Hiking boots are vital to your performance and comfort while on the trail. Nowadays, this does not mean that you have to stick with a stiff and bulky model that can weigh you down.
The trend for hiking boots has been gravitating towards having lighter materials yet offering sufficient support. Waterproof capabilities have also become quite popular in the past few years.
In this article, we will compare two popular German brands that make amazing boots: Lowa and Meindl.
Let’s find out which of them would be the better choice for your next hiking boots!
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* Note: The availability of products on this page may change at any time. Please check the materials, features, colors, and sizes on the various shops (linked on this page) before buying, because sometimes our articles may contain errors. The product images you see here are for illustration purposes.
A Short History of the Brand
The Lowa company was founded by Lorenz Wagner in 1923 in Jetzendorf, Munich. Being the son of a shoemaker, Lorenz became passionate about shoes.
He enjoyed making shoes so much he would spend many hours tinkering on his latest models. Lowa started seeing success when they began producing traditional Bavarian Haferl shoes.
Don’t miss: Lowa vs Hanwag Hiking Shoes: A Comparison
The year 1953 was the hardest time for the company. After WWII the recession affected how the company operated. Lorenz Wagner died in 1953, which was also the year Lowa experienced its lowest point.
Two years later, Wagner’s daughter, Berti, and her husband Josef “Sepp” Lederer took responsibility for the company. Josef was an apprentice in the company in 1930 and used his knowledge to expand Lowa’s product range slowly but surely.
By 1970, the couple started investing in new technology and techniques that would allow Lowa to expand and elevate itself to a higher position. Soon after this decision, the first-ever vulcanized rubber soles were introduced.
Today, Lowa has more than 2000 employees. The brand produces close to 3 million shoes per year and is now one of the leading brands for outdoor and hiking footwear in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.
(People wearing Lowa boots on a snowy mountain)
Materials and Manufacture
Lowa’s boots are made with technical innovation in mind. Their cold weather boots make use of materials that allow wearers to stay comfortable even during freezing conditions while providing the best grip at all times.
Keeping the feet of wearers warm is achieved with an insulation mix used by Lowa that consists of various lining materials and membranes.
The top-quality synthetic insulation provided by PrimaLoft® offers the best warmth against the cold.
Gore-Tex®, a popular membrane used by many outdoor apparel brands, is also incorporated in many Lowa boots. This technology provides added protection and breathability for the feet for optimal comfort.
For maximum grip and protection in various terrains, Lowa uses Vibram® rubber soles.
Next, the Nubuck leather that covers the shoes, adds to their reliability.
Depending on the activity that the product is made for, the brand uses different additional technologies. For example, for hiking and trekking boots they use Flexfit®, Roller Eyelets, and Lowa Flex®.
Now let’s answer some frequent questions that we have seen people make about this brand.
Is Lowa a Good Brand?
Lowa is definitely one of the best brands when it comes to providing hiking, mountaineering, traveling and cold weather boots.
The fact that the company utilizes the latest technology while remaining sustainable makes it an appealing choice for many.
Where Are Lowa Boots Made?
Lowa footwear is sourced, designed, and manufactured in European factories, in Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and other countries.
The company plans to keep making its products exclusively within the continent, following the regulations imposed by the European Union. (source)
These are some of the boots offered by Lowa. This time we have picked two products for everyday use, and one for hiking, to change things a bit.
Lowa Men’s Bosco GTX Shoe
One of the latest designs offered by Lowa is the Bosco GTX. This boot appeals to all types of cold weather enthusiasts since it is designed for everyday wear.
These boots are made with the GORE-TEX Panda® lining to provide wearers with the comfort they need for a long day outside.
The upper portion of the boot is made with full-grain leather and loden fabric, offering flexibility and optimal control. Meanwhile, its outsole utilizes Lowa’s Sneaker Winter II technology for good grip at all times.
The Bosco GTX is currently available in two colors and is sold at around $200 a pair.
Lowa Men’s Molveno II GTX Shoe
Another boot sold by Lowa is the Molveno II GTX. This new model offers similar features and technologies as the Bosco GTX and it is also intended for the same everyday cold weather use.
Compared to the Bosco GTX, the Molveno II GTX is slightly less insulated since it is meant for a different type of weather.
A pair of these boots cost about $200 and they are currently available in three colors.
Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
This boot is different from the two that we saw above as it is designed specifically for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, backpacking, etc.
It comes with leather and synthetic fabrics, a Vibram outsole, and durable materials that make it a long-lasting, sturdy, and versatile boot.
The prices of Lowa’s boots featured above are fairly affordable, especially for casual cold-weather use.
However, the boots for more serious hikers can cost as much as $450, offering advanced weather protection and capabilities.
Are Lowa’s Boots and Shoes Worth the Price?
If you are looking for innovation, protection, comfort, and style for your next outdoor boots, then Lowa is definitely worth the price in our opinion.
The brand’s products are some of the best in the hiking, trekking, and outdoor footwear market in general.
A Short History of the Brand
Meindl can trace its roots all the way back to the 1600s when Petrus Meindl started making shoes and boots for residents in a small village in Bavaria, Germany.
Throughout the years, the family has taken up the passion to produce footwear. It wasn’t until 1928 when the official company founded by Lukas Meindl was formed.
Don’t miss: Meindl vs Hanwag Boots: Which Brand is Better?
Throughout the years, boots made by Meindl have been trusted by countless individuals worldwide. Alfons Meindl, the son of Lukas, was one of the pioneers in using Gore-Tex membrane in waterproof boots.
Today, the company employs 200 expert shoemakers to create the masterpieces that they put out to the public. (source)
(Hiker wearing Meindl shoes)
Materials and Manufacture
Meindl says that they incorporate more than 200 steps to manufacture each single walking boot that goes out of their factory. Although the brand uses modern equipment, they still believe that the highest quality products can only be made by handcrafting them individually.
As mentioned earlier, Gore-Tex® technology is one of the most common membranes used in their boots. The company also uses Comfort Fit®, which aims to provide comfort for the feet at all times and in any condition.
Additionally, the company also uses its own technology for its outsole. The Meindl Rock Outsole uses abrasion-resistant rubber that provides extra grip for their boots, even on slippery surfaces.
Vibram® soles and PrimaLoft® insulation are also used in their footwear. (source)
Read also: 10 Best Hiking Boots Brands You Should Try
Below are some frequently asked questions about the brand.
Is Meindl a Good Brand?
Meindl is definitely a good brand when it comes to footwear in our opinion. Knowing that Meindl’s boots are individually handcrafted can give you the peace of mind knowing that what you wear has been carefully made by a master shoemaker.
Where Are Meindl Boots Made?
Meindl boots are made in their factory located in Kirchanschöring, Bavaria, Germany. However, some of their products can also come from Vietnam or Italy.
You can check the description section of each boot on their website to see where the product was made.
Here are two of the boots sold by Meindl that we picked this time.
Meindl Meran Lady GTX® Boot
For women, the Meran Lady GTX® offers some of the best options for hiking in the mountains. The boot is made with 100% Gore-Tex® liners that provide good breathability and resistance to water.
It uses Comfort Fit® footbeds that have been made to match the feet of its wearers, providing a personalized fit when worn.
The Meran Lady GTX® costs about $250 a pair and is as lightweight as they come.
Meindl Men’s Bhutan MFS Boots
The Bhutan boots come with Meindl’s MFS system (Memory Foam System) for added comfortability, Gore-Tex lining, Vibram outsoles, and Nubuck leather.
A good option for hiking, backpacking, and outdoor activities in general.
Being handcrafted products, Meindl boots are pretty affordable for many people. Their boots range from around $150 to $350, and you can find many options on the lower side.
Are Meindl’s Boots and Shoes Worth the Price?
If you are looking to purchase products that you know have been lovingly crafted by expert shoemakers, then Meindl’s boots are surely worth their price.
Their boots have that hardy appearance and features that ensure users get the right fit when wearing their footwear.
(Hiker wearing Meindl shoes)
3. Which Brand is Better?
We don’t like to pick a brand and say “this is the winner!” because both are really solid footwear manufacturers.
Knowing that each Meindl boot has undergone countless steps for it to be made and how every item has been handcrafted goes to show that the company wants to provide buyers the best value possible.
On the other hand, Lowa is also an excellent option. With their humble beginnings and philosophy behind their processes, you can be sure that your boots have been made with the highest quality materials and innovation possible.
But if we had to choose, we would say Meindl for sturdy and resistant boots to use for demanding outdoor activities, and Lowa if we were looking for better designs (our opinion) and more options.
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And that’s all for today’s comparison! Have you tried any of these boots before? Which brand do you think you’d choose between the two?