Lowa Camino LL Flex ReviewJanuary 25, 2014
Lowa’s Camino LL Flex is a nubuck, medium-volume trekking and backpacking boot for serious trail (and off-trail) time under moderate-to-heavy loads.
- Very well constructed
- Supportive–holds the foot firmly in place
- Excellent protection from rocks and stones
- Nice touches like the lining and lacing system
- Leather lining will dry slowly if soaked
- Somewhat heavy
- The supplied footbed is flimsy (like most are)
The Camino is a very well made and sturdy trekking and backpacking boot with a number of nice features. It is more boot than most people will need for day hikes, but it provides capable support and protection for heavy loads and rough territory. Lowa’s lacing system is one of the nicest anywhere, and the leather linings are luxuriously comfortable as long as they remain dry. The price is quite high, but these boots deliver.
Support and Stability
The all-leather uppers and polyurethane midsoles provide firm and authoritative support for the entire foot and ankle. The well-thought-out lacing system and solid heel cup held my foot solidly in place over rugged ground. The Camino’s medium flex is sufficient for comfortable hiking with loads upwards of 50 pounds, and arch support is decent.
Protection & Comfort
The all-leather upper and PU midsole give first-rate protect against rocks and stones, even when heavily loaded, though all that plus leather linings and steel hardware brings a small weight penalty.
Comfort is excellent, in large part because of the glove leather lining, a luxury not found on many hiking boots. Unlike synthetic linings, the leather linings got even more comfortable after a few miles on the trail.
Lowa’s well-designed lacing system meets the dual challenge of holding the feet firmly and allowing easy-in and easy-out. The right number of lacing hooks and clever ball-bearings in the lacing hardware make it easy to tighten them down, and the laces self-adjust evenly. The overall fit is medium volume with suitable room in the toe box.
The substantial construction, midsole flex, and leather uppers make the Camino a good choice for backpacking and trekking. They really shine hiking with a week-long backpacking load. While super-practical on trails and rough settings, the standard-composition Vibram sole isn’t especially sticky, so it isn’t ideal on upper fourth-class scrambles on rock, and the boot is a bit heavy and stiff for that anyway.
Another thing to watch out for is that the leather lining can be hard to dry-out overnight if it gets soaked. On the plus side, though, even though there’s no waterproof-breathable lining on these when I stood in untreated ones in a bucket of water for ten minutes there was no leakage. Not many manufacturers put in decent footbeds, but replace the stock ones with your favorite pair and you’ll be ready for long trips.