It was a delightful summer’s day when Keller Sports and LOWA invited us to the Outdoor to Urban day. Destination: the Bavarian Alps, not far from Munich. Aim: to hike from Lake Walchensee up Mt. Herzogstand and enjoy the beautiful views of Mt. Heimgarten from the ridge.
Our mission for the day wasn’t just your usual hike. It was a versatile trip with an inbuilt test of three LOWA shoe models on different terrains.
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LOWA shoes: trekking, all-terrain sports, travel


The company LOWA is based in the Bavarian town of Jetzendorf and manufactures and distributes high-quality shoes for a wide range of challenges - labelled with an index of 1 to 6. But what is the LOWA index exactly? From alpinism (LOWA index 1) and trekking (index 3) to all-terrain sports (index 5) and travel (index 6), LOWA shoes are designed to rise up the challenges posed by any terrain, and the index serves to highlight which activities each shoe is suited to. While index 1 shoes are for expeditions above 8,000 m high, index 6 shoes are athletic leisure shoes for everyday life.  

Starting at Lake Walchensee - our Pros test the Maddox


Our group of highly motivated testers consisted of eight mountain lovers: four of them won this experience through a Facebook prize draw (it took place in July and lots of outdoor enthusiasts took part in it), and the others were our Keller Sports Pros Marvin, Franzi, as well as Andreas and Lisa. They all spend every free minute they have out in the mountains and enjoy sharing their adventures on Instagram.
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Accompanied by a LOWA and Keller Sports team and led by our mountain guide Franz, we began the day early in the morning in hot summer temperatures. We set off for the shores of Lake Walchensee wearing the LOWA Maddox, which impressed straight away with its bold colouring.
The hiking shoe’s Speed Lacing system is quick to change into and is the perfect choice for this lakeshore route: gravel paths, mostly even terrain and grass, but no climbs up big mountains. The tough LOWA rubber sole, the GoreTex membrane and the low weight of the shoe all make this model very versatile. It offers good grip at all times and a perfect fit.
Whether you’re taking your dog for a long walk through the forest, enjoying a hike on gravel paths or pursuing other moderate outdoor activities, the Maddox is the ideal all-round, multi-functional sports shoe for you. For us, it was the perfect choice for starting out the day on the lakeshore and warming up for a day hike. The shoe offered a perfect fit, great comfort and a lightweight feel - a great way to get your legs warmed up for the mountain trip to follow.

     

Scrambling with LOWA trekking shoes - from Mt. Herzogstand to Mt. Heimgarten


From the shores of Lake Walchensee, we took the cable car up the Herzogstand. From the upper station, we continued our climb up to the 1,731m-high summit. We noticed the difference in the terrain straight away: steeper, narrower paths strewn with tree roots.
The need for more grip and stability for a safer climb was fulfilled with the next shoe change. On the edge of the path, the girls changed into the LOWA Sassa and the guys into the LOWA Arco. Both LOWA trekking shoe models offered everything we required for the trip up to the Herzogstand summit: a surefooted feel, weatherproofing thanks to a GoreTex membrane, and a perfect fit.
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We all very much appreciated the change in grip. Thanks to the LOWA Elika sole, with its technical tread and cushioned midsole, climbing up and back down a mountain safely is a breeze. After a short climb, we enjoyed the breathtaking views of our alpine panorama and of Lake Walchensee and Lake Kochelsee. Our mountain guide, Franz, shared a couple of anecdotes with us about the mountains in sight and his experiences in them.
Our trip continued from the Herzogstand summit to the narrow ridge between this and the neighbouring mountain, the Heimgarten. Here we tested not only our surefootedness but also our resistance to vertigo and scrambling skills. Everyone passed the test with flying colours and had a great time with the LOWA trekking shoes.
Approximately 2 hours later, on the summit of the Heimgarten (1,790 m), we had a well-earned, welcome lunch with refreshments at the Heimgarten mountain cottage. We’d definitely been looking forward to the rest. Refuelled with Skiwasser, Kaiserschmarrn and sausages, we headed back along the ridge to Mt. Herzogstand, where we enjoyed the beautiful views of the Bavarian Alps a second time.
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The Sassa and Arco models performed just as well on the way back as they did on the way there: optimum surefooted feel, grip and comfort all the way. When we arrived at the cable car station, we were all very impressed to find we didn’t have a single blister between us.

Back to urban with the San Francisco - along the banks of Munich’s River Isar


Back in Munich, at the end of this eventful and highly active day, it was time to try out the LOWA travel and lifestyle shoe models. The shoes have very appropriately been named after a famous sports city: San Francisco. Despite looking like normal trainers, they’re not. Unlike conventional trainers, these shoes come equipped with GoreTex Surround technology, which makes them weatherproof. GoreTex technology also provides 360° breathability.
The San Francisco impress with their ideal temperature management and versatility - wear them at the office, during a city trip or while on holiday. Easy to match thanks to discreet colour choices, very light and free of unnecessary cushioning: we think this shoe is the perfect travel companion for exploring every corner of the Earth, no matter the weather conditions. Our tired feet were the first to notice that we weren’t wearing ordinary lifestyle shoes.
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This shoe is light and comfortable to wear; it felt great after a whole day in hiking shoes. Once in these shoes, we were free to enjoy an evening stroll along the banks of the River Isar and wind down in Munich city centre.

LOWA at the Keller Sports Store


If you want to find out more about the trekking, all-terrain sports and/or travel shoes, pop into the Keller Sports Store on Auenstrasse, Munich, over the next two weeks. From Tuesday 28th August until Saturday 8th September 2018, all three LOWA models mentioned in this post will be on display at the store!
Keller Sports and LOWA will then join forces to host a Bavarian evening with live music by Da Rocka und da Waitler - and you’re invited! Chucks meeting traditional Bavarian Haferl shoes; punk, rock and pop fusing with traditional accordion tunes - you won’t want to miss this unique live concert, you won’t have seen anything quite like it before.