Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $220 - $250 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros: Comfortable collar, good muddy traction, seamless Gore-Tex liner
Cons: Laces coming loose, lots of upper seams
Best Uses: Backpacking with moderate loads, fastpacking rough terrain
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is a fine hiking boot, and won the Editors' Choice award in The Best Hiking Boots for Women Review. The boys enjoyed hiking in them as well, finding them comfortable from the first step. The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is as snug and form fitting as lightweights like the award winning Keen Targhee II Mid, but has more foot and ankle support. The Monowrap Frame midsole is an effective weight saving design, and our feet still felt good many miles in.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid earned an overall score similar to our award winners. It's very comfortable and an all-around good boot. Lighter than most other midweights, it's nimble and comfortable when day hiking, and just beefy enough for carrying loads backpacking.
This boot is comfortable and form fitting out of the box. The felt and foam insole feels nice under foot, and the tailored leather upper is more form fitting on the foot than other midweight hikers we tested. The forefoot of the Renegade has a substantial rocker, or upward curve, which is noticeable during the push-off bit of each step.
The ankle collar is both supportive and comfortable during foot flexion. Four lower eyelets, one middle lock, and two upper hook eyelets comprise the lacing system. We quite like this boot, but the lacing system disappointed us. The middle locking eyelet is small and hard to get at, and doesn't lock tight on the factory laces. Additionally, the laces popped right out of the top hook eyelets more than once when hiking steeply uphill. After comparing the Renegade's eyelets and laces to other boots, we found that replacing the supplied laces with a slightly larger and stiffer lace worked much better. We preferred the ease of use and function of the lacing systems on the Salomon Quest 4D GTX and the Asolo Power Matic 200.
This boot has a reputation for comfort, and with both wide and narrow sizes available, most should find a well fitting pair.
This hiking boot has one of the shorter ankle collar heights of the midweight hikers we tested, but provides reasonable ankle support. The leather is more continuous around the ankle on this boot compared to the Vasque St. Elias GTX. Add the unique frame-like midsole, and there's good lateral support.
The polyurethane Monowrap Frame midsole design reduces weight, and combined with the full length nylon shank, creates good torsional stability. The Renegade is a few ounces lighter than the Quest 4D and St. Elias, but these slightly heavier models support the ankle and forefoot better.
Overall, this hiking boot handles rough and smooth, wet and dry trails well. The aggressively rockered front sole stuck to rock slabs well, and it was great in the mud and gravel. Things got a bit slippery though on wet granite slabs.
This product is nearly the lightest of the midweight hikers. It might fit a niche in between; more stable, water resistant, and durable than lightweights, but not as durable or stable as heavier midweights.
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid has one of the lowest flood heights of the midweight hikers, but perhaps the best Gore-Tex liner. Lowa has patented the durable, comfortable seamless design. Our feet always stayed dry in these boots.
Several pieces of leather are used on each side of the Lowa Renegade to create a form fitting upper, making for lots of seams. Four pieces of leather make up the forefoot flex point, and these three seams will wear in rough terrain. More than others, the Renegade's longevity will benefit from both Seam Grip and a leather treatment. The Vibram Evo soles showed no signs of wear after 100 miles.
Backpacking trips with moderate loads
At $225, we feel similarly priced midweights like the Vasque St. Elias and Salomon Quest 4D deliver more value. However, a lot of hikers really like the fit of the Lowa Renegade, so if it's a perfect fit for you, it's definitely worth the investment.
This is a very popular boot with a dedicated following. Some folks really like the combination of torsional stability, a minimal ankle collar for a midweight, and aggressive rocker. It's very comfortable from day one, and nimble on the feet for backpacking trips.
This model is available in several color combinations, as well as a leather lined version. The low cut Renegade II GTX Lo is a top notch burly hiking shoe.
— Brandon Lampley
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 12, 2014
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