Lowa’s Renegade Gore-Tex Mid Hiking Boot is a long-standing bestseller of the boot brand’s collection both for men and women. The Renegade includes Gore-Tex waterproofing and Vibram soles, and sits at the expensive end of the hiking boot market. So is this popular choice worth the hype – and the spend? I took a pair out for a thorough testing to see how they stack up against the best women's hiking boots and best men's hiking boots. Here's my full Lowa Renegade Gore-Tex Mid Hiking Boot review.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots review: Design and features
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid: specs
Colours available: 12
Sizes available: 2.5-10
First and foremost, a good hiking boot should be waterproof and grippy. Brands use all kinds of technology to get that double whammy of performance, but if in doubt, there are two reliable contenders we’ve always found perform well on test – Gore-Tex’s waterproofing membranes and Vibram’s tough rubber soles. Lowa’s Renegade Mid boot boasts both, so it’s a sensible choice if you aren’t sure what you’re shopping for and want to plump for decent quality.
The Renegades’ Vibram Evo soles are pleasingly light and bouncy underfoot, and remind us of the chunky rubber soles you find on running trainers. Deep ‘lugs’ (the indentations on the bottom of the sole) grip even wet, slick ground well, giving the walker confidence on tricky terrain.
A hiking boot’s styling isn’t the first factor to consider, of course, but it doesn’t hurt that the Renegade is a good-looker, made in supple nubuck leather and with no less than 12 colourways available. My favourite is the warm ‘mahogany’ colour, which looks good worn casually with jeans when you aren’t on the trail.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots review: performance and comfort
Leather is a great choice if you plan to wear your new hiking boots in cooler weather – it’s naturally warm and waterproof, and also moulds to your feet over time for a custom fit. Many leather boots are heavy underfoot and can be stiff and uncomfortable the first few times you wear them, but Lowa’s Renegade is pleasingly comfortable and cushioned from the get-go. It’s also not too heavy at 555g per boot, and when testing in the Peak District I found these boots didn’t weigh me down over longer hikes. The nubuck leather will look good with age, as long as you care for it regularly.
We found the lacing system and high cut of the Renegades felt snug and supportive around the ankle, which is lined with a comfortable cushion of material – ideal if you have weak ankles and need solid support. If you have wider or narrower feet than your average and struggle to fit boots that fit, then good news – a Narrow and a Wide version of the Renegade GTX are available both for women and men. I found the Renegade fit nicely in a women’s size 6, but some other reviewers report that these boots can fit a half-size small, so it’s definitely worth trying them on in person (and while wearing thick hiking socks) before you take them into the great outdoors.
The Lowa Renegades are too insulated to work for wear on hot summer days – swap to a fabric boot or a low-cut shoe for warm weather walks.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid review: alternatives
If you like the design and performance specs of the Renegade but need something for a different season, Lowa also offers a low-cut shoe version (opens in new tab) and an insulated higher version (opens in new tab) with soles designed to tackle ice. Prefer a fabric boot? I rate Keen’s Terradora II (opens in new tab), which offers similar comfort but is more breathable for summer use.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots review: verdict
Lowa’s Renegade GTX Mid boot (opens in new tab) packs in some lovely stuff – good Gore-Tex waterproofing, confidence-giving Vibram soles, supple leather and a close-cut and cushioned ankle. If you’re in the market for a quality leather boot and want comfort and performance built-in, this is a solid all-weather choice that should last you years with care. I reckon this design is well worth its price point if you’re investing in a quality design for most kinds of terrain.