The Lowa Tibet GTX is a quintessential workhorse of a walking boot, with sturdy lined leather uppers, a full rubber wraparound rand and a chunky, grippy outsole. In terms of stiffness, it’s rated as a B1 boot, which makes it perfect for year-round hiking and hillwalking – providing masses of stability and support, plus enough stiffness to take a strap-on crampon in winter conditions.
If you prefer a traditional hillwalking boot to flimsier trainer-hikers or modern synthetic mountain boots and generally wear one boot all year round rather than switching up your footwear in winter, this is a very compelling option. Does it do enough to join the ranks of the very best men's hiking boots out there, though? We put it to the test in the hills of North Wales to find out.
Lowa Tibet GTX hiking boot review: Price and availability
The Lowa Tibet GTX Hiking Boot is available to buy now directly from Lowa UK and Lowa US for a recommended retail price of £300/$415. AU price and availability TBC. This puts the Lowa Tibet GTX in the ultra-premium hiking boot category; however, considering the durability of the boots, this is possibly the last hiking footwear you'll ever have to buy.
Lowa Tibet GTX hiking boot review: Specifications
- Weight per boot 1180g (size UK 12)
- Upper Nubuck leather, full rubber rand
- Membrane Gore-Tex
- Sole Vibram Masai
- Sizes (men’s) UK 6.5–15
Lowa Tibet GTX hiking boot review: Design and features
Traditionalists will love the classic look of the Lowa Tibet GTX boot. It’s straightforward and unpretentious in style, whilst being made from high-quality materials and utilising a well-proven construction. This includes a premium one-piece, 2.5mm nubuck leather upper, with an extended high ankle cuff that promises plenty of protection and support. The one-piece upper minimises stitching, improving comfort, reducing potential failure and helping to avoid the friction or pressure points that can otherwise lead to hot spots and blisters.
You also get a Gore-Tex lining for reliable waterproof-breathable performance and a full rubber wraparound rand to aid durability. The ankle cuff and tongue are extremely well padded, but also ergonomically designed, with zoned asymmetric cushioning that follows the anatomy of the foot. A tongue gusset helps to keep out grit and other trail debris. The tongue also features Lowa’s unique X-lacing stud. This central button stud works with the laces to hold the tongue in place both vertically and horizontally, preventing slippage and reducing pressure across the top of the foot.
Metal lacing hardware with roller eyelets and a lace loop at the base of the ankle pulls the heel in tight, while Lowa’s patented ‘I-Lock’ locking hooks enable a two-zone lacing system. This means you can adjust the tension across the ankle and forefoot separately, further improving wearing comfort.
Underfoot, there’s a Vibram Masai rubber outsole with deep, widely spaced lugs. These are designed to clear out mud well whilst offering reliable traction on multiple surfaces. The midsole strikes a good balance between torsional stiffness and comfort, ensuring easy walking with added stability for uneven terrain. An embedded shank ensures these boots can also be fitted with C1 strap-on crampons.
Lowa Tibet GTX Lowa Tibet GTX hiking boot review: Performance and comfort
The Tibet GTX is built on a fairly generous last that is very accommodating. It’s a high volume boot with a roomy forefoot, even in the standard model – though there is a wide version of the Tibet too if you have very broad feet. The toebox offers plenty of room for toes to splay when walking, and all-day comfort is excellent. A generous rocker promotes a natural walking action, and the excellent dual-zone lacing system ensured we could dial in a precise fit with no heel slip.
Surprisingly for an all-leather boot, we found they needed next to no breaking in either. The latest model of the Tibet has a softer ankle cuff, with a bit more flex than the previous generation, which makes for easy, fuss-free walking from the get-go.
Performance was also very good on all but the most technical terrain. That Vibram outsole kept feet well planted on rock, mud and grass. The nicely undercut heel brake makes it easy to dig in when going downhill. All in all, it’s a great boot for high mileage days across mixed surfaces, and feels both protective and stable. The latter quality is particularly noticeable if you’re carrying a heavy pack, which makes this a good choice for technical treks and demanding backpacking trips too.
It was only when rock-hopping and scrambling that the boot started to show its limitations – the boot does have a small climbing zone at the toe for added contact grip, but its relative heft and bulk meant it didn’t feel quite as nimble or precise as some other, more specialist boots.
And while it’s extremely comfortable and well cushioned, its burly build does mean the Tibet isn’t the lightest either. Compared to a flexible, lightweight trainer-hiker, these boots can leave you feeling a little leg-weary by the end of a long day. On the other hand, they give you more protection and are likely to last far longer than flimsier hiking footwear, whilst also being better suited for poor weather and more demanding conditions.
Lowa Tibet GTX hiking boot review: Final verdict
The Lowa Tibet GTX is a classic B1 boot for four-season hillwalking that is perfect for big mountain days, mixed terrain and all weathers – providing reliable protection and dependable traction whether it’s wet, boggy or frozen underfoot. Admittedly, there are lighter B1 boots out there, and for milder conditions these might be overkill. Similarly, other boots may offer more precision for scrambling and technical terrain. But as an all-round workhorse, the Tibet GTX is an excellent choice.