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  • Kim Ladiges

Review: Lowa Alpine Ice, a high performance mixed and ice specialist for the wide footed climber

Lowa Alpine Ice Boot review

Four members of the New Zealand Alpine Team have been testing the Lowa alpine ice boots for the last few months of NZ winter. The boots were used for ice climbing, steep mixed climbing, mountain guiding and alpine climbing. I have put together this review after consultation with the other testers.


Most mountaineering boot manufacturers today make a zipper gaiter single boot. The elements that stood out about Lowa’s Alpine Ice boot was fit, simplicity of design, warmth, technical climbing ability.

Fit

Fit is probably going to be the deciding factor that seperates these boots for me from Scarpa or La sportiva alternatives. I have a wide foot and in general I find it hard to find performance mountain boots. In general I have had to fit my boots at least a size too large to accomadate my hoofs which compromises climbing and creates heel lift. The slight rockered sole also make these comfortable for hiking on rock and snow.

Simplicity

The Lowa boots are a traditional design with a standard lacing system, zipper at the front and no boa systems. Personally I prefer this. Although the laces take longer than boas I find the fit is more precise and snug. I also worry about boa systems breaking on a route. Overall having used the boots for a few months they feel very robust and reliable.

Warmth

Seriously warm I’d say. They are a lot warmer than the Mammut boots that I was using before this. I would guess slightly warmer than the scarpa or la sportiva alternative.

Technical Climbing Ability

I wasn’t sure how these would climb but I am really impressed on steeper ice and mixed. As mentioned above the lacing system really holds your foot in place. A lot of support and stiffness for ice climbing but enough ankle flexibilty for hard mixed pitches. The front toe rand is recessed into the front of the boot which keeps the front points closer towards your big toe, reducing calf pump on ice and keeping a more secure connection on rock. They seem optimised for ice climbing which the name suggests but the team has used them climbing up to M10 so work just fine for mixed climbing.

The Downsides

Weight. These boots come in a hundred grams or so heavier than La sportiva or Scarpa alternative.

Overall

Great for wider footed humans an awesome all round ice and mixed climbing mountain boot.




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