Lowa pretty much dominates the three-four season boot category in New Zealand – it has more models than any other brand. Last year it released several new boots as well as updating its tried and tested Tibet and Ranger GTXs.
The Ticam is a new model. It’s a solid piece of work weighing 1600g and is perfectly suited to the ‘heavy-duty tramping’ Lowa describes as its end use.
The boot comes with a full-length 5mm nylon shank, providing a solid platform on which to load up your pack for some long miles on, or off, the trail. Strap on a pair of crampons, and you’d comfortably spend a day in an alpine environment.
The uppers are 2.6mm waxed leather, offering decent insulation and good support for ankles. There’s limited protection though – just a rand at the heel and toe. This is now common on Lowa boots, with only the classic Tibet and Ranger models offering a full rand. It might mean your boot shows wear and tear more quickly, but the Ticam is so robust I don’t think it’s an issue here.
The Vibram Masai outsole has deep mud-shedding lugs made from a hard rubber compound that won’t wear quickly and which provided absolute confidence on all trail surfaces.
The lace system is the most secure I have used. Lowa’s lace locking I-Lock is unrelenting. Once done up, it doesn’t loosen and can even require a bit of picking to undo at the end of the day. It’s good to know once your foot is in position, it’ll stay there. The reinforced ankle lace hardware allows you to pull the boot in tight to ensure your heel stays in place. Because the laces run right the way down to the toe, there is a decent amount of flex in the forefoot – at least as much as is possible with that 5mm shank.
This is as close to a bombproof boot as you can get. After four weeks of use, there was little wear to show for the sometimes scrappy terrain I tramped. Its price will give many pause for thought, but it is a serious boot for serious trips and if it’s many years of service you want from your investment, the Ticam won’t let you down.