Lowa Renegade GTX Mid - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Color options, PU monowrap frame construction, narrow and wide fit options, seamless Gore-Tex lining
Cons: No arch support, expensive, bulky, heavy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
For a well-made, durable hiking boot that will last a lifetime, look no further than the Lowa Renegade. Not only do they protect your feet from water, dirt, and mud, they also provide unmatched support and stability making them the winner of the Top Pick for Durability this season.
Lowa offers the Renegade GTX Mid in a whopping 15 different color combinations. While the version with the neon laces that we reviewed isn't available any longer, with so many options, there's a palette to please everyone. One current option is the blue shown in the photo above. No technical aspects of the boot have changed.November 2018
Comfort and fit are the two most important aspects of a hiking boot and what makes a boot comfortable can vary from person to person. The Lowa Renegade received lower scores in terms of comfort because of the stiffness of the sole, which, for some, is actually a positive.
Moving from the sole to the upper, the Renegade has one of the best lacing systems we encountered among all the boots we tested. The Durby Cut lacing system and gusseted tongue provide maximum adjustability for both the foot and ankle. The tongue also provides padding and gussets keep debris out. Overall, the Renegade was roomy and seemed to cater to a wide range of foot sizes. The boots are comfortable but focus more on stability and durability than maximum comfort in their design.
The stiffness of the sole comes from the full-length nylon shanks that run along the base of the boot, offering lots of support underfoot. This, along with the external polyurethane Monowrap technology makes the Renegade a top shoe for support and stability. The Renegade is a fairly stiff boot, with the stabilizing shank and Monowrap. For some, the stiffness is helpful in providing support, while others might want a bit more flexibility in a boot. The Renegade offers plenty of ankle support as well, as the shaft height is 140 mm, making these boots one of the tallest regarding ankle height.
In the fleet of boots chosen this season for testing, we trended toward lighter hiking boots. Because of this shift, the Lowa Renegades was on the heavy end of the spectrum, weighing in at 2 lbs 3 oz. By no means does this make them a heavy boot, but in comparison to some of the lighter boots we tested, the extra weight was noticeable.
Some sacrifices had to be made in the Renegade's construction to make them as durable and supportive as they are, and weight was where we noticed it the most.
Each boot was put to the test on the granite slabs of Tuolumne Meadows, where we measured traction and stability on slick, steep rocky terrain. We found some boots to slip on glacier polish and some to feel insecure in the boulder fields, but the Vibram soles of the Lowa Renegade held up to the test. Across the board, the boots with Vibram rubber seemed to stand up well to scrambling on rocks and talus hopping.
This is a category where the Lowa Renegade shines. The ankle height and gusseted tongue keep water from sneaking in and also keep socks dry in creek crossings. The upper is uniform, with very few seams, and made entirely of Nubuck leather with a waterproof coating. This provides an incredible barrier that covers the whole foot. Inside, the boots are equipped with Gore-Tex liners that provide yet another defense to moisture.
We imagined that this full-leather boot wouldn't breathe well. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the Gore-Tex liner does a pretty good job at wicking away moisture to keep our feet dry. Though not the top performer in this metric, the Renegade definitely keeps feet dry in wet conditions.
In days past, a pair of all leather hiking boots was meant to last for years. In recent years, it seems that boots are designed to last only one or two seasons before mesh gives out, laces break, or soles delaminate. The Lowa Renegade, though, was noticeably tougher from day one. The manufacturer claims that these boots are meant to last 5-7 years. Our testing period isn't nearly that long, but the robust design did impress us. They have no mesh in their construction, which usually is the first material to give out. The all-leather upper sheds water, dirt, and mud incredibly well, leaving the boots looking fresh even after months of use. These are by far the most durable boots in our test, and for that, they earned the Top Pick in Durability. Boots with a combination of mesh and leather uppers generally do not do as well as all-leather boots like the Renegade in the durability metric.
The Renegade rings in as one of the most expensive boots we tested. That being said, they offer superior comfort, support, and intelligent design. It is true that you get what you pay for when it comes to this hiking boot. These boots will last years and purchasing them is a reasonable investment if you want to have a boot to hike and backpack in year-round.
Year after year, the Lowa Renegade is one of the top boots in our fleet. This is year was no different, as we were still impressed by their durability, comfort, and thoughtful design. The boots are entirely Nubuck leather that is coated with a waterproofing layer; this makes them very water-resistant and durable. The boots also come in a variety of widths, sizes, colors, and styles, which makes them easy to customize to your foot. A modern adaptation of the classic, long-lasting leather hiking boot, the Lowa Renegade is an investment in your hiking future.
— Jane Jackson