LOWA Boots LLC ALT-Zephyr Mid

Supreme stickiness on rock in a lightweight hiking shoe

Brand: Lowa Boots LLC

Model: ALT-Zephyr Mid

Best Scrambler

Thanks to their famously grippy Stealth Rubber soles, Guide Tennies have long been revered for their traction on rock. Now, thanks to changes in the midsole, they’ll be known for their performance on trails as well. Testers took the nubuck-upper low-tops on an ascent of Indonesia’s 16,023-foot Carstensz Pyramid, where they tackled everything from slippery, well-worn paths to 5.8 rock pitches, while carrying 15-pound packs and another 10 pounds of climbing gear.

Their report: “We could not have worn a better shoe. The Guide Tennies gave us total confidence on all surfaces.” The key upgrades: molded EVA for cushion and a PU shank that’s cup-shaped, so it holds the foot securely in place for climbing while also providing underfoot protection and support. The Tennie is sneaker-cut with low, scooped-out ankles for full flex; a soft and lightly padded fabric tongue protects the top of the foot so you can cinch the to-the-toe lacing. “I didn’t get so much as a hotspot,” raves one tester.

The legendary grip remains the same, thanks to the dot rubber sole’s low-profile lug pattern, which puts maximum rubber on rock. The sticky sole will wear out before the suede upper, but you can have it replaced (or do simple repairs yourself with Five Ten’s Stealth Paint). $100; 1 lb. 6 oz.; m’s 5-13, w’s 5-10Lightweight multi-function boot made with PU Monowrap® technology for surfooted stability.

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