Lacing system allows for opening near cuff of boot
Less-tacky boot sole rubber
The Lowa Mountain Expert is a phenomenal all-around mountain boot. Capable of conquering anything from long-winter hikes to steep ice & mixed routes, this mountain boot is a great tool to have with you in the alpine. The Mountain Expert has a flexibility that may not make it the ideal candidate for truly overhanging objectives, but excels in an all-around comfort to performance ratio needed on most easy to moderate alpine objectives.
FIT The Mountain Expert is built from a burly mix of leather and Cordura upper, with well-placed ankle cut-outs, that add comfort and ease to uphill movement and walking approaches.
Although, I found this boot to feel quite flexible while climbing in the vertical, The X-Lacing with tongue stud allows this boot to be laced quite firmly which mitigates foot slippage during walking, and improves rigidity during climbing. Compared to other boots, I found this wider footbed and roomy toe-box to be more compatible with my foot than many other mountain boots on the market.
WEIGHT Tipping the scales at 1,760 Grams (3 lbs. 14.4 oz.), The split-leather/Cordura mix places this boot in a slightly lighter class than a full-grain upper. No major durability issues arose during the test period.
COMFORT The wide toe-box lends itself to happier toes at the end of the day whether you are walking long miles or kicking repeatedly into vertical ice. The Flexifit-Synchro lacing system does a fantastic job anchoring the heel down in the boot, while still allowing the ankle to flex. The footbed is comprised of Insulate Pro Alu-Coated with Fleece, which feels great when these boots are on your feet all day.
WARMTH My feet run hot, but they still get pretty frozen in the proper alpine conditions. I found these boots to keep my feet warm & dry. The Mountain Expert is equipped with a Gore-tex membrane to keep moisture out and a perforated liner to allow the foot to breath during exercise. The boot handles conditions well in the dryer climates of Colorado, but also in more humid winter conditions found in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest and the White Mountains of the Northeast.
PRECISION The Mountain Expert GTX Evo performed exceptionally well on moderate to intermediate snow, ice and mixed climbs. The crampon interface (toe-bail & heel welt) is exaggerated and therefore receives a variety of automatic crampons very well, making for very secure flat-footed technique and also lends itself to accurate placements during front-pointing. When the climbing got more difficult (WI5+/M7), I did notice a lack of overall boot rigidity that did not provide the solid platform found on easier terrain.
VALUE For the price, the LOWA Mountain Expert is a boot that truly delivers bang for it’s buck. For more than $100 cheaper than some of it’s competitors I found this boot to perform quite well throughout an entire season of use across all mountain mediums.