(The Gear Loop) - Finding a genuine "all-rounder" walking boot is hard but the Lowa Trek Evo GTX Mid is going to have a good crack at the whip.
Breaking into this elusive market is tough, simply because there are so many options out there (all designed to do so many specific jobs) that most end up purchasing several boots to cover summer hiking, winter walks, scrambling and more.
During wintertime, hikers require waterproofing, so that feet stay dry in the depths of the UK’s colder months, while during summer, punters will likely be hunting for something a little lighter and more forgiving over harder surfaces. Something that allows the feet to breathe. So tying these various uses up into one "any-occasion" boot is a task, to say the least.
But that’s what Lowa has endeavoured to create with the new Trek Evo GTX Mid. Designed to be lightweight and comfortable, all while delivering the sturdiness that people are seeking in an all-purpose boot. Admittedly, Lowa is no fresh-faced newcomer in this area - far from it - as the German maker has produced some of the best boots in the business for nearly 100 years now.
Despite this heritage, Lowa has packed a fistful of the most modern features into the Trek EVO GTX Mid, and crafted them with an eye on reusability, too.
The Lowa Trek Evo GTX Mid feels like the ideal all-purpose boot, capable of dealing with casual day hikes just as easily as more committed sessions on the trail. Though the look may not appeal to everyone, they do stand out from the crowd thanks to their zesty lime green accents. Despite commanding a hefty price tag, the Lowa Trek Evo GTX Mid feels like a solid investment and a pair of boots that’ll you’ll be keen to put on every time you head out for an adventure.
Lowa Trek Evo GTX Mid
- Comfortable from the get-go
- Ability to resole means you can breathe new life into them
- Robust hook system gives a solid fit
- Vibram sole provides a good amount of traction on all manner of surfaces
- Quite expensive
- Lacks colour options
- They can feel warm on hotter days
In The Loop
Everything you need to know about the Lowa Trek Evo GTX Mid in short:
- Full waterproof Gore-Tex lining
- Toe and heel given added protection with PU film
- Completely resoleable
- Polyurethane sole gives good levels of comfort and impact absorption
- X-Lacing system allows for a strong fit
- Vibram outsole features triangular studs for added grip
Fresh out of the box, the colour of the Lowa Trek Evo GTX Mid strikes you as something a little bit different. There’s no aged leather here, no brass fitments, replaced instead by zany green accents and an almost Spiderman-suit-like material to much of the upper. You get that green colour in all manner of places across the boots, too, from the lace hooks to the lining of the collar.
It might not be traditional, but we definitely appreciated the modern take on the walking boot look. Our only issue was that the dark blue colour applied to the rest of the upper was quite prone to showing up dirt and dust.
But the build quality is most definitely there. These boots chime in at a reasonably hefty £210, so it's only natural to expect the very vest at that price. Thankfully, everything feels superbly well attached, from the elasticated lace eyelets to the polyurethane heel and toe bumpers - the latter of which gave the boots a pleasingly robust feel. The upper collar and tongue are well padded too, so even before you’ve slid a foot into the Trek Evo GTX Mid, you feel like you’re off to a solid start.
The Trek Evo GTX Mid is absolutely jam-packed with features, most of which designed to make it comfortable and versatile. You'll find the industry-standard Gore-Tex membrane, which is designed to keep water out while maintaining a regular temperature inside the boot. In truth, we found them a little warm at times, but that could’ve been down to the record temperatures we’ve been experiencing recently in the UK. Any boot is going to suffer in extreme heat.
But Lowa has really thrown the works at the Trek Evo GTX Mid to ensure that it’s as comfortable as possible on the trails, not least its technically accomplished Lowa’s DynaPU+ midsole. Plus, the Trek Evo GTX Mid also features a relatively subtle toe spring, which only elevates your toes above the ground a small amount, but helps maximise comfort levels when you’re on your feet for many hours at a time.
Lowa also provides a 24-month warranty with every pair of its boots, excluding damages caused by neglect or inappropriate use, of course. This should give some peace of mind when it comes to their sturdiness.
Performance in the wild
We stepped out in this new set of Lowas with a little trepidation. After all, the first few miles in a fresh pair of boots is always like stepping into the unknown. With visions of plaster-riddled walks for days to come, we took things easy to begin with, but in reality, the Trek Evo GTX Mid is perfectly comfortable from the get-go.
We found them to fit true to size, with a good amount of wiggle room in the toe box to allow your feet to adjust as they swell with the heat.
The foam midsole provides a really supple underfoot feel, too, but it’s backed by plenty of rigidity from the outsole.
Larger stones and rocks don’t make their presence known when you stumble across them, the remainder of the boot shrouds and protects the foot incredibly well. That amount of cushioning can sometimes lead to a soft and less supportive feel underfoot, but not so here.
We tested the boots over loose shingle, rocky outcrops and sections of seaweed-covered stones and the Vibram soles rarely lost traction, with a solid set of ultra-grippy triangular-shaped lugs doing a great job of biting into most surfaces.
Better still, the Trek Evo is built on a cement construction, which allows the Vibram sole to be replaced in the future if needs be. There’s no need to discard the boot when the lugs eventually wear down, which improves longevity and justifies the lofty price tag.
In terms of weight: a UK size 8 pair of Trek Evo GTX Mid boots come in at 1,140g. For comparison, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX, which have a look akin to the Lowas, tip the scales at just 940g for the pair, despite having a similar collar cut and day-hiking focus.
Having said that, we didn’t feel the weight of the Lowas to be overly problematic nor a cause of discomfort or fatigue. In fact, they felt quite reassuring solid underfoot.
One of our favourite features, however, was the two-zone lacing, which allows the supportive collar and forefoot section of the boot to be laced with differing tensions. This is great when hiking in hot weather, where perhaps you still want the ankle support but the feet need a little extra room to move.
The Trek Evo GTX Mid from Lowa is a pair of boots that’ll handle shorter day hikes just as easily as it will longer journeys further afield. We’d argue that the ultra-modern look might not be for everyone, but the backbone of these boots is the quality and strong build that they offer. We also appreciate the sustainability built in here, with the vegan-friendly construction showing an awareness that many users might not want animal products in their footwear. And though we harp on about it, the ability to put new soles on this pair of boots extends their lifetime and makes them an even more worthwhile investment.