Lowa makes some great boots. The Vertex GTX is not among them. Sure, they've got the cool exo-skeleton that feeds my Robocop fantasy, and they do provide great support for moderate to heavy loads and a comfortable fit right out of the box.
However the boot has two fatal flaws. First, those plastic supports on the outside of the boot squeak like little crack-addicted mice. Not the calming, communing with nature vibe you were looking for, unless you really like mice. And crack.
The second flaw is even more severe: these boots are not waterproof. Not even close, really. I thought perhaps our tester had gotten over-zealous and gone wading off the deep end, but a quick review of other reviews - oh yeah, we cheat where we can - showed the same problem being reported.
So if you're deaf and will only hike in the desert, carrying heavy loads, these are what you want. Everyone else, look away.