Durability means sustainability

Material testing in LOWA’s own lab

22.06.2021 | The tables are packed with rattling equipment. The air is filled with sounds of sanding, the humming of the cold chamber and the occasional beep emitted when a test object fails to measure up. LOWA’s lab in Jetzendorf, Germany, is a key aspect of the shoemaker’s commitment to high-quality products.

From the very beginning, the company has never cut any corners in terms of quality. Only the very best materials are used in LOWA footwear. The company continuously tests all materials it uses in its own lab to ensure that things remain this way.

The work ranges from individual materials, laces and fabrics to the complete shoe itself. In the past, much of the material testing was done by external labs. But that changed at the beginning of 2020, when the new lab went into operation.

120 square metres, 38 test instruments

The 120-square-metre lab is home to 38 instruments that facilitate the performance of a significantly higher number of tests with the help of various tools. The only LOWA jobs now done externally involve chemical analysis and the testing of ankle protection and impact resistance.

LOWA bases its business on one principle: The longer a product lasts, the more environmentally conscious it is. The high quality of the individual materials used in the company’s footwear plays a major role. The new lab ensures that the company can offer the quality it desires. LOWA also plans to set up labs at its branches in Italy and Slovakia to ensure quality throughout the entire product chain. As a result of this change, the locations will be able to quickly and efficiently remove low-quality shipments from the production process.

Here’s is one example of the tests performed by the lab: The shoelace tear test. Every mountaineer knows that a torn shoelace can spoil any hiking adventure. LOWA puts all its shoelaces through their paces to ensure that such a problem does not happen so quickly.

It is hard to say just how long a shoelace will last under normal conditions because so many factors like intensity of use come into play.