LOWA Z 6S GTX Boot: Put Your Foot In It

April 5, 2024  
Categories: Assorted Ramblings

by Freddy Osuna

The Z 6S GTX boots are the toughest lightweight boots on this tracker’s boot rack. They were designed as light hiking boots intended to provide the same amount of protection as heavier boots. That’s simple to say, but do they perform as advertised?

This boot is more than meets the eye, which you can say for most of LOWA’s modern footwear. They’re packed with substance, which you can also say about the company itself which has been making footwear in Europe since 1923. Today LOWA is known for making top of the line performance footwear with 200 million shoes shipped world-wide each year.

In spring of 2016, I received my Z-6S GTXs while unpacking in my hotel in Rockville, MD for a 2-week Greenside Training Kinetic Tracking Operations course for local LEO’s. Although it is not the best idea to hit the ground with brand new boots, I would only be manning a 40 lb. ruck sack over five mile’s average per day– hardly a land march, but enough to get a feel of break in and performance. My first impression involves evaluating weight; profile; materials; and features.

Lowa boots on the trail


When I put boots in my hands for the first time, I ignore what a company says as advertised because although the total weight may be number X (the # of your desire) it rarely considers the distribution of the weight in regard to balance.

My personal preference is to have footwear which distributes weight 35% in the foot bed/outer sole, and 65% dispersed evenly throughout the rest of the area of a mid-length boot. The reason is because the swing phase of leg/foot movement and how the barefoot naturally performs. Heavy soles produce premature fatigue especially going up and down hill.

This may not be so noticeable for your average hiker of 5–10-mile weekenders, but when you talk about rucking 100 lb. loads 10-20 miles off trail in uneven terrain, day or night, wet or dry, then weight distribution becomes a pain learned in ounces. These are bottom heavy boots for the long range recce dudes out there with most of the weight (50% at least) at the bottom and midsole.


I really like the profile and contours with its midsole monowrap feature which provides a skeletonized outer support frame. The heel cup provides excellent comfort, and I couldn’t feel where it ended at the top after one week.  The hilt of the boot (where the lower/mid sole meets the upper) has smooth streamlined edges to avoid snagging on vines, carpet, tripwires etc. The closed hook loops are large enough for running a spare set of laces through in a pinch, but smooth and closed to avoid snags making them good for rope work or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane in style like the boys over at Magpul Core.


The materials consist of a split between nylon Cordura and a partially perforated leather. The sole is the multi directional multi surface LOWA tread pattern. Comes with a great medium thickness nylon boot lace which stays tied. The perforated leather upper is part of the moisture management system designed to keep feet dry, this along with an excellent foot-bed, and heel cup will reduce blistering and hot spots. The 2.00mm Cordura tongue and GTX lining is described as “Hydrophobic” as are my toes after walking 40 miles and running into a stream. After 3 months, the waterproof and breathability of these mid-lengths is as described.



There’s more to meets the eye with any LOWA products out. These were no exception. My favorite feature besides the awesome grip they had on wet rock and ability to wick mud away is the monoframe midsole. The skeletonized midsole “monoframe” is designed to provide supination and pronation stability. This is most apparent and appreciated while side hilling and contouring hill sides. They increase stability and the ankle erect as possible on the down-hill outer ankle and erect in the inner ankle of the uphill foot. This positive surprise realized in reduced outer and inner thigh fatigue.

  • UPPER: Extra-rugged 2.0MM hydrophobic split leather and Cordura® provides durability in harsh conditions, while the perforated leather improves breathability.
  • CLOSED LIGHT METAL HOOKS: Allow for speed lacing, meeting jump boot requirements.
  • LINING: Waterproof, breathable, GORE-TEX® lining.
  • MIDSOLE: Our patented PU Monowrap® construction keeps this boot lightweight, while providing maximum support. This unique frame construction also features a special medial sole wrap for protection against abrasion while rappelling.
  • FOOTBED: Climate Control footbed.
  • STABILIZER: Stiff nylon.
  • OUTSOLE: LOWA Cross Duty sole unit.

These LOWA boots are a great option for field work, but also sufficiently light and well designed to be a casual everyday wear boot.

For more boot reviews, see:


Freddy Osuna

Freddy Osuna

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