Best Boots

Lowa Zephyr GTX Mid TF

I know, not necessarily Emergency or Survival gear. But whenever people find out I am an avid hiker, mountaineer, or in the military, inevitably it comes up, what is the best pair of boots.

First, I will throw out a caveat. Most footwear is simply personal preference. 

Now that we cleared the air, let me tell you about the best versatile boot out there. I have used the Zephyrs in the desert, snow, water, ice, sand, air (yes free fall skydiving), and about anywhere you can imagine including backyard lawn work. These boots are adaptive, durable, and tremendously comfortable.

Recent naysayers believe the quality of the Zephyr boot from Lowa has lost its edge. I am here to tell you don’t let one rotten egg ruin your appetite. These boots will not only make your feet feel like you’re walking on cotton candy (Side Note: I use Super feet Insoles with my Lowas), but they will make them feel like that for a long long time! So here is the basic gist.

The Best Overall

Why should I buy it?

Excellent comfort meets stupidly durable. This is not the best boot for every specific situation, but in my experience, it is the best boot overall for any situation. You are afforded waterproof breathable Gore-Tex, excellent ankle support, relatively lightweight, and freedom of enhanced flexibility.

What is it?

The best overall boot for any situation.

Who is it for?

Those who love adventure, hiking, backpacking, 3-season climbing, military, first responder, hands-on job, or just enjoy always having the ability to step off the concrete path into the unknown

How much does it Cost?

$200-220 – Check current pricing

Why did we pick it?

They have been used and loved for over four years in every possible environment.

Overall Pros and Cons


  • Polyurethane frames and midsoles give significant stability for your foot without restricting movement and flexibility.
  • The absorbing response of the sole is impeccable.
  • The leather-nylon woven combo provides excellent durability.
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex inner supplies added protection to keep your feet dry.
  • Relatively lighter in weight when considering the durability and Gore-Tex lining.


  • Your feet will get hot. No matter how “breathable” Gore-Tex says it is, it will run on the warm side.
  • Eyelets have a history of breaking. With that said, I never had it happen to mine and I abused the boots.
  • Stock insole not the greatest – recommend super feet

The old rule for buying boots was never buy a pair of boots without first trying them on. Thankfully we are in the age of shipping! You can order these online, try them out, and if they don’t work out send them back for free! Remember though to take REI’s advice for making your final decision on buying boots.

  1. Know your length and arch size
  2. Try on boots at the end of the day
  3. Wear orthotics if you use them
  4. Spend time in the boots
  5. Pay attention to pressure points
  6. Explore other ways to tie the boot

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