Gear Review: Lowa Wendelstein

There is always this possibility that I’ll find the perfect shoes!
With this mantra I went into shoe shopping again and I had some conditions in advance: I was at the research for light (yeah, not ultralight) boots because I had this not so good experience last year in the mountains with my trail runners and I wanted leather boots because it’s comfy and I’m still convinced that leather is giving me the best foot climate. And I don’t want to look on my feet all the time and be over-careful. That’s my reason for boots.

I have a two-weeks through-hike in spain ahead of me and I want to be sure to choose wisely.

The Lowa Wendelstein are …

  • … very light for a leather boot (1031g/pair/41)
  • … rather narrow and with that they should have been perfect for my narrow foot
  • … beautiful. With their proportions, the brown leather and the red shoelaces they look just like my imagination of classic hiking boots grandpa style.
  • … made in Germany
  • … a wonderful piece of craftsmanship
  • The sole is rather stiff and the cushioning is less than average.
  • The sole has an excellent grip.
  • My size is 40 and I chose the 41. I put my orthopedic insoles inside and they are slightly thicker than the original soft leather surfaced insoles. My toes have enough space on the top and in the front.
  • The break-in is very long.

Finally I decided to go with my La Sportiva Core Highs (and get to know the Lowas better when I come back) because of trust issues:

  • I’m not sure how long the break-in will take. Until this moment I have the problem of a very aching little toe after 15 kms. But I think this will be better when the leather gets smoother with time.  I don’t want to risk Cinderella-like foot pain.
  • and because of better cushioning

 

Data Lowa Wendelstein:

 kind of shoe mid-height leather hiking boot
top full leather, interior leather
sole Vibram
price 210 €
drop ?
break-in Very long, haven’t finished yet
weight/pair
(size 41)
1031 g
waterproof If you grease them well
marketing promises Perfect mix between traditional craftsmanship and Innovation

Evaluation Lowa Wendelstein:

tested for 50 km
foot climate *****
grip *****
stability (sole) *****
stability (top) *****
protection *****
comfort *****
cushioning *****
durability *****
(seams great, but I did not test it long enough)
toebox normal to narrow width
  • I wore them in the mountains and they were perfect for the rather rough and stony terrain. The grip is perfect and the climbing zone integrated in the soles are really functional. I didn’t have any difficulties with them on an 6km climb + 4km decent
  • I wore them again on flat forest terrain and again my little toe hurt and was very red after only 10 kms, despite of my narrow foot. Will this ever stop? I don’t know.
Dachstein Spürsinn Review

Gear Review: Dachstein Spürsinn MC

Those boots! I saw them online and I thought: this is the MY pair of hiking boots. They are…

  • … mid height
  • … light
  • … made in Austria by people who know their artisanry
  • The Design is – in my opinion – outstanding, compared to all those insect-like colored trail and hiking boots
  • Their USP says that they have an outstanding underfoot feeling (and I just hate if my soles are so stiff that I can’t feel the ground anymore)

Unfortunately I can’t give a full evaluation of the boots because I only wore them for about 1 km and I quickly recognized, that they are to small for me. So here are my 5 cents:

  • They look great
  • The sole is stable and has an excellent grip (I didn’t walk on wet ground though)
  • My size is 39,5 and I chose the 41. This is still not enough. I have to say that I put my orthopedic insoles inside and they are slightly thicker than the original ortholite insoles. My toes touched the top even without walking.
  • They are not comfortable. This means: the sole is comfortable, but the top isn’t. Even in wearing them so shortly I already discovered some slight bruises. And this was the most disappointing thing for me because they looked so much like the perfect shoes! So maybe they need a long break-in, I just didn’t try it long enough.

Finally I sent them back – teary-eyed.

Data Dachstein Spürsinn MC:

 kind of shoe Mid-height Hiking Boot
top mesh & leather
sole Vibram
price 179 €
drop 9 mm
break-in can’t tell
weight/pair
(size 41)
751 g
waterproof No
marketing promises Perfect mix between approach shoes and trail runners. Very good underfoot feeling.

Evaluation Dachstein Spürsinn MC:

tested for 1 km
foot climate ***** (did not test it long enough)
grip *****
stability (sole) *****
stability (top) *****
protection *****
comfort *****
durability ***** (did not test it long enough)
toebox normal width & rather round

Gear Review: Aku Tribute II LTR

In comparison to the Brooks Cascadia 10, the La Sportiva Primer and the Salewa Ultra Trail Every review is subjectively biased so I will describe my preconditions, expectations and needs further down to let you know from where I’m coming. At the end of this page you will find a table with the comparison to the above mentioned shoes. Review: […]