The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is a classic favorite among our review team. These mid-weight full-leather hiking boots are Lowa's most popular style for women and have long been highly regarded by our testing squad. The impressive craftsmanship is obvious when they hit the trails, as the Renegade's Monowrap technology keeps the foot stable and protected while maintaining a very sleek profile. During testing, these hiking boots did well on the rugged trails of the Sierra, offering stability and comfort as well as unmatched durability and water resistance. They're not cheap, but they will last for years.Editor's Note: This review was updated on March 23, 2022, with additional product comparisons.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid - Women's Review
Cons: No arch support, expensive, bulky, heavy
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Lowa Renegade GTX Mid - Women's
$245.00 at REI
|$198.95 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Frame construction is impressive, narrow and wide fit options, seamless Gore-Tex lining, good longevity||Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable price||Wide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, lugs and outsole for excellent traction||Affordable, super comfortable out of the box, lightweight, superior traction, breathable||Well-padded ankle, comfortable, breathable, inexpensive|
|Cons||No arch support, expensive, bulky, heavy||Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot||More expensive price tag, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment time||Lack some durability of boots with thicker material||Lacks support underfoot, lacing system is not very durable|
|Bottom Line||The all-leather construction of this boots provides burly protection and support for a modern approach to the traditional leather boot||A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrain||These hiking boots have a similar design and feel to your favorite running shoe while also offering a durable outsole, grippy lugs, and a spacious toe box||A hiking boot with a minimalist design that saves on weight while delivering high performance and excellent traction||These boots are consistent and comfortable right out of the box, but they fall short in terms of durability and water resistance|
|Rating Categories||Lowa Renegade GTX Mid||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon OUTline Mid...||Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Lowa Renegade GTX Mid||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon OUTline Mid...||Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP|
|Weight (per pair)||2.19 lbs (size 7.5)
2.33 lbs (size 8.5)
|1.68 lbs (size EU 40)||1.60 lbs (size 8.5)||1.53 lbs (size 8.5)||1.96 lbs (size 7.5)
2.15 lbs (size 8.5)
|Upper||Nubuck leather||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||eVent fabric||Synthetic textile||Suede and mesh|
|Width Options||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Water Resistant Membrane||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex||eVent||Gore-Tex||M Select DRY|
|Midsole||DuraPU with Monowrap Frame||MEMlex||Altra EGO||EVA||EVA|
|Sole||Vibram Evo rubber||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||DuraTread Rubber||Nonmarking Contagrip rubber||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
For a well-made, durable hiking boot that will last a lifetime, check out the Lowa Renegade. With a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane and a great Vibram Evo outsole, they protect your feet from water, dirt, and mud, and the leather uppers are comfortable yet burly.
Comfort and fit are the two most important aspects of a hiking boot, and what makes a boot comfortable can vary from person to person. The Renegade received lower scores in terms of comfort because of the stiffness of the sole, which, for some, is actually a positive.
The Renegade has one of the best lacing systems we encountered among all the boots we tested. The lacing system and tongue provide excellent adjustability for both the foot and ankle and the gusseted tongue also provides padding to keep debris out. Overall, the Renegade is roomy and seems to cater to a wide range of foot sizes. The boots are comfortable but focus more on stability and durability than maximum comfort in their design.
The sole's stiffness comes from the full-length nylon shanks that run along the base of the boot, offering lots of support underfoot. This, along with the external polyurethane Monowrap technology, makes the Renegade an excellent shoe for support and stability.
The Renegade is a fairly stiff boot due to its stabilizing shank and Monowrap design. The stiffness helps provide support for some, while others might want a bit more flexibility in their boot. The Renegade offers plenty of ankle support, as the shaft height is 5.5 inches, making these boots among the tallest regarding ankle height.
Each boot in our lineup was put to the test on the granite slabs found around the high Sierra and the East Side, where we measured traction and stability on slick, steep, and rocky terrain. We found some boots to slip on glacier polish and some to feel insecure in the boulder fields, but the Vibram Evo soles of the Renegade held up to the test. Across the board, the boots with Vibram rubber stood up well to scrambling on rocks and talus hopping.
This is another category where the Renegade shines. The ankle height and gusseted tongue keep water from sneaking in and also keep socks dry in creek crossings. The upper is uniform, with very few seams, and made entirely of Nubuck leather with a waterproof coating. This provides an incredible barrier that covers the whole foot. Inside, the boots are equipped with Gore-Tex liners that give yet another defense against moisture.
We imagined that this full leather boot wouldn't breathe well. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the Gore-Tex liner does a pretty good job at wicking away moisture to keep our feet dry. Though not the top performer in this metric, the Renegade definitely keeps feet dry in wet conditions.
Light is right, as the old adage goes, and many people are gravitating towards lighter-weight hiking gear. Because of this shift, the Renegade ended up on the heavy end of the spectrum, weighing in at 2.33 pounds for a size 8.5 US and 2.19 for a 7.5 US. By no means does this make it a heavy boot, but in comparison to some of the lighter boots we tested, the extra weight was noticeable. Some sacrifices were made in the construction of this boot to make them as durable and supportive as they are, and for the right user, we take no issue with that.
In days past, a pair of all leather hiking boots were meant to last for many seasons to come; however, in recent years, it seems that boots are designed to last only one or two seasons before mesh gives out, laces break, or soles delaminate. The Renegade was noticeably tougher from day one. The manufacturer claims that these boots are meant to last 5-7 years. Our testing period isn't nearly that long, but the robust design made an impression on us. These boots have no mesh in their construction, which usually is the first material to give out. The all-leather upper sheds water, dirt, and mud incredibly well, leaving the boots looking fresh even after months of use.
Should You Buy the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid?
Year after year, the Renegade is one of the top traditional boots in our fleet. It is, however, quite an investment when compared to others in this review. That said, we're impressed by their durability, comfort, and thoughtful design. Constructed entirely from Nubuck leather coated with a waterproofing layer, they're very water-resistant and durable. The boots also come in a variety of widths, sizes, colors, and styles, which makes them easy to customize to your liking. A modern adaptation of the classic, long-lasting leather hiking boot, the Renegade is an investment in your hiking future; that is, if you don't mind a little extra weight.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
For something a bit more affordable and lighter weight, check out our favorite boot and Editor's Choice winner, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX. The Oboz Bridger Mid is another more affordable alternative to the Renegade, providing great durability and support. And finally, the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX is a higher performer but available at a similar price and featuring a more nimble and flexible design.
— Jane Jackson
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