The site called Military Morons is without question one of the best source of thorough reviews on the net. Their analyses are consistent, methodical, and well articulated — this is why several of our minions check MM for information before pulling the trigger on an expensive piece of gear. A couple months back MM published a review on the Lowa Task Force Z-6S Boots. Since we’re big fans of Lowa here (some of our guys are currently reviewing Lowas for RECOIL and OFFGRID right now, in fact — check hashtag #weaponizethesenses on Instagram and on Facebook), and we know many of you have a keen interest in good boots, we thought we’d share. Mad Duo
Review: Lowa Task Force Z-6S GTX Boots
Military Morons. All images courtesy of MM
In the past, civilian hiking boots have found their way into the tactical/military arena for a number of reasons; the main one being that military equivalent boots for certain applications just didn’t exist. Lowa is one manufacturer that has boots designed specifically for LE and military customers, with their separate line for their military/LE customer base. Lowa has been manufacturing climbing, mountaineering and hiking boots for over 90 years, and military boots for over 20 years. Lowa’s boots have been thoroughly tested by U.S., German, Swiss, British and Spanish military and security forces. Lowa is known worldwide for their high quality outdoor footwear, and their Task Force Collection focuses on the military, tactical, LE and other professional organizations that require ankle and underfoot security and support in grueling conditions. Lowa boots are 100% designed, sourced and handcrafted in Europe and Lowa is the only outdoor footwear manufacturer in the world to be granted ISO 9001 status for quality and process standards.
Boot Upper (Excerpt) The inside of the boot ankle is lightly padded, to provide protection and some support for the ankle. As far as I can tell, the lower part of the boot/foot is unpadded. The inside of the collar and tongue are mesh lined. The collar dips down at the rear of the ankle and measures 6.5″ high to the floor on my size 8.5. At its tallest point on the upper, the boot measures 7.5″ from the floor. The tongue does extend about 1/2″ higher than that. The inside of the 6S has a wicking polyester lining to absorb and disperse excess moisture. Lowa’s patented waterproof GORE-TEX® membrane inner bootie lines the boot to keep water out, and feet dry and comfortable. A heel cup/counter provides the laternal stability for the heel. There is no toe cap – it’s stiffer than that of the Zephyr, and the rubber bumper at the toe provides protection and shape.
Insole/Outsole (Excerpt) The 6S has a Lowa Cross Duty outsole, and a full length and width stabilizer vs. the three-quarter length nylon shank of the Zephyr. The 6S offers approximately the same stability provided by a Trekking category boot like the Desert Elite. The 6S, therefore is more torsionally rigid than the Zephyr series boot. The tread pattern of the 6S is almost identical to that on the Zephyr boot, but the foam is thicker, as is the outsole with 5mmm deep lugs vs. the 3mm lugs on the Zephyr, which also add to a more rigid and supportive sole unit. The rear of the sole is angled/rounded off which makes it easier to drive with. Another feature that’s new to the 6S is the special medial sole wrap at the instep for added protection against rope abrasion while rappelling. You might also notice that the sole of the Zephyr has turned darker over the years of use.
Observations. (Excerpt) I measured the pair of boots on a precision electronic scale to be 3 lb 2 oz for the pair of size 8.5 US. For comparison, the size 9 Elite Deserts weighed 3 lb 9.6 oz and the size 9 Zephyr GTZ Hi 8″ boot weighed in at 3 lb 0 oz for the pair, so the Z-6S are in-between the Zephyrs and Elite Deserts in weight.
Break-in – None was needed of any note. All it took was a couple of days to ‘settle into’ the boot. While the Z-6S has more of a trekking sole like the Lowa Elite Deserts, the upper is more like the softer Zephyrs and no where as stiff as the Elite Deserts when new. The Elite Deserts required about five days to break in to be comfortable on my ankles, whereas the Zephyrs and Z-6S were pretty much comfortable out of the box. The cushioning around the ankle and on the tongue is very comfortable. I haven’t had any hot spots or blisters walking around all day with these over the past three months.
If you want to read more (and there’s plenty — he’s always thorough) you can do so right here.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.