Even with regular and scrupulous maintenance all things degrade, especially if you wear them on a nearly daily basis. So it was that I found myself coming out of the winter months, looking forward to a summer of airsoft ahead, without a pair of lightweight boots in the gear pile. The thought of having to break in a new pair always fills me with dread as well, so I was extremely careful in my search for a new pair. I have several criteria when it comes to what goes on my feet; boots must be lightweight yet supportive, they must be protective without being bulky, and ultimately they need to be waterproof.
It’s a breeze
One model of boot that I have found myself returning to time and again is the Zephyr from Lowa. I’ve been using their full-leather, Gore Tex lined Mountain Boot all winter and it has performed, and continues to perform, exceptionally well. Having become something of a Lowa fanboy over the past six months, I decided that the Zephyr GTX could well be the replacement I was looking for! As part of Lowas’ Task Force range, I was more than aware that they are highly rated by both UK and US SF alike as a tactical lightweight desert boot. The Zephyr GTX fulfils the requirement for those operating in a lightweight role and require a Gore Tex lining. They feature a slip lasted construction with an injected Lowa ‘Cross’ sole; more of that in a bit. The upper is a clever combination of suede leather (1.4-1.6 mm) and Cordura, and a full Gore Tex VISION 3LY inner lining ensures waterproofness. They weigh in at a meagre 1120g per pair, with a very supportive mid height cuff; the foot is held firmly in place courtesy of closed hook lacing. The Zephyr also features Lows’ innovative MONOWRAP® 2 sole unit construction with a firm 7/8 TPU stabiliser is the most stable and offers optimal traction and perfect support with its high-quality surface materials. The system features a PU heel stabiliser, a PU-Frame, an additional plastic stabiliser and the Cross outsole. The plastic stabiliser element features in all Lowa multi-functional footwear, improving ankle and joint stability and torsional rigidity.
Boots on the ground
All in all, the Zephyr GTX has everything I look for in a lightweight boot, but the performance has shocked me very pleasantly indeed. The new boots arrived about two weeks before this years IWA show in Germany. I try to travel with just hand-luggage, so boots are always worn on the plane. The show is vast and it’s more than possible to be covering quite literally miles a day, so the correct footwear choice is paramount. LOWA Z E P H YR GT X COYOTE TAN BOOTS I’d been wearing the Zephyrs on and off in the run up to the show, and they’d given me enough confidence to take the leap of faith and take them to Germany; and in no way did they disappoint! Wearing them almost straight out of the box for four full 06.30 to 21.30 working days left me with no blisters or pressure points, no overly tired feet and a massive respect for the design team at Lowa! I’ve continued to wear them on an almost daily basis since, and have now subjected them to some pretty foul conditions; in all situations they have performed admirably.
Lowa boots, higher expectations
The Lowa Zephyr GTX is also now available in a slightly darker coloured Coyote Tan version for use with UK MTP or multicam coloured types of uniform and clothing, but I have to say that given the sporty look of them they look pretty sharp with a pair of tan cargos or even jeans too! You’ll find Lowa boots stocked by all serious tactical retailers; coming in at the £130 mark they are realistically priced and sizes range from UK 6.5 to 13. I’m a tad over size 9 and the 9.5 fits me perfectly. If you’re in the market for a lightweight boot this summer then I’d most thoroughly recommend you try a pair of Zephyrs; I’m certain they will continue to perform for some considerable time! For more technical information and to find stockists of the Lowa Zephyr GTX, along with all the other models in the Task Force Collection, please pay a visit to www.lowamilitaryboots.com."
The above is an excerpt from the latest Gunmart article