Products

No compromises – When it comes to its products, LOWA focuses in particular on perfect fit, a high level of functionality, a contemporary design and technical innovation. One key environmental aspect is product durability.

Fit and quality

LOWA isn't satisfied with second best. For that reason, LOWA always provides its customers with the highest quality, from the materials used to the finished footwear. LOWA views the high expectations it places on itself and its service as the guiding values for the high quality of its products.

The diligence of the company's talented employees and their unwavering commitment to producing perfect footwear are applied to every phase of product development. The company's service regarding every aspect of its footwear is based on this standard.

The guiding principle of uncompromising quality stems from the company’s commitment to providing the highest service in its drive to create the highest product excellence. LOWA products are both a guarantee of optimal comfort and a testament to safety. Absolute precision in development and construction are vital points for secure footing and the best possible functionality for each and every use.

“Our product-development guidelines are crystal clear: We are committed to making high-quality outdoor boots that fit perfectly, offer a high level of functionality and have modern designs.”

Alexander Nicolai, Head of Development and Design

Athletes as partners

LOWA is committed to producing footwear that is better or, at a very minimum, as good as the products sold by our best competitors. To live up to these high standards, LOWA continuously involves alpinists and mountaineers from the LOWA athlete teams in its development process. They serve as experts, providing ideas and advice as well as testing the footwear under a wide variety of conditions.

“LOWA's athletes are critically important brand ambassadors. They take us to the far reaches of the world and test our footwear in the most extreme conditions. This is why they are such important footwear-development partners for us.”

Arthur Kudelka, Manager Service Department

Selection of materials

The leather used by LOWA is mainly from European cattle. LOWA obtains around 70 per cent of its leather from its main supplier Heinen with headquarters in Wegberg, Germany. Other tanneries from which the company buys leather include VIVIANI from Zagreb (Croatia) and DANI from Arzignano and Perwanger from Ora (Italy). All of the tanneries were carefully selected, in part because their company philosophies of ecological and socially responsible production align perfectly with LOWA’s own philosophy.

Lieferanten Heinen DANI VIVIANI PERWANGER

“Vegan collection”

The word “vegan” can be defined in various ways. Using uppers made of fabric instead of leather gets you halfway there in the process for boots. Neither leather nor animal wool is used in all boots of the All Terrain Sport collection and of some other models. No animal glues are used to make the boots either.

But the process used to demonstrate that no animal products are used in all components is fairly elaborate. It takes real detective work to determine whether the dyes, chemicals, enhancement substances, etc. are free of animal parts. The main reason for this is that a very large number of individual pieces and components are used to make high-quality outdoor boots. The INNOX model, for instance, has more than 150 parts. It is nearly impossible to examine all of these criteria. LOWA is also unable to make any credible statement regarding the very strict vegan criteria that require, among other things, that no animal experiments were conducted on the materials used in the boots and that all plant fibres were produced by certified organic farms.

LOWA does not use Merino wool from sheep that have undergone mulesing, down feathers, milk or other food fibres, nano-technology, antiperspirants, biocides or antifungal agents.

Cads e.V. membership

LOWA is one of the founding members of cads e.V., an association of manufacturers and suppliers under the umbrella of the German Shoe Institute that seeks to prevent the use of harmful substances in shoes. All member companies have voluntarily committed themselves to meeting the deliberately demanding requirements of the cads e.V. guideline entitled “Catalogue of restricted substances in shoes”.

Harmful substances

Furthermore, LOWA meets all the requirements regarding harmful substances imposed by Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH). With a view to Article 33 of REACH, LOWA assures its products and their packaging do not contain any of the substances specified in the latest version of the candidate list in accordance with Article 59 (1) of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH).

Furthermore, for all products LOWA has drawn up a “Restricted Substances List” that conforms to the CADS guideline and specifies prohibited substances or those that can only be used in limited quantities. Among other commitments, the company guarantees that it does not use leather tanned with chromium (VI) and ensures no toxic chromium (VI) is formed from chromium (III) during storage. LOWA spot-checks its materials for harmful substances, with tests carried out by the company itself and by recognised external laboratories.

Durability
and care

One key environmental aspect of products is their durability. This also applies to LOWA footwear products, all of which are known for their high quality and robustness. But even high-quality boots need and require good care. With such care, they will remain comfortable and resistant to soiling and water. Regular care will extend their life.

To care instructions

Resoling
and repairs

On the basis of today's technology, it makes little sense from an energy point of view to recycle substances used in LOWA footwear because the products consist of so many different materials. But refinements in technology are continuously reviewed.

The boots do not have to be replaced when the soles wear out. Many boots can now be resoled and the heels replaced.

To repair

Customer assistance and service

For LOWA, a collaborative relationship with service providers, retailers and consumers is just as important as good value for the money. A key feature of the company is the business relationships that it has formed over the years and that have created a strong bond of trust among the partners. As a matter of course, the company handles customer data in a responsible manner and complies with legal requirements regarding data confidentiality and data protection.

To service

PFC-free care and cleaning products

It has been a few years since the outdoor industry has declared war on PFC (per- and polyfluorinated chemicals). PFC consists of a specific group of chemicals that due to their characteristics – they repel water, oils and dirt – are often found in outdoor and work apparel as well as in waterproofing products. These chemicals are in no way harmless since they are not degradable and remain in the environment for a very long period of time. LOWA has its own brand of care and cleaning products that have been totally re-engineered and are made completely without the use of PFCs. There is also now a new cleaning product in the series, LOWA Shoe Clean, which is based 90 per cent on natural components, such as bamboo. In combination with the new LOWA Water Stop PRO and LOWA Active Creme there is nothing in the way of environmentally friendly cleaning, waterproofing and care of footwear.

Goals and measures concerning the creation of a sustainable product range and the optimisation of sales and warehousing processes:

Ongoing measures

  • Expanding knowledge about materials, fabrics and soles
  • Systematically focusing on materials and production criteria (through the use of such things as information sheets and catalogues of requirements)

Mid-range goal

  • Convert our care products (reimpregnation) to non-PFC alternatives (Q4/2018) ✓
  • Use leftover materials (leather, fabric, laces etc.) more efficiently (Q4/2018) ✓
  • Evaluating suppliers on the basis of CR criteria (Q4/2018)

Long-range goals

  • Optimising supplier processes and logistics (LogiSoft) (Q4/2019)