• For 100 years, LOWA footwear has been acclaimed as the finest outdoor boots in the world by climbers, mountaineers, hikers, the media and certified quality testers. Our attention to every detail in design and European manufacturing has earned our reputation for building the world's most comfortable and durable boots since 1923.

  • "I, the oldest son in our family, inherited our parents’ estate, which consisted of both some farm land and a cobbler shop.It was understandable that my aim was to create a company from the cramped little shoemaking shop, as foolhardy as this plan may have seemed to many in the area."

    - Lorenz Wagner

  • But don’t be mistaken: This is not some fairy tale. It is a true story.

    Lorenz, Hans and Adolf Wagner lived in the Bavarian community of Jetzendorf on the river Ilm more than 100 years ago. Their father taught the cobbler trade to them, and the three went on to make Alpine boot history as the founders of the brands LOWA, Hanwag and Hochland.


    Prelude with music

    Johann, the father of the three Wagner brothers, was both a cobbler and musician He played in the first Jetzendorf band started by his brother Josef Wagner in 1850. Johann’s sons, Lorenz, Hans and Adolf, were also musical and joined the band as well. The Wagner band performed many different types of music – from lively Alpine folk music to solemn church music. Lorenz Wagner assumed leadership of the band after his uncle and cousin.




    Good and bad fortune were walking hand in hand when the former apprentice Josef Lederer, nicknamed Sepp, returned to LOWA. The company had run into economic problems, and Lorenz Wagner, the head of the company and its founder, had died. At the same time, Sepp fell in love with Berta Wagner and married her. Together with Berta’s brother, Josef Wagner, the new generation managed to save the company and turn it into an internationally known and successful brand.



    Tecnica buys LOWA

    The years of 1992/1993 marked the dawn of a new era at LOWA. Josef Lederer sold the company to Tecnica of Italy, and Werner Riethmann became the company’s new managing director and shareholder.



    Anyone who is outdoors and travelling around the world is continuously confronted with constantly changing conditions and demands. Trekking, mountain and outdoor footwear is thus more than just a nice companion. Appropriate footwear is in first order a guarantee of optimum comfort and adds that certain extra measure of safety.

  • Absolute precision in development and construction as well as the use of high-quality materials are for us not only a requirement, but also a decisive factor. As too is a high degree of surefootedness, reliability and the best-possible performance.

  • On any terrain and in any weather. For this reason, LOWA makes a variety of models that are specifically designed for the particular demands of each use – be that a long walk in the park or a masterly feat in extreme conditions.

    We aren't satisfied with second best. For that reason we offer our customers only the highest quality, from materials to finished footwear. The guiding values for the high-quality of our products are the high expectations we place on ourselves and our service.

  • The diligence of our talented employees and their never-wavering standards to construct the perfect footwear accompanies every phase of product development. Our service regarding every aspect of the footwear takes into account this standard.

LOWA celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2023. Let’s look back at the many decisive phases and the history of the outdoor shoe specialist.
  • 1923


    Lorenz Wagner sets up his own shoe shop in 1923. He purchases an initial set of equipment and expands the business. More and more employees produce the company’s Bavarian Haferl shoes and mountaineering and ski footwear.

  • 1930


    The company begins to run out of space, and its first small factory building is erected. Josef Lederer, the man who would later become the son-in-law and successor at the company, joins the shoe factory as an apprentice in February of this year.

  • 1933


    The National Socialists come to power. In the same year, Lorenz Wagner becomes the First Mayor of Jetzendorf and employs 17 people in his “Ilmtaler Sportschuhfabrik”.

  • 1936


    The factory grows, and its machines are powered by a 13-horsepower electric motor. Made of leather, the ski boots of the first generation are named after individual mountains.

  • 1937


    The company runs into commercial difficulties, and Lorenz Wagner resigns from his position as mayor for this reason. He is reappointed mayor of Jetzendorf five years later and remains in the position until 1945.

  • 1939


    Following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the factory produces footwear used by mountain infantry soldiers. The shoe and leather industry throughout Germany was placed under central control in 1934 and quotas were set as part of this change. Shoemakers like Lorenz Wagner (and his brothers) enjoy a special status in National Socialist economic policies, which focused on self-sufficiency and equipment, because they produce the needed work shoes and boots.

  • 1944


    Up to 30 French prisoners of war from the Moosburg main camp work at Lorenz Wagner’s shoe factory during the war. They reside in the postal hall of Jetzendorf. The relationship between the forced workers and their employer is apparently good: Following Germany’s capitulation in 1945, the French say complementary things to the Americans about the Jetzendorf company.

  • 1948


    Operations and the product range are expanded during the postwar years. The shoe factory is given a new name during this period as well: LO(renz) WA(gner).

  • 1952


    LOWA experiences a crisis. The Korean conflict causes the availability and prices of leather to swing sharply, and the company miscalculates. The former apprentice Josef Lederer, who was managing director by this time, and Lorenz’s daughter Berta, the head of sales, rescue the company. Josef and Berta marry on 5 July.

  • 1953


    LOWA KG is established on 13 February 1957. Josef Lederer and his brother-in-law Josef Wagner become personally liable partners. Berti Lederer acts as limited partner. The new marketing strategy: LOWA focuses on collaboration with experienced mountain climbers and provides the equipment used during expeditions to the world’s highest mountains during the following years.

  • 1962


    The “mountaineering and ski boots with a kick” are a hit, and LOWA continues to grow. At this point, the company employs 95 people and generates turnover of about DM 2.5 million.

  • 1970


    Josef Lederer boldly invests in the future of LOWA. After acquiring a vulcanising system in the 1960s, he purchases a polyurethane injection moulding machine for ski boots. In doing so, he becomes an industry pacesetter. LOWA TOTAL is introduced to the market.

  • 1972


    The development team at LOWA then pulls off its next big success. With the help of an inflatable air cushion, the inner-boot of a ski boot can be adjusted to exactly fit the wearer’s foot. The new boot is christened LOWA AIR and remains a top seller for years.

  • 1977


    LOWA expands sales beyond Germany. On 25 October 1977, Fritz Müller of Interlaken signs an agreement that remains in effect today LOWA Switzerland continues to be a subsidiary.

  • 1982


    The year of 1982 marks a mountaineering-boot milestone.

  • 1983


    LOWA employs more than 100 people in Altmühlmünster, Altmannstein, Pirmasens and Jetzendorf. Twenty percent of the company’s shoes are exported.

  • 1988


    The next change of generations at LOWA appears on the horizon. After Josef Wagner leaves HANWAG in 1979, Josef Lederer resigns from his position at LOWA and passes the reins of leadership to his son Stefan Lederer. Stefan Lederer then develops the area of trekking shoes and lightweight hiking boots.

  • 1992


    LOWA faces major business difficulties. Werner Riethmann becomes managing director.The Lederer family decides to sell its stake.

  • 1993


    The Italian company Tecnica acquires LOWA. It is a group whose other brands include Nordica, Rollerblade, Blizzard and Moon Boot. Processes at LOWA are optimised, and the ski-boot business is transferred to Italy. Jetzendorf remains the location for LOWA mountaineering boots and trekking shoes.

  • 1997


    Werner Riethmann and his development team achieve a breakthrough with the RENEGADE model. The shoe becomes a best-seller. The RENEGADE remains a sales hit and classic still today.

  • 2000


    LOWA sells 1 million pairs of shoes for the first time. The company grows and builds new production buildings. The 15-square-metre shop in which Lorenz Wagner got his start evolves into a modern plant with 7,000 square metres of space.

  • 2003


    LOWA and Schöffel Sportbekleidung GmbH open the first Schöffel-LOWA store in Frankfurt. The joint venture exploits synergies, and the products made by the two companies perfectly complement one another. More than 36 other stores are opened in Germany, Austria and Italy over the years.

  • 2010


    LOWA reaches its next milestone. Two million pairs of shoes! LOWA markets its products in many countries around the world – in addition to Europe, in the United States, China and Australia.

  • 2015


    “Made in Europe”: LOWA produces its shoes across Europe with production partners in Slovakia, Bosnia, Italy and Croatia.

  • 2019


    Alexander Nicolai becomes managing director and leads LOWA along with Werner Riethmann. In this same year, LOWA acquires its long-time production partner Riko Sport. The development location in Italy becomes known as LOWA R&D and the production operation in Slovakia as LOWA Production. More than 2,000 people now work at LOWA.

  • 2023

    LOWA celebrates its 100th birthday in 2023 – and produces over 3 million pairs of shoes. The brand is one of the most important producers of high-quality outdoor shoes worldwide and exports its products to 80 countries.