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Pluck it from a display rack, and the bulk might be off-putting. LOWA lists the Trekker as a mid-weight boot, designed for trips using lighter packs and covering more miles. But at 3.6 pounds, the pair is only a few ounces lighter than the company's more substantial mountaineering footwear.
The dark-brown coloring and Vibram lug soles evoke an earlier time, before nano-technology and materials like Kevlar and Gore-Tex became all the rage. Trekkers could have been the boots that David Naughton wore to the ski lodge in the 1980s teen camp classic "Hot Dog....The Movie," or that a wardrobe designer would hand to you if you were cast in the next Ricola cough drop commercial.
Indeed, "the fundamental shoe is 30 years old," said Peter Sachs, general manager for Stamford, Connecticut-based LOWA USA. "It's kind of the shoe that put the brand on the map."
But lace up a pair, and the benefits of the Trekker instantly become apparent. Within a few steps, you'll be ready to log all the miles you want, over a wide variety of terrains and conditions.
The interior of the boot is lined with enticingly soft glove leather that caresses and shapes to your foot, and gives every indication that it will be a friend over time. Man does it breathe.
The effective climate control system continues with perforations on the flexible ankle collar, allowing ventilation with every step.
The sturdy outer leather provides just enough flex, and the solid rubber strip between the sole and uppers protects from obstacles.
Adding to the comfort-producing features is the metal stud in the middle of the tongue, which prevents the tongue from sliding side to side. What a simple but effective addition.
The bulk and heft you felt when you held the Trekker in your hands becomes an asset on the trail, where limbs, rocks, crevasses and elevation become eminently surmountable.
David Nitkin looks to the outdoors for his endorphin fixes, and has spent his adulthood extending city roots into mountains and valleys.
A native of Boston, David's love of outdoor activities blossomed at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where the school's unique Outing Club encourages students to leave their dorm rooms in all seasons. The college requires incoming freshmen to strap on a backpack and head into the wilderness as a bonding experience that culminates with a breakfast of green eggs and ham at the Mount Moosilauke lodge to honor renowned alumnus Ted Geisel. If that doesn't make you go green, nothing will.
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