It seems like everyone in the British Army either has a pair of Lowas or knows somebody that has and swears by them. Personally Ive never owned a pair but know several people who do and all of them say the same thing, that they are comfortable, have next to no breaking in time, and most of all that they wouldnt wear another boot. Ive often wondered if they were the Apple of the boot making world since most people that own an iPhone or MacBook all say they cant imagine them owning another type of phone or laptop, however Ive always been happy with my HanWags. So when I was given the chance to test out and review the Lowa Combat Boot, I jumped at the chance to see what all of the hype was about.
When the boots first arrived the thing that stood out most to me was the height of the boot, being a hi-leg boot it was a noticeable difference to the boots Ive had in the past. Albeit the difference is only an inch at the most it does provide plenty of extra support when you do wear them. The next thing that was obvious was the quality of the boot, clearly built to last with a high grade of leather used. The quality of the boot certainly lives up to the history and pedigree of the Lowa name.
When you first put these boots on the first thing you will notice is how comfortable they are straight from the box, but thats nothing compared to how they feel given a few wears, and breaking them in properly, they soon feel like that old comfortable pair of slippers you cant bring yourself to throw out despite how worn they are. In that respect they are very similar to my Han Wags, although very different to when I got my first set of issue boots, which took a fair amount of wearing in before they felt comfortable. If you arent used to hi-leg boots then that is a another thing you will notice when you put them on, it took a little bit of getting used to for me, as Ive not had hi-leg boots before. But after having them on for a short while you soon forget about that fact and stop noticing it, and the extra support given by them comes into their own when you go over some uneven ground or scramble across some rocks.
Given the types of weather weve had since Ive had the boots it feels like Ive tested them across all seasons, be on exercise in glorious 25oC + heats, hiking in torrential downpours akin to rainy seasons in the rain forests, and climbing snowy covered peaks and all of the various types in between. The boots have stood up very well to all the environments Ive had the chance to test them in, they certainly pass the wind, rain and cold tests with flying colours. My feet were kept warm and dry in all of those conditions. The only time these boots fell down was when Ive had them out in very warm conditions, and my feet got warm and sweaty. Although this is nothing that I havent experienced in the other boots I own. I cant see this being a major problem for anyone owning these boots though as the majority of the time we dont get such glorious weather in the UK, especially not in the training areas.
There isnt really much to say about the Lowa Combat Boots, that hasnt already been said by somebody in the British Army, they really are as good a boot as everyone says they are. The boots themselves are well made with high quality materials that are tough and rugged and stand up to any test and terrain you can put them through. They are comfortable and keep your feet dry and warm. There are only two drawbacks I found while testing the boots, and they were that they dont hold up quite so well in very warm conditions, although realistically in such conditions you would use a lighter boot anyway. The second also is not a major issue, the insoles that come with the boot are rather flimsy and although comfortable I dont think you can get much wear out of them. I replaced the insoles which came with the boot with some Sole foot beds from RV Ops (see previous reviews). Which kept the comfort factor while also increasing the durability of the boot.
In conclusion a very good high quality combat boot, which cuts it both from a military perspective and also as a hiking boot. The boot is made even better by the simple substitution of the insoles that come with the boot with a more durable foot bed. Thanks to RV Ops for the boots to review.