LOWA LYNNOX GTX TRAIL SHOE
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
October 19, 2019
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
126 lb (57.20 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a co-ed scout group which made a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since college in Pennsylvania. I have hiked 1/4 of the Appalachian Trail and 2/3 of the Pacific Crest Trail. My typical trip is in the Sierra Nevada from a few days to a few weeks long. My base weight is lightweight at 15 lb (6.8 kg) while still using a tent, stove and quilt. Longer mileage summer trips are now stoveless.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Lowa Boots, LLC.
Year of Manufacture:
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.lowaboots.com
MSRP: $195 US
Listed Weight (website): 1.65 lb (750 g) per pair
Listed Weight (info sheet from LOWA): 1.32 lb (600 g) per pair
Measured Weight: 1 lb 7.7 oz (672 g) for pair
Size Tested: 8.5M
Sizes Available: 5.5 - 11 in half sizes
Color Tested: Blue/Rose
Other Colors Available: Wine Red/Mandarine, Black/Nude
Heel Drop: 10 mm (0.4 in)
Made in Slovakia
Listed under All-Terrain Sport category on the LOWA website (not Backpacking or Hiking or Trekking), the LOWA Lynnox GTX Lo Trail Shoes are a more athletic design for multi-sport trail use. They are a low-cut shoe height with a waterproof liner. The heel drop is lower for a better trail feel. The construction is slip lasted with an injected polyurethane midsole which has shock-absorbing zones for support and rebound.
The design is women-specific to allow for a better female fit. The frame is a monowrap for stability. The outsole is LOWA's Trail Trac which has deep yet widely-spaced lugs for traction on loose terrain. There is GORE's Invisible Fit Technology which bonds the GORE-TEX lining directly to the upper. This makes the seamless synthetic upper waterproof and windproof yet breathable. The removable insole is a climate control footbed.
The round shoelaces route through five sets of eyelets. The lower four eyelets are webbing and the top one is a round hard plastic. There is a strap of webbing across the top middle too. The tongue is sewn to the sides of the shoe about halfway up which holds the tongue in place while keeping the waterproof liner intact further up.
There is a loop of webbing at the heel to assist with pulling the shoe on.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING THEM OUT
My initial impression was that the shoes seem very much as-advertised on the LOWA website. The only discrepancy I saw was with the weight. The website lists it as heavier than the product information sheet that I was sent from LOWA. And my measured weight was almost squarely in between the two values. At any rate, they are light! They weigh just slightly more than my heaviest running shoes and less than all of my hiking shoes.
I LOVE the look of these shoes! These trail shoes are sporty and athletic while also having rugged trail features like a waterproof liner, lug outsoles and solid support. The color and design are trendy yet subtle.
Because the Lynnox look more like a running shoe than a heavy trail boot, I ordered them in the same size that I wear for running shoes. I usually prefer a larger size in a boot. I tried them on and they fit with room to spare. There is space on the sides for my feet to swell on long hot days and they are a little long for space on steep downhills.
Just wearing them around home, the comfort is good. The fit is slightly long and wide for me, but once I have heavier socks and swollen feet I believe that I'll appreciate my choice to have a bigger shoe. They definitely do not feel like a running shoe. The sole is much stiffer and rugged more like a good hiking shoe. Even my trail runners are more flexible. The uppers seem cool and comfortable but with the waterproof liner, they aren't breezy like a mesh running shoe. The support seems substantial. The insole is removable so I could stiffen and provide more support with my own insoles, but given the beefy nature of these shoes, I don't think that will be needed.
Overall, the Lynnox seem to be a rugged trail shoe built for function but with the sleek design and weight of a much less trail worthy shoe.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Care instructions were included in a booklet that lists six languages. Most of it seems to apply to leather footwear which these are not, but the general idea is to clean heavily soiled shoes with warm water and a brush when needed. It also states that nothing is needed to be done prior to the first use.
The LOWA Lynnox GTX Lo Trail Shoe is a multi-sport athletic shoe that is ruggedly built for trail use.
Sporty and athletic
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the test period I wore the shoes for one eight-day backpacking trip, multiple day hikes, a few morning runs and around town for disc golf and walking.
Pacific Crest Trail, Cascade Range, Northern California: 8 days; 112 mi (180 km); 2,065 to 6,128 ft (629 to 1,868 m) elevation; 45 to 93 F (7 to 34 C). Conditions ranged from clear and sunny to cloudy with moderate breezes. Pack weight ranged from 15 to 32 lb (6.8 to 14.5 kg).
Daniel's Park, Douglas County, Colorado: 5 mi (8 km); 6,300 to 6,600 ft (1,900 to 2,000 m) elevation; 75 to 85 F (24 to 29 C); mostly dirt trails
TNT Farm, Brooksville, Kentucky: 3 mi (5 km); 900 to 1,000 ft (270 to 300 m) elevation; 85 to 90 F (29 to 32 C); grass and dirt trails
Multiple hikes in Auburn Recreation Area, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California: 2.5 to 3.5 mi (4 to 5.6 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 75 to 93 F (24 to 34 C); mostly dirt with some rocky patches
Monroe Ridge, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California: 4 mi (6.4 km); 743 to 1,262 ft (226 to 385 m); 60 F (16 C); mostly dirt trail
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The shoes were comfortable and lightweight. Even on the hottest days, my feet weren't uncomfortably hot. I did take the shoes off on longer breaks to allow my feet to completely cool down, but I found the Lynnox to provide good breathability considering they have a waterproof liner. I never developed any blisters or hot spots while wearing the shoes despite some long hot days of hiking.
I have taken to wearing waterproof shoes in summer even though I don't really need to keep my feet dry in warmer conditions. I just love that the liner keeps dust out of my shoes allowing my socks to stay much cleaner. This keeps my feet healthier both from a cleanliness standpoint and also by not allowing any hot spots to develop. The LOWA did a fine job in this regard even though the liner allowed water through.
|Left shoe leak
|Right shoe leak
On the eight-day backpacking trip, there were multiple low stream crossings so I tramped through without trying to stay dry. I noticed that my feet felt cold but it was so hot that I didn't mind if they were getting wet and thought that possibly it was just from the cold temperature of the snow-melt water. Finally, on day 6, I took off my shoes to check whether my socks were actually getting wet from the stream crossings. Sure enough, both socks were wet in similar locations. I was very careful to ensure that no water had come over the top of the shoes and could clearly see that my socks were dry at the tops. Both shoes had a breach in the waterproof liner in exactly the same location on the outer portion of the shoes above my toes. In total, I would estimate that I had hiked less than 80 mi (129 km) in the shoes to this point. I realize that waterproof liners have a limited life due to all of the flexing but this seems extremely low especially since I suspect that the breach started even earlier.
On day 7 of the trip, I looked at the soles of my shoes and thought that they looked odd. Upon closer inspection I could see that the lugs were breaking off in multiple locations but particularly under the ball of the foot. There were less than 100 mi (161 km) on the shoes by this point and nearly half of the lugs had some sort of damage. The trail wasn't particularly rocky or rugged with most of the path being dirt and small rocks. So, I was surprised to see that the soles were already wearing out.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I continued to wear the Lynnox for eleven day-hikes, two morning runs, four rounds of disc golf and many walks. I didn't wear them again for backpacking after the deterioration of the tread due to concerns with traction.
Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland: 5.5 mi (9 km); sea level; 75 F (24 C); sandy trail and boardwalks
Shepherd Creek Trail, North Carolina: 1.5 mi (2.4 km); 600 to 688 ft (183 to 210 m) elevation; 78 F (26 C); dirt with some short creek crossings
Two hikes on Appalachian Trail from Indian Grave Gap, Tennessee: 2 and 6.2 mi (3 and 10 km); 3,300 to 4,437 ft (1,006 to 1,352 m) elevation; 70 to 80 F (21 to 27 C); mostly roots and rocks with some smoother dirt trail
Lost Creek State Park, Montana: 3 mi (5 km); 6,164 to 6,350 ft (1,879 to 1,935 m) elevation; 38 to 46 F (3 to 8 C); cool damp conditions
Black Hills, South Dakota: 5 mi (8 km); 5,132 to 5,300 ft (1,564 to 1,615 m) elevation; 55 to 65 F (13 to 18 C); cloudy conditions
Devil's Tower, Wyoming: 3 mi (5 km);1,267 to 1,417 ft (386 to 432 m) elevation; 55 F (13 C); light rain causing extremely slippery trail conditions
Missouri Headwaters State Park, Montana: 4 mi (6.4 km); 4,045 to 4,100 ft (1,233 to 1,250 m) elevation; 80 F (27 C); sandy trail condition with some rock scrambles
Two hikes in Auburn Recreation Area, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California: 2.5 to 3.5 mi (4 to 5.6 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 65 to 72 F (18 to 22 C); mostly dirt with some rocky patches
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
First, I forgot to mention in Field Report but I wore the Lynnox throughout the testing with a sturdy insole since I didn't feel enough support with the provided insole. The added bulk of my insole also improved the fit since it filled up the shoe interior more fully.
Even at the beginning of this test period, the shoes already looked fairly dirty and not very nice for just walking around town. I'm not sure if the color gradient (as new) with the toes being darker contributed to this dirtier look or if the shoes just got extra dirty on the front due to my initially wearing them with gaiters. In any case, I was disappointed that I wasn't able to clean them to any 'nice' looking state after the Field Test.
I continued to find the Lynnox to be comfortable, reasonably cool even on hot days and never had any issues with rubbing. I wore them quite often on our six-week road trip. I kept them behind my seat so if/when we found a hike or walk, I could easily swap out shoes if needed. There were many days that I wore them all day. I even wore them for running a couple of times. They weren't nearly as comfortable as my running shoes, but they performed just fine with no problems to my feet.
I didn't wear the Lynnox with gaiters at all during the Long-Term Test Period and didn't have much issue with pebbles or debris getting inside the shoes. Other than the soles and dirty appearance, the durability of the shoe uppers has been fantastic. They are still completely intact with no signs of much more than scuffs.
The LOWA Lynnox GTX Lo Trail Shoe is a multi-sport athletic low-cut shoe with a waterproof liner.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
Waterproof liner failed
Sole lugs breaking off
Look really dirty
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to LOWA and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to these shoes.
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Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith