A nice-looking heritage-style boot that is very comfortable, the Lowa Wendelstein II W performs well on easy to moderate trails.
Classic good looks
No break-in required
Sole isn’t as aggressive as some other boots
Midsole less shock-absorbing than others
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Its maker recommends the Lowa Wendelstein II W for walking and casual use. Translation: they’re suited to striding up any mountain meadow to an alpine hut, as well as more casual outings on recreational paths, and points of interest.
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Crafted with rugged full-grain leather on the outside and a buttery glove leather lining, this heritage hiking and walking boot is beautiful enough to wear around town, and technical enough for low alpine mountain wanders in decent conditions. It’s also surprisingly light for a full leather boot.
• RRP: $325 (US) / £245 (UK)
• Weight: 525g / 18.5oz
• Colors: Grey
• Compatibility: Casual walks and shorter strolls on less technical trails
On the trails
The Lowa Wendelstein II W grew more comfortable and better looking the more I wore it. While it felt good out of the box, the glove leather inside formed to my foot and felt almost customized to my feet with time.
Metal D-ring lace loops made it easy to pull the Wendelstein’s laces and snug it to my foot. The boots comes with an extra set so I could add a dash of color to these classic and neutral kicks when I was in the mood.
However, the Wendelstein doesn’t have the squishy midsole characteristic of many modern hiking boots. The midsole is a medium-thin layer of EVA for shock absorption – the same stuff used to give sneakers their springy feel – but the Wendelstein uses a thin layer, not the thick pad found in most running shoes.
It is enough for around-town explorations, a hike to a viewpoint and countryside rambles. The ankle support is excellent, but on long treks I lost the spring in my step sooner than in boots with more midsole.
Vibram’s Marmolada sole had good grip in easy to moderate terrain, and in this stitched boot the sole is replaceable when it wears out. Not only does that lower the environmental impact of these boots – because they won’t be landfill-bound once the sole wears out – it also means I get to keep them for longer.
Vermont-based writer, photographer and adventurer, Berne reports on hiking, biking, skiing, overlanding, travel, climbing and kayaking for category-leading publications in the U.S., Europe and beyond. In the field, she’s been asked to deliver a herd of llamas to a Bolivian mountaintop corral, had first fat-biking descents in Alaska, helped establish East Greenland’s first sport climbing and biked the length of Jordan. She’s worked to help brands clean up their materials and manufacturing, and has had guns pulled on her in at least three continents.
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