Scarpa Wrangell GTX and Lowa Tibet GTX Hi Boots
I wanted to share my thoughts and impressions on these 2 boots, it may help someone in the future who is considering these boots or others.
First, a little about me, everyone's feet are different, but, I measure to a US 10 by arch length. and when going by arch length, per that size, i measure to a D or standard medium width. My forefoot is wider than my heel in comparison.
In the past, Meindl boots from cabelas have been sort of too big in the heel. i also have this problem with some ski boots, while the front part is tight.
I ordered both of these boots in a US 10, from Zappos.com, I went to Zappos, as I knew that I would be returning one or both, and they have free shipping both ways, and as long as shoes are not worn outside, you can return for up to 1 year.
I chose these 2 boots on things I read, and also, there is a good youtube video on some of the boots that are usually talked about for backpacking etc. also, the Wrangell, replaced the Liskamm, that some people spoke very highly of online.
First, the Lowa Tibet GTX Hi, retail: $380.
This may sound like I am bashing the boot, but just being honest... I was not all that impressed with this boot, particularly not for $380. The leather is a much softer nubuck, with a full rubber rand. The rubber rand sticks out from the leather, and has an edge, that I am sure various things could catch on over time. The glue was also fairly visible at the edge of the rand. Also, the rand has a seam on the inner side of the boot, that was not perfectly lined up on my pair, so there were 2 more points for things to catch on. The stiffness is not quite what I expected it to be. I know that people have said that current Meindl boots through Cabelas are not what they used to be, I have a pair of Cabelas Meindl Winter boots, and they are more than 10 years old. These Lowa's are no stiffer, or very minimally stiffer than those boots. I thought they would have been a bit stiffer. The lacing system is OK, they have zonal lacing, there is a lock for the bottom half, so you can separate the top and bottom. The bottom was a pain to unlock, and you really had to purposely unlock it, kind of annoying. The fit, these boots are a standard D width, and on my foot, they are a little tight in the forefoot, but the heel is much more generous. On carpet, right off, and walking up and down steps, my heel slipped quite a bit. From what I have seen, this seems to be common with the German made boots.
Next, the Scarpa Wrangell GTX, retail: $360
This is more of a mountaineering boot, and stiffer than the Lowa Tibet GTX Hi. The leather is more of a suede than nubuck, and the rubber rand is only on the toe. It comes up higher on the toe than the Lowa Tibet GTX Hi. Also, the rand is sanded, or much more contoured to the boot, there is no edge you can feel. This boot is a bit stiffer than the Lowa Tibet GTX Hi, the leather is stiffer, and the sole is much stiffer. The lacing system is probably a bit more straight forward and better than the Lowa. The fit, for me, these fit great. The forefoot is wider in proportion to the heel area. Also, the heel has a pocket, and there is an ankle pocket, and the boot really grabs your ankle/heel. Another cool feature, is it has a double tongue, the outer tongue is solid all the way up, and it covers everything double basically. also, there is an inner tongue that has padding, this attaches to the outer tongue via velcro. I will most likely be keeping this boot, I think it is a better boot overall, made better, and it fits me well.
If anyone has any questions, let me know, I still have both boots in my possession, but I will be returning the Lowa for sure.