Lowa Renegade GTX

8.3
8.3 score
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Lowa Renegade GTX Review Facts

Whether in the desert or in the mountains, rain or shine, any hiker can enjoy themselves in the Lowa Renegade GTX hiking boots. These boots carry on the characteristics that hikers have come to expect with GTX models, including the breathable waterproof Gore-Tex lining that helps to reduce hot spots, keeping your feet comfortable and dry. These hiking boots, with gender-specific lasts for men and women, feature a water-repellent nubuck leather upper. This upper holds the foot securely in place, limiting the strain on your toes and forefoot during downhill sections of your hike.

Although first available in 2007,  Lowa more recently upgraded the Women’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot last with a stiffer shank for extra support. This, in conjunction, with the Monowrap frame construction, improves stability as well as reduces the boot’s overall weight. The epitome of versatility and comfort, these all-terrain hiking boots feature a full-length nylon shank, a moisture-wicking footbed, and a shock-absorbent Vibram Evo outsole.  The Vibram Evo outsole is thick with nonslip rubber lug, making these boots ideal for day hiking and light backpacking across rugged terrain. Or, really, any outdoor adventure is fine!

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Durable with a noted lifespan of an average of a year and a half with regular use

Use of Nubuck leather, making this boot soft as well as resistant

Breathable with the climate-controlled footbed

Waterproof Gore-Tex lining to keep your feet dry

Suport provided by the nylon shank

Insoles are removable

Cons

Some hikers felt the boot runs small and they needed 1/2 a size larger

On the expensive end

Too stiff if feet are used to shoes

Sole Composition

This boot has a nylon shank that runs the length of the sole. A shank provides support and lies between the insole and outsole. When a shank is present in a boot, it helps to diminish the load on your feet and legs, especially during an uphill climb. The shank improves the functionality of the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid. The insoles are removable.

The lightweight Monowrap® midsole provides not only lateral stability, but also extra cushioning. Monowrap® is Lowa’s own developed technology that allows for this type of comfort and stability without adding weight to the boot. This Lowa hiking boot has a Vibram Evo outsole with thick, slip-resistant rubber lugs for maximum traction.

Terrain & Traction

Vibram has come a long way since 1954 when the Italians successfully completed the first summit of K2. With this vulcanized rubber on their soles, those hikers knew they didn’t need to worry about traction or abrasion resistance. Now, with Vibram Evo, the ground protection is even more advanced. Hikers get ground feedback as well as flexibility. And, bonus, this material is super thin but still sturdy enough to absorb shock and encourage good form.

Upper Build

This Renegade features a water-repellent nubuck leather upper (not easily penetrated by water, but not waterproof). Nubuck is a sanded or buffed top-grain cattle leather. The sanding, or buffing, gives it its velvet-like surface as well as its resistance to wear. Because the nubuck leather upper holds the foot securely in place, there is less strain on your toes and forefoot during the downhill sections of your hike.

Size & Weight

The Monowrap midsole technology helps to keep the overall weight of the boot down to a minimum. These boots weigh around 3lbs combined, depending on size and gender make. The shipping weight for a men’s shoe is approximately 4 lbs, while the women’s is just about 2.85. Some wearers found this boot to run small. Ordering 1/2 a size up is recommended. D(M) is standard width; E for Wide; EE for extra wide; N for narrow. While you may likely need go larger in this shoe for size, the actual width of the shoe is as stated. The shaft measures approximately 5" from arch in a men’s boot and 4.75” from arch in a women's. The heel measures approximately 1.75” in men’s and 1.5” in women’s, while the platform measures approximately 1” in both men and women’s.

Airflow & Waterproofing

Lowa put a climate-controlled footbed in this boot in order to improve breathability. These footbeds can be ordered and replaced. Footbeds are versatile across men and women’s boots and can be trimmed for the right fit. However, if buying a women’s boot, please add half a size. For example, a men’s size 6 footbed would be best be ordered as a 6.5 for a woman. Note that these footbeds are sized to match only LOWA boots and may not be compatible with other boots you may be hiking in. In order to reduce hot spots, LOWA added a seamless, waterproof Gore-Tex lining. Gore-Tex is a microporous membrane engineered to keep your feet dry. Less moisture in your boot equals fewer hot spots and, therefore, fewer blisters. After wearing these out in the elements for awhile, if you notice a need, you can spray them with a waterproof or leather treatment so that barrier remains faultless.

Comfort & Cushioning

Many wearers felt there was no need to break in these boots. Without the need for a break-in period, hikers can hit the trail as soon as they take these boots out of the box. As mentioned above, this boot features a climate-controlled footbed which keeps your feet dry, cool, and free of hot-spots, making hiking much more comfortable. The Renegade GTX Mid accomplishes this through perforations in the lining of the boot, which allows air to more freely circulate, wicking away moisture from your feet. Less moisture means less friction and fewer blisters. Comfort and cushioning are further emphasized with the padded tongue and collar, with the nylon shank that runs the full length of the boot, and with the shock-absorbant Vibram Evo outsole. In addition, this shoe is built on gender-specific lasts for men and women to facilitate optimal fit and comfort.

Aesthetics

In my opinion, these are a really good-looking hiking boot. The nubuck leather in combination with the logo accents make it not only comfortable but stylish. Men’s colors include Sepia/Sepia, Black, Dark Grey/Navy, Forest/Dark Brown, Brown, Sepia, Anthracite/Denim, Cognac/Dark Brown, Espresso/Brown, Sahara/Dark Brown, Slate/Olive, Anthrazit (Anthracite), Espresso/Rost. While women share the Dark Grey/Navy, Brown, and Sepia colors with the men, the women’s shoes come in a variety of other colors: taupe/Sepia, Slate/Eggplant, Black/Blackberry, Stone, Slate/Orange, Red, Grey, Black/Black, Schiefer/Aubergine (Slate/Eggplant).

Longevity & Quality

The Renegade is a durable boot with an average lifespan of a year to a year and a half with regular use. This is great news. When you pay a fairly high price for a hiking boot, you want it to last a long time. One of the most important features of a durable boot is the outsole, and with Vibram Evo’s thick rugged lugs, this boot offers maximum durability. To optimize the longevity of your boots, I don’t recommend wearing these boots on the pavement as it will wear down the soles. I like to wear sandals or tennis shoes to the trail and change into my boots when I get there. Be sure to keep them in a dry cool place. These boots have a water-repellent nubuck leather upper and a waterproof Gore-Tex lining, but there may be the occasion these boots get wet for one reason or another. If this happens, one of my favorite tricks is taking the insoles out and stuffing the boots with newspaper to remove the moisture. After an outdoor adventure, remove dirt and mud with a stiff brush and a little water. Switch out the insoles if you begin to notice less support when the exterior and sole are still intact.

Support & Balance

They are designed to support hikers carrying fairly lightweight packs, up to approximately 25lbs. Stabilizing shanks, that run the full length of boot, offer extra support on arduous terrain. These hiking boots also feature the nubuck leather upper with a corded lace-up vamp that securely holds the foot in place, reducing strain on the toes and forefoot, especially during downhill sections. This boot also has a nylon shank that runs the length of the sole. The shank, lying between the insole and outsole, helps to diminish the load on your feet and legs, especially during uphill climbs.

Lacing System

Many hikers seem to like the lacing system on this boot. This is in part to the speed-lacing grommets at the top and corded lace-up vamp. But, what really seems to catch the attention is the Derby-stlye lacing system that gives a wide variety of hikers the opportunity for a custom fit, no matter the size or shape of their feet. Note that if you are going to replace your laces, you must purchase Lowa laces because the eyelets of these boots are smaller than the standard norm. Laces are 39” long each, 68” total, and you can purchase them online.

Value & Cost

Depending on size, color, and where you buy, the Renegade GTX Mid boot currently runs a little on the expensive end. However, you are purchasing the longevity, durability, and overall quality that is synonymous with the Lowa brand. Lowa is a German company that has been handcrafting boots for almost ninety years. These boots are believed by many adventurers, mountaineers, and climbers to be some of the best outdoor boots available. And, for me, the clean environmental manufacturing process and use of the standards for fair labor, make this a company I want to buy from. One of Lowa’s slogans has been “Walk the Talk”. This appears to be evident in their commitment to sustainability, performance, and quality.

Comparison & Similarities

This model measures the same at the heel, with 1.75 inches, as the Renegade II GTX Lo hiking shoe. It also continues with the nubuck leather upper, but the LO is a low-cut hiker with breathable mesh, rather than a padded tongue and collar. The GTX LO is better suited for trail running. When compared to the Renegade II Leather-Lined Mid HIking Boot, the shaft measurements are the same, as well as the nubuck leather upper and Vibram outsole, but the Leather-Lined Mid was designed a few years later and is slightly lighter in weight. Finally, the Renegade II LL Low Hiking Boot features the Lowa-desinged buttery soft gloved leather-lining that molds to the contours of your foot for unmistakable comfort. Despite this, the Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot appears to offer more ankle support and stability.

Key Features

• A Gore-Tex membrane that is both waterproof and breathable, to keep your feet dry, comfortable, and hot-spot free.

• The Monowrap frame midsole that offers support without adding weight.

• Evo outsole by Vibram that provides traction on rugged terrain.

• Breathable, climate-controlled footbed that wicks away moisture

• Nylon shank stabilizes your foot, especially during ascents.

Final Thoughts

As a woman, I really appreciate the extra care Lowa has taken to develop a women-specific last, along with a stiffer shank for extra support. This makes the boot a go-to when I am in need of footwear for rugged terrain and my trail running shoes wont cut it. But, whether you are a man or a woman, this boot offers a long list of features that will help to make you day hike or lightweight backpacking trip enjoyable.

These include, but are not limited to, the Vibram Evo outsole, providing traction on rugged terrain; the full length-nylon shank, stabilizing your foot on uphill climbs; the waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane, keeping your feet comfortable and dry; a climate-controlled footbed, wicking moisture away from your foot; and finally, a Monowrap frame midsole, offering support but no added weight. This is a mid-top boot, not a high-top. Hikers appear to like this better because it gives similar support as well as protection from the elements, without the bulky feel of a high-top. With a final thought, I’d like to recommend the Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot for anyone looking to keep their feet dry and comfortable in cold, wet conditions as well as hot, humid ones. Doesn’t that pretty much apply to everyone?