Lowa boots for the playa? opinons?

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ms dynomite
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Lowa boots for the playa? opinons?

Post by ms dynomite » Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:35 pm

my old hiking boots bit the dust (literally) after about 10 years, so I'm looking for a new pair. I found some that might work but I haven't been able to find a review. They seem very well made overall, but I'm not sure if they're playa worthy.

I tried them on in the store and they were very comfortable and light weight, with full ankle support. However, the sole is kinda meek, without much in the tread department (see pics below). I'm wondering if the playa dust is just going to eat through these, either separating the sole from the shoe (as with my last pair) or ripping up the bottoms. Also not sure whether the leather or the gore-tex lining would be best.

Lowa Jannu Mid LS
http://www.zappos.com/n/multi_view.cgi? ... view=multi

Lowa Khumbu Mid GTX
(Same shoe, but with Gore-tex lining instead of leather lining)
http://www.zappos.com/n/multi_view.cgi? ... view=multi

details:
Mid-cut version of our most popular boot. The LOWA Jannu is the winner of Outside Magazine's Gear of the Year award. Lightweight, nimble trekker provides excellent ankle support on uneven terrain. Ideal for mid-weight (30-50 pound) packs.
* Split leather uppers with Cordura underlays.
* Glove leather lining.
* Exclusive Vibram Pinto sole unit with breaking, impact, and rigidity zones for excellent grip on all types of terrain.
* Patented SPS (Supination/Pronation Support) midsole technology.
* Built on an exclusive LOWA women's last for optimal fit and comfort.

Thanks!

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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:51 pm

Er, seperated the sole from the shoe? Wow, poorly made or a fluke. Playa dust can't be that strong!

Not familiar with LOWA but they look decent. I'd worn a pair of Vasque for well over a decade and a half, and finally broke mine. Mylarry got a near identical pair and wore them up Mt. Fuji the next day, no problem. Always had the gore-tex, so I lean toward those. Nice and breathable on the feet.

ms dynomite
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Post by ms dynomite » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:11 pm

AntiM,
thanks for the quick reply. :) I'll look into Vasque too. :)

re: the old shoes... they were well made, I think they just had it after so many years of mostly desert use. I was wearing them here in AZ one day and the sole just fell off. The entire boot of the shoe was intact, as was the sole, they just weren't together anymore. ;) Best I could figure, the dust had worn away the adhesive that held the sole on.

So I was kinda worried about that with another pair. though, it did take 10 years for them to fall apart. and it might have just been age. hee.

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:01 am

Get the ones with Gore-Tex, and break them in, break them in, break them in, break them in.

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phil
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Post by phil » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:21 am

I've not heard of Lowa; I've bought Vasque for years, tried other boots, and gone back to Vasque as the best value for the money.

I wouldn't worry about the sole on the playa. Tread, in my very humble opinion, is not a consideration on level playa powder.

If your last pair lasted 10 years, I wouldn't blame tread separation on any particular cause, although playa powder is harsh indeed. After 10 years, your soles are entitled to fall off.

I've worn flipflops, mocassin-style deck shoes, leather hunting boots, vans sneakers, and hiking/walking waffle stompers on the playa. The only thing I would definitely discourage is flipflops. As you may surmise from the list of shoes, tread has not been a factor in shoe-choice for me at Burning Man. If you use the shoes elsewhere in the world where tread is a factor, that's a different kettle of fish.

The sad thing is, you never know what'll work till you get it out there. So it may be that Lowas work better for you than Vasque do for me.

[edit: Oh, and have a back up plan of some kind in case your new shoes don't work out.]

ms dynomite
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Post by ms dynomite » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:41 am

Thanks both of you! :) phil, yeah I use them off-playa as well, mostly for desert use. light hiking, not climbing.

in case it helps others...

I got this info on the Lowas from a hard-core outdoor gearhead:

"Honestly, the alkali dust will tear up anything out there. The soles on those Lowas are not too shabby, actually. Vibram makes the longest lasting outsole that you'll find on any hiking boots. That's what I've got on my Montrail Torre GTXs. Now, while leather is nice for durability and looks, the breathability is for crap in hot weather. That means your feet will sweat, the boots will get wet, and then when the sun goes down you're gonna have some chilly toes. GTX is a much better way to go: Breathable, water resistant, less break-in than leather, cooler in the heat and warmer in the cold, and lighter weight overall. "


I'm going to look at some Asolos as well, though honestly I can't tell the difference between these:

Voyager (the Gore-Tex version of the Discovery)
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/p/7219932/c/409.html
Stynger
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/p/7134414/c/19071.html
Attiva
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/p/7303627/c/93706.html


and here are some other brands I've tried on:
Vasque Breeze
http://www.summithut.com/catalog/remap/ ... fid/12409/
ran true to size, maybe a tad big. seemed like a good shoe, but it didn't fit my foot right. I have oddly shaped feet though: long high arch, narrow foot, short toes (which means the widest part of my foot hits where the shoe has already started to narrow on some brands).

Montrail Namche
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/25325592/c/2105.html
ran true to size, very comfortable... until I started walking around. not enough arch support for me and the ankle support is cut oddly and dug into my leg. I could see it being painful or blister-inducing after a long walk.

Merrell Siren or Moab Ventilator Mid (can't remember which, they look almost identical)
http://www.rei.com/product/747206
didn't like the fit at all. too short in the length, to wide around the foot. looked like it would keep your feet cool, though.

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Dork
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Post by Dork » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:10 am

I'm a big fan of Merrell Orbit/Satellite mocs. They freakin last forever and are very comfortable. They seem to have dropped them, though. I don't like the mocs with the little sections of elastic, which tends to tear out. They still pop up on Ebay, but that won't help you if you need to try them out in person first.

http://www.epinions.com/Shoes-Merrell_W ... oc_-_Men_s

As far as playa use is concerned, pretty much anything you'd use to do a lot of walking anywhere else should suffice. Apply a protectant to leather, the playa dust will do some damage otherwise, at least cosmetically. I like shoes that aren't too hard to get in/out of. Some hiking boots take a while to get laced up properly.

I've never had a sole seperate at or right after BM. If it does happen, a little Goop glue should fix you up.

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Post by ms dynomite » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:04 pm

in case it helps others, I got this info from Asolo. very quick and helpful service via email:

"Stynger is our most popular boot and has good cushioning. It has Goretex to be waterproof. It is a proven good all around general hiking boot.

Attiva is lighter weight and comes in fashion colors that will be changing season to season. It is part of a new line of boots this year. It also has a Goretex liner.

Voyager will have a stiffer feeling sole / less cushioning. It has a XCR type of Goretex that is more breathable than the regular Goretex. Has the brand name Vibram rubber sole on the bottom."

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Post by ms dynomite » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:06 pm

dork,
thanks for the additional suggestion. :)

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Post by blyslv » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:21 pm

Chuck Taylors, baybee! They come in a variety of designer colours, they are light weight and breathable, they are cheap!

Then rub lemon juice and lotion on your feetsies and change them several times a day. or get a goddess worshipper to do so you don't have to bend over.

You will never be accused of overthinking the problem!

You know that Jannu is a mountain and Khumbu is the name of the big icefall on Everest. Those are mountaineering boots you're talking about. I'm not sure you'd want to be wearing them when it's 90 deg. out. But maybe so...

My wife has a pair of boots she got from the set of Planet of the Apes. They are stylee and warm!
Fight for the fifth freedom!

ms dynomite
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Post by ms dynomite » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:30 pm

blyslv,
oh, I love Chucks! but they don't give me enough support for a day of walking. I have a crazy high arch and I'll get leg cramps if I wear something without arch support. I have a hellish time with shoes because I'm not only picky on style, but I have strange feet and largish feet to boot (no pun intended). I'll find half a dozen shoes I like and maybe 1 will be in my size. Plus, I get a little cautious when dropping $150-200 on a pair.

Funny about Jannu/Khumbu being used as names because the shoes are actually very light weight with lots of mesh type fabrics, not suitable for snow at all (they have other models specifically for snow). I wonder if maybe they thought "Khumbu, you know, like your feet will feel cool" heee. :)

I'm jealous about your wife's Planet of the Apes boots. sweeeet.

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Post by blyslv » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:39 pm

They are kinda like this.

Image

Actually that's not true at all, but I sure do like them boots!
Fight for the fifth freedom!

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Post by misfit » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:48 pm

my dr. martens have done me well over the years on the playa. like you i have a crazy high arch. check out zappos, free shipping and a great return policy.....
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/537410/c/1874.html
Be happy while you're living, For you're a long time dead.

ms dynomite
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Post by ms dynomite » Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:03 pm

you all seriously rock for the replies! I hadn't expected so much feedback.

misfit, my bf is a die-hard docs fan. he just suggested that too, so that's 2 votes. :) and yeah, zappos rocks.

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Xtevan
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Post by Xtevan » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:47 am

I worked in a mountain shop and sold boots amongst other toys for a while, I like Vasques and Asolos. I think the only Lowa's I have tried on were plastic double boots.

With hiking footware your real concern should be the fit on your feet, each company has there own ideas about what the 'average' foot shape is and creates it's lasts accordingly. Choose several styles you like and try them on and walk around in the store for as long as they will let you. I have narrow heels with very high arches also so for me how they fit with the insoles replaced is my big concern.

Xtevan

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