Sometime near enough to a year ago I had to begrudgingly buy a new pair of boots when my near new boots just didn't work out (I've never seen feet more disgusting than mine at the time). Needless to say, I was wild at having to go back to the shop I'd bought my last pair of boots from, ready to have a good spastic at some poor shop worker, when they handed me a pair of LOWA boots to chuck on....
From the second I slipped them onto my poor wounded feet I never wanted to take them off again! I spent the following six months guiding through Routeburn, Greenstone, and Milford tracks - Rain, wind, sun, snow, hail, river crossings, rock hoppings, you name it - boots on every day. Winter rolls in, I score a sweet job up Coronet Peak and prepare to switch to ski boots for 4 months. But with the grace of a baby giraffe learning to walk, I fall and break my right knee (tibial plateau for those concerned) on the 8th day of season.
Hoorah, back into the LOWA's to stumble around on the snow with crutches whilst attempting to ride a skidoo or something. End of winter - I'm totally heartbroken as the right toe of my boot splits open. There are some serious tears. But we've got a trip to Stewart Island planned, so I give that a go. LOWAs pull through, then come up Bold Peak on a hiking and ski touring trip. Still pulling through. We climb a few more peaks and walk a few more miles together - Mt Larkins, Mace Town, Wye Creek, some hill-mountain I don't know the name of, and just yesterday we return from their last trip before I lay them to rest - an epic bivvy out overnight on Turret Heads of Glenorchy, right under Mt Earnslaw.
We spend our last night star gazing, then climb up and over a ridge, hit the snow, scree slopes, hectic native scrub and beach forest bluffs.
It's an emotional 13 hours of scrambling, crawling and climbing - trusting these totally busted up LOWA boots with my life. I'm pretty stoked to say, these LOWA boots have been an extension of my foot for the past year and a bit.
They've done me proud and been one of my most treasured belongings. I will struggle to let them go. Cheers LOWA!
- Tintin K.