We have been reviewing LOWA shoes on Practical Travel Gear for years. Why? I absolutely love LOWA for their durability, comfort, practicality, and price. In fact, I’ve been wearing my favorite LOWA shoe, the Innox Evo, since 2015; they have been my go-to hiking shoe and travel shoe everywhere from Alaska to Peru.
New this year are updates to both the Innox Evo GTX and the popular San Francisco GTX, which means I could simply update without having to search for a new favorite shoe.
Innox Evo GTX:
I continue to love the new version of this shoe because it is still lightweight, extremely comfortable, and versatile. I don’t even bother with a shoe if it cannot perform in multiple locations and for several activities; I don’t have room in my carry-on for a large shoe collection. The Innox Evo is designed for light hiking and speed walking, but its midsole has the perfect degree of cushioning to perform the above functions as well as be a comfortable ‘around town’ or travel day shoe. It is still waterproof and breathable, and I can tell you from experience that the Innox Evo cleans up nicely. I have rinsed mine off in hotel bathtubs and hosed them off on decks of ships, and they have dried quickly. My 2015 pair still look practically new. Best of all for travelers, the Innox Evo has a climate control footbed to increase air flow and reduce odor.
This year’s version comes in fun new colors, including my favorite, navy-mint. Pick up a pair in size 5.5 to 11 in women’s for $175. The value is there for this shoe that will last you for years and go everywhere with you.
San Francisco GTX:
If you want a travel shoe that will look a little more urban and a little less trail ready (but will still perform on a trail in a pinch), look to the new version of the San Francisco GTX. (Note: this shoe comes in several men’s versions as well.) The San Francisco is a more casual shoe, while still offering GoreTex protection. You get an open-sole construction for extreme breathability, but still retain the waterproof aspect. With a leather upper, the San Francisco is arguably more sophisticated-looking than the Innox Evo, making it ideal for city touring. I took mine on an early spring visit to Italy, where they managed uneven sidewalks and cobblestone while looking good with slacks and skirts. While I wouldn’t recommend the San Francisco for seriously cold climates, they do just fine in mild weather and hot sunny days alike.
The San Francisco also has some fun new colors, including the taupe/berry I tried out and a more spring-like jade/honey combination. It’s offered in size 5.5 to 11 for women, for $225 on the LOWA site. Look for sales on Amazon, too!