I already made a review about Lowa Wendelstein boots some time ago but now I want to show them and write about their performance after I’ve tested them extensively. So here it comes. Those shoes became–after a difficult and long initial break-in phase–my every(hiking)day standard footwear. At the beginning they were stiff and I had some […]
The following is a guest post which I wrote and which was published on The Trek in 2016. It had around 1K shares and I think it’s still valid today. As I saw that the pictures have already disappeared and I don’t wanted it to disappear completely, I decided to post it here again. This is kind […]
During our trip to Kraków we stood in a sensational building, a fortress from the 19th century, the Hostel Luneta Warszawska. It is situated slightly outside the old city center (four stations by tram and about eight to Kazimierz) and has a wonderful terrace and a huge kitchen. Downers: The bathroom was always flooded and the bunkbeds squeaked like hell.
I had a very good time on the Gran Senda de Málaga but there were some difficulties, too. These were because I had some unfulfilled expectations on what would or wouldn’t happen. I hope I can help future hikers to know a little bit more about this wonderful trail than I did while planning and […]
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
full leather, interior leather
Very long, haven’t finished yet
weight/pair (size 41)
If you grease them well
Perfect mix between traditional craftsmanship and Innovation
(seams great, but I did not test it long enough)
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.
Those boots! I saw them online and I thought: this is the MY pair of hiking boots. They are…
… mid height
… 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
mesh & leather
weight/pair (size 41)
Perfect mix between approach shoes and trail runners. Very good underfoot feeling.
I bought this pair of shoes to thruhike the GR 221 mountain trail in Majorca /Spain. I put a lot of thoughts into my choice prior to my journey because it has been the first time that I chose trailrunners over hiking boots for a longer hike. I already had the Brooks Cascadias 10 at home but the cushioning seamed to weak for my sensible feet which easily get tender after long hikes.
I read a lot about Hokas and I ordered a pair together with the La Sportivas to compare them at home. They have been utterly comfortable when I tried them on and I especially loved the forefoot cushioning which I have never seen in other trailrunners before.
Finally I’m more than content to have chosen the La Sportivas because the footing of the Hokas (Challenger ATR) is god when it comes to the soles but very weak on the top of the shoes. And this has been my principal problem with the La Sportivas although they are much more stable than the Hokas.
I wore them together with Falke RU4 and RU5 socks and I never had any feeling of excessive sweating even when temperature climbed. The mesh is wide and you have to wear gaiters on sandy ground if you don’t want your shoes filled with dirt at the end of the day.
Comfort and grip:
I had no break-in phase. They were immediately comfortable from the beginning. I had one small blister as a result of a very long hiking day. In my opinion the soles are just perfect. Absorption is great but you can still feel the ground very well. The grip is perfect, too. Even on wet ground.
And here comes the problem: The stability of the sole is perfect. But I hiked a mountain trail mainly consisting of sharp rocks and debris and steep ascents are mostly connected with steep descents.
While I observed my co-hikers in their leather boots nearly running down those hills I had to be very slow and cautious because the top of the shoes does not provide enough stability to hold the feet in place over a long period of time. Some descents were longer than 10 kms and I had to tie the laces so tight that I didn’t feel my feet anymore. At the end of my journey I had bruises on both feet and one of them even bled.
Well, there was on good thing about all that: As I was forced to walk very carefully on the descents, I didn’t have any problems with my knees as I had on previous hikes.
I love this shoes and I hate them. They are superb on ascents, but a real pain in the ass on descents. On my next mountain only trip I’m going to wear boots again. I will use them with delight to hike my really flat home region.
kind of shoe
weight/pair (size 41,5 without insoles)
optimum shock absorption
wide & rather round
And sometimes it’s just great to get rid of all your shoes and clothes and jump into the sea.
I thought my Tevas where lightweight but when I put them on my kitchen scale I was kind of shocked about the 450g/pair. Additionally they are bulky and rather difficult to slip on. So I looked for a lighter alternative. At first I thought of hotel slippers (sensational 94g/pair!), but they would bust immediately when […]
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: […]