Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Shoe Review Facts
The Renegade GTX Mid by Lowa is a high-performing hiking boot. The company calls it a ‘multi-functional boot’, and it is true because you can use it in a variety of situations. It shines when you take it as your go-to hiking boot. With its high-quality Gore-Tex upper and reasonably supportive outsole, the Renegade Mid claims to keep you comfortable and last a really long time. It offers good flexibility, which is the reason why it does not require a long period of breaking in, especially when you find the right size. The boot is true to the size and is a great choice for anyone finding it difficult to get a good fit. You will love it if you have wide but low volume feet. The question is, “Does it really has the potential to withstand difficult weather conditions and is as high value as the company claims?” Let’s find out.
From the moment you open up the box, you just know you have bought a solid pair of hiking boots. The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid uses Nubuck leather – both machine
and hand stitched, which is how you get this robust yet good-looking boot.
There may be tougher built boots in the mid-price range but nevertheless, the upper looks good and the tread is not going to chip away any time soon, even if you're battling with an unforgiving rock. Some people have commented on a separation developing between the leather upper and the toe rubber. It is not a huge issue although it may cause problems over time.
When you're a trekker or climber
, you need to be very choosy with outsoles, and the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid will not disappoint. The molded rubber sole on the GTX Mid is reliable. It sticks exceptionally well to wet rock to leave you feeling more confident when climbing or descending.
The outsole gives at the forefoot, which makes it a favorable choice for many trekkers
, but keeps some rigidity to protect your feet from stones. Some people may be more interested in buying a trekking boot with a stiffer outsole. It is a personal preference, which means the GTX Mid may not be a right choice for you if you're looking for a seriously stiff, clunky boot.
Even though the insole is not that impressive, the midsole really helps make the boot comfortable. It uses a PU midsole that works well to absorb shocks. It rebounds well and is supposedly longer lasting compared to molded EVA midsoles. It may be true, but it is also a fact that EVA midsoles offer greater comfort. Moreover, you are likely to see small cracks developing long the injection area after some time.
Another issue related to the midsole is that it is a bit too flexible, which means you have to let go of some torsional stability to get some additional comfort. Overall, the midsole performs well, but as more of a day-hiker than an advanced hiking boot, especially if you plan on having to carry a load over uneven terrain
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A men's size 9 weighs around 2 pounds 10 ounces, which may be a bit on the heavier side. However, it still competes well with boots from other brands in this mid-weight category. It is slightly lighter than the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX as well as the Arc'teryx Bora2 Mid GTX. It is because of its relatively higher weight that the boot looks solid. The weightiness
of these boots makes them a less favorable choice as your go-to travel footwear. Nevertheless, they perform really well as trekking boots.
The GTX mid is reasonably comfortable right out of the box, but it is sensible to break them in before you start wearing them on a hiking expedition
. You can rely on these boots for multi-day backpacking trips because they offer great comfort. But with the insole not being of the highest quality, you will feel the ground under your feet, especially when carrying a load.
However, it is not a deal-breaker for everyone, especially if you like that feel underfoot. It feels firm but offers some stiffness to tackle long uphill slogs. The midsole does help in making these boots a little more comfortable because they ensure some isolation from the trail. The form-fitting leather also adds to the overall comfort level and makes the GTX Mid a more comfortable boot compared to other mid-weight hikers.
The Renegade GTX Mid is a comfortable hiking boot, and one good reason is the ankle collar that is both comfortable and supportive, especially during foot flexion. The only issue comfort issue you are likely to experience is related to the lacing system. Most people didn't really appreciate the quality of the lacing system. It looks good on paper but wasn’t that impressive in the real world.
There are four lower eyelets, two upper hook eyelets, and one central lock. The most noticeable issue is with the middle locking eyelet, which is a bit too small. It is hard to get to it, and once you have, it still feels impossible to lock tight, especially on the factory laces. When hiking steeply uphill
, you run the risk of laces popping out of the top hook eyelets, which is both annoying and unsafe. However, the boot offers so much more than you may have to ignore this little glitch and the good thing is you resolve this issue to a certain extent by opting for stiffer and larger laces.
The boot offers good stability and partly because of the tall ankle collar. The design is nice and well-cushioned too. It is noticeable that the back dips down a lot more than the St. Elias and the Quest, which is a good thing to keep your feet from being blocked by the ankle collar. The boot offers good support on the sides and the form-fitting leather also ensures you enjoy good stability while trekking and hiking.
Many people thought the torsional stability could have been improved, but we believe the boot still performs reasonably well thanks to the full-length nylon shank and Monowrap frame midsole. To improve the overall stability, you could consider using a volume reducer under the insole or pair the Renegade GTX Mid with special hiking socks with padded heels.
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is a comfortable hiking boot that requires little to no breaking in, and it has a fair bit of protection going for it. The company uses Monowrap framework, which works great to provide additional protection to the side of your foot. There’s also a full-length stabilizing shank in the boot that plays a role in keeping the underfoot safe and secure.
The Renegade does not disappoint when it comes to traction with the use of Vibram for the outsoles and further enhanced by the tread pattern. The pattern is the reason why this boot enjoys plenty of bite in soft dirt, hard pack, and snow. it performs especially well when descending loose, dusty trails. The grippy Vibram rubber really helps you move with confidence.
When you're going for an all-leather hiking boot, you have to stay content with less-than-perfect breathability. The Renegade is not going to impress you much in this regard, but the alpine stream surrounding the boot will offer some breathability for sure.
Another good thing about the leather used in Lowa Renegade is that it is a bit thinner as compared to what you find on many other hiking shoes. While it affects the durability to a certain extent, it ensures that the boot does not change into a sauna. Moreover, the lining and insole work together to dissipate moisture. What it means is that you are surely going to find the Renegade to be a bit on the hotter side, but you're less likely to develop any hot spots.
You will love the Renegade when it comes to waterproofing, mainly because of the GTX or "Gore-Tex" and high-quality leather upper. The good thing is that the upper comes with a water repellant coating, so you don't have to worry about trekking in wet and muddy conditions. You will also notice that the tongue joins the boot at a good height; precisely, it gives you about 5 inches of waterproof height, which is nice.
It is actually quite impressive to see how the Renegade holds up in the waterproofing department even when the miles add up. We also believe that the insulation from the Gore-Tex liner and the waterproof build may also make it reasonably good for snowshoeing in relatively milder temperatures. To keep it functioning well, be sure to treat the leather with waterproofing after a few trekking and backpacking trips.
In terms of fit, it is hard to beat the Renegade. It is true to the size and offers a nice form-hugging fit. You can order your regular size and there is a high chance that the Renegade will fit perfectly. The sets of locking lace hooks help keep the heel in place. The good thing is that you can find the Renegade Mid in a variety of sizes, along with regular, narrow, and wide widths. If you often face issues to get a good fit, you may certainly want to give the Renegade Mid a shot.
Comparison to Other Brands
While many people are now more interested in buying lighter footwear, it still has not affected the popularity of the Renegade Mid. Of course, it is a bit expensive as compared to its lightweight competition, such as the Keen Targhee III and the Merrell Moab 2, but it is also much safer and stable over steep and dicey terrains.
Speaking of competition, the Salomon Quest 4D 2 really has the potential to stand against the Renegade Mid, especially you talk about long backpacking trips. The lacing system on Salomon Quest 4D2 is much better, but the Renegade Mid is a bit lighter. The lacing system is not that impressive, but you can replace it with better laces. Nevertheless, it will not be as impressive and comfortable to use as on the Arc Teryx Bora 2 Mid and the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX.
While you can certainly consider the Renegade MID your go-to travel shoe, you may find it a bit heavy at times. It certainly works extremely well as a backpacking boot. In fact, it is hard to beat it when you are on a backpacking trip with moderate loads. For shorter hikes, you can still trust the Renegade Mid, as it is light enough for most trails and provides you with ample ankle support to tackle difficult terrain.
In the Mid-Weight category, you will certainly find some very nice options like the Salomon Quest 4D as well as the Vasque St. Elias. These boots cost about the same as you pay for the Renegade Mid, but the fit, sturdiness, and waterproofing of this boot mean it offers a great value for your hard-earned money.
The Bottom Line
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mi is an extremely popular hiking boot, as it is comfortable, extremely supportive, and stable too. The availability of several sizing options is another plus. The lacing system may not be the best, especially compared to the Salomon Quest 4D 2, but it still does a satisfactory job to secure your foot and prevent an ankle roll. Its solid platform is a nice addition and the outsole makes it easy to tackle technical and off-camber parts of any trail. Overall, if you're mainly looking for a sturdy boot that is safe to wear but may be a bit on the heavier side, the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid certainly fits the bill.