I have been wearing LOWA Innox GTX and Innox PRO GTX lightweight mid-height tactical boots for eight years now….. by choice, writes Bob Morrison
Whenever I am not undertaking initial testing of new combat boots for this section of the website or on assignment which requires me to be wearing full-on combat or desert combat boots, it is almost invariably LOWA Innox PRO GTX (Gore-Tex) tactical boots that I choose to step out in.
With the exception of the very occasional evening that I have to pop shiny dress shoes onto my feet for a couple of hours ~ e.g. when accompanying Ramilla while she is dressed like a movie star attending the Oscars ~ I only ever wear tactical or combat boots. Since I was first given a pair of the original LOWA Innox GTX boots for review in August 2015 these boots and their slightly revised younger siblings, the successor Innox PRO GTX model, have been my footwear of choice. In early 2018, around the time that the ‘Beast from the East’ winter storm hit Europe, I relegated my original Coyote Tan boots to gardening & ale trail duties and slipped my feet into a new pair in Black; quite fortuitously, as I needed maximum grip when out in the Rhineland and on the edge of the West Pennine Moors in late February and early March.
These black Innox GTX boots lasted me well for the next 16 months, but when the slightly modified Innox PRO GTX model was released at OTS 2019 (the annual Outdoor Trade Show) I immediately put them to the test and was pleasantly surprised to find that the new boot was every bit as good as its predecessor because LOWA had not cut any corners with the redesign. Externally the design was tweaked a little, but essentially the only major change was a swap from the LOWA TRX sole to the slightly more aggressive tread pattern LOWA Multi Trac sole. It was these new Innox PRO model boots which I took with me to Ukraine for RAPID TRIDENT 2019 and then Bahrain for BIDEC 2019.
After a couple of years of almost non-stop wear (although the pandemic struck in early 2020, as a card-carrying journalist I was still able to travel when countries were not under total lockdown conditions) these boots had covered so much ground that Task Force Distribution asked me if I would mind swapping them for a new pair so that the LOWA boffins could inspect them. Of course I didn’t mind in the least, as friends don’t call me the Imelda Marcos (see Wikipedia) of combat boots for nothing! Between May and December 2021 yours truly managed to undertake assignments in Estonia, Ulster, Poland, Austria, France and Spain, in addition to taking a break in Andalucia with Ramilla in the autumn, so I suppose I do get to cover a fair bit of different terrain.
Those who know me can attest that I probably carry way to much weight for my height, though I reckon its my diminutive height which is out of sync with my weight, and I have also suffered from hereditary joint problems since my teens (which with hindsight playing squash quite seriously probably didn’t help). As a result of my excess mass and strange gait I have a tendency to wear down even the toughest of heels, so earlier this summer the Task Force Team decided it must be time for another replacement. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been mostly trying out the new ALTBERG Desert Tabbing Boots SF-MK3, but when I ventured up to ‘The Smoke’ for a couple of days to cover ARMY EXPO 23 it was the smart new Innox PRO GTX Boots that I wore.
Funnily enough, when Mike Gormley and I were trudging around OTS 23 in Liverpool back in June we both had Innox PRO GTX Boots on our feet and while the UK civvy side of LOWA was celebrating the company’s 100th birthday with bier and pretzels we each explained to their MD that we were wearing them because they are simply among the most comfortable boots we both own. They really do fit like comfortable old gloves. There is still plenty of life in my older boots, so I plan on keeping the new pair for events where I have to try to look reasonably presentable; an invitation to dinner at a foreign embassy during DSEI in a couple of months is one such event.
As I have covered the specification of LOWA Innox PRO GTX boots before, I won’t repeat myself too much here save to say that they are slip-lasted and injected sole construction, 6-inch mid-height synthetic and fabric uppers design tactical boots with a closed lacing system, GORE-TEX Extended Comfort membrane lining and LOWA Multi Trac soles. At present they are available in Black or Coyote and in eleven sizes. For a little while it looked like this LOWA tactical boot might be replaced by a new ‘Mk3’ model, but we now understand it will be kept in production for some time yet as it is just so popular with both police and military customers.
To read more of our thoughts on the LOWA INNOX boot family click the links below.