The LOWA brand is well known around the world for epitomizing excellence in footwear design. Some call them best military boots because they are boasting a myriad of features tailored to meet the demands of military, law enforcement, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. I had the opportunity to test the Lowa Zephyr in Ranger Green version, so let’s delve into the detailed features of Zephyr GTX Mid Tactical Boots that make these particular model of shoes stand out.

My honest opinion

The LOWA Zephyr GTX Mid Tactical Boots offer a winning combination of comfort, durability, and performance, making them a top choice for professionals and outdoor enthusiasts alike. While they may have some limitations in specific environments, their overall reliability and versatility make them a worthwhile investment for anyone seeking high-quality footwear for demanding adventures.
These boots truly embody the spirit of adventure and reliability, providing users with the confidence to tackle any challenge that comes their way. Remember that no shoe is immortal, take care of them and they will surely be irreplaceable partners in your adventures.

To find out more technical details, continue reading my review of these top-quality boots.

Lowa Zephyr Mid in ranger green

Highlights

  • Upper made of suede leather, 1.4 – 1.6 mm with Cordura reinforcements;
  • GORE-TEX Extended Comfort membrane ensuring the highest level of protection against waterlogging;
  • Polyurethane Monowrap frame increasing the level of stabilization;
  • Insole – AirControl PU (polyurethane foam) – wicks away moisture, has antibacterial properties and provides cushioning over the entire surface of the foot;
  • Lowa Cross II rubber injected sole;
  • Footwear with a medium stiffness rate;
  • Weight: 1100g/pair;
  • Shoe height: 110/145mm 6″.

Sole Performance

Starting from the very bottom, the boots feature a LOWA Cross rubber outsole with a self-cleaning profile, whether it’s a uphill or downhill walk they provide a decent grip and traction on various surfaces, also resisting oil or petrol, ensuring stability and safety in diverse demanding environments in which the user works.

An important feature is the process of attaching the sole to the rest of the shoe, namely in this model the sole is injected and not glued. Glued boot soles tend to detach and start ‘talking’ after some time while shoes with the injected sole are characterized by greater flexibility, shock absorption and actually tend to have lighter weight. This solution is allowing high-performance work with one coherent piece of equipment.

To sum up, the sole of the LOWA Zephyr GTX Mid Tactical Boots boasts a blend of durability, traction, and insulation, making it an indispensable component for professionals worldwide. Certified as occupational footwear, it guarantees anti-static properties and thermal insulation against both cold and heat. Sounds enough professional? Well, we must keep in mind, that a great sole in the shoe is an important basis for overcoming every obstacles that get in our way.

The elegance in Lowa Zephyr Mid, ranger green 🙂
Overcoming every obstacle that gets in our way

Monowrap stability frame

Let’s move on to the next part, one of the more iconic that define Lowa Zephyr – the MONOWRAP Stability Frame, that is molded into the polyurethane midsole. The frame has a sleek and streamlined design, minimizing the bulkiness, making the shoe look more low profile at the same time ensuring that the boot remains lightweight and agile. As we know, the shoes also has fans wearing it in more urban environments, where more mobility is needed.

The structure itself improves the boot’s structural integrity, providing support especially in the heel and arch areas, reducing the feet fatigue, strain on joints and muscles and enhancing stability.
MONOWRAP seamlessly integrates with the upper part of the boot, forming a cohesive unit that wraps securely around the foot. In this way, let’s have a look at the second part of the shoe structure, which is the already mentioned upper.

Material Breakdown and Features of the Upper

The first thing that catches the eye is, of course, the appearance of the shoes, especially if you’re a woman like me. It must be admitted that the shoes are aesthetically pleasing and simply good looking, compact and neat. There would be no shame in wearing them for a quick trip to buy potatoes and then go out for a CQB round with the guys. It’s called being practical.

The upper portion of the boot is primarily constructed with suede leather. Suede leather is chosen for its ruggedness and abrasion resistance. It’s also a factor that provides slight water resistance. The material provides excellent durability, protecting the foot from rough terrain and environmental elements. Complementing the suede leather, Cordura fabric is incorporated into strategic areas of the upper, making the shoes more durable and more breathable. This combination of materials equals optimal performance, making it well-suited for outdoor and tactical use, also in activities such as fast rope.

Quick care recommendation: Generally, after each use it’s good to remove all dirt with a cloth and clean water. After that, to extend the life of the textile and fabric it’s recommended treating the shoes with a cream or water-based wax treatment (I do use Nikwax) – and don’t dry them on heavy sun or near a radiator. The boots will be thankful!

Gore-Tex membrane ensuring the highest level of protection against waterlogging

Gore-Tex membrane

For this combination of materials, we have a layer of GORE-TEX as lining, LOWA uses a method of durable and seamless production of its linings, which ensures better fit and better air circulation that can prevent from the formation of calluses. Moreover, GORE-TEX is a membrane that makes the shoes waterproof while maintaining their breathability. However, while deciding what kind of boots to buy, I encourage you to choose a model without the 100% GORE-TEX lining if we do not need it. If you work in very hot conditions and environments – It is better to choose shoes without the membrane to further increase their breathability, at the same time, if they get wet from the inside, they will be able to dry way faster.

While the insole is kept pretty simple – 9% Polyamide, 90% Polyurethane (PU) – it hides underneath some fine cushioning. The collar and tongue of the boot are padded to provide additional comfort and support around the ankle area. This padding helps to prevent chafing and discomfort, ensuring a snug and secure fit. The shoe tongue itself is gusseted, meaning it is attached to the upper on both sides. This well-considered design feature helps to keep debris, water, and dirt from entering the boot through the tongue area, enhancing protection and keeping the interior clean and dry.

Lacing system

The LOWA Zephyr GTX Mid Tactical Boot features a fast and secure lacing system that allows for customizable fit and support. The laces can be tightened or loosened to accommodate different foot shapes and preferences, ensuring a personalized fit. Due to the well-padded shoe tongue, the laces tensions is nicely absorbed. Anyway, during a long hike or patrol it’s a good idea to lose the laces a bit to improve blood flow.

Closed hooks prevent snagging during fast roping maneuvers, while good heel cushioning reduces ground impact. Lightweight, waterproof, and breathable, these boots are not only comfortable but also durable, making them an excellent choice for demanding missions. With its adherence to ISO 20347:2021 standards, this footwear ensures reliability and safety, further cementing its status as a top choice for professionals worldwide.

Fast and secure lacing system

Use

For all types of terrain

It’s been one year since I’m walking these boots, thanks to Perunika.org I received them in June 2023 before my initial round of challenging competitions. I like to call them tactical sneakers, it’s the thing that came up my mind while trying them on for the first time. Above average comfortable, they do not bring to mind typical, heavy duty tactical shoes. They are simple, light and perfect for off-road use, mainly for long patrols.
After swamp baths, snowy mountains, beach sands and countless kilometers, I am most pleased that my sole did not come off – this problem appeared in the shoes I had before. The mix of all the mentioned external factors are deadly for the boots, in this case the shoes endured it bravely. However, you will definitely notice slowly wear off and disappearance of the sole, but let’s be honest we have no influence on this.
As we have considered a wide range in which these shoes can be used, there are also some areas in which these shoes are unlikely to be suitable. Like high mountains and advanced winter environment. Due to the medium stiffness these boots won’t go along with very long, high mountains, rocky trails. While they offer good support and traction, the shoes might be not suitable for extreme winter conditions too, meaning additional winter equipment such as crampons won’t go with them in pair.

Wear

While the boots demonstrate remarkable durability, some users report issues with cracking along the sides after extended use. The lightweight design may contribute to premature wear in high-stress areas, potentially impacting the longevity of the boots. After a yearly use, my shoes don’t show off this problem yet, but I’ll keep an eye on it. Just remember to clean the suede leather parts as often as possible, these parts are exposed to mud accumulation, making cleaning and maintenance challenging compared to heavier leather boots.

Conclusion

Coming to a conclusion the LOWA Zephyr GTX Mid Tactical Boots are suitable for a wide range of environments, including short mountain hikes, urban settings, and desert terrain, the boots excel in diverse outdoor pursuits. The shoes comfortably snuggle the feet, the laces are not too long, so they do not interfere with use. Together with the closed hooks that prevent snagging on obstacles, they are a lightweight construction that allows quick maneuvering in challenging terrain.