Outdoors people like other people to know they’re outdoors people. That little nod of appreciation on seeing a brand tee shirt or for us cyclists the sharp tan line.
Sometimes this goes too far. Please people Tracksters combined with 4 season boots to walk around the Excel or NEC is not Okay, EVER! Before people think I’m unaware of the fashion faux pas cyclists at such events I think if you’ve taken the effort to transport a pair of shoes to the Excel then you can fit in a pair of shorts as well!!
Anyway as usual I’ve gone off on a tangent as is my way. When the Lowa Locarnos landed at my door I thought mmmm, I could have worn these back in my pin stripe days. They don’t look like a piece of outdoors footwear and even though I’m usually to found in trail running shoes I like that.
With a GoreTex membrane the upper is waterproof. I don’t usually like this in a shoe. Ankle height is not very high and even long grass usually defeats it. The result is water runs into the top of the shoe and the wearer has a personal puddle. But hey part of being a writer is experimenting so lets give it whirl.
Straight out of the box the Locarno is pretty comfortable and as the Nubuck upper breaks in they become like a pair of slippers. On the first day I took them to Prudential Ride London and did my reporting duties. Nice comfortable, possibly a little heavy but certainly supportive as I pounded the mean streets of England’s capital.
I’d meant to pack a pair of sandals for post ride the next day but the great British summer of 2018 didn’t disappoint and it rained all day. The Locarnos were fantastic in the urban environment keeping my exhausted appendages dry and comfortable and with the upper sole comfort performed well. The only issue being that the wide foot box, whilst great walking took a bit of getting used driving back to South Wales.
So the Locarnos worked well in the smoke but what about the more rural setting. A week camping in the Highlands was the perfect chance to test and with the great drought of 2018 completely missing North West Scotland a few days on a sodden camp site in Ullapool worked.
My high grass test couldn’t be applied due to pesky lawn mowers but my feet remained dry and the upper never appeared sodden at any point. I even took them out on the kayak because ADHD boy here forgot to take his wet suit boots (or any other footwear without cleats).
My main gripe of the Locarnos would be the weight for day to day wear. I still reach for my lightweight trail shoes when I get home. Comfort wise they are pretty spot on for me and the wide forefoot is perfect for my size 12 flippers. With a GoreTex membrane you know that the item will be quality and they are. Would I take them up a mountain? Probably not, I like boots too much, but for a coastal walk or bouncing around day to day they’re pretty spot on.
Look out for the overall scores from the Hiking/Approach Shoe group test at the end of the week.
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