If you’ve read The Adventure Blog for any length of time, chances are you’ve seen my reviews for boots from Lowa. The company makes some of the best hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering boots around, which has earned them plenty of praise from this reviewer over the years. With the new Lynnox GTX Lo however, the company is moving into a new direction, delivering a new style of footwear that falls somewhere between a trail running shoe and a hiker, delivering a level of performance that overlaps both categories.
Lowa puts the Lynnox squarely into its “all-terrain sport” category, which means that it is designed to be a bit lighter and sportier than the more traditional hiking boots and shoes in the company’s line-up. How light you ask? The specs for the Lynnox say that a pair of these shoes tips the scales at 1.65 pounds, which translates to about 13.2 ounces per shoe. That isn’t exactly light by trail running standards, but it isn’t overly heavy either. But compared to other shoes from Lowa, it is pretty lightweight. The company has created some of the most rugged and capable boots on the market, and has never been overly concerned with trying to keep their footwear especially lightweight, but with the Lynnox that changes for the positive. For what this shoe is trying to accomplish, it is pretty much the perfect balance of weight, stability, traction, and comfort.
In addition to cutting some ounces off the shoe, the designers at Lowa got a little wild with the look of the Lynnox too. Well, as wild as the Lowa team gets anyway. This is a shoe company that has been around for nearly 100 years and the adherence to tradition and a classic, never-go-out-of-style look pervades much of its catalog. But with the Lynnox you get something that looks more like a running shoe than a hiker, with some unique colors and materials integrated throughout. In fact, if I didn’t know that was a Lowa before I started testing them, chances are I wouldn’t have guessed that they were from the brand. I happen to really like the subtle use of different colors and design elements however, so hopefully we’ll get more of that from Lowa in the future.
Also taking a cue from running shoes, the Lynnox features a 10mm hell drop. That’s the difference in height from the heel of the shoe to the toe. The size of that drop can impact how your foot strikes the ground, with smaller drops promoting a toe strike, while a higher drop –– say 10mm or above –– promoting a heel-strike. When it comes to the trail, a heel strike approach is often better, helping to prevent stubbing toes on rocks, roots, and other outcroppings. With the Lynnox, you should be more prone to avoiding those issues, particularly when moving at faster speeds.
The shoe itself is infused with a number of proprietary Lowa materials that help it to perform at a high level. For instance, it uses the Lowa Trail Trace sole to help protect the foot and provide traction and stability on a variety of surfaces. It also has a double-injected DynaPU midsole designed for shock absorption and extended foot protection as well, not to mention a lightweight and breathable upper that allows the foot to stay dry even in warm conditions. Managing moisture and temperature are key to avoiding blisters and hotspots, which I haven’t had an issue with when wearing the Lynnox at all.
That said, Lowa did use one important piece of technology that it borrowed from someone else –– Gore Invisible Fit Technology from Gore-Tex. This is a special liner that is integrated into the Lynnox GTX that makes it both water and wind-proof, without adding bulk or weight to the shoe. It also maintains a high level of breathability as well, ensuring your feet to overheat. Gore has made huge strides in that area in recent years and it shoes here. You essentially get all the benefits that Gore-Tex is known for, without any of the traditional compromises.
While these shoes aren’t really designed for trail running, they are versatile enough to be used in a variety of other activities. For instance, the Lynnox makes a great light hiking shoe, but I’ve also worn them while mountain biking, camping, and traveling too. They would also make a good approach shoe for climbers and backpackers will find they have a lot to offer as well, provided you’re not heading into overly rugged terrain. That level of versatility makes them a really nice option to have in your closet, particularly if your budget doesn’t necessarily allow you to buy multiple pair of shoes for all of your different outdoor activities.
Comfortable and robust, the Lynnox GTX Lo is a shoe that you can wear all day on the trail, but not be in a big hurry to necessarily take off when you get to the campsite or back home. Their sneaker-like fit and ability to cradle your foot snugly and securely is a big plus in my book, particularly if you take them with you when you travel. Obviously the comfort of a pair of shoes is highly subjective, but for me personally this is the kind of shoe that I can take with me on a round-the-world adventure and not have to worry about bringing any other footwear along too. There aren’t many shoes that I can truly say that about.
This being the “Lo” version of the Lynnox, there isn’t much in the way of ankle support. Again, think of a traditional trail runner to get a sense of what to expect. For most of us, this isn’t too much of an issue, provided you don’t require a shoe that sits higher up your ankle. But if ankle support is a major concern for you, the Lowa Aerox GTX Mid may be more to your liking.
The Lowa Lynnox GTX model is priced at $195, which is a little pricier than the competition. This model includes the Gore-Tex layer of course, but the non-Gore-Tex model is available for $180. That’s a little closer in price to similar shoes on the market, but then you give up the wind and waterproofing, so there is a trade-off there. At this price point however, you also get the Lowa level of quality and construction, which tends to be substantially better than most other brands. In other words, with this shoe you’re buying something that is likely to last a lot longer and perform better than most other models from a competitor, making them a better bargain in the long run.
I’m so happy with these shoes that they are likely to be the only footwear I take with me on an upcoming trip to Africa. I feel confident that they are comfortable enough for all-day wear in a variety of environments, while also allowing me to handle different types of terrain too. I won’t be climbing Kilimanjaro on this trip, but I will be in the bush at times, so I want something that will handle busy airports just as easily as it does the Serengeti. The Lynnox GTX Lo seems well suited to that and a lot more.
Find out more on the Lowa website.
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