If you’re an avid hiker, having a comfortable and durable pair of hiking boots that hold up to the elements is essential. They’re the difference between killing it out on the trails, and just plain getting killed. Based in Europe, Lowa has been in the shoe business since 1923, and they continue to make some of the best quality, hardest-working trail shoes on the market. Over the winter, I tested out a pair of the company’s popular Renegade GTX’s and fell in love. On a month-long road trip throughout the western U.S. in the month of May, I put Lowa’s Innox Evo GTX® Qc WS to the test, over ungroomed trails, in ridiculous heat, through wind and rain, and on some of the best adventures I’ve had in 2017.
Pros: These boots are insanely lightweight considering the amount of features they sport. Instead of a clunky, heavy boot, the Innox Evo’s are athletically-inspired and perform more like a fitness shoe than a hiking boot. And they’re waterproof—which certainly comes in handy when exploring in the often unpredictable mountains in the warm weather months. But unlike some hiking shoes, these waterproof, durable boots also feature climate control in the footbed. I tested these boots out on some seriously hot summer days in the Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park, and never once did my feet feel like they were on fire, unlike my nose, which I consistently neglected to slather sunscreen on throughout the trip. These hikers also have GORE-TEX lining, as well as Vibram technology for better grip. These particular boots are also women’s-specific, upping the level of support and comfort. The Innox Evo’s also come in a regular fit.
Cons: The sturdy, yet flexible design paired with the DynaPU midsole cushion make these boots a comfortable option to don for longer trail trips, but on my first outing with the Innox Evo’s, I spent more time adjusting my shoe due to discomfort than reveling in the boot’s comfortable features. In order to achieve that desired comfort, I had to loosen the boots laces all the way up and down the boot in order to eliminate awkward pain beneath the boot’s tongue. Each time I rock the Innox Evo’s it takes a few extra minutes of attention in the lacing department to make these hiking boots live up to their comfortably promise.
Where We Took It: Hiking and exploring in Joshua Tree National Park, the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde National Park and everything in between.