Technologies Together to the top

The perfect outdoor boot: To meet this challenge, LOWA developers pay careful attention to every detail when they are creating each new LOWA model. From the selection of materials and the use of innovative technologies to the design itself – LOWA never settles for second best.

When it develops its Alpine boots, the outdoor company draws on the expertise of its top athletes. During this process, the company’s headquarters in the Bavarian town of Jetzendorf is regularly turned into a very special venue: It serves as the place where exceptional, world-renowned athletes on the LOWA PRO Team huddle with our development staff. For LOWA, the athletes serve as valued advisers and extreme testers. Their feedback then flows into the development of new performance models. The Mountaineering section is something akin to the “Formula 1” of product development at LOWA. The knowledge gained here is then applied to the company’s hiking boots and casual shoes, further enhancing the core segment of LOWA’s product line in the process.

A special emphasis is placed on the feedback provided by customers and testers. The most minor details are examined in systematic wearing tests. The results are then evaluated by the development department. But this is hardly the company’s sole source of feedback. Customer comments work their way to the development department through the LOWA service department, a wide range of foot-scanning campaigns and social media channels. The feedback is incorporated into every stage, from minor tweaks to completely new developments.

  • 2016_Athlete testing_CoburgerHütte
  • Image photo with the ROCKET, 2016_Athlete testing_CoburgerHütte

Lasts Narrow or wide – the form matters the most

The heart of every boot is the last. But what is a last anyway? How does it work, and why is it so critical? As a rule, the last creates the boot’s form and is thus a placeholder for the foot. But it is hardly an exact copy of the foot with its toes and ankle. Rather, it is a general form that has to fulfil a number of different requirements. There is no single definition that determines how a last should be formed. Every shoemaker has its own philosophy. The lasts used by LOWA are based on a nearly 100-year shoemaking tradition and many years of development work. The goal is always crystal clear: The boot should fit perfectly. Sensing technology is used to ensure a feeling of well-being in the boot and define comfort, among other things.

In developing its lasts, LOWA creates a balanced relationship between support and freedom of movement. The feet are parts of our bodies that are subjected to extreme demands. In developing its lasts, LOWA aims to establish the best-possible positioning of the foot in the mid-foot area and give good support to the heel. At the same time, the foot is not compressed into the boot in order to prevent the development of pressure points. The toes have plenty of room above and in front of them to give them space to breathe. The company also pays careful attention to preventing a feeling of excessive spaciousness when the boots are worn.

NARROW LAST

In a narrow last, the forefoot area has a smaller volume than the same area in a normal last. Shoes made with an S last can feel more comfortable for people with slimmer feet.

last-small

WIDE LAST

In a wide last, the forefoot area has a greater volume than the same area in a normal last. Shoes made with a W last can feel more comfortable for people with special foot types (such as hallux valgus, flat foot, fallen arches etc.).

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Features Innovation at the highest level

Mountain and outdoor boots are the essence of the LOWA brand. They define new standards and are developed at the highest level. Innovative technologies, inventive materials and advanced sole design can then deliver perfect performance in the mountains.

Every detail is optimised to ensure the highest degree of wearing comfort. The LOWA team always pays careful attention to functionality and optimal fit, from sole design to the lacing strip and the padded edging. The perfect workmanship creates comfort that you feel every step of the way.

Technologies for Mountaineering

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Construction Methods Long-time shoemaking workmanship combined with innovation production processes

From expeditions to day outings near home – LOWA shoes are very specially made in order to create optimal fit. Different production techniques are used to reflect the particular way a shoe will be used. These production steps describe the process that is used to connect the upper portion of the shoe to the sole. LOWA draws on time-honoured shoemaking know-how while also applying innovative new processes. LOWA generally uses three different methods to produce its shoes: cemented, directly injected and stitched. Each style involves the highest and most-precise form of workmanship, a fact that makes every shoe something singular.

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Strobel Construction

Strobel Construction

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Strobel company invented a so-called cup seaming machine – a special sewing machine that binds leather or fabric material by using a special zigzag stitch. Shoemakers have named this stitch the Strobel stitch. In this process, the insole made of a non-woven fabric is stitched to the upper, creating a bond between the upper and insole. This upper boot is then drawn over a last. The sole is injected or cemented afterwards. The cemented version usually involves cup soles that are primarily used in the leisure time segment.

Produktionsstätten Kroatien - RIALTO

Injected Construction

A hiking boot that is lightweight and multifunctional? This was an unthinkable pair of attributes until far into the 1990s. Up until then, classic shoemaking techniques were used to produce virtually all hiking boots. The injected technique was used only to mass-produce leisure and sports shoes. LOWA decided to venture into uncharted territory and began to use this process to make high-quality hiking boots. The decision paid off fully, and this technique was used to create the category of multifunctional footwear. This special technique involves a mechanical process to produce shoes. In the first step, the upper boot – that is, the slip-lasted upper of the shoe – is pulled over a metal last. This is then lowered into a sole mould that was specially produced for every shoe. The upper boot is now situated in something like a bowl. A hot, liquid plastic is then injected under high pressure into this bowl. In the process, the sole is formed and is permanently attached to the upper. The liquid plastic consists of a special polyurethane cushioning material. It can be injected in various layers to create perfect cushioning properties. The strength of this technique: The sole is extremely light and offers optimal cushioning properties.
But the shoe cannot be resoled because the upper is attached directly to the plastic. But the heel of some shoes made this way can be replaced.