Review: LOWA Hunter GTX Evo Extreme

When it comes to hunting boots, there are a lot of options available. Rather than risk getting burned on an unknown boot, I chose to go with the Hunter GTX Evo Extreme from LOWA. I was a little concerned when I pulled the boots out of the box and was unable to flex the sole, but my foot still slipped in easily. I was shocked at how comfortable the boot was on my foot, even with the lacing system pulled tight. "System" isn’t a word usually associated with lacing up your boots, but the Hunter GTX has several components comprising its system. The lower eyelets have a small ball bearing so the laces slide easily through, and the top-lower eyelet then locks the lace down, preventing slippage below that point and keeping my heel in place. Additionally, the X-Lacing hooks at the top of the tongue snug the top half of the boot around my ankle, preventing slippage and uncomfortable pressure points.

In the field, I’ve found the 200 grams of PrimaLoft lining to be a great balance for keeping my toes warm while posted up, but not overheating while hiking. The addition of a Gore-Tex liner, working in conjunction with the leather uppers, helps keep my feet dry when hiking in snow, rain, and the occasional creek-crossing. The high rubber rand around the outsole also helps block water and is great protection against rocks, trees, and other abrasive elements. The Vibram sole has aggressive lugs for climbing up and preventing slippage on the way down. As mentioned earlier, there is very little flex in the sole, which feels strange walking around the house, but is great for working sidehills and uneven terrain while chasing elk. The high ankle support, pulled tight with the lacing system, also helps on sidehills, providing confidence while carrying extra weight on the pack-out.

Available locally at Schnee’s or online at lowaboot.com; $480.