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 every other midweight, it's nimble and comfortable when day hiking, and just beefy enough for carrying moderate loads backpacking.
The Renegade was built to roam all types of terrain.
This boot is comfortable and form-fitting out of the box. The felt and foam insole feel 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. We preferred the ease of use and function of the lacing systems on the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX and the Arc'teryx Bora2 Mid.
Not a deal breaker, but the lacing system wasn't as convincing as other models like the Bora2 and Quest 4d II.
This boot has a reputation for comfort, and with wide sizes available, your chances of finding the right fit are good.
The Renegades were the only pair of boots we reviewed to come with an extra set of laces, which 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.
The Renegade GTX tied the Quest 4D 3 GTX 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 the Quest and the St. Elias. 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 compared to the Vasque St. Elias GTX. Add the unique frame-like midsole, and there's good lateral support.
This 'lightest of the midweights' provides solid stability and support when moving through rocky, uneven paths.
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 the Quest 4D and St. Elias, but still provided robust prevention against ankle injuries on and off the trail.
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, like the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX, but will do in a pinch.
Screein' ain't easy, but the Renegade's wide outsole helped make it as conquerable as possible.
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.
Lightest midweight, and one of the tallest shafts? Way to go, Lowa, way to go.
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.
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 a 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 held its ground, and its seams, throughout our testing period.
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.
Find trails/off trails. Pack bag for days. Lace up these Lowa's. Go.
At $240, we feel similarly priced mid-weights 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.
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, a minimal weight for a midweight, and aggressive forefoot rocker. It's very comfortable from day one and nimble on the feet for backpacking trips.
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.