How are chil­dren’s shoes developed by LOWA?

When children play and romp about outdoors, the emphasis is firmly on having fun. Parents’ main priority is knowing that their children are equipped as well as possible, espe­cially when it comes to shoes. In collab­oration with Director of Paediatric and Adolescent Surgery at Klinikum Ingolstadt, Dr. Micha Bahr, and his family, LOWA has developed a model that combines all requirements – the LEDRO GTX MID JUNIOR and the LEDRO GTX LO JUNIOR.

Start of the part­nership

This joint project came about following a hiking trip undertaken by the Bahr family. “Over the years we have tried out a great many chil­dren’s shoes, but we were never 100 percent convinced by any of them”, the paedi­at­rician relates. “During family hiking trips we tested and monitored our hiking boots and then drafted a statement of requirements.”

This was the origin of the idea of developing a chil­dren’s shoe that appealed to both children and parents, and it resulted in Dr. Bahr contacting LOWA.

These requirements were exacting:

  • the upper needed to be high enough to ensure ankle protection and at the same time feature a robust sole to minimise the risk of sprains, which are one of the most frequent causes of injury to children when hiking.
  • Furthermore, the shoe needed to ensure flexible heel-to-toe rolling motion and provide soft cush­ioning, in order not to influence growth of the foot.

On this basis Dr. Bahr commenced devel­opment work with LOWA. The objective was always clearly defined: a chil­dren’s shoe that aids the natural growth of a child’s foot from a medical perspective and commu­nicates to children that exercise is fun.

Image photo with the LEDRO GTX® MID JUNIOR, Kids Testing

“You shouldn’t forget design either. Children do not prioritise function. If the shoe is brightly coloured or features a particular detail like a star or a pattern, that’s what many kids really like, no matter how well it fits.”

Dr. Micha Bahr

  • Image photo with the ARCO GTX® MID JUNIOR, Kids Testing


LOWA initially developed the new LEDRO GTX MID JUNIOR model based on the insights provided by the Bahr family. No sooner was the prototype ready than Bahr and his family were itching to test it out. “We were really delighted and pounced on the shoebox straightaway.” The shoes were then put through their paces by several children at a joint testing event together with the LOWA product devel­opment department.

An interest in exercise and being outdoors were right at the top of the to-do list. The test object itself cut quite a dash. Bahr’s conclusion was: “Testing went really well in every respect. The kids had fun. There was no pinching or pressure sores; the shoes simply fitted well.” Dr. Micha Bahr also has another important tip: “Children should enjoy exer­cising. They should be keen on going outdoors. Unfor­tu­nately, there are more and more children with an unsteady gait. That’s why I regard it as important that they wear good shoes. They should enjoy walking.”

Following the MID CUT model’s success story, Dr. Bahr and the LOWA product devel­opment team turned their attention to developing a low-cut shoe – and were successful. This new model will also be launched on the market in 2020.

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  • Image photo with the ARCO GTX® MID JUNIOR, Kids Testing