SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Gear Review: LOWA Trident II GTX WS

When I first lifted up the box with my new LOWA Trident II GTX winter boots, I was really surprised by its light weight. The boots, when I removed them from the box, were small and compact. Although the Trident IIs are insulated, they are only slightly bulkier than a normal pair of hiking boots. The boots have a waterproof GORE-TEX lining. Wearing the boots to work and on various hiking trips over the past several weeks, I’ve come to appreciate that their versatility, durability, and that they don’t feel like a snow boot.

TridentsWhen looking through the tags on the boots, I was at first disappointed to learn that they are rated only down to 23° F. However, during my initial break-in period for the boots, I wore them on days when the temperature was in the teens. I spent these days outdoors for seven or eight hours clearing brush and cutting down dead grass in snow that came up to my mid-calves. It was only when my core started to feel cold that my feet began to be impacted.

I instantly appreciated the boot’s fantastic grip on snow. Out of the box, my feet felt snug and comfortable and I found the laces to be easy to tighten. My feet felt secure in the boots without having to put much effort into tightening the laces. Quickly, I came to realize the benefit of owning a pair of winter boots that are rated to the 20s. I find many pairs of winter boots to be uncomfortable indoors because they are so warm that I sweat into them and then have cold, damp feet when I go back outside. However, I’ve worn my Tridents inside and outdoors, frequently changing between the two, over the course of many days and I have found that my feet do not get wet as the snow melts on my boots. I have only noticed myself sweating into my boots once while inside, when I was sitting in front of a fire.

After the initial break-in period, I took the boots for several late November and early December hikes up peaks in the Adirondacks, including Tabletop, Phelps, Colden, and Ampersand. On most of these hikes I encountered a mixture of snow, ice, mud, and slush. When hiking, I found that the boots performed well on some mild types of ice, but that otherwise the use of microspikes greatly improved my traction. In all fairness to the boots, some of the ice on Mt. Colden, combined with the steep grade, made me slip even when wearing microspikes.

The boots are the best I’ve had for hiking up from muddy, wet valleys to snowy summits. The trails up Phelps and Tabletop had a lot of water running down them that eventually turned to ice during the ascent. My feet were only slightly damp from sweat and a small amount of water that seeped into the boots when I was hiking up through more than four inches of water. Even though I wore gaiters, I still appreciated the height of the boots and found that they offered good coverage and protection against snow.

On my hike to the base of Mt. Colden, I stepped on some thin ice on a lake and put a foot through into water that came up to my mid-calf. With many other pairs of boots this would have been enough to ruin a trip, but only a small amount of cold water seeped through at one of the seams and my foot remained warm and mostly dry for the rest of the trip. Following these trips, I cleaned the boots and re-impregnated them with Tectron, a fluoropolymer water-repellent spray. I’ve worn the boots for over a week since the re-impregnation and have not felt any moisture enter the boots.

I also appreciate the style and look of the Trident II. The black boots don’t stand out as snow boots and look good both inside and outdoors.

TridentsOverall, I would highly recommend the LOWA Trident II GTX boots. Even if I might not be able to wear them in the heart of winter, they work wonderfully in mixtures of snow and mud. I don’t feel bogged down when wearing them and I’ve even taken them on some short jogs. I look forward to snowshoeing in them, even in temperatures below the 23° F that they are rated to because I think that they will keep my feet warm in colder weather as long as I am staying active.

For more information about the LOWA Trident II, visit: http://www.lowaboots.com/catalog/trident-ii-gtx-ws/4209880999/10.

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