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Toughest Gear: LOWA Trekker/Lady Sport Boot

Quite possibly, the last boots you'll buy.
tough gear lowa boots 445x260LOWA Trekker/Lady Sport (Julia Vandenoever)

When it comes to boots, we can promise you won’t be wearing the same low-top trail shoes for a decade. But you might make it 30 years in these handmade German classics. With 2.4mm leather uppers, a full shank, and a wraparound rubber rand, these boots are built for backpacking, not mere hiking. They earned accolades in a 2003 review after 100 days of testing, and recent big-mile routes in the Rockies confirm their ruggedness.

They’re also the rare boots that get more comfortable for years, not just months. Most shoes soften a bit when you start wearing them, and that’s it. But a boot like the Trekker—with a full glove-leather lining and no waterproof laminate to add stiffness—will continue molding to your foot long after the initial break-in. Which is a good reminder that there’s a lot more to foot comfort than weight savings. $265; 3 lbs. 9 oz.; lowaboots.com

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