Visiting the traditional shoe manufacturer Lowa (2023)

Visiting the traditional shoe manufacturer Lowa (1)

Blog/mountain friends

Visiting the traditional shoe manufacturer Lowa (2)

Mountain friend Simon

  • 29. May 2015
  • 7 min

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For some time we have been driving through the blooming rape fields of Upper Bavaria, long avenues connect picturesque villages with each other. We are on our way to the tranquilJetzendorfin the district of Pfaffenhofen. To the traditionalShoe manufacturer Lowa, which is based here in this idyllic landscape.

Two Bergfreunde employees and a group of winners from a competition were allowed to look around at Lowa for a day. They were allowed to visit the production facilities and were very impressed. Mountain friend Simon reports here about their trip.

Shortly after the local maypole we make two more turns and are then directly in front of the main gate to the imposing headquarters of the Lowa company. In total250 employeesare here with the development and production of high qualityMountain, hiking and leisure shoesbusy. At first glance, it is somewhat surprising that such a renowned manufacturer with so many employees has settled in a small village with less than 3000 inhabitants. But if you take a closer look at the history of this company, then it is no longer surprising. Because in the year1923right in this placeLorenzOfgner Lowa was founded and the company has developed rapidly since then.

From Upper Bavaria out into the world

From the early years after the company was founded after taking over the parent's business to the present day, Lowa has grown steadily and the product range has also been constantly developed. The small manufactory has grown into a medium-sized company that has not been deterred by setbacks and places great value on tradition and craftsmanship. For this very reason, the headquarters are still in tranquil Jetzendorf and will remain so in the future.

We park our car and are surprised by the large and modern halls, which we didn't expect. In the showroom we meet the colorful group of Bergfreunde winners. Thomas, who works in retail marketing here, gives us an insight into the world of Lowa. Normally this is the room where the new collections are presented and discussed, retailers flock here to see the latest developments, and members of the pro team also drop by regularly to give their constructive feedback on the shoes they wear. The namesGerlinde KaltenbrunnerorInes Papertstand for themselves in this context! The experience and ideas of these athletes flow directly into the development of new models and thus help to constantly improve them, which ultimately benefits all Lowa shoes.

History lesson about LOWA

In addition to the hard facts about the company, we are particularly amazed at how much value the employees here attach to high-quality raw materials and a European origin of the raw materials. The leather comes either from northern Italy or from the beautifulNorth Rhine-Westphalia. The shoelaces are made nearby, even the shoe box is made in the vicinity of the local church tower. It's nice to hear that a globally active and well-known company like Lowa doesn't chase every euro cent in times of globalization, but rather relies entirely on partnership and long-term cooperation with its suppliers.

Craftsmanship from master hands

After this brief introduction, we split into two smaller groups to take a look at the actual production. One group is informed by Thomas in Standard German about the individual steps during the tour. In my group, the Bavarian dialect predominates, which immediately reminds me of the connection between the employees and the Jetzendorf site.

We start and pass the customer service offices, which take care of all questions relating to complaints and resoling. All shoes that are sent in by customers directly or via one of the specialist retailers also end up here. The employees evaluate iteach shoe individuallyand check what is happening to it and whether repair/resoling is possible. Complaints are also taken into account here. If, for example, a Gore-Tex shoe is leaking, this can be checked 100% here with the help of a so-called centrifuge.

Professional resoling and repairs also take place here in a large cobbler's shop. If this is possible, bring the shoes into shape. Which is easily possible with a well cared for shoe even after years of use. Again and again there are boots ready for the overhaul on the shelves that were produced several years ago and are still here to get a new sole. Each shoe also gets new laces and a new insole. so that you can quickly go on tour again with your broken-in shoes.

What is special about the production in Jetzendorf?

It continues to the warehouse for the raw materials. Here, for example, the employees store the shafts that are produced in one of the production sites inItalyor theSlovakiapre-produced and finally completed here to create a high-quality mountain boot. The camp forRaw leaderand textile raw materials such asMeshorThe kevlar phaseat. A wide variety of soles are also stored here. Countless boxes carry itVibramlettering.

We go further into the laboratory, which is used for quality assurance. There, material samples are checked for their durability and abrasion resistance, for example. The machines sometimes run for weeks, simulating the life cycle of a shoe.

Next door, the sample shoes inHandworksewn together. Heavy sewing machines are whirring, eyelets are being pressed in by hand and the smell of leather and glue is in the air. What is made into a shoe by hand here can usually only be admired by the customer in one to two years. It takes a long time before a shoe meets the high demands of developers and customers. This gives us an exclusive look at the shoes, which customers will only see in the shop in one of the next few seasons. When we all see the workshop, it is immediately clear to us how muchHeart and soulgoes into the development of a reliable shoe.

(Video) A Look at how Lowa Boots are Made

It is not possible without competence and experience

But not only in development is a lot done by hand, no, also in actual production. Countless people buzz around here between the modern machines. And this is exactly where the real capital of the Lowa company lies. Thequalified employeeswho have many years of experience in production. They are thus able to produce a perfect mountain boot. After all, it is not enough to develop a great shoe on the drawing board, the shoe must also be able to be mass-produced with consistently high quality.

And that can only be achieved if many factors come together. On the one hand, the most modern machines are used. In addition, shoe lasts are used that extend overhave proven themselves for years and decades, and whose perfect fit is constantly being worked on. And last but not least, the employees who make the finished shoe from all these - up to 185 - individual parts. Soles are glued, the protective edge is attached, the laces are pulled in by hand - all things that a machine could never do in this quality. This is the only way to ensure that the customers are satisfied and that you make around 1000 pairs of higher quality products a dayMountain and trekking shoescan produce.

Quality made in Germany

Up to400,000 pairs of shoesleave so annually„Made in Germany“the halls in Jetzendorf, a total of all plants together throughout the yeartwo million pairs of shoesmanufactured. And these are always manufactured with the same high quality standards at all production sites, because there, too, the shoemaking trade has always had a long tradition, from which Lowa benefits. After all, good staff is hard to come by, and in shoemaking strongholds like ItalyJavera del MontelloNobody needs to worry about quality, it has simply always been there.

A clear commitment to quality and sustainability

We leave the factory, visibly impressed by the highly complex production process. There are so many people buzzing around, we were expecting more of a clinical factory, but the opposite is the case. If you didn't believe it before, here you can see it with your own eyes: there is more to a reliable hiking shoe than an appealing look - it still isHandicraft and shoemakingin addition. And that in the midst of the rural idyll of Upper Bavaria, where you would not have expected that behind the village wooden fence and the blue-and-white maypole, a world-renowned company produces shoes that have had almost every corner of the world under their soles.

Impressed by this concentrated shoe competence, we first have to let the impressions sink in. I don't think any of us would have thought what the boys and girls from Lowa have to do to ensure that we can be out and about in comfortable and reliable shoes. But they have been proving that they have mastered this from the “effeff” for a long time, more precisely since 1923, the year when everything began with Lorenz Wagner.

To round off the successful day, we break into the nearby one shortly afterwardsforest climbing gardenon. There, after a short briefing, we go to the course and try a wide variety of routes. So at the end we do exactly what brought us all here to Jetzendorf and connects us: We all love to go outside in nature and let the fresh air blow in our faces.

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  1. Hi Jörn,
    Thanks for your tip, I'll call customer service one day and get advice. THANKS ,
    May you always be well protected, wherever you are.... let's take to the streets for the preservation of mother earth, ... save the climate! I will fly the flag with friends in Bonn on Saturday …. namaste...
    Friends of Mother Earth get up it's 5 minutes past 12......peace on earth..... hey hey Bernd


  2. Hello everyone near and far,
    who can recommend me a hiking shoe made in Germany or Europe.
    I would like to get an all-round talent, I don't travel that much anymore... I still run in the Allgäu from time to time. The Harz and the Eifel …. and a lot in sweden are my running areas…. but it should be a Lowa again… or equivalent. Thank you for your assistance !!!
    May you always be well protected ... with kind regards ... Bernd fischer


  3. Where are LOWA shoes produced? 6 letter word E——


  4. Hello Simon,

    you have described the day at Lowa's incredibly well. It was really a great experience!
    Thank you for your invitation!




    (Video) A sneak peek at how LOWA repairs and reconditions a backpacking boot

  5. Hi Bernd,

    LOWA manufactures exclusively in Europe (

    If it should be a Lowa again, it might be the Renegade ( a good variant. Why don't you ring through to our colleagues in customer service? They are available Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 07121/70 12 0 and can give you the best advice.

    Best regards,



  6. Moin Robert!

    thanks for that! Yes, it was really cool to take a look behind the scenes!

    LG Simon


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Why is LOWA so expensive? ›

High quality materials

Lowas also feature TPU midsoles. TPU is more durable and more expensive than the softer EVA foam that most brands use— and not as hard on the environment. That results in better durability and build quality than many brands.

Is LOWA made in China? ›

LOWAs are sourced from European-made materials and handcrafted in Germany, Italy, and Slovakia.

Where is LOWA manufactured? ›

To LOWA, the production operation in Germany embodies the link between a decades-long company tradition and values like a commitment to quality, exceptional service, the joy of innovation and continuous modernisation.

Is LOWA a German brand? ›

LOWA's History... LOrenz WAgner founded LOWA in the Bavarian village of Jetzendorf near Munich, Germany in the 1920's with the production of brogue oxford shoes.

Are things cheaper in Iowa? ›

1. You can find low cost of living throughout the state. Iowa has a relatively low cost of living compared to other states in the United States. One of the main reasons for Iowa's low cost of living is the state's abundance of affordable housing options.

What is the difference between Keen and Lowa boots? ›

Keen's boots usually feature a non-slip rubber sole and a unique tread pattern that grips the ground firmly. Lowa, on the other hand, uses a Vibram sole that provides excellent traction even on rugged terrain. Support is another important factor to consider when choosing outdoor footwear.


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