"Hike ’em or spike ’em," sayeth the Lowa marketing reps of the Mountain Expert GTX boots. Turns out they’re not lying bastards.
These single boots performed great out-of-the-box on a twelve-mile speed hump over varied terrain. At just over 4lb these are not designed to be light hikers, but the upside is the worse the terrain became the more comfortable they felt. And unlike some boots I’ve tested, the waterproof label is accurate.
They were curiously warm on a recent glacier outing. They take step-in crampons well, and I had no problem making them perform on vertical ice – just be prepared for a severe case of burning calf syndrome. Lowa has a higher-end boot specifically designed for ice climbing.
I’m used to a larger (sloppier on me) foot box in Lowa boots, and I was pleased with the closer fit on these. These boots perform well when pushing their envelope on fast hikes and vertical ice, and they really shine in their comfort zone when a double boot is overkill but light hikers just won’t cut it.