Safety tips Safety in the mountains

2016_Athlete testing_CoburgerHütte

As beautiful as moun­tain­eering is, as dangerous it can be. Your actions and your actions are based on personal respons­ibility and you are responsible for your actions, decisions and for your safety. Apart from choosing the right equipment, you should always keep an eye on your own fitness and condition. Over­con­fidence has no place in the mountains! Are you aware of what corresponds to your fitness level? Then the first important step for a beautiful mountain tour is already done. In the second step we want to give you some useful tips on how to optimize your boot lacing or where to get help if you need it.

Photo copyright Max Seigal,

On the go X-Lacing: the right way to tie

With the help of X-Lacing hooks on the tongue of a number of TREKKING and MOUN­TAIN­EERING boots, the tongue can be optimally fixed in the middle. This feature will prevent the tongue from slipping as the wearer walks and uncom­fortable pressure points from arising. This special lacing system around the hooks secures the tongue both vertically and hori­zontally. As a result, the lacing system gains inde­pendence from the height of the instep, making it perfect for any type of foot.


“This tech­nology ensures that the pressure of the laces is trans­ferred not just to the hooks but to the tongue as well.”

Arthur | LOWA Manager Service Department

Wanderszene am Altu del Pirue, Picos de Europa, Spanien.

On the go Safety first

Moun­tain­eering is dangerous and based on personal respons­ibility. You are responsible for your actions, decisions and safety. For this reason, you should inspect your boots before every tour to look for defects and damage.

– Tie the footwear by using every hook/loop on the boot and use a tight knot.

– Tuck the bow and the ends of the boot laces into the upper if they are too long, stick out or are not covered by your trouser legs.

– Speed-lace systems have a pocket where you can tuck the ends.

Please remember that the grip of your boots’ soles will change during wet and cold weather. The risk of slipping increases in particular on smooth surfaces such as polished rock, roots, limbs, tile, asphalt or metal grating. Snow, ice and winter conditions will also change and reduce the sole’s grip, just as worn-out profiles will. Using very old boots on Alpine terrain can result in dangerous situ­ations.

  1. Step 1: Initial check
    Hiking boots should be thor­oughly examined before any tour. Are all the seams still intact? Have any cracks or worn-out areas developed in the lining? Is the leather parched or damaged? Are all the hooks, loops and eyelets in perfect condition and are the laces in good shape? After checking all the vital aspects that contribute to wearing comfort, it is time to take the next step of thor­oughly examining the soles.

  2. Step 2: Checking the soles
    A hiking boot’s sole plays a funda­mental role in the foot­wear’s overall safety. The sole’s profile should be intact to ensure a worry-free hiking tour. If the sole is worn out in several areas, then grip is no longer guar­anteed. After several years, hiking boots are usually prone to something that is called “hydrolysis” or simply “brit­tleness”. This is a chemical-physical reaction that makes the soles porous and cracked, a condition that in many cases causes them to fall off completely. Our tip for worn-out soles: Boots from LOWA’s TREKKING and MOUN­TAIN­EERING lines can be resoled. This provides your favourite hiking boots with a new lease of life and enables them to be worn for several more years.


“Every material is subject to typical ageing. For this reason, you should have your footwear inspected by your dealer or LOWA itself after six years, even if you never or infre­quently wore the boots.”

Günter | LOWA Manager Resoling

Image photo with the AEROX GTX LO, 2017_BenjaminPfitscher_ATC-ATS

On the go The right way to lace

Each of us has been taught the trick, and we use it virtually every day of our lives: tying a shoelace. We usually do not have to think twice about it. What can be so special about tying the laces of hiking boots?

One reason is that the right type of support is much more important in your hiking boots than it is in your everyday footwear. Hiking boots must fit well and tightly to ensure that you have the support you need. Tripping on exposed trails can quickly result in a dangerous situation. There is really nothing new about it: You are more likely to trip if you are wearing loose boots!

Of course, you should not tie your boots too tightly either. You certainly do not want to strangle your feet. The key point to remember is: The tongue must be located in the middle. You should also retie your boots 30 minutes to 45 minutes after you start because the exertion of the hike will cause your feet to swell and become wider. And the material and laces loosen somewhat as well.

If your boot should begin to pinch your feet, you should try a different tying technique.

  • notoe-lacing_clipping

    Toe-free lacing
    You can take pressure off the tips of your toes by using a toe-free lacing system.

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    Heel-support lacing
    You can prevent heel slippage and blisters by using the heel-support lacing technique.

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    Window lacing
    You can increase the pressure on the upper foot area by using the window-lacing technique.


“The modern shoelaces used in moun­tain­eering outdoor boots have a water-repellent coating. This treatment prevents the laces from absorbing moisture and trans­porting it into the boot itself. For this reason, though, they are somewhat more slippery – partic­ularly when they are new.”

Arthur | LOWA Manager Service Department

Stefan Glowacz und seine Begleiter, Fotograf Thomas Ulrich und Spitzenkletterer Philipp Hans, stellen die Expedition Coast to Coast unter das Motto „by fair means“. Mit möglichst geringem

On the go Prepared for a dire situation

Nobody wants it to happen. But once you set off in the mountains, you have to be prepared for everything because help is much more difficult to obtain than it is in a city.

If you have to issue a mayday call in the Alps, be prepared to answer the five W’s:

1. Where?

2. What?

3. Who?

4. What number of people?

5. Weather?

The emergency number in Europe is 112. You can use this number in every EU member country to get help. A special number that applies in each indi­vidual country is available for mountain rescue missions:

Austria: 140

Switzerland: 1414