- MSRP: $250
- Weight: 3.90 lbs. (based off a men's size 9)
- Upper: Splite Leather and Cordura® covered with TPU Mesh
- Midsole: PU with SPS Cushion and Fluke technology
- Outsole: Vibram® Apptrail which features a self-cleaning tread design, providing excellent grip in rocky terrain.
- Lining: Seamless, waterproof GORE-TEX® lining reduces hot spots. A LOWA patented design.
- LOWA 'X-Lacing': A System that keeps the tongue in the right place and allows for better pressure distribution.
After blasting through snow packed trails of Northern California, wet bogged out marshes of Oregon, and crumbling sandstone of Utah sedimentary surfaces, I was really feeling the LOWA Khumbu II boots, but it wasn't until disaster struck that they really won me over.
I had been out on the road now for almost two months. I had just reunited with Steve (Yeti) and several other friends in Moab, Utah. Only a few hundred yards from where we camp is a butte that you can easily hike to the top of and enjoy beautiful 360° views of the surrounding area. It was a gorgeous evening and I had decided to hike that way to enjoy the sunset. After goofing off on the top for a few I started to make my way down when one of the dogs that we were with stepped in front of me. I side stepped fast and when doing so I felt an all too familiar pain rush through my leg as my ankle rolled completely to the outside of my foot. I caught myself before tumbling and regained my balance, but the damage was done. This was the first time that I felt my ankle go this badly since I had it rebuilt. I think I was more worried than hurt, unknowing of how bad it was. I was able to put a some weight down on it and slowly hobble my way back to camp. I couldn't believe this happened. I was so disappointed in myself. I made a careless mistake, I took the area for granted. Although I love them for an overall camp shoe, I should not have been hiking this butte in a pair of Sanuks. I walked it off and ran my ankle through a series of movements that I was forced to learn during previous rehabilitation.
Over the next couple days I was able to put more and more weight on it, but my range of motion was gone and I was in pain. I figured this would more or less be a trip killer, then I remembered having the LOWA Khumbu II GTX Boots.
This light weight trekking boot with reinforced ankle support via the midsole construction really pulled through for me. The combination of the boot height, stiffness and fluke technology, along with the LOWA "X-Lacing" system (pictured above) were able to provide me with enough comfort and support to keep me on the trails. I was down, but not out. This was a game changer. Although still in some pain and having a limited range of motion, the boots provided stability and I could hike. Just two days after the injury I was hiking up Treasure Falls just North of Pagosa Springs, CO. It was an easy to mild uphill hike only about a half mile to the falls, but on one bad wheel, flat ground can even be challenging. I was amazed by how much support these boots provided. How nice it would have been to have these boots so many times before, I just couldn't believe it. For a boot that's rated as a light weight trekker, the durability and support were just amazing!
I made it to the base of the falls, or close enough anyway. I went out of my way on the trail during the hike to pick up some fool's Keystone Light cans. I ventured across the wet rock into the water to find better photo perspectives. No matter the challenge, my footing remained stable. The hike back down was much more difficult, but I was confident thanks to the support and reassurance the LOWA Khumbu II's provided me. They helped get back my edge and overcome the mental hurdle that was in front of me. I was able to enjoy a few more days of travel and adventure, and it was all because of these boots. With a $250 MSRP these boots may seem a bit steep, but for someone who has suffered ankle injuries, you'll find this price cheap and these boots to be worth their weight in gold!
I don't usually get this personal with gear we test, but I have to say thank you to LOWA. Never before have I been able to fully credit a pair of boots for being able to get me through a hike, but now I can. Thank you LOWA for helping me enjoy a few more days of adventure. I'd also like to thank Ryan M. for being a solid wingman on the hikes and snapping the cover photo for this review.