Lowa Alpine Ice GTX Review
Cons: Heavy, old-school lacing system
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Lowa Alpine Ice GTX
$649.95 at Backcountry
|$700.00 at REI|
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|$849.00 at Backcountry|
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$750.00 at Amazon
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|Pros||Weather-resistant, warm||Super lightweight, climbs well, simple laces||Warm, climbs well||Removable liner, velcro ankle strap, waterproof||Light, versatile, great for rock climbing|
|Cons||Heavy, old-school lacing system||No lace lock, could be warmer||Expensive||Expensive, slightly flexible||Not very warm, minimal calf support|
|Bottom Line||No fancy tech here, but this heavy boot gives wider feet weather protection and warmth||This lightweight boot is our go-to choice for challenging climbs on ice, rock, and snow||This is a great boot for cold weather climbing and it's really fast to put on, take off, and adjust||This lightweight double boot is perfect for cold weather technical climbing||These light, versatile boots are good for all-around performance|
|Rating Categories||Lowa Alpine Ice GTX||Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo||La Sportiva G5 Evo||Arc'teryx Acrux AR||La Sportiva Trango...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Lowa Alpine Ice GTX||Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo||La Sportiva G5 Evo||Arc'teryx Acrux AR||La Sportiva Trango...|
|Weight||2lb 2.2oz (969g)||1lb 10.8oz (760g)||1lb 15oz (875g)||2lb 2oz (965g)||1lb 13.6oz (835g)|
|Sizes Available||5-14 US||40-47.5 EU||38-48 EU||7-13 US||38-48 EU|
|Upper||Synthetic||High tenacity nylon with Schoeller Soft Shell||Stretch Cordura with reflective aluminum lining||3L Gore-Tex w/ TPU Laminate||Nylon 6.6 with Honey-Comb Guard and FlexTec 3|
|Waterproof Lining||Gore-Tex Duratherm||Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort||Gore-Tex Infinium||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex Performance Comfort|
|Shank||Hard winter stabilizer||Carbon Fiber||3mm Honeycomb Tech insulating carbon||PU||9mm Insulated IBI-Thermo|
|Midsole||DuraPU||Dual color microporous midsole||2mm polyurethane||CM EVA, carbon fiber||6-7mm TPU/ Dual-density micropore EVA|
|Sole Rubber||Vibram Alp Trac Ice||Vibram Litebase with Mont compound||Vibram Matterhorn||Vibram AR||Vibram "One"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lowa Alpine Ice GTX reminds our testers of some of the early models of supergaiter boots with all of their benefits. That being said, it lacks some of the bells and whistles of other models and isn't as light.
Climbing performance is the most important metric for consideration in mountaineering boots, and fit is a crucial consideration here. No online review can tell you how a boot will fit your foot. Our testers found that the Alpine Ice GTX felt a bit roomier in the forefoot than other models.
While not wowing us in any one type of climbing, this boot puts in an above-average showing all around. The cuff of the inner boot is more substantial than other supergaiter models, so it felt a bit more supportive on steep ice. This doesn't help with ankle articulation for technical footwork on mixed ground, with or without crampons. However, the Alpine Ice's inner boot is cut lower than many of the single boots, making it feel a bit more nimble on the rock.
While most mountaineering boots seem to be getting lighter each year, the Alpine Ice is falling a bit behind. Weight on your feet counts the most, so we think this is worth some consideration.
In a size 42.5, this boot weighs in at 2 lbs 2.4oz (about 969g) — the heaviest boot in our test. There are boots that are as warm that weigh less, and boots that climb better that weigh less.
The supergaiter construction of the Alpine Ice does exactly what most mountaineers would expect: it keeps out snow and most water. We did not find the TIZip on the supergaiter to be completely waterproof. After 5 minutes of standing in 6 inches of water, enough liquid had penetrated the zipper for the laces and the outside part of the inner boot to be wet. However, the inside part of the inner boot (where your foot goes) was still bone dry. This makes the effective waterline of the boot about 7 inches, where the tongue of the inner boot connects. We think this is a reasonable amount of waterproofness to expect from a mountaineering boot.
Other supergaiter boots have done away with the waterproof zipper. While this doesn't compromise the weather resistance of the boot much when it comes to post-holing, surprise encounters with running water on approaches and descents can be problematic. Climbers who worry about wet feet should consider this boot.
Keeping your extremities warm is a personal, subjective, and complicated job. That said, our testers felt that this boot was amongst the warmer boots in our review. The inner boot came up a bit higher than other supergaiter boots, and it is made of thicker material. This seemed to give more insulation.
Dry feet are warm feet. As mentioned above, the Alpine Ice is a very weather-resistant boot, which contributes to its overall warmth.
Mountaineering boots aren't hiking boots. However, mountaineers do quite a bit of hiking. The inner part of the Alpine Ice has a nice big cutout for your Achilles tendon, which helps the range of motion.
This boot has a pretty standard amount of rocker, which is great for crampon compatibility and climbing performance but doesn't help much with hiking. The fairly traditional lacing system on this boot (discussed in more detail below) doesn't make fine-tuning for hiking any faster, either.
If you're the kind of climber who doesn't trust newfangled gadgets, the lacing system Lowa used on this boot is for you. The Alpine Ice has a standard lace that runs through nylon loops and metal lace hooks. Though the lace lock is one step lower on the boot than where it's usually found, our team thought it was very effective. The metal lace hooks on the upper part of the boot are covered with a flap to prevent wear and tear on the gaiter.
Should You Buy the Lowa Alpine Ice GTX?
Supergaiter boots are a hot spot in the mountaineering boot world right now; they're where manufacturers are using the newest technology. The Lowa Alpine Ice GTX is not an example of this trend. The lacing system and materials are a bit more old-fashioned. This is great news for climbers who prefer a simpler boot but need the extra warmth of a supergaiter boot with great weather resistance. If you're a climber with wider feet who spends their time in a maritime climate (we're looking at you PNW and New England), this could be the boot for you.
What Other Mountaineering Boots Should You Consider?
The Lowa Alpine Ice GTX is one of the more affordable supergaiter boots in our testing lineup. This is great news if it's also a good fit for your foot. If not, and you're looking for this type of boot, it might be worth spending more on something like the Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo or La Sportiva G5 Evo. For an all-around boot at an approachable price, take a look at the La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX
— Ian McEleney
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