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Hands-on Gear Review
Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo Review
Cons: Heavy, not breathable
The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo is a fine hiking shoe, and the closest thing to a low cut traditional hiking boot that we tested in the hiking shoe review. This is a burly, heavy shoe that we rated the most supportive, water resistant and durable. It's a much more substantial shoe than the others and has the price tag to reflect it. Surprisingly, it's very comfortable from the first step, even for dayhiking.
While it performs well dayhiking and very well when carrying loads, the Keen Targhee 2 is more versatile and works better for fast hiking. The Renegade stands out as the best crossover casual work shoe. It looks great, keeps your feet comfy around town and adventuring, and will keep looking great for years. Our Editors' Choice winner hiking shoe, The North Face Ultra 110 GTX is a light, comfortable all around performer.
RELATED REVIEW: Best Hiking Shoes For Men of 2018
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo earned top scores in three metrics: support, water resistance and durability. It's a very attractive shoe for those that aren't concerned about an extra quarter pound on each foot. Our biggest complaint is that it's quite heavy, but this translate to great support and durability.
The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo is comfortable and form-fitting out of the box. The supple suede uppers hug the foot, and the felt and foam insole feels nice under foot. For a stiff shoe, it strides quite well due to the substantial sole rocker at the forefoot. We found the La Sportiva FC ECO 2.0, our Top Pick for Backpacking, to be slightly more comfortable.
The Renegade's lacing system starts with one traditional eyelet down low, and three pulley-type eyelets on the midfoot. One quick lace hook finishes off the lacing. This lacing system makes getting into and out of the shoe quick, but provides little in the way of adjustability for the fit. Systems with more eyelets, especially more close to the ankle, let you fine tune fit better.
This is a warm shoe and doesn't breathe well. It's more suited to cool season hiking than summer. This shoe has a reputation for comfort after a break-in period, and with both wide and narrow sizes available, most should find a well-fitting pair.
This is the heaviest hiking shoe we tested, weighing 2.73 lbs. There's just more to it from top to bottom: a thicker sole, burly midsole and full shank, and full leather uppers.
The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo provides the most foot support of the shoes we tested. If you want more boot-like foot support without the boot ankle collar, this is the best choice of the bunch. The polyurethane Monowrap Frame midsole design, combined with the full-length nylon shank, creates superb torsional stability, and the forefoot is the stiffest we tested. This support makes this an excellent shoe for folks that want to carry relatively heavy packs with a low-cut shoe.
Overall, this product handles rough and smooth, wet and dry trails well. The agressively rockered front sole stuck to rock slabs well and it was great in mud and gravel. Things got a bit slippery though on wet granite slabs.
Short of running, this product handled all our hiking adventures well, though its heavy weight is more suited to trips when its support is needed for carrying backpacks. With its attractive full leather upper, the Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo makes a really nice office or work shoe. It's also perfect for gardening, yard work, and inclement weather wear around town. The black color scheme makes a great work shoe for those that require black footwear.
Lowa has patented the durable, comfortable seamless design of its GORE-TEX liner. Our feet always stayed dry in these shoes, though they didn't breathe well. With a full leather upper, this model easily took the top score for water resistance.
Easily the most durable shoe in the review, The Lowa Renegade Lo will keep you hiking for many years. A suede leather conditioner applied periodically to the upper will keep the leather supple and beading water. Take care of these shoes and one pair will last a lifetime. The Vibram Evo soles show no signs of wear after 100 miles.
Casual dayhikes and walks around town, backpacking trips with light and moderate loads, attractive shoe for work and town.
The $210 price tag will cause sticker shock for most. More affordable shoes like the Keen Targhee 2 are have a much smaller up-front cost. But these shoes could easily outlast two pairs of most others, making them a good longterm investment.
A popular shoe with a dedicated following. Some folks really like the combination of foot support and a full leather upper. The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo will serve most folks for years, keep your feet absolutely dry in bad weather, and you can wear them to work or out on the town with their low-key look.
— Brandon Lampley
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