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"Introducing the latest, lightweight innovation for trekking highlands and hills. With minimum weight and maximum stability, this nimble trekker also provides knee and back support for schlepping a mid-weight pound pack." -LOWA
- Weight: 1.1 lbs (per shoe mens 9)
- Materials: Outer: Cordura and Suede, Liner: GORE-TEX
- MSRP: $195
The Focus GTX Lo from Lowa is a light weight reinforced shoe capable and ready for the challenge. The Focus is part of the Lowa Trekking line which are designed to be lighter weight foot wear with a softer flex that can support mid weight packs (30-50 lbs.) on or off trail.
I hiked in these shoes with and without pack and was amazed with the shoes overall reinforced stability and was quite surprised that the Focus performed more like a boot than a shoe but for all intents and purposed looks to be a basic trail hiker.
But all of this rigidity built into a smaller profile shoe it has some detractions; for starters they are noticeably heavier than your normal shoe but not uncomfortably so. and they needed to be heavier considering the weight load they are capable of supporting comfortably. I also found the insole to be very stiff and uncomfortable straight out of the box but with all the Foot Joy's and Dr. Scholl's out there offering wonderful inserts this was an easy fix and a small price to pay for adding comfort to such a reinforced shoe. Over the last few months I spent a lot of time on both dry and wet trail and as expected from a product featuring GORE-TEX my feet stayed dry and I wasn't slowed down by minor obstacles like creeks, marshes, heavy mud, etc. However these boots can fool you and it takes some conscious effort to remember that this is a truly low-cut shoe and your biggest concern is forgetting that and fully submerging your foot.
The Focus has an upper made from Cordura material and an abrasion resistant suede which helps deflect brushes with rough terrain and keeps the shoe looking good after a fair amount of abuse. And although by the look of the shoe I didn't expect much in the breathability department and I figured my feet would be on fire by the time we got to our destinations each hike, but this was far from the case. My feet maintained a pleasant temperature throughout the miles and even in warmer conditions the Gore-Tex liner did it's thing just right and kept my feet from turning into a swamp.
The rigidity of the shoe is targeted for precision use while carrying loads on un even terrain but Lowa wisely crafted a mid-sole made from a ultra-cushioning PU that cushions your foot and absorbs a lot of the blunt force from your normal trail banging and rock kicking. As for traction, the outsole of the Focus is made from a thick durable grippy rubber they like to call the Trac Lite and it purportedly is designed to help shed debris caught in the tread and provide ample traction on less than ideal surfaces. The traction and bite provided by the Trac Lite sole worked like a charm on slick surfaces such as log crossings and slick rock. One feature I really appreciated is the reinforced ankle cup that cradled my ankle and gave me a sense of security and stability with a heavy pack on my back while negotiating obstacles and doing a little rock hopping.
*Abrasion-resistant suede leather, cordura, and microfibre uppers supports freedom of movement, while protecting and stabilizing the ankle.
*A waterproof breathable GORE-TEX(r) lining offers excellent temperature regulation.
*The smoothly operating lacing loop system holds your foot comfortably and securely.
*The new LOWA 'Trac(r) Lite' outsole, features a self-cleaning tread design with increased surface area to provide excellent grip on rocky, uneven terrain.
If you're looking for a reinforced shoe that performs like a boot without all of the extra bulk, the Lowa Focus GTX Lo are the shoes for you.