Leather or Synthetic 

For thousands of years, man has used this natural product for the most varied of purposes. Leather is by far the most important component in the production of footwear. Its unique combination of properties gives it at an advantage over all other materials. For years, the industry has experimented with a range of new materials but it is yet to come anywhere near to finding a worthy replacement.

To put it plainly, leather is "animal hide, which is preserved through the tanning process". The leather that LOWA uses for its footwear all comes from European cattle and is naturally free of PCP (Pentachlorophenol) and free of AZO colorings. Whether it is supple edging leather, soft lining leather or tough uppers leather - it is all made from the same base material.

Split Leather 

This leather can be either the reverse side of hide or split. Splits, like reverses, hold up very well to abrasion because of their rough texture. They are sometimes used for heel and toe bumpers. Split leather can be oiled or waxed or left plain, depending on the desired look. Ideal in alpine boots subject to nicks and scratches on rocks etc.

Full Grain Leather 

This is the outer "skin" of the hide. Its thickness makes it very durable, and it can be smooth or textured.


Nubuk Leather

This is full grain leather that has been lightly sanded for a softer finish. It gives it a suede-like look. Nubuk can be oiled, waxed or left plain, depending on the desired look.


Cordura® (generally used in conjunction with leather) 
Cordura® or a similar coarse weave textile is used generally with split leathers. The textiles are nylon or a nylon/polyester combination. Mostly used in conjunction with leather of various types.
They are lightweight, abrasion resistant and have an excellent flex.

3D Mesh 

A lightweight nylon material which is extremely breathable and provides excellent climate comfort, particularly in high temperatures. Generally used in conjunction with leather.

Back to blog
1 of 3