Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot Review

Impressively comfortable and supportive, Lowa’s popular hiking boot is a great match for difficult, technical trails
Lowa-Renegade-(upper)

Table of Contents

Every major brand of hiking boots has a signature model. For Lowa this is their Renegade GTX. We took the well-known mid-height model for a hike and for day hikes in Washington’s tough Central as well as North Cascades. With gear loaded and traversing treacherous terrain, we were able to appreciate its wide-ranging appeal. The boot is comfy and supportive, and relatively lightweight for its size and is ideal for people who have trouble fitting their feet, it is they are available in a variety of widths and sizes. Below , we review our experience of the Renegade. To find out how it compares against the competition, check out our review of the most comfortable hiker’s boots.

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

2 lbs. 10 oz. (men’s size 9)

Yes (Gore-Tex)

Reasonably light and comfortable without sacrificing support for heavy loads.

At this price point, build quality could be better.

(4.6/5)

Comfort

In the beginning, when I tried on my first pair of Lowa Renegade GTX Middle My boots went straight from the box onto my trail to begin a multi-day hiking excursion through Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Although it’s not the ideal method of introducing any hiking boots it was a good way to test if the Renegade was comfortable right away. The feel underfoot is what I would want from the most serious hiking boot that is firm enough with enough stiffness to withstand long uphill treks, and a comfortable collar to secure the laces. In addition, the midsoles provide adequate protection from the trails, even with a heavy down pack, as well as lots of walking and scrambling over rocks. The only thing I didn’t realize was that I will be aware of this until afterward and this is an excellent review for a shoe when we finally arrived at our lakeside location the following afternoon, I didn’t consider swapping out the Renegade to get a pair camping shoes (I simply loosen the laces a to loosen them a bit).

Lowa-Renegade-hiking-boots-(1)

Weight

Weighing 2 pounds, 10 pounds on our scales in a size 9 for men. (the weight as stated is 2lbs. 7 oz. ) 7 oz. ), the Lowa Renegade undercuts much of its competition in midweight. This includes boots such as that of the Salomon Quest 4 GTX (2 2 lbs. 14.2 oz. ), Vasque St. Elias GTX (2 lbs. 15 oz. ) as well as the less sturdy KEEN Durand Mid WP (2 2 lbs. 12.2 oz.). The Lowa is more solid than pliable and light. However, we prefer a boot that is similar to that of the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX (1 1 lb. 15.6 oz.) for quick packing–but the weight is quite impressive given the outstanding levels of support and comfort.

Traction

Typically, moving up to a good boot will give you traction all over, which is why this Lowa Renegade GTX Mid isn’t a disappointment. Lowa utilizes Vibram to make their outer soles as well as the tread design blends with a firm grip on roots and rocks with plenty of bite rough terrain, soft dirt, and snow. On a recent backpacking trip, the boots performed well going down steep granite and muddy trails. While my hiking companion was attentively evaluating his movements in a pair of affordable KEEN Targhees I was able to move with complete confidence in the Vibram rubber’s grippy rubber. Another area where we haven’t tried the traction of the Renegade is in mud, however, we expect it to be competitive in this area also.

Breathability

Breathability isn’t always a great characteristic of a leather hiker’s boot-and we certainly enjoyed the cool sensation of an alpine river that was circling the boot as we were trying to test the waterproofing. However, the Renegade is rated as a pass for this. The leather that makes up most of the boots upper is sufficiently thin that it won’t transform into a sauna. Additionally, the insole and lining does well at the absorption and dispersing water. It was hot out on the trail and we saw lots of exposure to the sun however I didn’t overheat or develop uncomfortable hot spots or discomfort.

Lowa-Renegade-(upper)

Waterproofing

Its “GTX” as a name hints at the waterproof nature of the Renegade. Gore-Tex is the most popular material on hiking boots that cost $200 or more as well as the solid leather upper and waterproof coating, the boots haven’t let any water leak out. The hot summer weather hasn’t given us the chance to trek through the wet Pacific Northwest, but we’ve given it a fair go by walking and crossing streams whenever we can. While the miles add up the waterproofing is the strength. The water-proof construction and the modest insulation provided by the Gore-Tex liner will ensure that it Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is ideal for snowshoeing in mild temperatures.

Stability and Support

The added stability and support is one of the primary reasons in stepping up to a more robust boot such as this Lowa Renegade. It’s not terribly rigid, it is comfortable to put on with out any break-in time–the boot is noticeably stiffer underfoot than a lighter shoe like that of the Merrell Moab 2. The Renegade can handle an enormous load. I’ve worn the boot with a weighted down an backpacking backpack and several trips carrying 40 pounds of infant carrier, child and various other equipment I’m yet to try rolling an ankle. The lacing system isn’t able to protect your feet as well like the Salomon Quest 4 GTX, the three hooks that lock are able to tighten in a uniform manner and the boot’s strong platform is safe for technical sections and off-camber areas of trails. If you’re looking to have a steady riding experience or prefer the safety net provided with a solid boot The Renegade is a good option.

Build Quality and Durability

In other words, I’m not convinced that the Renegade is the most robust model in the midweight segment. So far, the boot has been through a mixture of trail and off-trail use in this rock-filled Cascade Mountains of Washington. The upper materials have held well to wear and tear and the tread isn’t chipping away as some rubber does on the rugged rocks, there’s an apparent separation between the rubber toe as well as the leather upper of the left boot. For us, the problem appears to be due to the fact that these two pieces come together mid-toe, unlike shoes such as that Salomon Quest 4 GTX which have a cap for the toe that extends over the toes. The crack hasn’t gotten any bigger over time as the trial progresses but it’s still concerning that it was discovered at such a young age.

Lowa-Renegade-(toe)

Fit and Sizing

We think a significant reason for Renegade’s success is the excellent design and fit. There is no one shoe that will be suitable for all types of feet however, the Renegade has a pretty good chance of fitting. I bought my usual Men’s Size 9 with a normal width and found it to be perfect. The heel is comfortable and secure in its place aided by three sets of locking lace hooks. Additionally, the toe box is spacious enough to allow for the toes spread and not become mangled when you descend long distances. What is what sets apart the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid from other models is the variety of sizes that range between 7.5 to 16 inches in men’s sizes and 5.5 to 11 for women’s sizes, as well as narrow and regular widths, as well as wide sizes. If you struggle to find a comfortable size it is the Renegade is among the most comfortable options we’ve encountered.

Lowa-Renegade-(Big-Agnes)

Other Versions of the Lowa Renegade

For the purpose of this test, we tried the male Renegade GTX Mid, but Lowa makes the boot available with a variety of variants. If you’re looking to cut the weight, but aren’t willing to sacrifice ankle support The Renegade GTX is made in the low-top model ($230) that weighs just 2 pounds 4.7 pounds, and 4.7 ounces. It’s notable that the only model to remove the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane is the Lowa Mid. (leather-lined) mid-level, however, we’d like to see an option with more mesh suitable for climates that are dry and warm. Female models come in similar versions, such as those for women, such as the Renegade GTX Mid, but in different colors and lighter weights (see our comprehensive evaluation of women’s boots below).

What We Love

  • The underfoot is extremely comfortable and has excellent cushioning for the ankle.
  • Easy to trust and stable when hiking on rough terrain and with an enormous pack.
  • Available in a variety of sizes, as well as narrow regular, and large sizes and widths.


“What We Never Do”

  • There are potential issues with durability over time when the rubber cap is pressed against the upper leather.
  • The lacing system falls less than what is found in the Salomon Quest 4.
  • There is no mesh (non-GTX) model available for those who trek in dry and warm climates.

Comparison Table

BOOT PRICE CATEGORY WEIGHT WATERPROOF UPPER
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid $245 Midweight 2 lb. 7 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Nubuck leather
Salomon Quest 4 GTX $230 Midweight 2 lb. 14.2 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Leather / textile
Asolo Fugitive GTX $285 Heavyweight 3 lb. 0.7 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Suede leather / nylon
Vasque St. Elias GTX $220 Midweight 2 lb. 15 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Nubuck leather
Vasque Breeze AT Mid GTX $190 Midweight 2 lb. 11 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Nubuck leather / mesh
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP $145 Lightweight 2 lb. 4 oz. Yes (M-Select) Leather / mesh
KEEN Targhee III Mid WP $175 Lightweight 2 lb. 2.8 oz. Yes (KEEN.Dry) Nubuck leather / textile

The Competition

Its Lowa Renegade is a year-round favorite for backpackers, hikers as well as snowshoers. Its closest rival can be found in its cousin, the Salomon Quest 4 GTX which is an excellent choice for those who have to endure difficult hiking days and lengthy hiking trips. It’s also pretty even in terms of weight. On our scale, in the men’s size 9 the Renegade weighs in at 2 pounds and 10 ounces, while it weighs 2 pounds 10 ounces. The Quest 4 is slightly more than that, at 2.25 12.5 pounds 14.2 ounces. If you look at the differences in the Lowa, we found that the Lowa is more of a traditional, upright look in contrast to the slouching Salomon position that is reminiscent of an over-the-ankle trail runner. We also discovered that the Renegade provides a bit better trailsisolation when you carry more weight, however, we like the Quest’s design which can be firmly around the ankles for excellent support. Both are great boots, and they both rank near the top of the top spot in our hiking boot review–but the main factor could depend on the fit. The Salomons aren’t as popular and only come in single width and the Renegades come in regular, narrow, and large sizes.

Lowa-Renegade-(stormy)

Another shoe that is often compared to one called the Lowa Renegade is Asolo’s Fugitive GTX. Both boots feature robust uppers with a Gore-Tex lining and a tested Vibram outsole. The Fugitive is much more rigid than the Renegade which requires a more lengthy break-in period, and weighs at significantly heavier, at 3 pounds 0.7 pounds, which becomes obvious as the miles pile up. The Asolo’s tough construction and robust design are ideal for easy mountaineering, and for navigating difficult off-trail terrains carrying a heavy backpack However, it’s too big for the majority of casual backpacking trips. If you’re not in need of the extra rigidity or support we suggest the more flexible, versatile, and affordable Renegade.

Another midweight option to consider is Vasque’s St. Elias GTX. As with the Renegade Vasque, the Vasque comes with a water-resistant Gore-Tex liner and Vibram outsole. Furthermore, the boot provides plenty of stability for backpacking at high speeds but still has sufficient flexibility for shorter and more leisurely day treks. The most notable thing is the price St. Elias sells for $220, which is less than the Renegade by just $25 but not losing much in terms of performance. However, the Vasque is heavier than the Renegade by about 8 ounces per pair this can be a problem when traveling long distances. It’s impossible to go wrong with either one, however, we prefer the more squishy design and lighter burden of the lowa.

Lowa-Renegade-(relaxing)

The Vasque AT Mid GTX is a part of the Vasque lineup. it’s the Breeze AT Mid GTX is a less expensive ($190) as well as lighter (2 pounds. 11 oz.) alternative in comparison to an alternative to St. Elias mentioned above. Overall it’s an excellent alternative to St. Elias mentioned above. appreciate this model. Breeze AT. The AT is durable as well as supportive and secure It comes with a premium Gore-Tex Liner as well as a Vibram outsole. It also features an extremely durable leather construction. In our testing it, we noticed that the Vasque came with a rather bulky and clunky feeling on the trail. Additionally, the more lugs were not able to grip well on surfaces that are soft. The Renegade provides the same performance with a weight of around 4 ounces less per pair, which is the reason we’ve given it a slight advantage in our hiking boots review.

Moving to the light and affordable end in the range, two long-time top sellers include Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP and Merrell Moab 2 mid-WP ($145 2 pounds. 4 oz.) as well as the KEEN Targhee Middle WP ($175 2 pounds. 2.8 oz.). They are comfortable for short hikes or daytime hiking trips however, we believe the Renegade is the best choice when you’re carrying a heavier backpacking pack or trekking over treacherous or difficult terrain. You will notice a marked improvement in traction, stability, and build quality, with the only slight weight loss when you upgrade from the Renegade.