The German shoe brand LOWA can tell stories of which hairs are coming to your rescue. The almost 100-year-old family business specialized in footwear for mountaineers from its inception. All the big peaks in the world were climbed on LOWA shoes, and renowned alpinists like Hans Kammerlander - who stood on top of twelve eight-thousanders - entrust their lives to LOWA. The requirements that impose extreme conditions on the material, the fit and the safety are decisive for the philosophy and the working method of the manufacturer. Over the years new product lines have been put on the market, such as walking shoes, ski boots and - more recently - safety shoes, but absolute precision in design and engineering remain synonymous with the name LOWA.
LOWA started in 1923 in the southern German village of Jetzendorf, in the shadow of Munich. Founder and namesake Lorenz Wagner was the village shoe maker there. His intention was to make the best and safest mountain shoes that existed. Soon Lorenz and his three sons acquired a regional reputation with their handmade 'double-stitched' shoes. Although the modest workshop prospered into a factory with an ever-increasing production of mountain shoes and ski boots, there were also difficult times. During the Korean crisis, learning prices rose by 50%. In order to buy enough materials to keep the company going, the Wagner had to earn extra money as musicians, something that all family members had talent for.
The history of LOWA is one of continuous development, based on the philosophy of the traditional village shoe maker: delivering work that you can be proud of. New markets were tapped and LOWA was always the first to embrace new technologies. The family business was taken over by the Italian Tecnica group in 1993, but product development and production - with the exception of ski boots - are still taking place in Jetzendorf. In 2010 LOWA celebrated a milestone: more than 2 million pairs of shoes were sold that year. And the growth is still going on. Lowa is market leader in the German-speaking countries and the Benelux and is increasingly present in North America, Eastern Europe and Asia.