The Lowa Levante GTX Qc Ws is a well constructed hiking boot that succeeds in being very lightweight at the expense of comfort and stability. It has a very narrow toe box that all the testers agreed was uncomfortable after a day of hiking. The minimal cushioning cuts down on weight but results in poor support and stability. It provides decent traction in most conditions but would not be the first choice of most testers for use on more difficult terrain. Overall, it scored middle of the line in most categories with the exception of being on the lighter weight end of the spectrum.
The Levante was decently comfortable but left quite a bit to be desired. It lacks cushioning around the ankle and tongue so it doesn’t feel as comfortable compared to either the Sawtooth or Nucleo. It also has a very narrow toe box, and even for someone with a narrow foot, it starts to feel uncomfortable after a few hours of hiking – to the point of wanting to take them off part way through a day on the trail.
Support & Stability
The Levante is very light, in large part due to its construction with Lowa’s monowrap support frame. As a mid height boot it fully covers the ankle, but the lightweight construction results in a feeling of minimal support when hiking. Some testers complained of rolling their ankles while in this boot and were disappointed in its lack of stability. Overall, it felt similarly supportive compared to the lightweight North Face Ultra Fastpack and Vasque Breeze III, but didn’t compare to the support that the more rugged Oboz Sawtooth provides.
Lowa uses a Multicross Evo sole on the Levante that doesn’t compare to the Vibram rubber used on other boots in this category. It has a rather shallow tread pattern that seems to grip less when scrambling around on rocky terrain. When hiking on hard packed trails or through grassy meadows the traction was sufficient however.
The Levante is covered almost entirely in leather and its high mid cut help it protect well against debris entering into the shoe. It also held up well over multiple uses and seems to be a durable boot. It feels more flimsy underfoot compared to some of the other boots tested and reviewers could feel rocks through the sole. It uses a Gore-Tex lining but unfortunately has a lower gusseted attachment point so that water enters into the boot sooner than all the other boots in this round-up. This design flaw resulted in a low score in the protection category, but for use in dry conditions this could be an irrelevant point.
Weight is one factor where the Levante really shines. It’s the lightest of all the boots tested in this category and is well suited to fast and light hiking expeditions. However, like previously mentioned, a lightweight boot has to compromise elsewhere and the Levante lacks a more sturdy sole and supportive feel for the sake of cutting weight.