In Review: Lowa Nabucco Mid

By: Scott McMahon

I last owned a good pair of winter boots four years ago. I could not tell you the brand name, nor could I tell you those boots’ current location. So you can imagine my excitement when I was presented the opportunity to try out the Lowa Nabucco Mid Boots. No more old tennis shoes with three layers of socks underneath—I finally had real boots to wear.

My test of choice: a media weekend at Stokely Creek Lodge, outside of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Unfortunately for the trail conditions, I picked a weekend that brought 40-degree temperatures to the area. However, the slush and snow mixture gave me an unexpected chance to test the boots in both kinds of conditions.

On Saturday morning, our fearless leader Susan Byker decided to take most of my group up to the summit of King Mountain on snowshoes. The scenery was breathtaking—from miles away we could see mountains, lakes, and valleys covered in snow. We walked along Stokely Creek, by frozen and thawed waterfalls, and weaved our way through countless trees on our way to the top. We were welcomed at the top by a spectacular view of Algoma County and Lake Superior. This four-hour long hike was both an enjoyable and challenging introduction to the Algoma Highlands and the Stokely Creek network of trails.

The view from the Summit of King Mountain

The view from the summit of King Mountain 

Our trek was also a valuable opportunity to assess my Lowa boots for the first time. Combined with the socks I wore, my feet stayed remarkably warm throughout the entire hike. Even after falling down in the snow a few times (I probably should’ve used poles for balance), snow stayed out of the boots and moisture did not seep in through the lacing area.

My favorite unintentional test of the Gore-tex and fleece linings came as we made our descent down the mountain. We came across a wider part of the creek—wide enough to make us use a rock in the middle of the creek as a stepping stone—that we had to cross to continue our journey to the lodge. As I planted my foot on the wet stone in the creek, my snowshoe gave way, and I fell forward into the snowbank on the other side—with my feet in the frigid water. I climbed out, brushed myself off, and then realized that my feet felt totally fine. Outside of just the slightest dampness, the water had not penetrated my boots. We picked up and continued on our way back to the lodge.

The rest of the weekend was much of the same—a cross-country skiing lesson in the slush and snow, and then another snowshoe hike the following morning. These boots made it through it all without a problem. I had no blistering, which usually tends to be a problem around my Achilles tendon, and my feet stayed dry for the duration of my visit.

My overall recommendation: these boots are great for anyone, from an experienced hiker to someone who hasn’t owned proper boots in four years. If you’re looking for a strong pair of winter boots that can handle both snow and ice, the Lowa Nabucco Mid is a wise investment. I obviously wouldn’t recommend dipping your feet into an ice-cold creek, but if you do, you won’t need to worry about wet socks and toes.

MSRP: $250 | lowaboots.com

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