boots that let me keep my toes. I was wearing my Lowa mountaineering boots when I survived a brutal experience under extreme conditions:

My partner, Mike, and I tackled the Liberty Ridge on Mount Rainier. The weather was unusually warm, so we encountered some tough conditions: soft snow, rock fall, and dense ice on the upper part of the Ridge. After three open bivouacs, we summitted on June 21, 1992.

As we descended the Emmons Glacier Route, we were in a relatively "safe" locale called The Corridor. Roped together, and probing for crevasses as we went, we were just an hour from being off the glacier... Suddenly, I sunk in the wet snow up to my ankle, then my shin, then my knee...crevasse! A hidden snowbridge three feet thick collapsed beneath my feet. I warned Mike with, "FALLING!"

Gravity pulled me through the rotten snowbridge and blackness swallowed me. I was inside the slot. As a friend and …

Unbeatable Boots!


Just had to let you know that after a ten-day, sixty mile hike in Kluane National Park, my feet were the happiest of all my friends!

Here are some photos of me and my happy feet. I'm on top of Bear Mountain at Bear Lake on Baranof Island — where I live and hike in my LOWAs every day.

As a guide, I wear my LOWAs everywhere. A trip to the grocery store won't fly if I'm not in my LOWAs.

From a happy customer in Alaska... I send many thanks and praise for these UNBEATABLE BOOTS!

Cindy E.
Anchorage, Alaska

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Hard Feet to Please

I am a survival instructor in the USAF. I have worn my Tibet GTXs in the mountains of Washington to the mountains of Afghanistan and a whole lot of places in-between. I have hard feet to please but have never had a single problem with these boots since i walked out of the store almost 4 years ago. My only issue with these boots is that that when they finally wear out, they leave me no option but to buy another pair. Of course, that's if they wear out...

Johnny K.

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My Tibets Get Two Thumbs Up

To say that my wife and I are outdoor adventurers is an understatement. We both love to hike the great mountains of Colorado, as well as backpack the canyons of Utah.

Recently, I underwent total ankle reconstruction. The most important thing for me, after this surgery, was to continue hiking, hunting, and exploring. LOWA has ensured that I can do all of those things. I found the ankle support and comfort I needed in the Tibet GTX boot from LOWA. The solid leather sidewalls along with the Vibram sole are a perfect match for comfort and stability.

During the archery season in Colorado, my wife and I must have put over 400 miles on our LOWA boots. I was surprised to discover that these boots were comfortable right out of the box and did not need to be broken in.

Thanks LOWA for providing a solid product that will last forever. You guys deserve two thumbs up from my wife and I! I would recommend LOWA to anyone who needs a pair of boots they can rely on.

Sincerely, Jason B

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The Road To Kathmandu

Double-check your brakes before heading to the finish line. Lhasa to Kathmandu is the world's longest & deepest mountain bike descent.

On road and off road trails between Lhasa and Kathmandu are plentiful - and odd! You never know who you might meet along the way. But, they're good people and they take great interest in us wasting time on follies, such as biking, when the snows are coming and cattle must be moved to lower elevations.

It takes about 4 days, round trip, for stories that will last a lifetime. Go off road to Rongbuk and view the north face of Mount Everest. Continue on to Everest Base Camp – not many people arrive there – on a bike.

Once you reach the Tibetan Frontier at Thang La, the hard work is over. Now begins the longest descent in the world, an astonishing drop of 10,000 feet to Nepal.

Kick back with a bottle of Tiger beer and Chicken Tanduri. The restaurant bill should set you back $2.00 US dollars – which makes spoiling yourself with a massage a whol…

The Pacific Crest Trail

I had a few personal days to burn before the new year. What better way to spend them than a hike along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)??

Problem was... it was pretty short notice and I was a bit wanting for winter backpacking gear. Credit card in hand I headed to the local REI. At the top of my list was a new pair of boots, since my old boots were too worn to risk the inclimate weather. I tried on a few different boots before getting to the LOWAs, which were an instant match! It was like they were made for my feet, they were so comfortable immediately.

Boots in hand I finished my shopping and began to plan my trip.

This was my first experience on the PCT and also my first experience with winter backpacking.

I set my route from Warner springs to Anza, about 40 miles in 2.5 days. I figured that if I planned the route southernly enough and stayed below 6000ft I probably wouldn't run into to much snow or ice. I was wrong.

My hike consisted of endless peaks and ravines through numerous st…

Cold Mountain

I recently purchased a pair of LOWAs and I had little time to break them in. In fact the longest walk I had was 5 miles of moderate trail walking.

Yesterday, I took them to North Carolina for a trip to Cold Mountain (same mountain as the movie and novel of that name). The terrain was very rugged with steep ascents and descents,long jumbled rock gardens and numerous blowdowns. Add to all of this 11 miles of heavy rain and slick trails.

The boots performed magnificently. I not only had no blisters I didn't even have a hot spot. All of this with virtually no break-in time. The lacing system allowed me to change the fit of the boot quickly for some of the long downhills.

I have been hiking and backpacking for more than 25 years and these are BY FAR the most comfortable boots I have used.

Joe B.
Cold Mountain, North Carolina

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Chef Ben's Hungry Hikers

Dear LOWA,

I own a terrific restaurant in Greenville, SC. I'm on my feet 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week cooking for my customers. And, after days like that I still have the energy for a happy home life with my wife and son.

I truly owe it to my LOWAs. They are without a doubt the most complete and comfortable shoe I've ever worn in the kitchen. (And they are grease resistant to boot!) I've tried cooking clogs, cooking shoes designed for chefs and they just cannot compete.

I started wearing LOWAs in the late 90's when I lived in Colorado. I was a baker and an absolute madman to get my feet out on a hiking trail whenever I could. Even today - with owning a restaurant and being a father - I get to the woods several times a month. My wife, Betsy, and I both believe that getting our dogs and baby boy into the natural world is imperative to a healthy, happy family.

From the kitchen to the trail, my LOWAs never leave my feet.

Ben G.
Greenville SC

When in Greenville, …

Hiking the Big Mountains of Colorado

I was getting ready to spend 10 days in Colorado doing nothing but hiking. A month before the trip, I had decided to buy a new hiking boots at REI and with the advice of one of their employees, purchased a pair of LOWA Tempest Lo's. I did not have much time to break the boots in, so as soon as I arrived in Colorado I went on a 7-mile hike to Waldo Canyon just west of Colorado Springs. The hike was great and the boots were extremely comfortable. My feet felt great.

The following day I went hiking to St. Mary's Alice just west of Denver. Not only did I hike up to the glacier, but also above and beyond. I had no problems hiking up the snow-covered glacier and once the glacier was conquered, I saw two peaks two miles ahead. This took me above treeline and beyond.

A couple more miles brought me to the base of one of the two peaks. Seeing a storm heading in, I quickly headed back to treeline. Heading down the glacier was extremely easy. The traction in these new hiking boots was aw…

Tarakia Waterfalls, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Tarakia Waterfalls, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Dubbed as The Tropics To The Arctic, your path to summit Kilimanjaro begins in a dense rainforest, thick with moss-blanketed trees and rushing waterfalls. Shy Blue Monkeys spy on you through the dense vegetation.

Higher and higher you trek, leaving behind the shelter of the trees, entering the Mooreland zone, speckled with tough heathers and giant lobelia flowers.

On Day 3 you should be entering an eerie alpine desert and then it's up into a winter wonderland of ice and snow.

Claim bragging rights when you reach Gillman's Point, elevation 18,635 feet on the lip of the crater. Trudge on to Uhuru Point, the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Here you’ll be standing on the Roof of Africa, on top of the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

And, you can do it all in a pair of sturdy hiking boots with layers of warm clothes. 

Hemingway created a false impression of this imposing giant. It kindly allows you to reach the summit without technical…

Midnight Hikers

Dear LOWA:

This has been a wonderful hiking year for me. With an average of 4.5 miles per day starting at 5:00 AM or earlier, we hike Montserrat Mountain near my home in Fallbrook California. Almost all of the 1,558 feet elevation is gained in 1.2 miles with a long traverse and return.

We climb this every day of the year except for Sundays. I started a Club called the Midnight Hikers, we hike Midnight to dawn with friends and anybody we can sucker into getting up that early. So far we have five who brave the early morning.

This new hiking area was opened just a year ago and it is one of the best training hikes we have in San Diego County. I appreciate you letting me test and evaluate your boots.

The last pair you sent me had an SPS feature (Supination/Pronation Walking Support.) I'm not sure what that means but I can say out of all the boots so fare these have been the best fitting and wearing boot to date. They are leather lined, fit very well and last with no liner deteriorations…