First Impressions

LOWA got its start back in the 1920s and builds a range of footwear for the outdoors including one of the most comprehensive collections of Gore-Tex waterproof products we’ve ever seen. Last year, we had the opportunity to try one of their winter boots and were dutifully impressed with its performance. When we were given the chance to check out one of the Gore-Tex trail runners this past season, we jumped at it. Our understated S-Crown GTX arrived in an understated black with yellow accents ready to hit the trail.


LOWA pioneered a number of innovations in lightweight footwear including the use of a plastic exoskeleton on the boot exterior for increased support and stability. The S-Crown GTX employs something similar on its exterior as well. A wide set of plastic cross-hatches run from bottom to top on the S-Crown GTX to augment the synthetic upper. The net effect is a high degree of rigidity for the product, especially given that most running shoes today skew towards a more minimal and highly flexible approach.

Also contributing to the heft of the shoe is the Gore-Tex liner. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the S-Crown GTX delivers real waterproofing on soggy days. Through damp vegetation, on rain-soaked slopes and pooling water, the product provided a nice degree of protection.

LOWA promotes the S-Crown GTX as a product with “soft to ground” soles. We found that the S-Crown GTX provided good grip on grass, gravel and dirt. It also did well on dry pavement. Wet pavement was another matter as the product definitely slips and slides a bit on rain-slicked concrete.

Upper: Synthetic, Gore-Tex lining
Sole: Bi-density TPU midsole, STG-3D outsole
Drop: 15 mm
Weight: 29.6 oz (per pair, men’s size 11)


The LOWA S-Crown GTX feels a bit wide from stem to stern. It’s not outrageously so but more than we expected for a running shoe. Frankly, the fit feels more boot- than shoe-like, which shouldn’t be a surprise given the company’s heritage.

Final Verdict

The LOWA S-Crown GTX delivers solid trail running performance and grip. The product is more heavily constructed than others in the category and has a fit that’s wider and more boot like than most. At $160 MSRP, it’s definitely not for everyone, but you’d be hard-pressed for find a more solidly built trail runner.

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to LOWA and Ingrid Niehaus Public Relations for providing product for this review.