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Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Review

This boot is a midweight hiker that weighs just under 3 lbs, while its high collar provides excellent stability and water resistance
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $240 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable collar, great support and stability, lightweight for its class
Cons:  Not our favorite lacing system, lots of upper seams, pricey
Manufacturer:   Lowa
By Ross Robinson and Ryan Huetter  ⋅  Apr 21, 2021
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Stability - 20% 8
  • Traction - 15% 7
  • Weight - 15% 5
  • Water Resistance - 15% 9
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is a perfect example of a classic hiking boot. Featuring a tall ankle cuff, solid underfoot stability, and top-notch durability thanks to an all-leather upper, this boot embodies all of the attributes we think of in a tried and true boot. It is heavy, to be sure, and other boots best it in most metrics while also being lighter. But this is a boot that is built to last and that may be worth a slight weight penalty.

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Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
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$229.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
72
82
79
77
70
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable collar, great support and stability, lightweight for its classTop-level hiking boot performance, excels in all metricsBest choice for rock and snow travel, durable, breathes wellAmazing comfort, stable, great tractionGood value, extra toe protection, solid traction, out-of-the-box comfort
Cons Not our favorite lacing system, lots of upper seams, priceyExpensive, not as great for hot and dry climatesWider fit, not the best lace locking system, priceNot as capable in off-trail terrain, rockered sole feels unnatural at firstBelow average stability, not very durable, lacks good breathability
Bottom Line This boot is a midweight hiker that weighs just under 3 lbs, while its high collar provides excellent stability and water resistanceThe gold standard of what a great hiking boot should be, and we heartily recommend it for those seeking the best possible performance on and off the trailFor rocky alpine approaches and moderate snow travel, this model is a lightweight mountain boot disguised as a hiking bootFeels like you are wearing pillows on your feet. With cushy soles and hi-cut protection, they are a great choice for those who value comfort on the trailA solid hiker that features great comfort and toe protection in an inexpensive package
Rating Categories Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Salomon Quest 4 Gor... Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX HOKA ONE ONE Kaha G... Keen Targhee II Mid
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Stability (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Traction (15%)
7.0
8.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (15%)
5.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
Water Resistance (15%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Salomon Quest 4 Gor... Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX HOKA ONE ONE Kaha G... Keen Targhee II Mid
Weight per Pair (Size 11) 2.90 lbs 2.9 lbs 2.65 lbs 2.45 lbs 2.37 lbs
Boot Type Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot Lightweight Hiker/Day Hiker
Width Options Narrow, Regular, and Wide Regular Regular Regular Regular and Wide
Waterproof Lining Waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX Gore-Tex Gore-Tex Gore-Tex KEEN.Dry waterproof breathable membrane
Upper Nubuck leather Leather, nylon 1.8mm Suede Perwanger Leather Waterproof nubuck leather
Last Board/Shank Full length nylon shank 4D Chassis BZ last None Torsion stability ESS shank
Midsole DuraPU Monowrap Frame EnergyCell PU + 3D EVA-MP EVA Dual density compression molded EVA
Sole Vibram Evo Contragrip Vibram Drumlin / Mont Vibram MegaGrip Non-marking rubber outsole
Color Options Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The all-leather look of the Renegade is a timeless classic.
The all-leather look of the Renegade is a timeless classic.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Comfort


This boot is comfortable and form-fitting out of the box. The felt and foam insole feels nice underfoot, 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 central 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 to 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.

Soft and supportive, the Renegade gives us comfort on the trails and...
Soft and supportive, the Renegade gives us comfort on the trails and off.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

This boot has a reputation for comfort, and with wide sizes available, your chances of finding the right fit are good.

The Renegades were one of only a couple of pairs of boots we reviewed to come with an extra set of laces, and the ones supplied here are identical to the ones that come factory laced. This can be especially handy if you prefer to use a two-lace technique when lacing up.

Stability


The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is one of the top-scoring models when it comes to stability. One of the most important aspects of a good hiking boot, we were impressed by the support that we received from this boot. The full-length nylon shank makes this boot feel pretty burly and helps it maintain stability in rough and uneven terrain. This boot is also one of the tallest that we reviewed, and this additional height, combined with the ability to lace all the way up to the top of the cuff, secures the ankle in place with still allowing a range of motion from front to back while higher ankle support panels give extra stability where it's needed most.

Especially in off-trail travel where you need to kick steps, such as...
Especially in off-trail travel where you need to kick steps, such as snow and scree, the Renegade provides great stability.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

The polyurethane Monowrap Frame midsole design reduces weight, and combined with the full-length nylon shank, creates excellent torsional stability. The Renegade is a few ounces lighter than heavier models, but still provided robust prevention against ankle injuries on and off the trail.

Traction


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, gravel, and scree. If we had to complain, we would say these aren't ideal for scrambling but will do in a pinch.

The lugs on this Vibram sole grip well in wet and dry conditions.
The lugs on this Vibram sole grip well in wet and dry conditions.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Weight


This product is relatively lightweight for having a completely leather upper. It might fit a niche in between; more stable, water-resistant, and durable than lightweights, but not as durable as most midweight models.

Testing the Lowas weight on our own scale.
Testing the Lowas weight on our own scale.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Water Resistance


At six inches, this boot has an average flood height compared to other midweight hikers, but perhaps the best Gore-Tex liner. Lowa has patented the durable, comfortable design. Our feet always stayed dry in these boots. Although the leather rand absorbed water out of the box, water continued to bead off the rest of the upper throughout the entire testing period.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

This is a very classic style of hiking boot, with a full leather upper and a waterproof/breathable membrane. Something to keep note of is the fact that even though the leather comes from the manufacturer with an applied treatment to keep it from becoming inundated, periodic maintenance of the leather in the form of cleaning and applying a waterproofing agent such as Nikwax will keep the material shedding water and help the Gore-Tex continue to work as it is supposed to.

Durability


Several pieces of leather are used on each side of this boot 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 leather treatment. The Vibram Evo soles showed no signs of wear after multiple backpacking trips and day hikes.

The forefoot has a whole lot of seams where the different panels of...
The forefoot has a whole lot of seams where the different panels of leather come together.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Value


We feel similarly priced mid-weights 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 worth the investment.

Conclusion


The Lowa Renegade is a solid hiking boot for carrying large packs into rugged terrain. The additional support and water resistance that this boot provides lends itself to longer treks, though even day hikers can find that it offers comfort and stability. It is a heavy boot but performs well in most of our testing metrics and will last you a long time if you maintain it.

Ross Robinson and Ryan Huetter