For years, Lowa has built a reputation as one of the finest boot maker on the market – be it for the hiking enthusiast, alpine professional, or soldier, their product seems to rise to the top of many shopping lists. I recently got a pair of their new Innox GTX Mid from their Task Force military line. The boot itself is a “tactical” version of the civilian Innox, which bears resemblance to their successful Renegade GTX. Much like the Z-8S GTX and Elite Desert, the Innox GTX are well crafted and thought out. They incorporate a genuine GORE-TEX lining throughout the boot to keep your feet dry and healthy for whatever activity you pursue. The Innox, at 920 g, are 200 g lighter than the already light Zephyr.
The Innox TF weigh about half of what my issued boots weight. Using a Speedlace system on the upper part of the boots makes it easier to tie and get the boots as tight as you need them. The outsole is Lowa’s own PU mix which they call NXT. Along with the MONOWRAP 1 TPU stabilizer, they are made to minimize boot torsion and offer maximum cushioning.
I decided to put the Lowa Innox TF through their paces right away with a rather great challenge. I went hiking the Bonds in New Hampshire. To those unfamiliar with these mountains, the round trip is 32 kilometers (20 miles) varying from forested area to rocky ridgelines. I would have a 60-liter pack loaded with water, food, spare clothing and shelter. Not that heavy but still heavy considering the distance I would have to cover and in some places a very steep incline. I was prepared, but knew my legs would feel it.
On the way to the top, I covered roughly 3 miles of flat terrain to get to the foot of the mountains. So far, the boots were really great, soft, offered plenty of grip, and waterproof (a few stream crossing). Then the climb began. I had more than 4 miles of climbing to get to the top of Zealand mountain and later the Guyot campground. Right away, what I found great on the flat terrain, was not so great in the climb.
The softness of the boot meant my ankles shifted from side to side. I was lacking the support I have in my Renegade and old Terrano boots. This is to be expected with a synthetic boot as opposed to leather type boots. Still, they performed very well for a boot that might not have been designed for mountainous terrain with heavy loads.
Later on the trip I would abandon my 60L pack at the campsite and move to Mt Bond and Bondcliff with only my Warrior Assault System pack. The boots were awesome and really stood out for this type of use. With light pack these are the perfect boots for a day hike of around 10 kilometers. Again, I went from forested areas with remains of snow to rocky ridgeline and up to Bondcliff.
Overall, I really enjoyed my first long outing in these boots. I did a couple ruck marches on my own to test the boots on even ground with a load around 50 pounds. They feel like running shoes. I’ve worn these all day long and avoided fatigue to my feet and lower back. If you are looking for a great all around boot, offering stability, grip and overall comfort, this boot is for you. If you are looking for more of a boot dedicated to the mountains with heavy load carrying, don’t worry, Lowa has got you covered with their Mountain Boot GTX CH PT.
Lowa Innox GTX Mid TF Specs
- Colors: Coyote or Black
- Sizes Available: US 7.5 – 12, 13, 14
- Weight: 920 grams
- Upper Material: Synthetic
- Outsole Material: LOWA NXT
- Fit and Sizing: Regular “sporty” sizing. Along the lines of a running shoe
- MSRP: $215
- Application: Lightweight combat boot
- Pros: Lightweight, fair priced, plenty of cushioning
- Cons: The upper feels soft with heavy rucksack on mountainous terrain.