LOWA TIBET GTX HI
Editor: Cory McLaughlin
Just the Facts:
Winner of Gray’s Sporting Journal’s “Best Of -2016” and Field & Stream’s “Best of the Best” awards, the Tibet GTX® Hi is our top-of-the-line backpacking boot for three-season backpacking and hunting. Designed with an extra hook’s worth of height for added support in tough terrain, its performance features will provide you with many miles outstanding stability and comfort over the gnarliest terrain and with the heaviest of loads. It’s durably waterproof/breathable and is compatible with strap-on crampon and snow spikes.
• UPPER: Nubuck leather
• LINING: Waterproof GORE-TEX®
• CLIMATE CONTROL
• TONGUE STUD/X-LACING
• C4 TONGUE
• FOOTBED: Balance Comfort
• MIDSOLE: PU with SPS Cushion
• OUTSOLE: VIBRAM® Masai
• STABILIZER: 5mm Full Length Nylon
• WEIGHT: 1920 grams
For the Sportsman and outdoor enthusiast there is nothing more important than good footwear. If you are logging miles on and off trail in the backcountry it is absolutely vital that you have good sturdy boots. Sure, there are lots of super lightweight options out there but what you lose in ounces you also lose in durability and support. When you are going into the gnarly wilds of the world with a heavy load you cannot afford the risk of an injury because your footwear was insufficient. When you are trying to tackle volcanic rock, snow, sand, mud and everything in-between you need a boot that will not fail. This is where LOWA and the Tibet GTX HI step in which has added 1.5 inches to the already proven TIBET GTX.
If you are looking for a boot that will help you navigate your local green belt and occasional nature trail this is not the correct choice. Sure, it will work but LOWA has other options that are better suited for that type of use. Now, if you are looking for a three season boot that will hold up to a 100lb load while side hilling on a loose rock, If you are looking for a boot that will hold up while navigating a blown down, clear cut, or fire scared forest. When you need a boot that is going to keep you going from sun up to sun down no matter what Mother Nature throws your way. You are looking for the TIBET GTX HI.
As I have said in other reviews I have a bit of a dodgy foot. This is reminiscent of an automobile accident from my time in the military. Because of this my feet have long been a topic of great concern. I prefer to have a sturdy boot with firm support as it helps to protect my injured foot. The LOWA TIBET HI is about as good as it gets for this. The TIBET’s Nubuck leather upper with rubber rand insure that your feet are protected against just about anything other than a knife fight. Paur this with the proven waterproofing ablity of Gore-Tex liner and you have really stacked to odds in your favor for excellent protection.
The protection that thick leather offers comes at a bit of a cost. Take note that these are uninsulated boots but due to the thickness of material they will be a bit warm in the hot months. Additionally, the boots will be a little stiff at first. I firmly believe that all boots need a “break in” period. Often times this just means wearing them around the house for a few days. You would be wise to allow for this before trying to put serious miles on these boots.
The LOWA PU midsole offers excellent shock absorption. Made from 5MM nylon this midsole insures that you will have support for even the heaviest of loads. It also allows for fantastic torsional stability for uneven terrain. If that was not enough LOWA again impresses with its choice to use the bulletproof Vibram sole. This boot is equipped with the Vibram Masai outsole. What that means is that you will have traction in almost every situation. You are really getting a boot that is designed from the sole up to be one of the most comfortable, stable, and durable boots on the market. I would be happy to count myself among the long list of outdoor writers and retail companies who are proud to sing LOWA’s praises for this great boot.
As I write this review I am thinking about tomorrows outing. My brother and I will be taking the LOWA TIBET GTX HI boots into the field in pursuit of predators. Each of us have logged about 40 miles on the boots. We have been in rain, snow, mud and rock. We have hit the flat land and the foothills. We plan to get a few more miles in the rough terrain found on the breaks of the Snake River. This steep country offers a mix of sand, mud, and plenty of basalt rock. It is the kind of terrain that can eat most boots for breakfast. Luckily, these LOWA boots don’t chew very well. I have all confidence that these boots will last us for quite some time. We have documented some of our journey which can be seen in the video below.
After some series testing and a lot of fun, we have come to the conclusion that If you are a sportsman or backcountry hiker looking for a great pair of boots, boots that are capable of supporting you under heavy loads and in all terrain, we would absolutely refer you to LOWA and the TIBET GTX HI. If you want to save a few grams you can always look into the standard Tibet GTX as well. Either way I believe you will be happy with either LOWA boot. If that was not enough to convince you, I would encourage you not to forget about LOWA’s 12 month warranty.
What can be done better?
I have said if before and I will say it again. The insoles that come with the boots are nearly worthless. Now, this is not an uncommon occurrence when shopping for boots. I have yet to find a company that makes a truly worthwhile insole that actually come with the boot. So, if LOWA wanted to put themselves a step above the rest they could spend a bit more time in this department. Other than this one little issue I can find nothing else wrong with these boots. As I said before they will require a bit of a break in period, but that should have been expected.
Outstanding work LOWA!!! We give the TIBET GTX HI boots a solid 5 stars!!!