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Lowa Renegade GTX Mid - Women's Review

The all-leather construction provides burly protection and support for a modern approach to the traditional leather boot
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid - Women's
Photo: Lowa
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $240 List | Check Price at REI
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Pros:  Color options, PU monowrap frame construction, narrow and wide fit options, seamless Gore-Tex lining, longevity
Cons:  No arch support, expensive, bulky, heavy
Manufacturer:   Lowa
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 30, 2021
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Support - 25% 9
  • Weight - 10% 3
  • Traction - 15% 8
  • Water Resistance - 15% 9
  • Durability - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is a classic favorite among our review team. These mid-weight hiking boots are Lowa's most popular style for women and have long been highly regarded by our testing squad. These full-leather boots are handcrafted in Slovakia and are held to a very high standard during their production. This is obvious when they hit the trails, as the Renegade's Monowrap technology keeps the foot stable and protected while keeping a very sleek profile. We found these boots to do well on the rugged trails of the Sierra, offering stability and comfort as well as unmatched durability and water resistance. They will last for years, but they are also an investment. Know that if you buy these boots, you are investing in both craftsmanship and durability.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Color options, PU monowrap frame construction, narrow and wide fit options, seamless Gore-Tex lining, longevityComfortable, waterproof, breathable, durable, relatively lightweightComfortable, durable, very cushioned, stable, supportive, lightweightDurable, stable, lots of ankle protection and supportComfortable, lightweight, durable, inexpensive
Cons No arch support, expensive, bulky, heavyBulky lacesExpensive, take some time to break in, can be warm on hot daysHeavy, expensive, bulkyLacks support of larger, heavier boots
Bottom Line Classic for a reason; an all-leather construction, strong support, waterproof, and sturdy designThis boot is comfortable and supportive with a reasonable price tag and a lightweight designDesigned for long-distance hikes with heavy loads, this model is designed to maximize support and comfortThis boot provides tons of ankle support and stiffness underfootThe best iteration of this model yet, this boot combines the durability and comfort of previous versions with a more agile profile and feel
Rating Categories Renegade GTX Mid X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex Kaha Gore-Tex Quest 4 Gore-Tex Targhee III Mid
Comfort (25%)
8
9
9
7
8
Support (25%)
9
8
10
10
7
Weight (10%)
3
8
6
2
7
Traction (15%)
8
9
6
8
7
Water Resistance (15%)
9
9
8
9
8
Durability (10%)
9
6
8
8
8
Specs Renegade GTX Mid X Ultra 4 Mid... Kaha Gore-Tex Quest 4 Gore-Tex Targhee III Mid
Weight Per Pair (Size 7.5, in lbs) 2.19 lbs 1.62 lbs 1.91 lbs 2.34 lbs 1.80 lbs
Upper Nubuck leather Synthetic, textile, rubber toecap Full-grain leather split suede, textile Oiled nubuck leather
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Water Resistant Membrane Gore-Tex Gore-Tex eVent Gore-Tex KEEN-Dry
Heel height (mm) 1.3 in 1.6 in 2.1 in 1.6 in 1.4 in
Shaft height (mm) 5.5 in 5.1 in 5.5 in 6 in 4.9 in
Midsole DuraPU with MONOWRAP Frame molded OrthoLite sockliner EVA OrthoLite Dual Density EVA
Sole Vibram Evo rubber Contagrip rubber, chevron lugs Vibram MegaGrip Contragrip rubber Rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

For a well-made, durable hiking boot that will last a lifetime, look no further than the Lowa Renegade. With a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane and a great Vibram Evo outsole, not only do they protect your feet from water, dirt, and mud, but the leather uppers are comfortable yet burly.

Performance Comparison


With the support and stability of the Renegade, we had no problem...
With the support and stability of the Renegade, we had no problem with this technical stream crossing!
Photo: Alexa Flower

Comfort


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.

Support


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, due to its stabilizing shank and Monowrap design. For some, the stiffness helps provide 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.

Some may find the burly design of this boot comforting in talus, but...
Some may find the burly design of this boot comforting in talus, but for us, we found it to be a bit clunky.
Photo: Alexa Flower

Weight


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.

Traction


Each boot was put to the test on the granite slabs found around the high Sierra and the East Side, 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 Evo 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.

The use of Vibram rubber makes the Renegade a sticky shoe on granite...
The use of Vibram rubber makes the Renegade a sticky shoe on granite slabs and boulders.
Photo: Alexa Flower

Water Resistance


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.

A boot that is perfect for spring conditions - the Renegade keeps...
A boot that is perfect for spring conditions - the Renegade keeps feet dry and provides enough stability to kick steps in spring snow.
Photo: Alexa Flower

Durability


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 the most durable boots in our test. 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. Leather uppers almost always outlast fully synthetic uppers, too.

One look at those eyelets and you can tell these are a boot built to...
One look at those eyelets and you can tell these are a boot built to last.
Photo: Alexa Flower

Value


The Renegade rings in as one of the most expensive boots we tested. That being said, they offer superior comfort, support, and intelligent design. You indeed 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.

An updated take on the classic hiking boot, the Renegade are a solid...
An updated take on the classic hiking boot, the Renegade are a solid choice for those wanting to stick to the traditional and get a lot of stability out of their next hikers.
Photo: Alexa Flower

Conclusion


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 Renegade is an investment in your hiking future.

Jane Jackson