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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: Lowa
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Price:  $240 List | $239.95 at Backcountry
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
Manufacturer:   Lowa
By Ross Robinson and Brandon Lampley  ⋅  Nov 6, 2019
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 17
  • 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 popular hiking boot for many good reasons. It has comfortable, wrap-around ankle support, and is a good choice for thru-hiking and day-tripping alike. It has more stability than the Best Bang for Buck winner, though it is a bulkier fit than that lower cut model. This boot was outshined when it came to weight by its competitors, but hey, it's built to last longer than your typical lightweight boot. Backpacking trips with moderate loads are the forte of this boot. It is also light and agile enough for shorter hikes, especially when you need superior foot and ankle support in difficult terrain.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Comfortable collar, great support and stability, lightweight for its classComfortable out of the box, fast and nimble, great stability, support, water resistanceBest choice for rock and snow travel, durable, breathes wellAmazing comfort, stable, great tractionComfort of a trail runner with more support and stability, good all around performance, lightweight
Cons Not our favorite lacing system, lots of upper seamsNot as good for warm or hot environments, priceyWider fit, not the best lace locking systemNot as capable in off-trail terrain, rockered sole feels unnatural at firstCould be more breathable, not great traction on smooth rock
Bottom Line Robust and comfy, this midweight boot comes in under 3 lbs and performs ahead of the curve in most metricsThis boot is a capable beast of stability and protection without weighing you downFor hikers venturing off trail into rocky or snowy terrain, this boot offers stability and traction that no other boot doesThe ultimate in comfort for on-trail enjoymentA proven performer from short walks to intense thru-hikes, with shoe comfort in lightweight boot form
Rating Categories Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX
Comfort (25%)
7
9
7
9
8
Stability (20%)
8
9
9
8
7
Traction (15%)
7
8
10
7
8
Weight (15%)
5
4
6
7
9
Water Resistance (15%)
9
9
8
7
7
Durability (10%)
7
8
7
7
6
Specs Lowa Renegade GTX... Salomon Quest 4D 3... Scarpa Zodiac Plus... HOKA ONE ONE Kaha... Salomon X Ultra...
Weight per Pair (Size 11) 2.90 lbs 3.30 lbs 2.65 lbs 2.45 lbs 2.28 lbs
Boot Type Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot
Width Options Narrow, Regular, and Wide Regular Regular Regular Regular and Wide
Waterproof Lining Waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Gore-Tex Gore-Tex Gore-Tex
Upper Nubuck leather Nubuck leather and textile 1.8mm Suede Perwanger Leather Waterproof PU coated leather
Last Board/Shank Full length nylon shank 4D Advanced Chassis BZ last None Molded shank
Midsole DuraPU Monowrap Frame Dual density EVA PU + 3D EVA-MP EVA Injected EVA
Sole Vibram Evo ContaGrip Vibram Drumlin / Mont Vibram MegaGrip Non-marking ContaGrip
Warranty 1 year 2 year 1 year 45 day 2 year
Sizes Available 7.5-15 US 7 - 13 US 37 - 48 EU 7 - 14 US 7 - 13 US
Color Options Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Renegade was built to roam all types of terrain.
The Renegade was built to roam all types of terrain.
Photo: Ross Robinson

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.

Not a deal-breaker, but the lacing system wasn't as convincing as...
Not a deal-breaker, but the lacing system wasn't as convincing as other models.
Photo: Ross Robinson

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 Renegade GTX tied for the tallest ankle collar height when measured on the side. We liked the design of the ankle collar; it's very well cushioned, and the back dips down further than other models. This gave our feet more room to flex without getting blocked by the ankle collar, while still providing high support on the sides of the ankles. The leather is more continuous around the ankle on this boot and with the addition of the unique frame-like midsole there's good lateral support.

This boot provides solid stability and support when moving through...
This boot provides solid stability and support when moving through rocky, uneven paths.
Photo: Ross Robinson

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.

Screein' ain't easy, but the Renegade's wide outsole helped make it...
Screein' ain't easy, but the Renegade's wide outsole helped make it as conquerable as possible.
Photo: Ross Robinson

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.

Modest weight, and one of the tallest shafts? Way to go, Lowa, way...
Modest weight, and one of the tallest shafts? Way to go, Lowa, way to go.
Photo: Ross Robinson

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

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.

While susceptible to potential problems down the road, the Renegade...
While susceptible to potential problems down the road, the Renegade held its ground, and its seams, throughout our testing period.
Photo: Ross Robinson

Find trails/off trails. Pack bag for days. Lace up these Lowa's. Go.
Find trails/off trails. Pack bag for days. Lace up these Lowa's. Go.
Photo: Ross Robinson

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


Despite its name, the Renegade will not desert or leave you hanging on the trail. This is a very popular boot with a dedicated following. Some folks really like the combination of torsional stability, reasonable weight for a midweight, and aggressive forefoot rocker. It's very comfortable from day one and very suitable for backpacking trips.

We were pretty psyched to test out this pair of boots for the second...
We were pretty psyched to test out this pair of boots for the second year running. While they didn't score any awards, they performed very well across the board, and deserve the loyalty they have from repeat customers.
Photo: Ross Robinson

Ross Robinson and Brandon Lampley