Banff GTX—LOWA

Banff GTX—LOWA

England, Mike
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High-tech, lightweight gear is all the rage these days, which is fine if you’ve got an unlimited gear budget (or write reviews for an outdoor magazine). But if you have to choose where to scrimp and where to splurge, it’s best to put your money into good footwear. The Lowa Banff is a great boot for backpacking or general on- and off-trail use where extra support is needed. At 3.7 pounds per pair, they’re solid but not cumbersome. The fit is snug and comfy right out of the box, especially the super-soft tongue and ankle cuff. The toe section in my pair remained stiff after many hikes, and pinched the fronts of my feet on sharp inclines; so be sure to break them in well before scaling something steep. German-made, these boots just feel sturdy, like they’ll last years. Vibram soles grab the ground well and water-repellent Nubuck keeps your feet dry. I wore these boots on hikes all summer long, and aside from a few nicks on the outside, they still feel brand new. $220; lowaboots.com.
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