If you’ve done any hiking, and more importantly, gone shopping for high quality hiking boots, you have surely heard of Lowa Boots. Lowa has been manufacturing boots for 100 years and is well known in the industry as a leader for some of the very best options on the market.
A few months ago, Lowa launched their ATR (all terrain running) line of trail running shoes, featuring 3 models. Today we are looking at the Citux, which is their lightest option, at just under 9 ounces. The Citux is designed for racing, and noted for those who strike mid to forefoot. Interestingly, they only come in one colorway, which is Lime/Flame (which is cool by the way).
Featuring a carbon-reinforced rebound plate to return energy with every step, along with a 4mm drop, the Citux are not only light, but they are also designed to be as fast as you can take them. Naturally, there’s a good way to test this, if you know what I mean.
Out of the box, the Citux looks like a solid trail shoe, with its “seamless REPTEX sport (ripstop synthetic, laminated with PU coating)” upper, 4mm drop, and “LOWA TRAC Speed” outsole. That’s a lot of shoe brand jargon that simply means they look cool and are ready for off-road use. Additionally, the light weight is definitely noticeable, and the lugs look ready for rocks and mud for days.
Lacing the Citux up the first time felt good. The upper is snug in the toe box, but the tongue is nicely padded and the insoles are very comfortable. I expected these to feel more like race flats with minimal cushion – given their stack height – but these have more of a long-haul feel to them.
My first run was a bit over 10 miles of mostly trail, with some good climbing. The grab on roots and rocks was what we all hope for, with no slipping, even on loose dirt. On the rolling trails, the Citux showed off its carbon-reinforced rebound plate, which is designed to return energy with every step.
The downs were a little different story, as the narrow toe box became very obvious after I began descending, and the ankle support all but disappeared, making the shoe feel a bit sloppy at the corners. After a brief pit stop I was able to lock in the heels better by using both upper lace holes. This fixed the sloppiness but the toe box was still a thing. By the time I got home my little toes were a little angry.
Before heading out on another run I loosened the laces closest to the toes but made sure the upper 3 rows were tight enough to hold my ankles. This helped and kept me moving well. The same grip on the rocks and roots was there on this run, as well as my next 3 runs. The synthetic fabric of the upper is not really designed to stretch or break-in much, but by my fifth run the Citux had loosened up enough to let me rip the downhills as much as the flats and ups.
Overall, the Citux is a worthy trail shoe for a few reasons. They are light compared to similar options, they have a comfortable insole and cushion while being modest on their stack height, and while the tread is similar to a lot of trail shoes on the market right now, Lowa brings a fresh outsole compound to the party that isn’t one of the regulars. The grip with the Citux is notable on any terrain, including wet rock, loose scree, sand, and mud.
For a company that has been around for 100 years making high quality hiking boots, Lowa is definitely making a strong entrance into the trail running shoe game. I am definitely looking forward to what they do next.